aliaa03
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Hello everyone! I'm currently in year 12 and only decided to apply for Veterinary Medicine in January.

(please don't come at me with the whole are you sure it's a very hard degree, i know!! it just took me a while to figure if i should go for it academically as i struggled a lot with chemistry)

I've got work experience booked for summer and by October i'll have 9 weeks. I know they only require around 4-6 weeks to get considered but i've read about loads of people applying for 2021 entry that already have 10-20 weeks work experience!!

do you think it's still worth me applying this October with 9 weeks when there's people with 10-20 weeks?

I've read some vet schools won't take reapplicants, e.g RVC.

what should i do?? Take a gap year and get more work experience or do you think i'd have a chance of getting an offer with only 9 weeks?

I've got booked :

2 weeks therapeutic community animal farm

1 week goat farm

2 weeks mixed animal clinic

1 day dog groomers

1 week livery / stables

2 weeks farm animal clinic

1 week dairy farm


i'd really appreciate some advice from current vet students / people that got in with low amounts of work experience!!

Thanks
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aliaa03
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Also are there any placements you recommend me try getting in summer that would be more valuable than the ones i currently have planned?? Thank you!
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flamingolover
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(Original post by aliaa03)
Also are there any placements you recommend me try getting in summer that would be more valuable than the ones i currently have planned?? Thank you!
So generally they want you to have cats/dogs, farm, small animal vet, large animal vet, lambing.

You have a really good range there. I’d check individually on the unis you want to apply to as it does vary. Liverpool has the highest work experience requirements so if you hit their requirements you are good for everywhere else.

I was worried about academics (chemistry) so I got a few stand out pieces: an abattoir (only the one at the university of Bristol would take me) and an animal testing lab. If you are near the coast seals are good or a week in a zoo but none of this is compulsory.

You don’t need over the requirement and the only reason it helps is that you have a better overview which could help your application on the supplementary forms and at the interview stage and with interesting anecdotes for your personal statement.

You really done need more than the minimum but do check for each uni you want to apply as it does vary.

I haven’t started studying veterinary yet as I am swatting for my grades but I got my offers from Liverpool, nottingham, Bristol and Surrey if you ever need any more help or want any advice for applying to any of those unis.

Ooh another recommendation of mine is to have a vet journal to write down things you learn at work experience with dates as it makes it easier to answer the supplementary forms and personal statements. And get references as you go along so it’s not stressful when you are asked for them.

Good luck!
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TheWannabeFarmer
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It sounds to me that you will definitely have enough work experience for this year! Check the admissions processes of the different vet degrees but almost all have reduced requirements. Liverpool for example state they don’t expect anyone to have done any work experience since March - and that if you meet the grade requirements and have over a week of animal experience you are guaranteed an interview.

The only thing I would recommend extra would be lambing but that would have to realistically have been done at Easter and given the current climate is definitely not a requirement. You have almost as much experience if not more as some applicants during normal years. So don’t worry if some gets cancelled as you will have enough.

Regarding late entry again don’t worry - I only decided I wanted to be a vet around the same time as you, and had a U in AS chemistry. Turned it around and ended up with offers and A at A2 chemistry so if you work hard enough you’ll get there.

In summary definitely apply I predict this year will actually be one of the easiest to get in as requirements will be slashed and many may be put off applying due to uncertainty of teaching in the following year.
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aliaa03
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(Original post by flamingolover)
So generally they want you to have cats/dogs, farm, small animal vet, large animal vet, lambing.

You have a really good range there. I’d check individually on the unis you want to apply to as it does vary. Liverpool has the highest work experience requirements so if you hit their requirements you are good for everywhere else.

I was worried about academics (chemistry) so I got a few stand out pieces: an abattoir (only the one at the university of Bristol would take me) and an animal testing lab. If you are near the coast seals are good or a week in a zoo but none of this is compulsory.

You don’t need over the requirement and the only reason it helps is that you have a better overview which could help your application on the supplementary forms and at the interview stage and with interesting anecdotes for your personal statement.

