College= University of Georgia
Bachelor’s Degree=Animal Science and Music Performance (Voice)
(DVM) Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at UGA (Class of 2016)
This is so crazy . . . I got into vet school!! 🙂 You have no idea how truly blessed I feel right now. My undergraduate years at University of Georgia have been an incredible journey, and I hope to continue this adventure as I conquer these next four years (or more)! My mission for these blogs is to enlighten people who are interested in wanting to become a veterinarian in the future and also give curious onlookers some insight for what to expect in vet school at UGA. Now, I will share a little about myself . . .
As a child, the intricacy of science as a whole was the catalyst that catapulted my pursuit to help animals in the future. It was not until college though when I knew veterinary medicine was the career of my choice. I recently lived and worked on a farm, volunteered at an animal clinic, and took part in surgeries in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. All this was accomplished with my double major in Animal Science and Vocal Performance.
When the undergraduate acceptance letter to University of Georgia (UGA) was opened, my whole mission was to excel in everything. Music school opened me up to a quick getaway from the constant overload of science classes. Since my second major is singing, I was introduced to the beauty of opera, which allowed me to express the artistry of music with pure diction. Mixing both majors was a therapeutic balance for me. Here is a little taste of my vocalization:
-Also, I got the wonderful opportunity of singing the National Anthem at my Graduation for my Bachelor’s Degrees in Music and Animal Science (Class of 2012):
-very close friend during my undergrad years & now! Love you Tai! 🙂
My 2 cool bros and me
With my Animal Science major, UGA immediately gave me the opportunity to do hands-on interactions with large animals. My first class was a practicum where every week I went to different farms in order to learn farm management. I saw, smelled, and felt the grossest substances on a farm, and this did not affect me as a freshman. Even though all of these experiences with animals fascinated me, I desired for even more exciting adventures. During my junior year, I got the wonderful job opportunity of working and living on Whitehall, a sheep and beef cattle farm. One of my most cherishing moments on the farm was the occasional “3 am duties”. Since it was lambing season in the spring, one of my tasks was to wake up at 3 am to help deliver lambs. The smell of fresh placenta oozing out of the ewe’s vulva still lingers whenever I mention the experience. I also witnessed some unfortunate tragedies during lambing season. I could not escape the fact that I will have to get used to seeing animals die on my watch. Fortunately, I saved a prolapsed mother giving birth to two overweight lambs, and I stayed for hours by her side.
I did other farm management at the sheep and cattle farm such as calving and attending to lambs suffering with anemia from parasites. I injected them with penicillin and administered Cydectin orally. In addition, I did eye-scoring, shearing, and foot clipping while at Whitehall Farm. I am so glad I was able to also live on the farm because it made this job experience more thrilling. I can honestly call myself a true farm girl now!
It is amazing that I worked first with large animals before working with our everyday adorable pets. South Athens Animal Clinic was a gem that has greatly inspired me to work also with small animals as a profession. Dr. Mosier and Dr. Nemetz, are phenomenal and have shown me different styles of taking care of animals and running a business. During my volunteer work at the clinic, I was able to do countless hands-on tasks with the veterinarian technicians while observing the doctors doing surgeries. When a patient came to the clinic, I was allowed to check their body temperature with a thermometer in its rectum, and I did a fecal swab in the rectum to do a fecal test. I also assisted with x-rays, nail clippings, and shots.
Now that I have fully experienced the wide aspects of working with small and large animals, I was able to test my skills by embarking on an even more exciting adventure in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Volunteers Intercultural Definitive Adventures (VIDA) is the internship I decided to pursue during the summer of 2011. VIDA is a nonprofit organization that invites majors focusing in medicine such as medical doctors, dental, and veterinarians. On this trip, I did a total of 37 surgeries and 21 consultations within 3 weeks. The surgeries I took part in were castrations, and removal of tumors and hemorrhages in cats, dogs, cows, and horses. Consultations included the injection of antibiotics and the rabies vaccine.
I will never forget the places that were extremely economically deprived. After an 8-hour clinic day, I carried a male dog home that completed a castration, a large tumor removal on the chest, and a hemorrhage removal on its cheek. When I went in the house, tears came to my eyes because of how poor and disheveled the house looked. The roof was caving in, the wall paint was peeling off, and the owner’s clothes looked like rags. However, when the owner saw her dog, she beamed and everything immediately came to life and looked welcoming. I am so glad I saw that because I now appreciate even more how fortunate and blessed I am. After that day, I desperately want to revisit those villages and help the animals again.
