Are you hearing the call to be a Veterinarian? The call to become an animal’s advocate, their voice to the world? As a veterinarian, you not only have the pleasure to share in the beginnings of a puppy or kitten’s life, you also get to aid them in their time of need throughout their life. You relieve them from any suffering and assure that they live a long, happy, healthy life with their family! This special career choice does not come without dedication, passion, and determination, so be prepared!
The first and most important advice I can give to any student is to never, ever give up. No matter what anyone tells you, if this is your career choice, then follow it and give it all you got! Yes, it is very hard to get into Veterinary school. Yes, they only take a very few applicants a year. Yes, you must be dedicated to achieving your goal. These are all things that, if you truly have the desire to be a Veterinarian, will only be milestones in your journey.
Secondly, start early by looking at colleges that have Veterinary schools. Review the colleges’ prerequisite requirements: these typically include pre-professional credit and course requirements, experience with animals, specific course requirements, and pre-professional testing. This information will aid you in developing your skill set and assure that you have all the correct requirements when applying.
Once you have established a list of Veterinary programs that peak your interest, then schedule a visit with the college. Start this as early as possible as this will allow you time to accurately compare different colleges and determine where you would like to attend. By visiting the colleges and attending events at the Veterinary school, you will also get to know faculty and staff at the school. By familiarizing yourself with the school and its faculty, you will be able to make a knowledgeable decision on which school to attend and possibly develop relationships that may prove to benefit your application when you are searching for recommendation letters.
Next step is to start getting involved! Be active in school clubs, local zoo programs, and volunteer programs at animal related events such as the rodeo. Stay well rounded-not all of your clubs or programs have to be animal related! Make sure to show veterinary school review boards that you have other interests. It is important in your school clubs to strive for leadership roles. One of the most important factors veterinary schools look at outside of grades includes the student’s ability to maintain and succeed with a rigorous schedule.
Lastly, it’s never too early to start preparing financially. Veterinary school does require a lot of time and you may not be able to work, therefore, it is important to equip yourself with the proper knowledge of student loans. There are a lot of grants and scholarships to be awarded for students, just do your research and spend the time to apply to them.
Good Luck and you can do it!
Dr. Molly Obergfell is one of the AMAZING Veterinarians at Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic in Katy, Texas