TANKED! Hal Ferenzo Turns Biology Degree into Lucractive Business Building Aquariums
Rita Langdon,Associate Provost for Communications, Public Relations & Marketing
Long Island University, LIU Post
Find Out How Good You Really Are.
Meet Hal Ferenzo
B.A. in Biology, Class of 2012
When Hal Ferenzo first experienced college right out of high school, he wasn’t ready for it. “It wasn’t for me at that age,“ he admits.
So instead of completing his undergraduate study, he spent five years or so working as a stock broker and a real estate agent.
There were challenges and satisfactions to life in the business world -- but for Ferenzo, an unrealized ambition still tugged at his sleeve. “Since I was young, I was always interested in fish and reptiles -- I always had tanks and terrariums,” says the Port Washington, NY resident. So after a few years in the cut throat world of sales, he went to work for a chain of pet stores.
The daring career move paid dividends -- within a year, he was managing a pet store in Port Washington, convinced upper management to try the market in salt water systems, and the company’s numbers ‘went through the roof.’
The move also led Ferenzo to LIU Post, where -- while continuing to work 55 hours a week -- he began taking courses toward a B.A. in Biology. Now with a degree under his belt, Ferenzo is in a position to succeed in his current career in the aquarium design and maintenance.
“Studying biology at Post definitely helped,” he notes. “Especially the work I did studying cichlids, a very popular aquarium fish.”
Today, in partnership with Anchor Aquarium Service, he designs and maintains residential and commercial aquariums at homes, offices and hospitals in New Jersey, Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Among his recent projects is a custom 450 gallon reef tank, manufactured by hand, for a residence at Head of the Harbor, which features a mixture of carefully selected soft and stony corals, dozens of reef-safe fish and hundreds of shrimp, starfish, and other marine invertebrates. The installation includes a 24 hour LED lighting system that follows the 28 day lunar cycle, says Ferenzo. The tank has three-sided viewing and all filtration is located in a dedicated room one floor down.
“I love doing this,” says Ferenzo proudly. “If I could do this the rest of my life, I’ll be happy.”
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