You really done need more than the minimum but do check for each uni you want to apply as it does vary.

I haven’t started studying veterinary yet as I am swatting for my grades but I got my offers from Liverpool, nottingham, Bristol and Surrey if you ever need any more help or want any advice for applying to any of those unis.

Ooh another recommendation of mine is to have a vet journal to write down things you learn at work experience with dates as it makes it easier to answer the supplementary forms and personal statements. And get references as you go along so it’s not stressful when you are asked for them.

Good luck!
Thank you so much for the fast reply!!

My top vet school is Surrey, so if I got the offer I would definitely firm it.

Is there anything Surrey are particularly interested in, what made them want to give you an offer in comparison to others that get rejected post interview? Thanks!
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aliaa03
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(Original post by TheWannabeFarmer)
It sounds to me that you will definitely have enough work experience for this year! Check the admissions processes of the different vet degrees but almost all have reduced requirements. Liverpool for example state they don’t expect anyone to have done any work experience since March - and that if you meet the grade requirements and have over a week of animal experience you are guaranteed an interview.

The only thing I would recommend extra would be lambing but that would have to realistically have been done at Easter and given the current climate is definitely not a requirement. You have almost as much experience if not more as some applicants during normal years. So don’t worry if some gets cancelled as you will have enough.

Regarding late entry again don’t worry - I only decided I wanted to be a vet around the same time as you, and had a U in AS chemistry. Turned it around and ended up with offers and A at A2 chemistry so if you work hard enough you’ll get there.

In summary definitely apply I predict this year will actually be one of the easiest to get in as requirements will be slashed and many may be put off applying due to uncertainty of teaching in the following year.
Thank you!! This was really helpful
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lost.not.found
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Hi OP,
First of all, it looks like you've been really organised with booking your w/exp in, and that looks like a great selection of places.

Just remember that it's not necessarily quantity, but rather quality - what I mean by that is you could have one school student spend every single day of their entire summer holidays on placements/ work experience, but it doesn't mean that they make the most of the learning experience. It's WHAT you do whilst there (ie. How you conduct yourself, conversations and interesting interactions with vets/farmers/clients if opportunity arises, constantly linking back what you're observing and learning on placement to the theory you're being taught in science lessons etc, learning to think in your head "what would I have done in that situation?"). As someone who is very susceptible to comparing myself with others, and viewing myself negatively, it is so easy to fall into the trap of becoming competitive to a self-negating degree. Don't let the whole hype on 'vet students-to-be need so so much w/exp and the more the better!' get to you. It's what you do with your w/exp that counts, not just how much you've got.

Okay... So...
I'm halfway through my vet degree, but have been off due to medical reasons for last 13 months
Anyway, I just wanted to say that the vet course is, in my opinion, not so much about "wow it's so hard" or "it's so academic", I've found that these are stereotypical/generic assumptions. Yes, agreed it is not easy - but every course is hard in its own ways- and strong science foundations and work experience prior to applying are both useful. The fact you are already aware of the negative comments people say about grades and time deadlines with the vet courses hopefully means you are also aware that a lot of the stuff being said about it is myth!!

This is just be humble opinion, and it's going to sound a bit cheesy, but I think if you have that passion and drive, genuinely in your heart that you want this vocational qualification, and you are happy to make it a way of life, then that's what the universities are looking for. I spent a lot of time listening and watching others during first year of uni - I'd gone all out with the work experience, ending up with over 30 weeks by the time September start of semester came around, and had probably burnt out, so more is not necessarily healthy for you! - and realised that every single other student in my year had come into the vet course with completely different scenerios. Some had only gained 4 or 5wks w/e, some had never been near a horse in their life, or had only been around horses and never worked on a farm before; whilst others had taken several gap years and worked at pdsa hospitals or similar. Some had received lower grades than expected, but were still there.

