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Preparing for Vet School: Getting Experience with Animals this Summer

Howdy Ags! Well, we are finally at the end of the semester! It seems like this semester flew by! I am so excited that I will finally be a senior and one step closer to going to veterinary school. For those of you who don't know: the vet school application will open May 1st. There will be a workshop to go over the application for vet school and there will be people at the workshop to answer any questions you may have regarding veterinary school. This will be held in Rudder Theater on May 2nd from 11:00 am-12:00 pm. To sign up for this workshop, you can visit the following website: For those of you who aren't quite ready to apply to vet school this time around, I recommend that you take time this summer to figure out what you need to work on to make yourself a well-rounded candidate.

If you are lacking in animal experience, I highly recommend that you work on getting that during the summer. We all know how busy we get during the semester, so take time over the breaks to get any animal experience that you need. For example, if you lack small animal experience, try applying for a job at a small animal clinic. Even if you are just working in the kennel, that is still considered animal experience. I spent 2 years working in the kennel at a small animal clinic, but I finally worked my way up to become a technician. Sometimes you may have to start from the bottom and work your way up. But like I said, even if you work in the kennel, that is still considered animal experience and you can put that on your application to vet school. If you can't get a job at a clinic, then I would recommend asking if they will let you shadow their veterinarians. If none of this works, then I would suggest volunteering at an animal shelter.

If you need more involvement in large animal medicine, it can be a bit harder to find. From my experience, there are not as many large animal clinics or mixed practices as there are small animal clinics, and there are a lot of large animal vets that travel nowadays, so it could be harder to get that experience. My best advice to you is to find a large animal vet near you, whether it be a traveling vet or in a clinic, and just ask them if you can shadow their doctors. I have shadowed a traveling vet and I have shadowed in a large animal clinic before and I learned a lot from both doctors.

Most people have the hardest time getting exotic animal experience. I would suggest signing up for the wildlife center class here on campus. The class is offered in the spring, summer, and fall and you will get experience in handling and caring for animals like deer, ostriches, emus, tortoises, llamas, and more. If you would like to sign up for this class please visit /wildlife for more information. I've enrolled in this class for 2 semesters now and I absolutely love it!

Well, good luck to everyone taking finals and good luck to those of you applying to vet school! Have a great summer!