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    Hi,
    I haven't been on this board for a while now, mainly as I was having great difficulties deciding whether I really wanted to into VetMed or not. I was distracted during the summer with an interest in aviation and began looking into a possible career in that area, but after talking with a few people I now realise that VetMed is really what I want to do.

    Unfortunately this has lead me to be lacking in work experience, only currently having 1 week mixed vet practice, 1 week small animal practice, 1 week cattery and 1 week vet research lab. I realise the obvious missing experience is farm work, however over the weekends leading up to the UCAS deadline I hope to complete work at a dairy farm, a visit to an abattoir, try to get a couple of days at dog kennels and hopefully a weekend at a rare breeds farm.

    I contacted all the universities and those which have replied so far have been very helpful and encouraged me to still apply, which I will do, even if it leads to me having to take a gap year I will, I'm not going to settle for second best. I also just received my AS grades of four As in Chemistry, Biology, Maths & Geography which also have encouraged me to go for VetMed, and I'm planning to keep all four onto a-level.

    I was wondering if some of you who have got places at VetSchool, congrats btw, could give me some advice with regards to work experience and personal statement. I would particularly be grateful if you could send me a copy of yours to get an idea of structure and what to include - mjf you sent me yours before but I lost it after a computer reboot could you please send me it again? If anyone could send me theirs It would be very helpful - [email protected]

    I still need to decide on which universities to apply to so far the only one I have ruled out is Cambridge as I've heard their interviews can be a nightmare. That leaves me with one more to rule out - do any not look for as much work experience as others?
    I am also going to apply to UCD - they don't take applications until February so I would definitely have plenty of work experience by then.

    Any other general advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Colin
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    Hey there!

    Your work experience so far is pretty good. I agree with you that the main area you are lacking is farm work and the universities do seem to like that. Just to give you an idea, this is the work experience I did (but don't be alarmed because I did quite a lot and many of the people at my interviews had not done this much)
    • Seeing small animal practice weekly for 9 months
    • Two weeks farm animal practice
    • One week equine practice
    • Part time job as a Veterinary Nurses' Assistant for 5 months
    • Three weeks dairy
    • Two days lambing (they didn't seem worried that it wasn't more, even though some other people had 3 weeks)
    • One year working at riding stables
    • One week at Longleat Safari Park


    If you can get some dairy experience I think your work experience will be fine. I don't think they're necessarily looking for you to have done loads of everything, just that you've been out and found out what it's like to do the job and found out a bit about the animals you will be working with. I had no kennel, cattery or pig experience and I hadn't been to an abattoir or a vet research lab. I think the lab work you've done is really good, universities seem to like it. Be prepared to answer interview questions on it though because they usually ask about the unusual things. I definitely think you should still apply. Even if it doesn't work out this year and you have to take a gap year, you'll have a wonderful opportunity to gain loads of experience that will really impress them when you reapply.

    Your AS grades are brilliant- I got AABC in mine (and A in General Studies). Be aware that it you do four A Levels, Bristol will expect you to get As in all of them. I don't know what the other universities do.

    I applied to Bristol, RVC, Liverpool and Edinburgh and got interviews and offers from all except Edinburgh, who rejected me straight away. I didn't apply to Cambridge because of the scary interviews and I didn't like the course very much. I applied to Edinburgh because it was the nicer Scottish city, in my opinion. To give you some idea of typical offers:

    • Bristol- AAA
    • RVC- AAB
    • Liverpool- AAB
    • Cambridge- AAA
    • Edinburgh- AAB
    • Glasgow- AAB (I think)


    Although it looks like you're very capable of getting AAA anyway- I did, and I didn't have 4 As at AS Level, but I managed it with a subtle combination of retakes and working my ass off! So I'm off to Bristol in 4 weeks time. Yay!

    Hope this has helped a bit. I'll email you my personal statement.
    Good luck.
    Tamsin
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    Hi, sorry i cant really help as I am in the same position as you, applying next month and furiously trying to cram as much work experience in as possible before then! i would be really, really grateful if anyone witha vet med personal statement could email it to me ( [email protected]) so i could see different ways of setting it out etc.

