katiec2003
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Do universities appreciate if you do marine work experience (sharks mainly) or do they see it as you have an interest in marine biology and therefore it doesn’t benefit you?
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username5133584
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(Original post by katiec2003)
Do universities appreciate if you do marine work experience (sharks mainly) or do they see it as you have an interest in marine biology and therefore it doesn’t benefit you?
I think that’s really interesting! It’s definitely unique and out of the box and would be interesting for you to talk about.
There’s not really any set limits as to what you can do for work experience. Coming from my application experience, I’d try to get some work in both a small and large animal clinic, and a few weeks each with main species groups: small (cats, dogs etc), farm (sheep, pigs, poultry, cows) and equine xx Anything else outside that is a bonus, and will definitely look good on your application. The more the better in my opinion x
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123vet
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(Original post by katiec2003)
Do universities appreciate if you do marine work experience (sharks mainly) or do they see it as you have an interest in marine biology and therefore it doesn’t benefit you?
@ishih-tzunot advice is spot on. To make a successful application at many vet schools you will need to have work experience in key species groups (equine, small, farm), and once you have met those minimum requirements you can definitely think about adding in areas you are especially interested in.

Genuine interest and passion is very important and will shine through at interview The only thing to note is that obviously at vet school you will be studying every species group (and in my experience there's not a lot of teaching on marine animals/fish), so just something to be aware of.

Hope this helps! I'm a first year vet student at Nottingham so feel free to ask me any questions
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katiec2003
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Thank you both so much! Your advice has helped to decide that I’m going to do it. The more is better I guess.
I think I’m going to apply for Nottingham, my GCSE results should be good enough for vet med but there will definitely be people with better (I’m not going to get all 9s basically), from your experience, do you think Nottingham (and any others you’ve applied) care mostly about top grades or having work experience?
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123vet
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(Original post by katiec2003)
Thank you both so much! Your advice has helped to decide that I’m going to do it. The more is better I guess.
I think I’m going to apply for Nottingham, my GCSE results should be good enough for vet med but there will definitely be people with better (I’m not going to get all 9s basically), from your experience, do you think Nottingham (and any others you’ve applied) care mostly about top grades or having work experience?
To be honest it's about having a balance between all the things they are looking for. Straight 9s won't necessarily make you a good vet, and neither would having 1000+ hrs of work experience; you must, however, definitely meet the minimum requirements for each to make a serious application. You have to be pretty good in lots of areas, but not absolutely flawless. Having good interpersonal skills is often overlooked but key to making a good vet.

As far as grades are concerned, you need good GCSEs and A Levels, but you don't have to be the best. As long as you meet the requirements (AAA for most vet schools, some need an A*) you should be fine. People with four A*s aren't necessarily going to do better than you. What is required obviously depends on the vet school (e.g. Cambridge has a more academic bias).

Enough work experience (4 weeks minimum for Notts I think?) that is well reflected on would be key - what did you see? What did you learn? How did it affect you/make you think differently? Being able to rattle off 67 stages in a complex surgery isn't much use if you have nothing to say about the vet-client interaction or the role of the vet nurses in the surgery and animal's recovery. Equally naming the drugs used in euthanasia is pointless if you've got nothing to say about how you felt, dealt with it, and what the situation was like for the vet and the client. Check each vet school as all have different work experience requirements - ideally get a bit more than just the minimum to show you are keen. In general, getting a wide variety is good, whilst meeting any species requirements the vet schools have (some like you to have equine, farm and small) and displaying your enthusiasm and commitment.

Most vet schools place quite a lot of emphasis on the interview day (exception is Bristol, which now doesn't interview - make of that what you will). Most will first check your predicted grades, read personal statement, then send you additional online questionnaires etc. about your work experience, or including different reasoning tests - really depends on the vet school so you must check their websites carefully for information when you come to apply. Certainly in the case of Nottingham (and probably many other vet schools, all this combined (grades, work experience, extra questionnaires) gets you to the interview day, but no further. When I applied to Notts, whether you got an offer post-interview was 100% based on how you did on the day, so it's important to work on your interview technique and prep well. Remember you are not expected to know everything (they're going to teach you!) - being enthusiastic and willing to learn is very important. Being able to work with others will also be vital.

But it sounds like interviews are a few years off for you - don't stress about this just yet; focus on getting those grades and work experience.

Sorry there's not a straight answer to this - being a vet is all about being good at a number of things rather than the best in one specific area! I hope this helps and do ask for clarification if needed I could go on for years about applications😂 so if you have any more questions just let me know!
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katiec2003
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(Original post by 123vet)
To be honest it's about having a balance between all the things they are looking for. Straight 9s won't necessarily make you a good vet, and neither would having 1000+ hrs of work experience; you must, however, definitely meet the minimum requirements for each to make a serious application. You have to be pretty good in lots of areas, but not absolutely flawless. Having good interpersonal skills is often overlooked but key to making a good vet.

