I’m excited to introduce our first Successful Sublime Senorita!  Check out my interview below with this extraordinary woman, Caroline Vetter!

Florida native, Caroline Vetter is in the process of trying to win her dream job.  She was recently selected as one of 25 out of 45,000 applicants from 196 countries worldwide for “The Best Jobs in the World” Wildlife Caretaker position on Kangaroo Island, Australia offered by Tourism Australia. She has always wanted to work with and help animals and loves to travel.  So she submitted a 30-second video explaining why she was the best for the job. Read our interview below to learn about Caroline’s experiences care-taking lions in Africa and more!

Amy Leigh Mercree: Caroline, tell me about your very first heart-opening, amazing experience with an animal that started you down this path?

Caroline Vetter: I have always loved animals and was around them constantly. I grew up with cats, dogs, a bunny, lizards, fish, hermit crabs, gerbils, and most importantly horses. I started horseback riding when I was six years old and that really started me on my path. After my very first lesson I knew that I wanted to ride horses for the rest of my life, and I still do to this day. I think that horseback riding really jumpstarted me down this path in my life and made me realize that I always wanted to help and work with animals. From there it grew and developed into a passion for wild and endangered animals. Since I have been in college

I have had two amazing experiences. I was a stranding team intern at the Clearwater Marine Research and Rescue Aquarium where I was able to work with dolphins and alongside trainers.

The best experience I have ever had, so far, was the next summer. I went to South Africa for a month and got to experience so much. For the first two weeks I volunteered at a The Ann van Dyck Cheetah Centre conservancy project, where I learned a lot about conservation. I worked with cheetahs and wild African dogs, but also encountered many different wild animals like elephants, a lion cub, a pod of wild dolphins and a whale shark.

The most amazing animal experience I have ever had was on a night safari. We encountered two wild male lions and one stood up and started to roar. I was scared and excited to see such a magnificent animal so close. When we got back from the night drive I was so moved by the experience I began to cry tears of awe and joy. Every experience I have had has made me realize that helping animals is what I am supposed to do and encourages me to keep following my dream.

ALM: What do you hope to accomplish and do to contribute to animal welfare and happiness in your career? Think big!

CV: I have a few things that I would like to accomplish. I would love to be able to help spread information on conservation to everyone. And I would love to have my own television show on Animal Planet or a similar station where I can share knowledge of why animal conservation is so important and to inspire people to live their dreams. I would also like to work with lions in the wild, helping with conservation and learning more about their behavior. It would be amazing if in some way I could help animals that are endangered come back from the brink of extinction, that would be the best thing that I could accomplish in my career.

ALM: When you have a goal or something you want to do, like this dream job, what do you do to go after it? How do you make it happen?

CV: When I have a goal or a dream job like this job opportunity from Tourism Australia I just give it my all. I have always followed my heart and put everything I had into something I cared about. The most important thing that I possess is knowing that I WILL be able to reach my goal. One day I will look back and say “I did every single thing possible to get here and I made it!” I think the best thing anyone can have is optimism and belief in yourself. I try to tell myself “I am good enough for this job” and “I can do this,” because motivation from yourself is the best way to achieve what you are striving for.

ALM: What advice would you give girls and younger women who have an amazing dream that they want to follow? What have you learned that you could share to help them on their journey reaching for the stars?

CV: To all the girls and younger women out there who have an amazing dream I say go for it with all your heart! Do not let anyone ever tell you that you are not good enough, because you are! You can achieve whatever you put your mind and heart into, and most importantly you have to believe in yourself! Don’t let anyone stop you from living your dream because rejection will happen. And you might not reach your dream right away. But if you keep trying and putting all your passion into what you love to do, you will achieve it. All the other rejection will have only made you try harder.

The best thing that I have learned is that people can see the passion I have for helping animals. And they see the passion I have for living my dream. Most importantly I have learned to never doubt myself. Every morning when I wake up, I am excited about what my future holds. I’m excited about where I will go because I know that I will be doing what I love. I like to live by the saying when you love your job you will never work a day in your life.

I just loved chatting with the inspiring Caroline Vetter. Take the time to check out the other Successful Sublime Senorita interview I did with Jamie Eslinger.