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applying for vet assistant jobs...question...

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by Mama070609, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Mama070609

    Mama070609 New Member
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    I need a job and I need to gain some veterinary experience, so it seems that a Vet Assistant is the perfect job for me (provided the pay is enough to cover my childcare costs), as Vet Techs in my state must be certified.

    My question is in regards to my cover letter. My intent is to apply for vet school this fall, with the hope of being accepted for entrance next year. I know I need to be up front with this plan with any employer, but I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to place an emphasis on this by discussing in my cover letter my desire to gain veterinary experience for the purpose of applying to vet school.
     
  2. HopefulAg

    HopefulAg Texas A&M CVM c/o 2014!
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    I wouldn't necessarily place emphasis on it but I'd certainly mention it.
     
  3. Mama070609

    Mama070609 New Member
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    Yes, I'm sorry. I should have double-checked my verbiage before posting...or waited until after my children finally went to sleep.

    It is not something I intend to focus on heavily. Obviously I need to have positive qualities that I am going to bring to the clinic/hospital other than a desire to gain experience in a veterinary setting. But I was debating whether it should be mentioned in the cover letter or if it would be better to save it for an interview. I have now decided that it should be mentioned in the cover letter, though I still don't know how much emphasis to place on it. On one hand, it (maybe?) shows a drive to work in a field that I have no previous experience in (I have animal experience and research experience.). On the other hand, it shows that my commitment to them may not last beyond a year and a half if I am accepted to veterinary school.

    My current approach is to place it in the first paragraph as support for why I am interested in the job.
     
  4. david594

    david594 The-OSU CVM c/o 2013
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    I'd mention it for the reasons you mentioned above. It shows your motivations towards what can be an otherwise pretty low end job. I would also point out that it will be a minimum of 1.5 years before you would be leaving the area for vet school. Just so it at least lets them know you will be around for a while.

    Where I am kennel positions tend to be fairly high turn over with people either quitting or moving on up to higher positions. So I don't think you saying you plan to be around for 1.5 years would be detrimental to you getting into that position.

    My 2 cents.
     
  5. stick91

    stick91 Oregon State CVM c/o 2013
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    I applied for my current job as an animal care assistant (sort of a mix between kennel worker and vet assistant) in September and openly mentioned in my cover letter that I was currently in the vet school application process and that I was looking to gain more experience in the veterinary field. I put that all in the first paragraph and then moved on to my actual qualifications. So they hired me knowing that I could be there for less than a year. During my one-on-one interview (there was a group one first) I also mentioned the possibility of me having to be gone on relatively short notice if I got any interviews, but they seemed ok with that too. If I don't get in this year I fully intend to work my way up to the next level of employment at this clinic if I can. Good Luck, and don't give up! It took me several months to find this job but it is definitely worth it for the experience.
     
  6. Skillet9886

    Skillet9886 UFCVM c/o 2013!
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    At the practices I've applied (and some consequently worked at), I've always stated explicitly that I'm trying to gain experience to enhance my vet school application. I've usually listed it as a primary reason for applying for the job. I'm not necessarily saying this is the way to go, just what I've done. I figure that the vets there, who are usually involved in the hiring process (not always), were in my shoes once, and they were trying to get into vet school and get a bunch of experience. I also agree that it shows more motivation, and you're probably more likely to stick it out when things get rough than someone who wants the job for other reasons.
     
  7. JulieB361

    JulieB361 KSU CVM class of 2013
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    I applied for my current job as a vet assistant while I was applying for vet school, and I simply put in my cover letter that I was interested in working there because I was a pre-veterinary student. I then told them in the interview that if I got in I would be leaving them in a year. They were happy to hire me for as long as possible. I would mention it in your letter but discuss it more in depth in your interview if necessary.
     
  8. VeganChick

    VeganChick Tufts University V'13
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    I started as a receptionist at my hospital and when I applied, I told them I was looking to go to vet school. I became an assistant a few months later and even though my employers know I am there for a limited time, they are my biggest cheerleaders about getting in!
     
  9. sumstorm

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    I know at the clinic I work at now, and the zoo I worked at for 4 years, we were far more interested in quality than duration. A poor or even mediocre employee for 3 years isn't worth as much as a hard-working, cheerful, and interested employee for 1.5 years. I, and another employee, were hired with the knowledge that she would be leaving for her undergrad program, and that I am applying to vet school. Also, these days, people work at many different employers in thier lifetime. I am not sure what the average time at a clinic is for vet assistants, but I know in the zoo world, in management positions, 3-5 years, in the curator positions 5-7, and directorships average abit over 7. People move for opportunities including education.
     
  10. Mama070609

    Mama070609 New Member
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    It's great to know that so many people are hired with the knowledge of them applying to school. I interviewed for a Vet Tech position a year ago, and they wanted a two year commitment (they also seemed to want someone with experience performing procedures under the direction of a veterinarian).
     
  11. LVT2DVM

    LVT2DVM UGA-CVM c/o 2013
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    .
     
    #11 LVT2DVM, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  12. Mama070609

    Mama070609 New Member
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    Thank you LVT2DVM for that response. I especially appreciate the reality about the wages I can expect. That does present a problem for me (one I had considered before, but hadn't fully considered as of late), as decent childcare will probably require even more than that. Until my husband goes to a civilian job later this year (he's currently doing military training, but will drop back to reserve status), childcare costs are going to hang over my head, it seems.

    I guess I have a lot to consider before I even give out my resume asking for this sort of job.

    I think the other option I need to look at now, obviously, is finding a job that pays me enough to cover childcare and help with the cost of courses I need to take, and simply volunteer/shadow to gain veterinary experience.
     
  13. VeganChick

    VeganChick Tufts University V'13
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    Hey! I just realized you said you are from NOVA! Where? My hospital is always looking for good assistants! PM me!

    LVT2DVM - where are you at?

    Oh, I live in Ashburn :).
     
  14. VeganChick

    VeganChick Tufts University V'13
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    I think my hospital starts around $10/hr.
     
  15. LVT2DVM

    LVT2DVM UGA-CVM c/o 2013
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    Wow! thats a pretty good trainee wage. :( now I really feel ancient. I made $9/hr as a tech student/vet asst and I thought that was pretty good. LVTs where started at $12. Of course that was in 1994:whistle: . Ashburn thats a nice area. Wasnt much there but a new SA clinic when I went thru school or perhaps that was Chantilly AH....Jes I remember when the only thing in Sterling was the school and a mini mart around the cascades and Potomac Run Shopping Center was rolling hills and clay. Ahhh...the good 'ol days. So there ya go Mama060709 opportunities arent a bleak as they may seem.

    Veganchic, I currently reside in DE, but Im originally from Va Beach area and spent my formative years (ie tech school) in Leesburg, Purcellville and Sterling. Loved it there...wish I would have never left. I get to visit occasionally, and I get completely lost with all the changes. :confused:

    Can you say where you work? If you say LVH, Im gonna totally flip out.
     
  16. VeganChick

    VeganChick Tufts University V'13
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    I work at the Leesburg Animal Emergency Hospital - but my rDVM is LVH! Do you know Dr. Erwin? She's been there since 2003 I think. I looooove her. Did you used to work there?
     

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