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Sue Gaines
Educator at PETA

"I also work with teachers that want to use animal rights issues for teaching."

What have been the most defining moments along your career path?

Taking that step to intergrate my skills into a job/organization I believe in. I work with students, parents & teachers specifically on the issue of dissection alternatives. I research issues to help convince educators that students can learn the material through other methods. I also work with teachers that want to use animal rights issues for teaching. I help them gather proper info and materials for debates, humane education curriculum, etc.

How did you get your big breaks?

I was volunteering for a local animal rights organization. I worked as a graphic designer doing corporate communications for many years. Reached a point where I felt what I was doing wasn't making a difference. So I took an interest that I'd been volunteering on for many years (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA)and asked about jobs with them. I've been with PETA for 8 years.

What have you learned from your experience?

If you're interested in working for a nonprofit, volunteer locally. Try an internship. PETA has an internship program all year. During the summer students live with other employees and are given their meals. Also they're paid a small stipend. You can intern in as many different departments or could focus specifically in one. Many interns turn full time. There is a lot of flexibility here. You can really design your own career path based on your own interests.

What most excites you about your job right now?

We're constantly evaluating what we should do regarding what the issues are at the time. The company is constantly moving and changing with the needs and issues of the public. I feel a part of something I believe in and I'm making a difference in the world.

On a scale of 1-10, how relevant was your academic major to your career? (1=not at all, 10=absolutely essential)


What would you like to have achieved by the last day of your career?

Help more animals and teach others how to as well.

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