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Experience

Habibti

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 6, 2007
143
1
  1. Veterinary Student
    There was a comment that came up in another thread that intrigued me and I wanted to ask everyone's opinion.

    "...people who have just entered their jobs looking for hours to use as experience to apply to vet school.

    To elaborate, the veterinary community is not there as a stepping stone for you and your education."

    Do you think it's OK to get a job for the sole purpose of getting experience and/or a letter of recommendation? Is it fair to get a job knowing that you only want to stay there for a certain number of hours to fulfill a certain type of experience?
     

    Angelo84

    Tufts Class of 2011
    10+ Year Member
    Jan 25, 2007
    789
    35
    1. Veterinary Student
      The way I got around this was to volunteer and be clear as to what your goals are. In the cover letters I wrote I specifically said that I will be applying to vet school and wanted to investigate X can I volunteer with you for three days a week for two months (or whatever timeframe you want). As long as you are helping out the practice this is perfectly fine. I wouldn't try to get a paying job just to quit once you had your hours.
       

      soccerduck11

      Full Member
      10+ Year Member
      Feb 27, 2007
      26
      0
      Missouri
      1. Pre-Veterinary
        You have to have experience to get into vet school. Any vet should know this from when he/she was in school. Therefore, I don't think its a problem to get a job to gain hours, just as long as you make it clear from the beginning what your intentions are. The vets that I have worked for have all been more than willing to help me once I told them that I wanted to go to vet school and I've learned a lot from them.
         
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        thesonofdarwin

        UPenn 2012
        10+ Year Member
        Sep 18, 2006
        139
        0
        Pennsylvania
        1. Veterinary Student
          Do you think it's OK to get a job for the sole purpose of getting experience and/or a letter of recommendation?

          Yes. It's good to have well rounded experience and even if you think you won't enjoy it and your only purpose is for the experience/recommendation, it's STILL good for you to do. So long as you don't go in with a carefree, I-Don't-Give-A-****-About-This attitude, are contributing, and are learning from it there is no problem, in my opinion. Heck, most pre-graduate school students are forced to do this. Sure, some get internships in the exact field they want. Others have to settle for -ANY- research experience they can get.

          Did I have any interest in the Microbiology internship I signed up for at my school? None, zip, zero. I went into it because the professor leading the lab was one I really wanted to write me a recommendation and what better way to let him get to know me? I ended up having a lot of fun and developed an interest for the field.

          To add - I straight up told my Vet I wanted to get surgical experience last summer any chance I could because I felt that'd look good on my application. He had absolutely no problem with it and we had a lot of fun that summer.
           

          ShelterGirl

          UC Davis SVM 2012
          10+ Year Member
          5+ Year Member
          Dec 21, 2006
          591
          0
          Bay Area, CA
          1. Veterinarian
            I got a FT job in order to gain experience, and the vets and managers here are fine with it. (Heck, in order to get the 3500+ hours UCD requires, you pretty much HAVE to work FT unless you want to volunteer for a decade!) I think the keys are to be up-front when you start about wanting to gain experience, to be willing to work just as hard as any of your peers, and to not have an attitude.
             

            Hollycozza

            Full Member
            10+ Year Member
            5+ Year Member
            Oct 30, 2006
            331
            0
            New South Wales
            1. Veterinarian
              There was a comment that came up in another thread that intrigued me and I wanted to ask everyone's opinion.

              "...people who have just entered their jobs looking for hours to use as experience to apply to vet school.

              To elaborate, the veterinary community is not there as a stepping stone for you and your education."

              Do you think it's OK to get a job for the sole purpose of getting experience and/or a letter of recommendation? Is it fair to get a job knowing that you only want to stay there for a certain number of hours to fulfill a certain type of experience?

              I think it is okay as long as you do your job well.
               

              alonepear

              MissState CVM 2011
              10+ Year Member
              Dec 20, 2006
              235
              0
              NC -> MS
              1. Veterinary Student
                I think it is okay as long as you do your job well.

                Agreed. I was hired as a full-time technician with my clinic full well knowing I was applying in a little less than one years time. Most people that work at my clinic are pre-vet, and to be honest, they are the *hardest* working coworkers I've ever had. Yes, the two RVTs are great too, but those of us looking to gain experience AND great letters of rec are not willing to slack off at all (our boss wouldn't allow it anyway!) As long as you're not outright lying, and you work your tail off, it benefits both you and the practice you work for (usually pre-vets are cheaper than RVTs!)
                 

                bakaduin

                UF CVM Class of 2012
                10+ Year Member
                Jan 9, 2007
                311
                0
                1. Pre-Veterinary
                  I happened to know the vet I worked for because she was a family friend and my dogs vet for a long time. She helped me out and has let me work only summers and winter break (the vets office is in my home town) knowing that I want to be a vet. More importantly all the other employees are really nice and we all get along great. They even joke around about me being their boss one day lol. The vet finally retired this year and sold the practice to one of the assosciate vets who already told me I could work their this summer as well.

