by Randy Eklund
An impassioned love for animals was a great starting point for a career path for Julianne Demers, a junior at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, but a chance opportunity to work in the automobile industry changed all that.
Demers, a graduate of Pinkerton Academy, enrolled at UNH Durham with a declared major in animal science. Like many of her classmates, she dreamed of becoming a veterinarian with her own practice. "I thought I had found my calling," says Demers when asked about the decisions that led her to explore animal studies.
In addition to coping with the adjustment to college life, Demers found herself lost in the large lecture halls of the Durham campus. Although the faculty support was always present, she felt like she was losing her sense of individually being grouped into such a large student population. Her life lacked a balance that she had always enjoyed.
An epiphany moment happened for Demers while she was working on a four-hour lab project. While gazing into a microscope, her eyes fixed on the specimen in the petri dish, she began to question if this was the dream she had imagined for herself. Demers decided to turn to the people she could trust most in the world for advice while she contemplated a change, her family.
By chance, or perhaps by fate, Demers' father owned an automobile dealership. As luck would have it, he was trying to fill an administrator's position that had become available at his place of business. Demers jumped at the opportunity to broaden her experience and started working there through the summer break.
The job ignited a new passion in Demers. In the fall of that year she transferred to UNH Manchester and changed her major to business to better fit her new career path. Demers says the class schedule, convenient location, and small class sizes are the perfect match to allow her to work toward her career goals and completing her degree.
Not leaving her love of animals too far behind, Demers hopes to one day own her own dealership and become a strong, confident and business savvy woman calling all the shots. Demers says "It's a role not often taken on by women because of the male dominance in the field. I feel I have what it takes to rise to the top and provide the necessary business stability and financial means to achieve all of my dreams and someday give back the animals I love, just in a different way."
Demers wants to continue her hobby of training horses for shows and competition while honing her business skills and climbing the corporate ladder.