As far as grades are concerned, you need good GCSEs and A Levels, but you don't have to be the best. As long as you meet the requirements (AAA for most vet schools, some need an A*) you should be fine. People with four A*s aren't necessarily going to do better than you. What is required obviously depends on the vet school (e.g. Cambridge has a more academic bias).

Enough work experience (4 weeks minimum for Notts I think?) that is well reflected on would be key - what did you see? What did you learn? How did it affect you/make you think differently? Being able to rattle off 67 stages in a complex surgery isn't much use if you have nothing to say about the vet-client interaction or the role of the vet nurses in the surgery and animal's recovery. Equally naming the drugs used in euthanasia is pointless if you've got nothing to say about how you felt, dealt with it, and what the situation was like for the vet and the client. Check each vet school as all have different work experience requirements - ideally get a bit more than just the minimum to show you are keen. In general, getting a wide variety is good, whilst meeting any species requirements the vet schools have (some like you to have equine, farm and small) and displaying your enthusiasm and commitment.

Most vet schools place quite a lot of emphasis on the interview day (exception is Bristol, which now doesn't interview - make of that what you will). Most will first check your predicted grades, read personal statement, then send you additional online questionnaires etc. about your work experience, or including different reasoning tests - really depends on the vet school so you must check their websites carefully for information when you come to apply. Certainly in the case of Nottingham (and probably many other vet schools, all this combined (grades, work experience, extra questionnaires) gets you to the interview day, but no further. When I applied to Notts, whether you got an offer post-interview was 100% based on how you did on the day, so it's important to work on your interview technique and prep well. Remember you are not expected to know everything (they're going to teach you!) - being enthusiastic and willing to learn is very important. Being able to work with others will also be vital.

But it sounds like interviews are a few years off for you - don't stress about this just yet; focus on getting those grades and work experience.

Sorry there's not a straight answer to this - being a vet is all about being good at a number of things rather than the best in one specific area! I hope this helps and do ask for clarification if needed I could go on for years about applications😂 so if you have any more questions just let me know!
Wow that’s great- thank you for all the information! I’m in year 11 at the moment so I’ve just starting to get my work experience together and I was supposed to have a small animal practice this summer but I’m not sure if will actually happen.
I was wondering whether you could possibly tell me what sorts of things I should be thinking about and trying to notice when doing my work experience, sorry if that doesn’t make sense 😂
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123vet
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(Original post by katiec2003)
Wow that’s great- thank you for all the information! I’m in year 11 at the moment so I’ve just starting to get my work experience together and I was supposed to have a small animal practice this summer but I’m not sure if will actually happen.
I was wondering whether you could possibly tell me what sorts of things I should be thinking about and trying to notice when doing my work experience, sorry if that doesn’t make sense 😂
There's no hard and fast rule or checklist for work experience - it all depends on what you get to see or be involved with.

If there are elements of your work experience that you find interesting or challenging (perhaps a condition you find intriguing or watching an emotional case) you should make notes on this and try to reflect on the experience. How did you feel, and why? Did you need to adjust your thinking in order to cope? What did this moment teach you? This will probably make more sense once you do more work experience

Since you're hoping to do some experience in a small animal practice, it might be good to think about the roles of the vet and vet nurses, and any other staff at the practice (receptionists, practice managers, care assistants, etc.). What sorts of tasks do vet nurses perform? How does this compare to the vet? You could even ask them both about their training - how did they get into their careers and what was their experience like?
You'll probably spend some of your time watching consults, many of which may be routine. What does the vet check when an animal comes in for a general check-up? Why? If vaccinations are being given, which ones? Are they mandatory or optional? How often do they need to be given?
If you see emergency cases come in, how does the vet handle them? If you are lucky enough to see some surgery, what are the key routine procedures that happen at a small animal vets? You can learn a lot just by asking the vets/vet nurses about these procedures; talk to them about anaesthetics, or how they keep theatre sterile - you don't need to know everything or necessarily remember all the facts they tell you, but work experience can be great for giving you some broad ideas on how general life works at a vet practice.

When you do work experience on a farm or at any other establishment, you could look out for the same sorts of things; what sorts of jobs do people have at each place? What responsibilities does each involve? What are they allowed/not allowed to do? How are the animals cared for - how are all their different needs met? What routine procedures (e.g. parasite control, foot trimming etc.) take place and why? What did you get to help out with - did you find any bits of it difficult, and if so, why? How did you overcome this?

You don't need to know the answers to all of these questions by any means, they're just interesting to think about - like I say, it's about getting a general flavour for life in different work environments rather than knowing lots. How you reflect on your experiences will be especially important.

I hope your work experience goes ahead and that you enjoy it! Don't be afraid to ask questions - staff will be pleased to see that you are interested, and you can definitely pick your moment and ask them in a quiet moment in the day Hope this helps xx
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