    Thanks!
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    Unless your applying to Liverpool (who seem to like tons of work experience) then what what you've done and plan to do seems fine.

    My work experience:
    approx 3-4 weeks at a small animal practice
    2 weeks at an equestrian centre
    1 week at a dairy farm
    2 days at abattoir
    2 weeks at international company research labs (not animal related) experience in HPLC and quantitative IR spectroscopy.

    Some unis realise there is little to be gained in weeks and weeks doing the same thing.

    I applied to Edin, Bristol, Cam and RVC. Had offers from Cam and RVC and will be starting course at Cam in Oct.
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    To put my lil bit it...I agree about experience--I think they look for variety as much as quantity, also your attitude to it, i.e. have you been asking questions, taking in what you see etc. Mine wasn't particularly astounding in variety:
    2 weeks milking
    2 months as temporary vet nurse, plus several weeks w/e before that (mixed practice)
    1 week at a stables
    3 days at an organic farm (and the interviewers asked soooo many questions bout it)
    I've also been riding for 12 years, been to county shows and the like.
    Looking at it, it isn't that much, but I got three interviews and two offers (Bristol and London). You probably won't like this, but the general impression I've had is that Cambridge are less bothered about w/e than the other universities, since their degree is more academically inclined during the first three years, but again, I think it's more what you pick up during what you do that they like.
    Interviews--know your personal statement backwards and inside out, preferably with quite a bit of reading round anything you mention having a particular interest in.
    Your AS grades are very impressive, no problems there! The universities don't worry about getting 4 As, Bristol asked me for AAA, and didn't mind me missing a fourth A, thankyou Bristol!
    Anyway, hope this helps,
    Angharad
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    Finally, another Bristol vet student!

    Angharad, are you going this year? What hall are you in? I'm in Goldney

    Phew, I'm glad there's more than me, I was starting to wonder!
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    I thought we were almost a non-existant breed too! I'm in Hiatt Baker, apparently it's huuuuuuuge. Are you getting a laptop via Bristol--I don't know which one's best :confused: --hardened Mac user til now!
    Angharad
    PS Beaucoup de lectures in the first week, eh?!
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    thanks for your help,

    now i'm edging towards Cambridge again, i'm not going to apply to Liverpool as as you mentioned they seem to want alot of work experience and they weren't all that helpful when I contacted them.

    Now I'm left with, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, RVC & Cambridge. From what I've seen Glasgow also seem to want quite alot of work experience, anyone else find this?
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    I applied to RVC, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Bristol and had interviews at all and offers from all except Bristol. I will be starting at Glasgow in a few weeks time. The work experience I had done was: a large amount of time at a small animal practice, 2 weeks at a mixed practice, 2 weeks pigs, 1 week dairy, 1 week lambing, 2 weeks kennels and then a part time job, years at a stables lol and a day with a vet from defra and then an abattior visit. Personally, I think that all the vet schools, with the possible exception of Cambridge, pretty much value work experience the same. I wouldn't really say some are more bothered than others.
    The reason I didn't apply to Liverpool was because I wasn't all that impressed with the city and uni when I went on the open day (nothing grabbed me!) except they had really nice accommodation! Plus it was actually more awkward for me to get to Liverpool from where I live, than to get to Glasgow and Edinburgh (the joys of the plane!). I didn't want to apply to Cambridge because at the open day one of the first things they said was "our course is much more scientific based than the others", you have to do the intercalated year (which I had no interest in doing) and you had to do the BMAT exam (though now I think both Bristol and RVC have brought that in too for your year). So all in all I decided it wasn't for me.
    To answer your question, in my experience, Edinburgh would have liked me to have spent more time with a large animal vet (the interviewer told me this) whereas Glasgow seemed to think what I had done was fine. (Then again I am kinda biased towards Glasgow )
    Good luck with your application, if you do get interviews, as someone has already said, know your personal statement inside out, as that is what your interview will be predominantly on. For your personal statement you want to say why you want to be a vet, outline all your work experience and anything which particularly great about it which you can talk all day about lol and then a little about what you do inside and outside school away from animals and your exams!
    Your subjects and grades are fine, I did pretty much the same as you, except I did physics instead of maths. I also decided to drop geog after AS, simply because I didn't want to do 4 subjects if it wasn't necessary.
    Hope this has been some help
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    Hey Angharad!

