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Veterinary Related Employment vs. Not-Related

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by Adrift108, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Adrift108

    Adrift108 CSU c/o 2012
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    Hello my fellow SDN Vet School hopefuls and current Vet students!

    I am currently job hunting after leaving the SA clinic I had previously worked for, in the hopes of finding one much closer to my school (traffic, gas, and time drove me nuts this past year). I am ideally looking for a clinic job again because that's where all my experience is, but I haven't ruled out non-vet related opportunities.

    So..for all of you out there, how has a non-vet related employment position helped you out with your application or gave you useful skills that could apply to the vet profession? Would you recommend it or stick to vet stuff? I'm going to assume many of you volunteered while doing so to ramp up vet and/or animal related experience as well.

    On a related note, I've found a pretty decently paying and flexible Internship position with the EPA for pollution prevention :luck: on the business management side of things. I'm not sure if I should go for this or just go for another assisting job.

    Currently I have about 500hrs SA and 500hrs exotics hours with some LA and possibly research opportunities on the way.
     
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  3. sooprnova

    sooprnova Penn c/o 2016!
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    I think anything that deals with customer service is definitely related to vet med, particularly if you want to do SA. Part of dealing with pets is dealing with their owners, so if you can show that you've handled yourself well in difficult customer service situations, I think it looks good on an app and will give you something to talk about in an interview.

    You look like you have quite a few hours, so I wouldn't be too concerned there (unless you want to do equine med, but I'm guessing you don't). I would do whatever is going to make the most sense for you, emotionally and financially. I spent many years managing teams and training people, and I think it will help give my app a boost, as I eventually want to open my own practice and I have a lot of the business savvy necessary to do so already.

    The EPA internship sounds really cool. Although not directly related to vet med, there are so many other skills you can learn from a position such as that. Management, flexibility, project management, follow-through, customer service, etc. If the position is flexible, that gives you time to shadow/volunteer to keep adding to your hours.

    Hope this helps and good luck with whatever you choose!
     
  4. Adrift108

    Adrift108 CSU c/o 2012
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    Thank you! You are correct that LA isn't really what I'm aiming for, but some day I too would like to have my own practice! Though I've only had veterinary assisting experience and not really anything customer service related, so it might be a first for me. Your opinion was great!
     
  5. bbeventer

    bbeventer Illinois 2016
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    I agree that anything dealing with customer service will help on your apps. I know one of the critiques I got on my apps was that I did not have a lot of employment experience outside of the animal field.
     
  6. petdrhpful2015

    petdrhpful2015 VMRCVM c/o 2015
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    I think the committees wants to see well-rounded applicants, not just people that get experience because they "have to." Getting outside experience also shows them that you know, after experiencing other jobs, that you still want to be a vet. As long as you don't neglect the vet experience (which you haven't), I don't think it will take away from you application. Definitely include somewhere in the app what you gained from the experience as it relates to vet med (if you can get it in there somewhere).
     
  7. Lissarae06

    Lissarae06 Insert Veterinarian Badge Here
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    Working in a non-vet field shouldn't hurt you. Like the others have said, it will show that you are well-rounded. I worked as a temp for the state one summer. It got brought up in my interviews. I was able to confidently say that that one summer was enough to convince me that I'm not cut out for an office job lol. Working there solidified my decision to go into vet med. If it makes financial sense to do it over driving, using gas, etc. then do it!
     
  8. vacavet

    vacavet K-State CVM Class of 2015

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    When I was in high school I worked for little over a year at a local burger joint. I put it on my application and kinda forgot it was there. When I went to interview at WSU the first thing they asked was what did you learn working at Ikeda's Tasty Burger. So even if it seems unrelated, the customer service interactions really are important to the commitee and I don't think diversity can hurt your application if you are getting all the hours you want.
     
  9. antrl

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    I've been working in food service since I was 16 and although the money is pretty good (8.25/hr), I am really looking for a job that pertains to veterinary medicine. The only problem is that I probably can't work during the school year (because I can't have a car on campus) and have no clue on how to even go about getting a job with a vet. Do I need more experience working with animals before I get a job with a vet? If so where should I even start? Even if it's part time and I still have to work in food service full time to pay for college books and other expenses, I can deal with that. It is really more about getting experience than money (but getting at least some money would make getting experience tremendously easier). I am just really tired of choosing between getting experience and making money. I would REALLY appreciate input. Thanks so much. I am going to my sophomore at college btw.
     
  10. petdrhpful2015

    petdrhpful2015 VMRCVM c/o 2015
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    I was very fortunate and was able to get vet experience without any previous training. They trained me as an assistant for about 2 months and then eased me into all of the duties on my own. I can't speak for how common this is though. If you don't have any animal or veterinary experience, I might suggest trying to get a job at a kennel, pet store, dog walking, groomer, etc. to get your foot in the door working with animals. Maybe a vet would be more inclined to hire you if you have some animal experience to start with. Those jobs would likely pay you as well for having no experience. Animal experience is a separate section on the application, so you will be able to include your experiences when applying for sure.

    If there is any chance that you can afford to volunteer, even if it's only one day a week for 4 hours with a vet, do it. Any experience will get your foot in the door in the veterinary world. My best suggestion is to be open and honest with a vet and tell them that you'd like to get experience to apply to vet school. I think most vets are sympathetic to that and will try to work with you somehow. Best of luck.
     
  11. chickenlittle

    10+ Year Member

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    Vet clinics typically experience a busy season during the summer (especially if they offer boarding), so you can likely find a summer job if you're a responsible person with a good work ethic, who is willing to clean kennels and do other unpleasant stuff. From there, you can work your way up.

    My first vet job started off as a 20 hr/wk summer kennel assistant job, literally JUST walking/feeding dogs and cleaning cages. Within a month, though, another employee left and I was working 50 hrs/wk... AND the techs started letting me see more of the "medical" stuff once they began to trust me (and I became more efficient at getting the kennel finished so I could go help out in treatment). The experiences and references from that job helped me get my second summer vet job doing a combination of receptionist/assistant work. That, in turn, put me in a good place to get a job between undergrad and vet school doing more tech-type work. Yes, I also had a lot of non-vet employment (mostly retail jobs, a grocery store, a lab assistant immediately after college, etc) during times that I could not find vet jobs, but the jobs are out there if you're willing to work for them.

    You likely won't get to do much as a summer employee, but if you submit a resume and show a willingness to work hard for minimal pay, you may be anle to find something to help you get your foot in the door. Right now, I'd give almost anything for someone who'd be willing to clean kennels, keep the treatment area cleaned, and show at least a reasonable degree of work ethic & maturity in exchange for minimum wage and the chance to observe some pretty cool stuff :)
     

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