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Change of heart my last year

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by LittleDice, May 25, 2012.

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  1. LittleDice

    LittleDice

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    I apologize in advance for the long post, but some advice would be great!
    I am currently going to enter my senior yr for my undergrad studies at my school in NY. My original track was law school and i have taken all the necessary steps to make sure I get into law school, solid GPA, took all the courses offered and then some in the area of concentration, etc. However, recently I've had a change of heart and believe that the Vet field is something I know I will go into and not look back and tell myself "i should've done things differently" because my passion for animals has always been in me, I just never thought about pursuing it because the math and science of it throws me off, hence I never took a calc or even a chemistry course in any of my yrs of hs or college. I know the math and science are what entails to help or make animals better and the well-being of animals is something I believe very strong in, so i'm just going to have to get over my nonsense.
    Here is my predicament, I want to know if my best option is to stay another few years at my current school to finish all my pre-reqs to get into Vet school or should I just graduate and then go into a post-bac program for vet studies and then apply to Vet school?
    The thing is, I'm trying to go to an in-state vet school bc it's cheaper and the only 1 here is Cornell so I want to take the best possible measures to get in Cornell. I'm not sure whether they'd opt for someone with a BA and then post-bac for all the pre-reqs or someone who stuck it out in their undergrad years to make sure they completed the pre-reqs, etc. Cornell's website doesn't state either preference, they even take students without a BA/BS into their vet program (weird but true) so it's hard to figure out.
    I would appreciate feedback from anyone, especially from those who've gone through the same situation. Is adding another number of years to the undergrad studies better than the other?
    Thanks for reading!
  2. cowgirla

    cowgirla Oklahoma 2014

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    1) Don't neccessarily limit yourself to just Cornell. There are a few schools out there where out of state tuition is less than in state at Cornell. There are also schools that let you become a resident after the first year and have wonderfully low in state tuition. As in state schools go Cornell is not the most expensive, but its definitely not hte cheapest either. I can say that when including Cost of living, Oklahoma out of state is cheaper

    2) As a "super senior" if you stay on at your current school, you should get first dibs on signing up for classes, which can make it a lot easier to get a schedule that works for you as well as fitting in all the required classes

    3) Do you have any experience in veterinary hospitals? Some is required for pretty much all schools. Keep in mind (unless things have changed since I applied) Cornell requires a letter of recommendation for every experience. You will also need letters of recommendation (at least one or two) from vets for the VMCAS application

    If you dont have vet experience, I'd recommend starting there ASAP, so you can make sure this field is something you really want to jump into :)
  3. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    Why not become a lawyer and work on prosecuting animal cruelty, breed specific discrimination, animal welfare, etc? We really need people doing that!
  4. LittleDice

    LittleDice

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    I have limited experience, the volunteer hours at shelters and at vet offices, things like that. Obviously nothing compared to the experience a pre-vet student would have. As regards to being a super senior, I don't really look it at like I would be a super senior or non-traditional or anything like that, I don't dwell on titles so that's not actually what I care about. I want to know if the better option is to stay at my undergrad school to actually start the pre-reqs or go to a post-bac program. Which option would be better in regards to getting into somewhere like Cornell or any vet-school at all? Of course I would love Cornell bc it's in state and not too far from home for much needed breaks that I know I'm going to have. I read everything and anything in regards to getting in and the process of applying to Cornell vet school but they don't really get into BA/BS versus post-bac for higher chances of getting in or which is preferred. I am full aware of all the steps and requirements I need to take to get apply to any vet-school, I just want to know if anyone could really tell me which way is better, continuing my under-grad or post-bac.
    Thanks for the quick response and feedback cowgirla =)
  5. bbeventer

    bbeventer Illinois 2016

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    :thumbup:
  6. LittleDice