    Laptop via Bristol?- I didn't know you could do that :confused: I've been searching for mine but I don't know which is best- not that there's much choice in Salisbury! Where are you from, by the way?

    Hiatt Baker is huge- I've been in it.

    Yeah, loads of lectures in first week- the shape of things to come, I feel, if they've even got us working in fresher's week! Ah well I'm just wondering how on earth I'm going to be able to find my way to that random lecture theatre in the medical school for physiology, when I'm sure I'll still be wandering the corridors of Goldney looking for my flat!
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    Yup, Bristol's done some deal with Toshiba--if you buy through the university, you can get a discount, ideal for cheapskates like me! I'm from Southport, blatantly misnamed since it's north of Liverpool.
    Goldney's self catering, yes? I had to pick catered since I dont think I'd be capable of even pouring out Frosties when I've just got up--going to make such a good vet, honest! If HB is that big, I'll take a ball of string so I can trace my way out every morning...
    Do you do any music at all?
    Angharad
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    I am getting even more worried than before by reading this thread... I have written to vets, stables, and animal shelters but all either don't reply or turn me down. So far i hav only done 1 week in a veterinary practice and i need to do all my experience for 2005 entry, am i a hopeless case?
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    (Original post by lil_crazyflakes)
    I am getting even more worried than before by reading this thread... I have written to vets, stables, and animal shelters but all either don't reply or turn me down. So far i hav only done 1 week in a veterinary practice and i need to do all my experience for 2005 entry, am i a hopeless case?
    Not quite but you're going to have to pull your finger out, are you still in college? If you are, go to your Careers Officer out whatever he/she/it is and ask them to help because they tend to cary a bit more weight with work experience employers. In my case this was how i got about half of my work experience. The other half was down to me calling, by phone, possible placements and making my self a bit of a nuisance so i could get an interview. From there you just have to be a bit persuasive. It can be a bit hit and miss, i did get turned down by a couple of places but you just have to except that and try again elsewhere. If they seem a bit tentative but don't refuse you outright, ask for an interview because most of the time they'll agree to that and if you can get that far you have a chance. Plus, you have some experience so if you can ask for a reference from the place you've already worked so you can present/send that to new placements. Once they see you've already started other places tend to be a bit more helpful. In the end don't be afraid to nag a bit (sorry bad pun) they can only say "no" but if you seem serious they will treat you accordingly. Plus, PM me if you have questions and i will try to help.
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    (Original post by lil_crazyflakes)
    I am getting even more worried than before by reading this thread... I have written to vets, stables, and animal shelters but all either don't reply or turn me down. So far i hav only done 1 week in a veterinary practice and i need to do all my experience for 2005 entry, am i a hopeless case?
    Call them up. In my experience, I had more success that way.
    You're not a hopeless case, but you do need to do some more work experience - cattle/pigs/sheep? Animal shelters are nice but nothing special. A few days at a stables would be good but I know some are a bit funny about having work experience people. Can you get any more work at the vets you have already been to?
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    Hey!
    I am going to study vet med this october at cambridge. And i must say that im kind of suprised that you are worried about scary interviews at cam when your applying for vet med! To be honest, they are all going to be fairly scary and challenging because of the nature of the course. For me, Bristol was by far my worst interview: they just seemed to be trying to catch me out and find faults, and one of the interviewers i found very intimidating. RVC was good, i found it hard but the people were fairly nice. At Cam i had two interviews. The 'academic' one was hard, and they asked me lots of things i didnt know, and i had to think hard! But as opposed to my experience of Bristol, they seemed to be looking for what i did know and what i was good at, not what i didnt know. The more subject based one was so good, it was a very stimulating conversation, not much like and interview! Talked about dog breeding and the connections with cancer, and the interviewers were great. Edinburgh didnt even interview me, or two friends who applied there. I kind of get the impression that they do look at scotish aplicants first, so i think chances are lower there.

