Planning for the Future

Sydney M.Well, I made it to my last semester before entering my fourth year of vet school, when I will be completing my clinical rotations in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone, but now, the real future planning starts. I am amazed at how much A&M is preparing us for our future. They put a lot of effort into providing us with resources and opportunities to grow in our profession and graduate confident in that knowledge.

This semester started with a choice of which prep course to get for the NAVLE. The NAVLE is the exam you have to take in your fourth year of vet school to become a licensed veterinarian. I will be taking the NAVLE in November or December of this year. In order to quickly be able to review everything we have learned during our vet school journey, we sign up for online prep courses that guide us through important topics. I just signed up for one of the prep courses, and it’s now becoming real just how close I am to my fourth year and graduation!

This semester has already been jammed-packed with new knowledge for not only veterinary medicine, but also for financial and business knowledge. This semester, the third-year students are taking a class called “Practice Management,” in which we learn to effectively manage a veterinary practice when we graduate, as well as basic business skills for our resumes and cover letters, the hiring process, and personal finances. I am really excited about this class because I believe that I will gain great insight on life outside of vet school, which will help me make great choices when I graduate. The class has guest lecturers who discuss different topics. So far, we have covered resumes and cover letters, and the pros and cons of building a vet clinic or whether it’s better to buy an existing clinic. I am excited to hear the rest of the lectures throughout the semester!

Another way to help with your future planning is by joining the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA), an organization that is great for helping you plan for the business aspect of veterinary medicine. I joined VBMA in my second year and I have learned so much from this group. The VBMA offers several ways for you to boost your resume for the future. One way is through the business certification program, in which you attend 16 hours of business lectures hosted by the VBMA before you graduate from vet school. If you attend the lectures, you graduate with a business certificate, which will help set you apart from other applicants. In January, the VBMA holds a Professional Development Symposium with lectures that provide additional business knowledge. I just attended this seminar and was able to finish all of my hours for the certificate, so I am really proud of myself for sticking with it during vet school.

With all of this future-planning, I am getting excited for the next step in my career!