    LittleDice

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    @ Bunnity - I considered that field of law for the longest time and would've most likely done because rights and the well-being of animals or humans (when it comes to law) is very important to me. I would consider doing both if I had the patience, time and money for it, but realistically I don't =/
    Regardless, I want a more hands on approach when it comes to dealing with animals. Therefore I thought the vet-field was the ideal place for that.
  7. missdvm

    missdvm WesternU c/o 2016

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    I'm not sure about Cornell, but the schools I did file reviews with stated that they didn't really care where you did your classes as long as you did well in them. They do factor in academic rigor, so it'll matter where you take it, but I don't think whether you take it as an undergraduate or post-bac matters much -- it's still the same classes at the same college, right?
  8. LittleDice

    LittleDice

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    @ missdvm - that's what I'm thinking, but no it's not the same school. For some reason my school offers many things but a post-bac option, so i would have to take it elsewhere, but thats the least of my concern. Hopefully, it doesn't make a difference though...thanks =)
  9. OH Bunny Girl

    OH Bunny Girl Ohio State 2016

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    Would taking all your pre-req's as an undergrad give you something extra? Like an additional biology or chem minor?
  10. LittleDice

    LittleDice

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    @ Oh Bunny Girl - yeah, most likely. I'm already a triple major and a minor in social sciences, so it'll just add on to it. I know the benefit of adding another minor would be great for Vet-school, but because I haven't taken any calc, chem or physics courses (ever) I'm not sure if it'll be worth bringing my entire undergrad gpa down bc I know i will do pretty bad my first round of any of the above. Which is another concern I have with regards to continuing my under-grad or going post-bac
  11. Abney

    Abney c/o 2017

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    I saw you said you were a bit concerned about the math and science. Not trying to deter you but most schools put a lot of weight into your science GPA specifically so that's something to keep in mind :)
  12. OH Bunny Girl

    OH Bunny Girl Ohio State 2016

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    Just keep in mind, schools look at more than just your overall GPA. They break it down and look at science GPA, last 45h GPA, and some schools even pick their certain requirements and look at that GPA too (as a pre-req GPA).

    Each school is different, so you may want to keep in mind what schools you are looking at applying to when you are developing your pre-vet strategy.
  13. LittleDice

    LittleDice

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    @Abney & @Oh Bunny Girl - that's what I fear. adding another number of years of school to take on an area i know absolutely nothing about and risk dramatically increasing my overall gpa, but I don't want math & science to be the reason to push me away from vet-school (as Abney mentioned) so I will continue to consider my options. thanks to both of you for the advice
  14. CanHardlyWait

    CanHardlyWait VMRCVM c/o 2016

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    I saw that you were concerned with having a BA vs BS, and in (what I'm assuming is) a humanities discipline. I have an AB (which is just Latin for a BA), it's a classics degree, although I also majored in biology. I got in to vet school despite (?) my humanities heavy background. I think admissions committees like to see diverse interests, especially if you did well in your classes. I think that a career in veterinary medicine will undoubtedly be benefited from the communication skills, critical thinking ability and ethical reasoning/philosophical mindset that a humanities education confers.

    And before anyone gets all upset, I am not saying these skills are not taught in and/or result from a science based education. I got one of those as well. I'm just saying that I saw a difference in the approach to learning in the two disciplines and that each one allowed me to see things in a way that I otherwise wouldn't have.

    Good Luck to you LittleDice! :luck::luck::luck:
    I got in the game late as well. It's a long road, but ultimately it has been very satisfying following my dreams. Don't know how I feel one I'm in the trenches though ;)
  15. orca2011

    orca2011 PennWe c/o 2016!!! Gold Donor

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    Also, I have no idea really how post-bac programs work since I never really looking into them, but I've always gotten the feeling that they were a bit more demanding. Maybe I'm wrong, but they kind of always sounded like slightly harder classes, especially if it's one of those pre-med/dental/vet post bac programs that many people take to prove they can handle the academic rigor. I could be 100% wrong, but if this is the path you choose, it may be a little more challenging since you won't have experienced some of these classes before.
  16. Spinach Dip

    Spinach Dip Delicious with nachos

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    @ OP: Those that apply to vet school tend to be a highly diverse group. You have those with awesome GPA and GRE scores, but almost no hours of vet experience. On the other hand, you have some with thousands of hours of vet experience but average GPA.