    I got offers from RVC and Cam. I chose Cam because i liked the tutor at my college, the course structure is scientific to begin with but they seem to have added animal handling classes in now which is cool, it has a great reputation in the things i am interested in and the school itself had great facilities. I really think that if you are serious, you shouldnt discount anything becasue of what you may have heard: be serious and look into it yourself.
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    thanks for all the great advice everyone. I have decided to do a veterinary gateway program, and then hopefully vet med, or vet nursing then vet med. It's a longer way round, but i'm not giving up
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    Bristol give you hell in your interview but i got in no problem.
    Liverpool are real friendly, thats where i am now.
    Glasgow is the same, i had no trouble getting in there.
    RVC is probably the easiest to get into because its everyones second choice
    I heard nothing from edinburgh (stuck up *******s)

    Good choice on not applying to cambridge. the trouble with them is you have to gear your personal statement towards them and if you fail to get in, no-one else will have you cos they know your first choice was cambridge

    With grades, both liverpool and glasgow are AAB but you must get A grade in bio and chem
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    I'm applying for 2005 entry as well...in fact...i'm working on my 10000th redraft of my personal statement right now (taking a break and will proof-read again in a moment).

    Well for my work experience...I have...
    - almost 6 weeks at 2 vet clinics (belong to the same vet...but with several vets at different clinics / days)
    .........including 1 1/2 weeks with an eye specialist from Pretoria which was absolutely amazing...
    - 2 week at the Jockey Club Riding School
    - 2 weeks at this animal shelter / farm
    .........finding farms in hong kong is simply IMPOSSIBLE...but this animal shelter DOES have a HUGE kennel with over 200 dogs, almost 100 cats, and various domestic livestock so you can sorta call it a "farm".

    Besides...i heard that vet schools give special consideration for Hong Kong students cos they know that there are no farms here...as long as they DO try and get max. amt of work experience it's alright. Liverpool...for a start...was fine with my friend who had 10 weeks of clinic work instead of 4 and 6 in farm. *shrugs* (she chose RVC in the end tho)

    Well...I'm applying for Edinburgh (my first choice in UK), Glasgow, Bristol & RVC. I haven't submitted my UCAS stuff yet...cos a Bristol person is coming to my school this friday (8th Oct) and I want to show the person my personal statement to see if it's ok. Cos the thing is...I'm the FIRST one in my school (German Swiss International School...but PLEASE don't speak to me in German...i've simply had enough of it after 5 yrs) to apply for vet...ever...so I'm like a guinea pig and the deputy doesn't really know how my personal s. should really be like. Only got some vague idea from the Liverpool guy at the UK Education Fair last month. Many teachers in school are helping me with it...esp. one of the chemistry teachers (PhD from Oxford...-_-"") who knows about...err...everything. But yeah...i'll be really pushing to the deadline but i guess talking to the Bristol person is my last shot at making sure my statement is not heading in the wrong direction.

    But then...if anyone can offer some advice / suggestions regarding to how it should be written / stuff to include...PLEASE EMAIL me...(i don't have too much time to go on here cos of my workload). I'd really appreciate it!!

    [email protected] (yup...i got a gmail!! haha...it's SO HUGE i'm just loving it )

    yeah...enough with me blabbing on. gtg and return to my statement then do another BMAT specimen paper (*cry*).

    Gluck to all those applying this year!! we'll make it!! "add oil!!" (cantonese slang which means "keep working hard and hang in there!!")

 
 
 
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