Aug 15, 2016
15
2
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Non-Student
Everyone keeps telling me I need to shadow a veterinarian before I make up my mind about if that's what I want to do. I've known this for a while but every vet I've asked has said no.

Most places want a resume. I've NEVER had a job before. My parents were opposed to me getting one when I as sixteen. I don't know why. Maybe it's because they would be the ones who would have to drive me to and from work...but then they were also against me learning how to drive for some reason. When I was able to convince them to let me move out on my own (I was 27 at the time), I lived in a town with no bus or public transportation system. There were no vets that I was aware of in that town...at least not in walking distance. But now I do live in an area with public transportation and I'm seeing a case worker. I did ask her if she could help me out with this but it will be a few days before I hear back from her since she's on vacation. Should I wait until I have my GED and have a semester's worth of college first? If not, how exactly do I tell a vet, I'm interested in shadowing? Do I ask about volunteering to clean floors and kennels first then once I've been with them for a while, then ask about shadowing?
 

Bottle of Bear

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Jun 20, 2016
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Just keep trying, if not maybe try to find a rescue or shelter you can volunteer at to get some animal experience and then try to get in with a vet that way. Noobies always get grunt work, it's nothing personal it's for you to show them that you're committed and have a good work ethic, so be the best damn grunt you can be.

Send them a letter explaining your situation a little bit, how you're going back to school, your interest in vet med, etc. While a resume's generally attached, if you don't have one then there's not much you can do about it until you've gotten some experiences. Best of luck.
 
OP
P
Aug 15, 2016
15
2
Status
Non-Student
Just keep trying, if not maybe try to find a rescue or shelter you can volunteer at to get some animal experience and then try to get in with a vet that way. Noobies always get grunt work, it's nothing personal it's for you to show them that you're committed and have a good work ethic, so be the best damn grunt you can be.

Send them a letter explaining your situation a little bit, how you're going back to school, your interest in vet med, etc. While a resume's generally attached, if you don't have one then there's not much you can do about it until you've gotten some experiences. Best of luck.
Thanks! I'm not opposed to doing grunt work. I kinda figured it would come with the territory. Shadowing a vet in exchange for cleaning kennels, cages, mopping floors, etc.
 
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Elkhart

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Agreed with Bottle of Bear. :thumbup:

In terms of the resume issue, have you ever done any volunteer work? Community service? Helped organize an event? Extracurriculars? It's a very good idea to have a resume handy for things like this, but the experience you list doesn't necessarily have to be from a paying job; volunteer duties and extracurricular activities will work until you get some actual job experience if you've got any. That being said, if you don't have any of those, either... then you're unfortunately sorta stuck with a blank page until you can put your foot in the door.

Like Bottle of Bear mentioned, in that case, it'd probably be pertinent to just write a letter explaining your situation and be especially insistent (but not annoying) in following up with the vets you speak with.
 
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katashark

Oregon c/o 2020
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Jun 25, 2015
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Even sports (varsity, perhaps?) or instruments or knowing other languages and clubs have a place on your starting resume. Those are all experiences that demonstrate positive character attributes, dedication, working as a team, interacting with people of different backgrounds, etc.
 

katashark

Oregon c/o 2020
2+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2015
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Everyone keeps telling me I need to shadow a veterinarian before I make up my mind about if that's what I want to do. I've known this for a while but every vet I've asked has said no.

Most places want a resume. I've NEVER had a job before. My parents were opposed to me getting one when I as sixteen. I don't know why. Maybe it's because they would be the ones who would have to drive me to and from work...but then they were also against me learning how to drive for some reason. When I was able to convince them to let me move out on my own (I was 27 at the time), I lived in a town with no bus or public transportation system. There were no vets that I was aware of in that town...at least not in walking distance. But now I do live in an area with public transportation and I'm seeing a case worker. I did ask her if she could help me out with this but it will be a few days before I hear back from her since she's on vacation. Should I wait until I have my GED and have a semester's worth of college first? If not, how exactly do I tell a vet, I'm interested in shadowing? Do I ask about volunteering to clean floors and kennels first then once I've been with them for a while, then ask about shadowing?
Say you are interested in vet school, looking for shadowing experience, all vets understand what that is. Try to go in and ask instead of call. I know riding the bus all over can be a pain. You don't have to wait until you have your GED or a semester of college.
 