    No major has a 'better' chance of getting in, although the majority of pre-vets major in biology or animal science. In fact, your Law major may be a benefit if you can use your personal statement to explain how it will help you in vet school.

    Also, a great number of pre-vet students are 'super-seniors' or post-bacs. AFAIK, neither one is preferred. It depends on which one you want. What would be more convenient for you? Which would be less expensive?

    Finally, get some veterinary experience. I don't know what experience you have currently, but you must do this for 2 reasons: 1) Every vet school requires it, though some value it higher than others, and 2) It will let you see more of the profession so you can decide if this is what you really want to do.



    Good luck, from another super senior!

    :luck:
  17. nohika

    nohika lurker status

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    This. This first, this most importantly. Working closely with animals is only some of the veterinary profession. You will be dealing tons with their "parents", the humans. Some will care lots about their pets. Several will care very little. Many will complain about the money.

    Get a couple hundred hours in the field before you set aside everything to follow it. Even some will help, but everything is new and exciting the first time, or sad in the case of euthanasia. You have to learn whether you still want to do things the majority of days for the rest of your life, and not just whether you think you can do them when they're new and exciting.

    I'm no longer pre-vet, and this is partially why (mostly).
  18. Emiloo4

    Emiloo4 UF CVM 2016

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    Just so you know, no vet school requires a BA/BS for admission (as far as I know).
  19. Zusie

    Zusie OSU - 2013

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    I think you are doing a wise thing to avoid law school, no matter what you do in its stead. Especially in NY.

    I can't get over how much they charge for 3 years of non-practical academic material and then throw you out into the world! And lots of luck with finding a 1st year clerkship. Those are harder to get and that makes finding employment after graduation even harder without those connections.

    The way law school is set up and the financial bind leaves you in at graduation makes a lot of the starry eyed goals very unrealistic. So, probably no crusading for animals after all even when you complete 3 years of hard work. :(

    In the world of animals, I get the impression law schools are more interested veterinary malpractice cases anyway, which can at least be slightly lucrative compared to prosecuting animal abuse.

    Sorry for the tangent. It's just that people saying they're going to get into law so they can be pro bono, etc. is one of the cliche things just like saying people go to vet school so they can work with puppies and kittens all day.

    Best of luck in your coursework!
  20. squirrelcountry

    squirrelcountry

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    This statement is concerning. You're going to need to have a strong basis in the sciences to both get in to vet school and to make it out the other side. If math and science have "thrown you off" this might not be the field for you....
  21. Emiloo4

    Emiloo4 UF CVM 2016

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    Yeah, but if the OP shied away from math and science, they may not truly know if they like it or not, or could get through it, or at least tolerate it. So I wouldn't discourage them from at least finding out how they may feel about math and science now.
    I would definitely like to add to the others who have said to get experience in the field. For most people, it is nothing like they think it will be, and yes, science is a huge part of it. This is a medical field, not a play with fluffy kitties field (although its not a bad perk ;)). Get experience, and then decide if this is for you, and if you want to tackle math and science. :luck:
  22. Trilt

    Trilt NCSU c/o 2016 Gold Donor

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    Almost impossible to find a paid position in animal law, unfortunately. Many people who dabble in it do it as their pro-bono work and are lawyers focusing in a different field. I heavily considered pursuing animal law (and actually wrote about it in a supplemental app), but was discouraged by the lack of jobs, high debt and saturation of the field.

    For OP: I'd suggest you do the pre-reqs while still enrolled, simply because as a second-bachelors or post-bacc student you often don't have as much access to financial aid and/or course selection. Perhaps take a semester mimicking most pre-vet first semesters (intro bio, intro chem, calc) and see how you fare in the science coursework, while also getting a bit of vet experience on the side.
  23. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    That's too bad... I wish there were more lawyers that could work on BSL right now. It makes sense though that there's no one paying for it.

