Getting Involved With Swine Vets

A cute piglet in a field of green grass.

By Marco R. ’25, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student

With over 25 organizations specifically available for veterinary students, there is a place for you thanks to the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) at Texas A&M University.

SAVMA is an umbrella organization that supports smaller student organizations related to all aspects of the veterinary profession, ranging from radiology to equine medicine to business and more, making it easy to get involved with all kinds of veterinary specialties. SAVMA also offers financial resources to students through awards and scholarships.

Growing up, I showed pigs through FFA. This activity ignited a passion for caring for pigs and other animals.

During my undergrad program here at Texas A&M, I continued to develop that passion through my Animal Science major and time spent working at veterinary clinics. So, when I was accepted to the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, I knew I wanted to work with pigs and other food animal species as a mixed animal veterinarian.

During my first year of vet school, I joined Swine Vets, a student chapter of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, and have held a member position and two officer positions, including secretary and vice president.

During my time in Swine Vets, I have helped organize lunch meetings on topics ranging from “Pet Pig Medicine” to “Being a Swine Veterinarian in Industry.” Additionally, Swine Vets is part of the Food Animal Wetlab in the Spring, providing students with hands-on opportunities to work with pigs.

Getting involved in student veterinary organizations provides opportunities for leadership and learning more about aspects of veterinary medicine that specifically interest you!

Practice Partners: A Great Way To Network

By Alyssa H.

Hoping to get a job when you graduate from veterinary school? Yeah, me too. Veterinary students are frequently told about the shortage of veterinarians and the need for new graduates to fill positions in the field, but how does one begin to find these opportunities?

Thankfully, the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (VMBS) makes that very simple for students.

Practice Partners, a program organized by the Texas A&M Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) Chapter, helps connect current veterinary students with job opportunities. Students can find out about participating veterinary practices in several ways, including the monthly Practice Partner Digest email.

Practice Partners also hosts an exhibition in the fall semester, during which veterinary clinics from all around Texas — and beyond — come and speak with current veterinary students. Students have the opportunity to engage with these clinicians and practice managers through both presentations and social events.

This year, 43 organizations from all over the country attended, wanting to speak directly with students about what they have to offer. Whether you are looking for a summer externship, a post-graduation internship, or a full-time job, presenters had it all.

They also provided fun, informal social events for students to attend, including happy hour at restaurants around town and dinner at places like Big Shots, a golf range with virtual games. This provided an opportunity for students and veterinary professionals to interact in a non-academic setting and spend more time getting to know each other.

These informal events are a huge benefit for students because they allow us to get to know our potential colleagues on a personal level. These interactions also create an environment for students to see the culture of the clinic in action, which is a crucial component of deciding where to work. Since connecting with potential co-workers on a professional and personal level is important for job satisfaction, these social events are a great opportunity to see where you’ll best fit in.

Regardless of your year in the veterinary program, Practice Partners is a unique, fun way to build your veterinary network and expose yourself to new and exciting experiences that may result in that coveted job at the end of your degree.

Finding the Joy

Michelle M.Vet school is a dream come true for all of the students currently enrolled in Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine!

Despite this, it can be easy to become bogged down in exams, personal struggles, and commitments, at times, especially at the end of the semester as finals approach. This is why since starting school, many of us have taken to heart a concept explained to us during our first-year orientation.

“Find the Joy” is a mantra that has been repeated more times than I can count. Whenever my class has been overwhelmed with a particularly challenging exam or week, someone has always reminded us to find the joy; it is a reminder to look at the little things in life that make you happy to bring you back to perspective that your struggles will pass and are not as insurmountable as you currently think they are. And that no matter what, there is joy in your life, if only you seek to find it.

Each semester, right before finals week, the Texas A&M chapter of the Student American Veterinary Association (SAVMA) hosts something called “Find the Joy” week. It is a series of events spanning over the course of a week specifically for the vet students. All of these events are free or discounted for the students as a way for them to relax and take a little bit of time being active, creative, or just away from their books.

I am currently the secretary of SAVMA and we just finished planning the events for this year’s “Find the Joy” week. The events this year range from a class at You Paint It, yoga, bingo, an escape room, ice skating, and more. I’m organizing the You Paint It class and am looking forward to relaxing with my classmates and showing just how horrible my artistic skills are. But it is in the name of “Find the Joy” and a good cause.