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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

Meet Erika Victor! She’s a junior animal science major who said she loves every second of working with animals. She was a star of the Texas A&M Meat Judging Team for two years and currently works for a professor in a meat science research lab.

“We work with fatty acids, lipids, and different species of meat. We work on a bunch of different research projects regarding the biochemistry of meat,” Victor said.

She also just finished a week-long internship. The brunette beauty is the life of the party, always laughing and telling stories. But when it comes down to business, she’s focused and knows how to keep her eyes on the prize.

It’s a late night in College Station and Erika Victor, 21, is sitting on her couch studying, feet on top of the coffee table. She smiles as she talks about the past week she spent in Houston, helping out with the famous Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo—the biggest in the world. She even laughs as she recalls having to deal with a sassy cow.

“There was this cow that was so sassy! When I would go into her pen to clean it, she kept bumping me in my back! She really did not want me in there,” she said while laughing.

She takes a sip of her Powerade Slush as she scrolls through pictures in her iPhone, showing me pictures of the different animals she got to work with. When she talked about some other animals that were a little more challenging her eyes widened.

“The only time I was really worried, though, was with the llamas. I would feed them with a little cup, and as I would talk to my boyfriend, the llama would sneak up behind me and the llama’s head would be leveled right next to mine. It caught me off guard every time!”  

When she talks about her future and working with the Houston Rodeo, she straightens her posture and crosses her arms. “I’m in the production route, so I just hope to go into the biochemistry side of the meat science industry,” Victor said. “Working there was a really unique experience. It was a lot of fun, and I got a lot of hands on experience with different animals that I’ve never worked with before. I did everything from help keeping up a healthy environment for cattle, to helping ewes give birth and caring for their newborns. I even helped answer questions from little kids who would come to the rodeo for their school field trips. I got to work with so many different people and it was an absolutely unforgettable experience. A plus was I got to see a few artists live for free! I saw Jason Aldean, Jason Derulo, and Chris Young, it was so cool!”