All of these experiences in the past three years of college greatly solidified my interest in becoming a veterinarian. I want to continue working with small and large animals, preferably exotic. Dreams and passions may look unfathomable, but great persistence and faith will help me achieve anything I set my mind to do.
Not too shabby ay! Naw, but I love what I am pursuing, and I am never giving up. This summer, many students (high schoolers and Freshmen) and parents asked tons of questions on what to expect in vet school and how must one prepare for this arduous but exciting time. Well, below are some questions which I hope I answered to the best of my abilities. I will talk about information as if you will be going to UGA, but use these as guidelines if you go to another college. If I am missing anything else, please write a comment, I will try my best to answer any questions.
It will be a great idea to go to the vet school directly or to the website to see all of the course requirements. http://vet.uga.edu/admissions/requirements#course_req (this list will help you stay on track if you want to finish within THREE years)! Check other school requirements if you are interested in other vet schools as well. Also, there is a real special opportunity for students who are interested in Food Animal Medicine. The program is called Food Animal Veterinary Incentive Program (FAVIP), and it is open to all Freshmen. If you are selected into the program, you are guaranteed a spot into the vet school if your grades are good. I never heard about it, which means it’s only shared with the select few who have good networking capabilities with the school. Here’s more information about this great opportunity:
If you are interested in doing Animal Science here at UGA, have Dr. Dean Pringle as your advisor. He is very helpful, but he is a little difficult to get a hold of through email. If you ever want to make an appointment with him, you need to email his personal consultant, Ms. Robin Harvey-Morris ( firstname.lastname@example.org). The reason why I love him is how he did a full layout of what courses I should take each semester in order to graduate on time. He also told me what classes I should never take at the same time (ex: Physics and Organic Chemistry . . .brutal!).
I highly recommend studying abroad! I took part in VIDA (http://vidavolunteertravel.org/), which allowed me to do hands-on surgeries on dogs, cats, horses, and cows. We did vaccinations, castrations and removal of hemorrhages and tumors. We also stayed in the homes of the native speakers, so we were engrossed in the culture! Remember you have to meet certain requirements, and this will meet class credit for an internship in Animal Science (must do any type of animal internship), and 120 hrs. of veterinary experience. Also, I volunteered at an animal clinic that is close to UGA’s campus (http://www.southathensanimalclinic.com/). They teach you a lot there, but there are many other clinics near the campus as well.
Prior Experience Required
UGA’s vet experience requirements: min= 250 hrs. (You can start volunteering now at a clinic!)
-they also like animal experience (where a vet is not present; ex: farm, zoos, animal shelters, etc.)
Free Housing Opportunity
Also, if you are interested in free housing plus hours for animal experience, try interviewing with UGA’s farmers to see if they need assistance. I worked at Double Bridges Farm. It is a sheep and beef cattle farm, so you do a lot of various duties. I also stayed at a horse arena, so there are different housing areas. In order to get free room and board, you must work a total of 10hrs a week (not hard at all!)
Cool Way to Approach a Professor or Vet for Recommendation Letters
Remember it is important to stand out with professors and vets whom you will shadow. This really helped me: If you want someone to write a recommendation letter for your vet school application, go to them in the beginning of the semester or before actually working with the vet & tell them:
– I am interested in going into vet school
– I would love it if you can do a rec letter for me in the future
-Please observe me over the course of the semester so that you may see my weaknesses and strengths
-Challenge me with questions when I come to office hours or during a surgery, consultation, etc.
-Go back to them during midpoint of the semester, and see how you are doing in their eyes (Do you think I am capable of making it to vet school?)
This really helped me b/c I knew for sure if I stuck out from a large group of students. I also hate bothering people to write letters for me, so it felt easier to ask beforehand instead of afterward b/c you’re not sure if they even remember your face after the fact.
Buying Cheaper Textbooks
**Important:** when you’re buying books, try not to go to the bookstore first. There are always cheaper ways online. I loved renting books from valore books, amazon, and chegg.
Hope this helps! Remember to always keep Christ first in your life and never give up. Don’t worry about anything, & just HAVE FUN!! 🙂
All right, vet school begins Monday August 13th & Orientation begins this week on Thursday August 2nd, so that is when I will commence MyUGA Vet School Experience!!!
Phillipians 4:13- “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
PS- What Professional Development Means to Me
Professional development is the ability to accept and identify your flaws and doing the best you can to rectify them. It is the feeling of being behind and doing your best to catch up. It is also the ability to admit your weaknesses and being open to feedback from your superiors who want to help you grow. My mission is to help see you succeed, and I hope that revealing my victories and failures will encourage you to get through anything if you work hard for it.