Banking on a Profession in Conservation | Weblog | Nature

Alicia visiting the ocean lion exhibit on the Bronx Zoo, considered one of her favorites. Picture Credit score: ©Alexandria Brown.

My journey into the conservation discipline started in 1995. It was then I started working part-time as an accounting clerk on the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo—in our “financial institution” positioned within the cashroom. My primary duties had been cashing checks and tallying each day gross sales from the 5 wildlife parks: the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, New York Aquarium, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo.

Howard Forbes, now retired, employed me. On the time, he was the one African American consultant on the Accounting Division’s administration workforce. He was a mentor to me and gave me one thing to attempt for with the utmost model and beauty.

After I first began working at WCS, my plan for my tenure was a lot shorter time period. It was on no account assured by the B.A. in accounting I used to be then pursuing as a first-generation faculty scholar. So I used to be thrilled when the Accounting Division supplied me a full-time place upon commencement.

Alicia proudly posing for an image in her workplace circa 2005. Picture Credit score: Isobel Onorato/WCS.

This milestone outlined my choice to make WCS residence and search extra data. I continued my training endeavors at Tempo College Graduate College to earn my grasp’s diploma in Public Administration (MPA).

WCS (initially the New York Zoological Society) and I share one particular bragging level: we had been each born within the Bronx! I’m a proud Jamaican American. In my early years, I lived in Jamaica with my aunt till I used to be 5 years previous and was about to enter Kindergarten. Whereas in Jamaica, I lived within the countryside, the place I used to be uncovered to the farm life very early with chickens, cows, goats and pigs. It was frequent to see me doing chores at a younger age on the farm.

In my tradition, it’s extra typical to enter the medical discipline and turn out to be a physician or a nurse. This led to some lack of awareness by my household about my choice to get a job that was not within the allied well being discipline in any respect, however I knew what I wished to do from a really younger age. It began with board video games—particularly, Monopoly.

Alicia Wyatt, Senior Accountant, Wildlife Conservation Society. Picture Credit score: ©Alexandria Brown.

After I was a bit of lady, I liked to play board video games with my siblings and cousins. I used to be the youngest of the group, but I’d normally have one of the vital necessary roles once we performed Monopoly. Nothing gave me extra pleasure than having the older children of the household entrust me with the coveted place of banker.

Though I used to be the youngest, I used to be all the time trusted. I used to be all the time given accountability and it felt nice. The truth is, I imagine it planted the seeds of my curiosity within the accounting occupation. At this time my skilled position requires a excessive diploma of accountability, and I’m a trusted advisor inside the group. As an accountant, I facilitate that kind of belief and integrity throughout our many divisions and departments by making certain compliance with guidelines and rules.

I’m most pleased with my talents to guide, drawback remedy, and analyze. I get pleasure from collaborating, constructing relationships, and offering the very best choices to fulfill the wants of WCS.

I’m at the moment working as a Senior Accountant at WCS, headquartered on the Bronx Zoo. My favourite a part of being positioned on the Bronx Zoo is the truth that I can take each day walks and see the animals and displays I like. I normally discover myself visiting the ocean lions, tigers, and the Congo Gorilla Forest.

Alicia visiting the Tiger Mountain exhibit on the Bronx Zoo. Picture Credit score: ©Alexandria Brown.

I’ve labored at WCS for 28 years as of 2023. My two children have loved the zoo through the years as a lot as I’ve. My son Andrew might be 30 in August. Alexandria is 22. Though they’ve grown up and I now reside in Mount Vernon, New York, the Bronx and its beloved zoo will all the time be a house away from residence for us.

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