ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
Jennifer Hawkins began grooming in October 2013 after making a career-changing decision to enroll in Animal Behavior College’s Grooming Instruction Program. She was inspired by her desire to find a career path she really loved. Jennifer is currently working on perfecting her grooming skills at her Externship location, Trulie Dogs Boutique in Wilmington, N.C. She impressed her mentor, Judianne, from the very beginning.
“Jennifer has a natural talent for working with animals and is on her way to becoming a very talented groomer,” Judianne said.
Was pet grooming your first career choice? If not, what was it?
My first career choice was actually to work with kids. I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I am currently working at Brigade Boys and Girls Club while I finish up my Externship and earn my Grooming Certification. After getting into the elementary education field, I decided it was just not for me. I always loved animals, so I started searching online for veterinary technician and groomer schools and came upon ABC’s website. After thinking on it for a bit, I decided to give it a try. I have never looked back. I am so happy I made the decision to pursue becoming a certified Groomer. I love it. No kids talking back either.
What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?
My most rewarding moment is when I first scissored. It was fun, even if it was maybe a little intimidating. When I realized that I did it and did it well, it felt so good. My mentor was so excited for me because I did a great job and she was really surprised and impressed with my work. That first scissoring experience really helped boost my confidence and made me really feel like I had made the right decision.
Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.
The most humorous moment was when the hose started spraying everywhere. I had been giving a bath and I had set the hose down in the tub for a second. The hose came alive like a snake and started spraying everyone, everywhere. Not only did I give the dog a bath, but I gave myself one as well.
What has your experience been like in the ABC Grooming Instruction Program?
My experience with the ABC Grooming program has been wonderful. All of the people from ABC who I have dealt with—from my program managers to my coordinator—have been so helpful and supportive. I was nervous about the course being online, but I made it through all my stages. If ever had a problem they were more than helpful and accommodating.
What are your future career plans?
I am still in my Externship, however, I have already been asked to stay by Trulie Dogs as a full-time professional groomer. I am thrilled to say I plan on accepting that offer after I complete my course. Some time in the future, I would like to open my own business. I am currently enrolled in different Continuing Education Programs, so I would like to include, dog walking, pet massage and pet nutrition expertise at my business.