                  So If your upfront with people about your intentions I dont see a problem with it.
                   

                  Mylez

                  Member
                  10+ Year Member
                  5+ Year Member
                  Feb 21, 2006
                  135
                  1
                  1. Veterinary Student
                    I think the original poster had a lot of relevance in what they were saying regarding job experience.

                    Having been on both ends of the pole (both good and REALLY bad) I can say that if you are hired as a kennel tech, you need to get your job done before you can expect to go and learn some things. (Volunteer or paid). For me, I would clean and get my job done ASAP so that I could go watch surgery or help hold off veins, or whatever. It really paid off for me. But nothing bothers me more than people who are hired, want experience, but slack off on their jobs they were hired for because "I want experience!" Yes, there's plenty of chances for experience in the right situation, but you do need to get your job done first because that's what you were hired for. There are so many people who will be more "senior" than you when you start, and I think it is good for people to have to work their way from the bottom up.

                    I started out at a clinic that gave me NO veterinary experience AT ALL. I was expected to come in before they opened an be done with cleaning and animal care before they came in too. I was to do my job but not be seen. But at my current clinic, since I worked hard to get kennels done and the clinic clean early, I get to help out with surgeries, go on ranch calls, and have all sorts of fun. I've moved up on the ladder through time, dedication, hard work (and yes, a bit of nagging). You just need to be willing to do the job you're hired for, or expect some nastiness (unfortunately) from colleagues. There are good and bad clinics, so make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for!
                     

                    egghead115

                    Full Member
                    10+ Year Member
                    Jan 12, 2007
                    34
                    0
                    Northern CA
                    1. Pre-Veterinary
                      I agree that working hard, no matter how menial the task, shows your ability to assist in more complex procedures and gain the type of "pre-vet experience" we all crave. I know I started as a kennel worker, a shadow, and volunteer at most of the places I've worked. I certainly didn't mind the scooping and scrubbing, but was really glad when I got to do the fun stuff. Everyone has to start somewhere!
                       

                      egghead115

                      Full Member
                      10+ Year Member
                      Jan 12, 2007
                      34
                      0
                      Northern CA
                      1. Pre-Veterinary
                        ...another thought...

                        I've noticed that animal clinics are usually very receptive to pre-vet students seeking experience. Most places are willing to let even unexperienced people shadow or even work, given the student is enthusiastic and responsible (shows up on time, gets the kennel looking spotless, basic things like that!).

                        When I first started as a kennel worker, the vet who hired me told me she tried to hire pre-vet students bc she noticed they were the most reliable. Plus, she didn't have to worry about them mistreating the animals or a fast turnover. I guess pre-vets usually stick around...probably since they are seeking solid experience and aren't there for the minimum wage pay.
                         

                        pressmom

                        Third year!
                        10+ Year Member
                        Apr 4, 2007
                        962
                        1
                        1. Veterinary Student
                          So I started out shadowing, but got hired on because of doing the dirty work without being asked. It took 7 months of shadowing, but I got hired. I was hired straight up as a vet assistant because of this, but I was never allowed to be in surgery (just now doing that at another clinic), but they would let me watch if I wasn't busy. I did learn a lot transcribing, being in rooms, and running lab work. For extra shifts in the kennel, we did it on a reverse seniority basis, so when I was new, I ended up back there a lot. Fine with me though, I learned a lot about restraint and husbandry. (Plus daycare was a lot of fun.)

                          Just take the experience for what it is. Take something from every opportunity and do your work first, then ask for special treatment. Most vets are glad to have a hard worker dedicated to learning about the profession!
                           

                          jnt179

                          Full Member
                          10+ Year Member
                          Mar 28, 2007
                          61
                          0
                          1. Pre-Veterinary
                            I am currently waiting on an answer for a vet assistant position that I interviewed for on Thursday. The vet that I interviewed with was very open to helping pre-vet students. He said that he would do everything he could to give me a look into the "Vet World." I understand that this includes everything from cleaning kennels to lab work and I am ok with this. I think everybody has to start from somewhere.
                             
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