Career Corner: Exhibit Interpreter
Name: Sanjana Ramesh
Position Title: Exhibit Interpreter III
Education: Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from University of Georgia
Current: Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership: Nonprofit Focus at Mercer University
Hometown: Born: Bangalore, India
Grew up: Johns Creek, GA
Length of time at Zoo Atlanta: About 2.5 years
Tell us about your job and any projects you are working on:
I am a part-time Exhibit Interpreter 3. Exhibit Interpreters interact with the Zoo guests out on grounds. They are the individuals you may see in front of the animal habitats answering questions and educating guests about the Zoo’s amazing animal ambassadors.
As an Exhibit Interpreter 3, I get to not only educate guests about Zoo Atlanta’s animal ambassadors, but I also get to lead guests on Wild Encounters and Keeper for a Day programs. Wild Encounters are opportunities for guests to go behind the scenes at the Zoo and experience meeting some of the coolest of the animal ambassadors, like the African lions, Aldabra giant tortoises and the giant pandas, just to name a few! Keeper for a Day is an opportunity for guests to spend the day seeing what it takes to be a Bird, Herpetology or Carnivore Keeper.
With the all-new African Savanna opening this summer, Exhibit Interpreters are working on creating new programming for guests to learn about our African Savanna animal ambassadors, including giraffes, zebras and African elephants. Some of the activities we offer include our Conservation Education Carts, Zoo’s Clues, Quarters for Conservation and Wild Women, plus many more!
What attracted you to this field?
In 2014 during my junior year of college, I was able to study abroad in South Africa. A visit to the DeWildt Shengwedzi Cheetah Reserve allowed me to see elephants, African wild dogs, giraffes, rhinos and cheetahs. Our tour guide was studying conservation and shared all the amazing things the Reserve was doing. This inspired me to want to pursue a career at an organization that works with wildlife.
What prepared you for your job?
In addition to a degree in Animal Science, in 2016 and 2017, I became an intern with the Public Programs Team at Zoo Atlanta. This really helped me learn a lot about exhibit interpretation and gave me the opportunity to learn more about teaching our guests different ways they can help wildlife.
What advice would you give to students interested in becoming an Exhibit Interpreter?
If you are interested in becoming an Exhibit Interpreter like me, studying biology, wildlife or animal science is a great starting point. Interning or volunteering at the Zoo are also great ways to gain experience! And of course, a love for animals and the environment is helpful!