For the summer after her sophomore year, Migdal worked as a marine mammal intern at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Florida. There she interacted with dolphins, otters, pelicans and sharks, helped animal trainers with their tasks and ran animal encounter programs for visitors.
“One of the most interesting things I’ve learned is that trainers and vets work together to care for these animals,” said Migdal. “For example, the otters had to learn to enter a kennel to see the vet, and the trainers taught them various behaviors so that they could get the best possible care.”
She added that she has always had an interest in animal behavior and animal training. “I want to work with marine animals in my career,” she said. “This internship helped me to take another step in this direction.”
At Penn State, Migdal’s research and internship experience complemented her academic achievements, and she credited her classes to prepare them for veterinary school applications.
“If you want to study animal or veterinary sciences, Penn State prepares you for graduate school,” said Migdal. “The lessons are also interesting. I am very pleased that I have had the opportunity to take courses in subjects that are important to me in veterinary medicine. “
At Penn State, Migdal also became involved with Phi Gamma Nu, a professional development organization that focuses on preparing its members for post-graduate professional training. She served as Recruitment Chair, External Vice President, Vice President of Risk Management and THON Finance Chair and danced as the group’s representative at THON 2021.
“PGN exposed me to a professional environment,” said Migdal, citing the company’s focus on resumes, LinkedIn profiles and simulated interviews. “It taught me how to network and communicate in college and not have to wait to get into work to do these things.”
Migdal also serves as an Ag Advocate – helping, among other things, recruiting new freshmen for the College of Agricultural Sciences – and working as a technical assistant at Big Rock Veterinary Hospital, a veterinary clinic near her hometown Beaver, during Penn State breaks.
Although Migdal was inducted into Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, Caribbean, she has several pending graduate school applications and isn’t sure where she will be this fall. Nevertheless, she feels comfortable in the uncertainty.
“I hope that wherever I go to school, I can make the necessary connections and gain the right experience,” she says. “I just want to be a vet and work with marine animals. Wherever that happens, I’ll be happy. “