    On topic, I agree with your suggestions... try out the classes and get some experience, and then you can decide whether to really take the plunge.
  24. LittleDice

    LittleDice

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    @Canhardlywait i agree and yes it definitely is a long road but it will pay off (probably not literally) in the future :)

    @Orca2011 thats what I'm thinking and if it is harder, It just makes more sense to see who actually wants it versus whatever else. However, even if I don't go post-bac it's going to be a very difficult journey with no experience (me =\)

    @spinachdip & @nohika Of all the things I looked into, going through more experience wasn't one of them. I believe both of you right. A more in depth experience is what I'm going to push for. Thanks!

    @Emiloo4 I didn't know that, don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing :)

    @zusie I can't really say I agree or disagree with your comment. I believe higher learning in its entirety is completely corrupt and obviously overly priced/unnecessary except for the science & math field (which go hand in hand) bc I figure it takes a lot more than reading a book when it comes to science/math so Kudos to all of you (I could say this bc I'm social science/humanities lol)
    When it comes to law, I can't really say your right or wrong bc it depends on the individual but yes the majority want pro bono but rarely stick with it their entire career

    @squirrelcountry I know -__- but I'm definitely up for the challenge

    @emiloo4 I agree, I need to try before I knock it entirely

    @trilt the financial aid part is the biggest reason why I'll consider continuing undergrad studies & of course start off like a first year pre-vet but just purely science/math since I'm done with everything else

    @bunnity yes, def will do

    All of these suggestions & comments were really helpful, thanks everyone :)
  25. bayarea15

    bayarea15 someday super vet

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    uc davis requires a bachelor's now, i'm pretty sure. but, i could be wrong.
  26. bayarea15

    bayarea15 someday super vet

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    i really encourage you to find a job at an animal hospital, and if you can, work it full time, and really see the in's and out's. that said, remember there are multiple facets of vet med. you might not want to work with small animals, i'm haven't read the entire thread, but for instance, maybe you want to be a food animal vet, or work with wildlife. anyway. just saying vet med is more than the animals, the owners, and medicine....it's also your coworkers, and it's also whats going to be putting food on the table eventually should you decide to continue this route. consider all of the numbers in the equation.

    as far as law, my cousin just graduated from law school (not sure of the name of the school, but it's in or near seattle) and she can't find a job, and neither can any of her classmates. i don't know how old you are, but keep in mind vet school and law school both have a crapload of debt attached to the experience and the degree. while being a lawyer can prove to be lucrative, being a veterinarian in most cases will not come close to a lawyer salary, or most other professional careers. professional as in professional school, i mean.

    have you ever taken the myers briggs test? something to check out. there are many other ways to help animals, and since you are/were pre-law, i have a feeling that you want to help people, too.

    good luck :)
  27. Spinach Dip

    Spinach Dip Delicious with nachos

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    Another Q:

    Are you planning to apply this upcoming cycle (October 2013?)

    If so, you will want to look into classes ASAP. You will probably even need to do summer classes.

    If you are planning to apply the year after (October 2014), that would allow you some flexibility in planning, and allow you to get more experience hours, but it would also delay your application/acceptance by a whole year.



    Something to think about.
  28. adams30

    adams30 Illinois c/o 2017!!!

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    "because my passion for animals has always been in me, I just never thought about pursuing it because the math and science of it throws me off, hence I never took a calc or even a chemistry course in any of my yrs of hs or college. I know the math and science are what entails to help or make animals better and the well-being of animals is something I believe very strong in, so i'm just going to have to get over my nonsense. "

    So I think it's great that you are realizing your passion earlier than later. Sure, vet med is about animals like you said, but remember it is a heavy science field. Of course, it is about working with people too.

    My best advice would be to shadow different kinds of vets, so then that way you get a solid understanding of the field and it'll help you know for sure if this is what you really want. I think this was the thing that helped me the best.

    For the science, it might seem intimidating, but with a little work to understand the basics and work your way up you can do well in them. Take a few science classes and see how well you like it. If you decide you absolutely hate science, then maybe vet med is not for you. If you like the science and do well, then go with vet med. Since vet school has lots of heavy science classes in there, it is also helpful to take some advanced science classes (like reproduction, nutrition, etc) in undergrad. That might help you out in vet school later.

    Good Luck!

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