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Work Experience

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    I am currently going into year 12 and I was wondering what work experience I need to do to get into a veterinary course, how long and how can I apply to the work experience? I have already looked at applying to a zoo but it says that I have to be over 18 or under 16 work experience. When looking on cat and dog websites it only says helping in a charity or rehousing. Please can someone help me to make it clear what I need to do and how to do it.

    You really should do your own research here. The Big and Shiny Work Experience Bible is a good place to start.

    For a brief overview; minimum requirements vary between four and ten weeks work experience, however realistically you want a bit more than this (remember you're applying against people who have taken gap years etc). At the very least I'd suggest getting placements at a large animal vets, small animal vets, stable, kennel/cattery and a commercial farm of some variety (dairy and lambing are good). Beyond that you can go for placements at zoos, abattoirs, labs, pet shops, hydrotherapy etc etc etc but I would focus on the basics first.

    Generally I recommend applying by email, as letters are cumbersome to respond to, and phone conversations aren't too formal and often you won't be able to speak to the person actually in charge of organising work exp (often nurses- they get busy!). Email allows you to provide all of your contact details so that someone can respond when convenient. For farms however I'd suggest phoning, preferably in the evening since they're more likely to be inside to write your name on the calendar or whatever.

    Age limits are annoying but it's often due to insurance so there's nothing so you can do about it other than keep searching. There are definitely zoos that take under 18s; one near me takes people from 14 I think. I've not encountered maximum age limits before but in that instance I would email or phone up to clarify exactly what you want to do+why. It's unusual for them to say that anyone above 16 can't do it.
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