What I Know Now: Drew Arnold
I provide on-the-ground wildlife and land management assistance to private landowners in Alabama. I am a remote employee based in Mobile, AL, meaning I work out of my home office when I am not on the road.
hometown: Hattiesburg, Mississippi (Dixie Community)
career: Resource Stewardship Biologist (South Region). I provide on-the-ground wildlife and land management assistance to private landowners in Alabama. I am a remote employee based in Mobile, AL, meaning I work out of my home office when I am not on the road.
education: I chose the University of Southern Mississippi for my B.S. in Biological Sciences. I was unsure of what I wanted to do after college and felt that with a Biological Sciences degree I could go into a variety of fields. I’m currently working on my M.S. in Wildlife, Aquatic, and Wildlands Science and Management at Texas Tech University.
growing up: I always enjoyed the outdoors as a child and dreamed of working in an outdoor environment. I toyed with the idea of being an archaeologist (I like history) or veterinarian.
parental impact: From an early age, my parents had me and my brothers helping on the farm in some capacity. The farm life really helped me develop a sense of pride in my labor as well as a strong work ethic. They also encouraged us to learn because they were teachers. My dad always had his nose in a book and had an insatiable appetite for learning new things. He made sure we knew things that would make us self-sufficient if we ever hit hard times, a trait that I believe is critical in almost any field.
college life: I had always excelled in academics during high school, but coming to college leveled the playing field. It can be hard on your self-esteem when you go from star student to average student, but it goads you to adapt. Also, you have this new-found independence. It requires some self-determination and willpower to really buckle down and focus on school while also maintaining a social life and family obligations.
turning point: Probably the most profound moment came from my mother. I wanted to go to grad school but was a bit afraid I would fail at finding a spot. One day we got into a bit of an argument and she told me I was too chicken to leave and follow my dreams. That really stuck in my craw, but pushed me to do what I needed to get where I wanted to go. The next day I filled out an application for graduate school and 3 months later moved to Texas. A little tough love is good sometimes!
rookie mistake: Being too careless with my studies. With new-found freedom it can be easy to say, “I don’t have to go to class today!” Go to class. Keep up with your assignments. Don’t fall behind. And get plenty of sleep!
best advice i’ve been given: My dad: “Be young and have fun.” Don’t take life too seriously.
i wish i’d known: I wish I would have volunteered with projects related to my future career goals. I would have also looked into internships. I believe they can be important for getting your foot in the door while also gaining valuable experience.
can’t live without
- My lovely wife, Candace
- Pepper, my German shorthaired pointer
- The outdoors