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Hard Work Pays Off

Updated: May 21, 2021

Shetland Sheep after deworming and defleaing

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted a career working with animals, but it was not until I had completed my GCSEs that my aspirations of becoming a vet began to come to fruition. I have never owned any pets myself so work experience at a city farm in Year 10 confirmed that working with animals was the right path for me. During the summer of 2018 after completing my first year of A Levels, I had the opportunity of attending the Sutton Trust RVC Summer School. This experience provided me with an invaluable insight into the life of a student at the RVC, whilst also allowing me to experience life in Hertfordshire away from the bustling environment of home in London. We completed many veterinary related activities and workshops and even got the chance to participate in an animal handling session at Boltons Park Farm. I had the chance to meet various people who were working and studying at the RVC so when I started as a student myself, there were many familiar faces around. Attending the summer school was crucial as it enabled me to be eligible for the Gateway course.

Owl handling with a Barn Owl called Jasper

Throughout Year 12, I spent much of my holidays and weekends working at vet practices and farms to ensure I had amounted enough hours of work experience to apply for Veterinary Medicine. Universities publish the amount of work experience that must be acquired to be eligible for veterinary medicine on their respective websites, so keep an eye out as they vary between institutions!

3-week-old prematurely born kid named Suzy

The next step was the application. Following the completion of my work experience, I drew on the cases that I had seen to write my personal statement, which I later submitted to universities via UCAS. When it comes to placements, it is a good idea to keep note of some of the cases that you were particularly interested in so that you can do some outside reading to strengthen your application! Whilst completing supplementary work experience forms for each of the courses, I found that A Level workload was increasing so being organised at the start of Year 13 will definitely take a lot of pressure off of your shoulders. By the time my exams had come around, I had received two offers, both of which were from the RVC. I received my results in August 2019 and to my delight I had been accepted onto the Gateway course. I have now progressed onto the BVetMed course. There are many different routes into studying at the RVC so go for the one that suits you best. Although it can be challenging, becoming a student is also very rewarding. At the RVC, I have met many like-minded people who too share a passion for animal welfare. I am looking forward to the rest of my time studying in such a welcoming and supportive environment.

Written by: Raheem Coombs

Disclaimer: We at Animal Aspirations pride ourselves as being an educational platform. We want people to formulate their own opinions, as well as respect the opinions of others. We kindly ask that you adhere to this message to help create a safe space for expression and starting conversations, for the benefit of everyone using this platform. Any discussion deemed to be offensive has the right to be removed by the Animal Aspirations team.


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