Interview Prep: MU Vet

26 Jun

1. What does a vet do?

Veterinarians are responsible for maintaining the health and welfare of animals, preventing disease, and educating people about animal care.
There are various jobs in the veterinary field, including military positions, conservation, development of drugs and vaccines, teaching, food safety and public health, sports medicine, as well as zoo and aquatic veterinarians.
Veterinarians can also continue their education and specialize in a variety of fields such as lab animal medicine, internal surgery, or behavior.

2. What is the best thing about being a vet?

I like the combination of skills veterinarians use on a daily basis. The challenge of being mentally capable, physically fit, and compassionate is one I am confident I will excel at.

3. What is the worst thing about being a vet?

I’m glad there is an option of euthanasia in veterinary medicine. That said, my least favorite aspect of the job is seeing an animal with a treatable ailment get euthanized because the owner does not want to spend money. I understand euthanasia is part of the job and know that veterinarians cannot save them all, but it is unfortunate when an owner refuses to do what is best for their pet.

4. Why do you want to be a veterinarian?

I have always loved animals, and starting in 5th grade I observed, volunteered, and worked in veterinary settings. All the experience made me even more passionate about becoming a veterinarian. I am excited to own my own veterinary hospital in a rural area where I can combine the organization and meticulousness of Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital and the availability and willingness to see a variety of species that is characteristic of Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital.

5. What type of veterinary medicine do you want to work in?

I definitely want to practice medicine in a rural area. Most of my experience is with small animals, so at this point I would be most comfortable working in small animal private practice with an emphasis on exotics. Though working with horses, and getting some exposure to larger animals, made me open to working in a mixed practice.

6. What is your favorite leadership?

I have participated in many leadership opportunities including being captain of my cheerleading team for 3 years, helping diverse children in an alcohol and drug free safe space, working with senior citizens in National Honor Society, and participating in a session at Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center with disabled people.
My favorite leadership was when I held offices in the pre-vet club. I was in the club every year of college, and acted as social chair for 2 years and vice president this last year. It’s my favorite leadership, because many people were wary of the club and could not see the benefits of being involved. I think, just like anything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it. I tried my best to help turn the club around, and therefore had a great experience.

7. What has your greatest achievement been?

I’m proud of all of the volunteer hours I have accrued, both in the veterinary setting and around my community. I made a concerted effort to gain experience in veterinary hospitals and succeeded in accumulating 728 hours following veterinarians one on one. I have also spent quite a bit of time helping children, the disabled, and senior citizens in both Nevada and Missouri. In high school, I was awarded with 8 scholarships, many recognizing my volunteer efforts.

8. What is your greatest strength?

My enthusiasm is my greatest strength. I have wanted to be a veterinarian since I was little, and took steps to achieve that goal starting at a young age. I was so excited to get into the career that I volunteered over 600 hours at small animal hospitals. I have also worked at small animal hospitals continuously since 2001. My entheusiasm was not limited to small animals. I jumped at every opportunity to gain experience with other species. I helped Dr. Minor vaccinate wolves and went with our relief veterinarian to Sierra Biomedical to see what lab animal veterinarians do on a daily basis. I went with the Chapmans to see a swine facility and helped them vaccinate the staff’s horses. Other staff at Noah’s Ark worked with animals, so I volunteered to help vaccinate, deworm, and castrate sheep as well as volunteered with large exotics at Animal Sanctuary. I got experience with horses working at Equine Medical Services and observed large animal medicine at Comstock Large Animal Hospital. Currently, I am working with pigs, rats, and frogs on environmental physiology aspects of several studies at the animal science research center.

9. What has been the greatest lesson from your volunteer experience/job?

Through my varied experiences in the veterinary field, I have learned that working long hours 7 days a week is normal. I have regularly worked on holidays at all my jobs and understand I will not make as much as a dentist. I have realistic expectations about my future as a veterinarian and am excited to work hard for as long as I am able.

10. What is your biggest weakness?

I am not independently wealthy. To compensate, I got scholarships, worked one or more jobs, and secured loans to pay for my living expenses and education.

11. What are your plans if you do not get in this year?

I will apply to Ross because my first career choice is still veterinary medicine. While I’m waiting to hear from them, I will pursue a masters degree.

12. What is a failure or disappointment and how did you deal with it?

The fact that I did not get accepted to veterinary school my first two tries is disappointing. Instead of getting discouraged and bitter, I took the advice of the veterinary school and tried to increase my undergraduate GPA and course load this last semester. I went to Nevada to take advantage of a scholarship I still have. The situation in NV was far from ideal: I lived in my boss’ yard with no heat or water, and had to drive 400 miles a week to attend class and observe at a large animal hospital. I made it through the less than optimal situation and still want to be a veterinarian more than ever!

13. Why are you the best candidate?

I moved to Missouri to gain residency because I heard that the veterinary school had a good reputation and offered a superior education. I obviously want to be a veterinarian, because I have been involved in the field since I was in 5th grade and this is the 3rd time I have applied to school. I will not change my mind about my career aspirations or flake out and transfer to a different school or drop out altogether—I’m in this for the long haul. I want to further the profession of veterinary medicine by offering my clients affordable prices, an elevated standard of medicine, and extended hours of availability. I plan to practice in a rural town as long as I am able to work.

15. Do you have anything to add to your application?

I’ve been very busy this semester. I resumed my position at Noah’s Ark and I’m helping with environmental physiology at the animal science research center. I am helping collect and input heat stress data on pigs. I also work with rodents to see how diet affects temperature regulation. I’m also taking a class on veterinary terminology with Dr. Chastain.

14. Any final questions or comments?

Throw in question answers if they weren’t asked.

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