OP
P
Aug 15, 2016
15
2
Status
Non-Student
Agreed with Bottle of Bear. :thumbup:

In terms of the resume issue, have you ever done any volunteer work? Community service? Helped organize an event? Extracurriculars? It's a very good idea to have a resume handy for things like this, but the experience you list doesn't necessarily have to be from a paying job; volunteer duties and extracurricular activities will work until you get some actual job experience if you've got any. That being said, if you don't have any of those, either... then you're unfortunately sorta stuck with a blank page until you can put your foot in the door.

Like Bottle of Bear mentioned, in that case, it'd probably be pertinent to just write a letter explaining your situation and be especially insistent (but not annoying) in following up with the vets you speak with.
Even sports (varsity, perhaps?) or instruments or knowing other languages and clubs have a place on your starting resume. Those are all experiences that demonstrate positive character attributes, dedication, working as a team, interacting with people of different backgrounds, etc.
I was home-schooled since the fifth grade. I do not have any experience with extracurricular activities, sports or clubs.
 

katashark

Oregon c/o 2020
2+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2015
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Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts? Geocaching? Anything? Well then just start now. Get experience doing different things! Just go in with no resume.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
OP
P
Aug 15, 2016
15
2
Status
Non-Student
Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts? Geocaching? Anything? Well then just start now. Get experience doing different things! Just go in with no resume.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
Nope. I did shadow a zookeeper for the day back in San Antonio but I doubt they kept the records or even if there were records to keep. I had to pay $200 to do that. I also used to clean horse stalls in enhance for riding lessons, but she was just a private horse owner. I do paint http://hallowpointpaws.deviantart.com/gallery/49716445/traditional and sew sometimes http://hallowpointpaws.deviantart.com/art/Frog-plushie-331756919 http://hallowpointpaws.deviantart.com/art/Meerkat-sleep-shade-328762464 http://hallowpointpaws.deviantart.com/art/Mouse-Plush-325339484
 

katashark

Oregon c/o 2020
2+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2015
2,744
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Veterinary Student
Nope. I did shadow a zookeeper for the day back in San Antonio but I doubt they kept the records or even if there were records to keep. I had to pay $200 to do that. I also used to clean horse stalls in enhance for riding lessons, but she was just a private horse owner. I do paint http://hallowpointpaws.deviantart.com/gallery/49716445/traditional and sew sometimes http://hallowpointpaws.deviantart.com/art/Frog-plushie-331756919 http://hallowpointpaws.deviantart.com/art/Meerkat-sleep-shade-328762464 http://hallowpointpaws.deviantart.com/art/Mouse-Plush-325339484
Doesn't really matter if they have records of not.


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ResoluteMike

Iowa State c/o 2021
5+ Year Member
Aug 22, 2013
857
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Veterinary Student
There are all sorts of things you can try to get a foot in the door besides cold calling local veterinarians.

1. Check with your university's pre-veterinary club.
2. Check with local animal shelters, particularly state run ones that can afford to hire full time veterinarians. They are usually going to be more open to shadowing since they also depend a lot on volunteer help.
3. Contact your state Veterinary Medical Association. At that level they will probably know someone who can help you out.

I know it is discouraging trying to get your foot in the door when many places are worried about the liability risks of having you in their clinic. Be patient and work those networking skills. All it takes is finding one veterinarian willing to help you out and they will point you at other opportunities.
 
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LyraGardenia

Kansas State c/o 2020
5+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2013
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Nope. I did shadow a zookeeper for the day back in San Antonio but I doubt they kept the records or even if there were records to keep. I had to pay $200 to do that. I also used to clean horse stalls in enhance for riding lessons, but she was just a private horse owner. I do paint http://hallowpointpaws.deviantart.com/gallery/49716445/traditional and sew sometimes http://hallowpointpaws.deviantart.com/art/Frog-plushie-331756919 http://hallowpointpaws.deviantart.com/art/Meerkat-sleep-shade-328762464 http://hallowpointpaws.deviantart.com/art/Mouse-Plush-325339484
Those would all be things you could put on a resume, IMO. For just shadowing the vet probably wouldn't bother to call up your past experiences and verify them. A prospective employer might, but in that case you could probably explain the situation and provide other references if they require them. It can be hard getting your foot in the door without previous experience, but everyone has to start somewhere!