Apr 1, 2010
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Is it completely unreasonable to get all my experience hours in one summer before applying? Just wondering if anyone's done that, or heard of anyone doing that. It seems like everyone has been volunteering for YEARS beforehand, so I'm feeling a little bit behind!
 

HopefulAg

Texas A&M CVM c/o 2014!
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Nope, though they likely won't be very diverse.
 
Jan 31, 2010
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Is it completely unreasonable to get all my experience hours in one summer before applying? Just wondering if anyone's done that, or heard of anyone doing that. It seems like everyone has been volunteering for YEARS beforehand, so I'm feeling a little bit behind!
Nah, but you'll probably want to be sure that your grades and GRE are very competitive as well so you have a little extra push, since this category will be lacking.
 

moosenanny

UC DAVIS class of 2014!!!
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If you're going to do this, you may want to shadow a mixed-animal vet so that you get experience with horses, cows, cats, and dogs simultaneously. I worked with one this past summer and it was a wonderful experience, and I learned a lot! As long as you cram in as many hours as possible and apply to schools with lower average experience stats, this may not be too big of an issue to overcome.

Do remember that most - if not all - schools require a letter of recommendation from a vet. So, hopefully you hit it off well with the one or two vets you get to shadow this summer.

Good luck!
 

168135

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I wouldn't make plans to get all of your hours in one summer. A few of us are having difficulty finding a place to volunteer/work/job-shadow. It would suck if you left yourself a single summer to get experience and then couldn't find a place that is willing to take you on.
 

clouds815

Cornell CVM c/o 2014
Jan 7, 2010
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although mixed vet is great, some schools require (or you will want) letters from more than one vet... may want to keep that in mind
 

heylodeb

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I had very limited time at a vet about 5 years ago, nothing for a long time, and then only one summer at a vet clinic, and I was rejected...*sigh*

My stats are not super high but they are definitely in the average range. I'll know for sure if lack of experience was my killer after my file review.
 
Jan 13, 2010
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Is it completely unreasonable to get all my experience hours in one summer before applying? Just wondering if anyone's done that, or heard of anyone doing that. It seems like everyone has been volunteering for YEARS beforehand, so I'm feeling a little bit behind!

I was in the same boat as you last year. I found out that the only thing I had working against me was my lack of experience. So what I did was (with my parents support thankfully) was not get a job for the summer (since I couldn't find a single vet place that was hiring anyone in my area) and got as many hours with veterinarians in as I could.

I worked with everything from multiple small animal vets, a swine vet who also does research, to multiple dairy vets, a mixed-practice vet, and a couple equine vets. I got a lot of hands on experience with the swine veterinarian and with the dairy veterinarians and even some with the equine vet. Two of the small animal vets were also very nice in letting me do some hands on work with the animals.

I live in a very rural area which helped me greatly in gaining many of the experiences I did. But I just wanted to let you know that it isn't impossible to get almost all of your experience hours the summer before. I got accepted and waitlisted this year at multiple schools, all schools that were on my top school choices. You just got to be willing to do a lot of calling around and working around various schedules. Not every vet is good at getting back to you when they say they will (especially equine vets for some reason, ha) you just got to be patient and stay on top of it all.

I can honestly say that my wide variety of hands on experience and just shadowing of a wide range of veterinarians helped me greatly in getting into vet school, inspite of the fact that almost all of it came from 1 summer.
 

BomberCanoe

UTK c/o 2014
Mar 8, 2010
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What year are you currently? If you've still got time (ie: not applying at the end of this summer), find a weekend job at a vet. Or shadow a vet over the weekend. Or volunteer at some place with a vet. Just because you get maybe 5 hours a weekend doesn't mean its won't be helpful. From the rejection file reviews I've gotten, experience is very very important. I had about a 3.78 GPA, with a 1440 GRE, and I was still rejected from 3 schools (2 of which I wasn't even offered interviews, 1 didn't have an interview stage)).

And my experience wasn't even terrible, but it wasn't that good. I'd accumulated about 1500 hours at a vet, working just about every job (and being trained to do technician jobs) for the past 2 years at the time of my admission, and i got two LoR from vets there. I also volunteered a little (only about 50 hours) at a local 'zoo' (it was a museum with just about every type of animal there).

So saving all of your experience until the summer before really isn't that stellar of an idea. If you're bankrolled by your parents, and can work 60 hours a week with different vets (which would be almost a miracle, from what I've heard on this board), then you've got maybe 600-700 hours total. That's honestly not that much, even if you split it up into a couple of vets.

So to kinda end: do whatever you can whenever you can. Don't let your grades suffer, but you have to realize that just because you want to relax and party on the weekend (I'm definitely not accusing you of this, I myself am quite lazy on weekends if I can help it), doesn't mean you can afford to. And this also isn't to say that if you just get a ton of experience over the 1 summer, you won't get in. I still got in, and I had depth, but no breadth of experience. Just know that you won't be as competitive as others.
 
Dec 18, 2009
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I did this haha for 4 months straight over the summer last year. I did something every single day of the summer and made sure to bring diversity to my experiences (large animal, small animal, lab animal, zoo animal, wildlife, specialists). Just make sure you won't get burned out!
 

bamitsme

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Dec 6, 2008
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This is exactly what I did and I was accepted. however, you cannot always compare what worked (and what didn't work) for other people to your own circumstances. Do what works for you. If getting all of your hours in one summer is the only thing you can do, then that's all you can do.
 
Apr 1, 2010
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This is exactly what I did and I was accepted. however, you cannot always compare what worked (and what didn't work) for other people to your own circumstances. Do what works for you. If getting all of your hours in one summer is the only thing you can do, then that's all you can do.
You're absolutely right. I'm going to definitely try to get as many hours as possible and apply. If I don't get in, I'll consider it a practice run and try again! I do have an age thing working against me (I got my BS about 3 years ago), but in the long run a few years won't matter.

Anyway, I'm so glad to hear that this worked for some of you. I just needed to hear that so I can keep my morale up this summer, and not feel like I'm working toward an impossible goal. Thanks everyone!
 

aspiringDVM

AU CVM c/o 2014!
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Is it completely unreasonable to get all my experience hours in one summer before applying? Just wondering if anyone's done that, or heard of anyone doing that. It seems like everyone has been volunteering for YEARS beforehand, so I'm feeling a little bit behind!
While getting experience for your application and LORs is important, don't forget that vet experience is the best way to find out if you'd actually enjoy working with a vet! It would suck to work so hard on the rest of your application and prereqs only to realize that you don't really like the career after all. I know nothing about your other experiences so this may not be a problem for you, just giving some food for thought :thumbup:
 

marycatherine

working on the pre-reqs
Nov 14, 2009
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If summer is 10 weeks long, and you're willing to work 50 hour weeks just getting experience, then you could feasibly get 500 hours in?
 
Apr 1, 2010
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If summer is 10 weeks long, and you're willing to work 50 hour weeks just getting experience, then you could feasibly get 500 hours in?
I'd be more than willing to do 50 (or more) hour weeks! Though the problem I foresee is finding vets that will let me. The vet that I'm with now hardly wants to see me more than one day a week. :(

I also hope that the vet schools won't think I'm not a serious applicant because of this experience cramming.