Therefore, after much reassessing what I'd been told for so many years (similar things as you, about "you have to start early" and "you can't have a life AND become a vet" - shocking, but true things I was told by careers advisors etc), I came to a realisation : there is obviously no magic "secret" to becoming a vet student, and then eventually a vet. It takes hard work and dedication. But I think the interviewing panels at whatever universities you put down are all going to want to see the core elements of your personality - approachability, professionalism (or as close as can get at age 18, if you apply straight from school), hard worker, proactive, independent thinker (this is a big one, they are always asking WHY and HOW because so much of becoming/being a good clinician is to be constantly analysing and questioning and considering), and able to find a balance.

So I think that, as hard as it is, only you can truly decide if you feel ready to apply this year. You are obviously aware of the demands of the application process, with the longer interview period etc. You're still only yr 12,and whilst your forward thinking is great, just remember that if you feel rushed or need a bit of a break at any point next year, don't be afraid to listen to yourself. I wish someone had told me when I was at your stage to take some time out from the "vet-applicant bubble", and also to realise that the vet schools don't want perfection. They look for people who are balanced and seem as though they are going to cope with the course - academically AND physically/mentally.

Just a last bit of advice: Whatever happens, I know it doesn't always seem this way at the moment, but if something 'doesn't go to plan' on your journey to applying to vet school, then don't panic or be hard on yourself. These things generally work out in the end, somehow.

And the vet schools do talk to eachother. If you end up being turned down by one, two or maybe even three of your four choices, but have an interview at the fourth, it's because the teaching styles vary at each university, and they think you'll be happiest and do best at a different uni. They all end up sending good vets into the world, so keep an open mind to the different universities and don't get too preoccupied/don't set your heart on just one. I got straight out rejections from two of my four choices, on the very first day after the applications went out. I thought that was it for me. Three months later, right at the end of December of yr13, I got two interview invites on the same day from my other two. Then I didn't hear back about their decision until the middle of April, and having given up hope, got both offers. Some people got four interviews and four offers, some people got one offer. That's all you need I really wish you the best of luck 🍀🙂 and have fun with placements.

EDIT : your w/exp requirements for universities are obviously going to be different for your year due to the pandemic! I imagine some guidelines have been published on the vet school websites. I know for vet students, EMS requirements and the whole RCVS course content and structure has had to be changed completely. So it's going to be worth having a check on that - I'm afraid I only know the new placement rules for students, I don't know about applicant requirements this yr.
Last edited by lost.not.found; 1 month ago
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aliaa03
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(Original post by lost.not.found)
Hi OP,
First of all, it looks like you've been really organised with booking your w/exp in, and that looks like a great selection of places.

Just remember that it's not necessarily quantity, but rather quality - what I mean by that is you could have one school student spend every single day of their entire summer holidays on placements/ work experience, but it doesn't mean that they make the most of the learning experience. It's WHAT you do whilst there (ie. How you conduct yourself, conversations and interesting interactions with vets/farmers/clients if opportunity arises, constantly linking back what you're observing and learning on placement to the theory you're being taught in science lessons etc, learning to think in your head "what would I have done in that situation?"). As someone who is very susceptible to comparing myself with others, and viewing myself negatively, it is so easy to fall into the trap of becoming competitive to a self-negating degree. Don't let the whole hype on 'vet students-to-be need so so much w/exp and the more the better!' get to you. It's what you do with your w/exp that counts, not just how much you've got.

Okay... So...
I'm halfway through my vet degree, but have been off due to medical reasons for last 13 months
Anyway, I just wanted to say that the vet course is, in my opinion, not so much about "wow it's so hard" or "it's so academic", I've found that these are stereotypical/generic assumptions. Yes, agreed it is not easy - but every course is hard in its own ways- and strong science foundations and work experience prior to applying are both useful. The fact you are already aware of the negative comments people say about grades and time deadlines with the vet courses hopefully means you are also aware that a lot of the stuff being said about it is myth!!

This is just be humble opinion, and it's going to sound a bit cheesy, but I think if you have that passion and drive, genuinely in your heart that you want this vocational qualification, and you are happy to make it a way of life, then that's what the universities are looking for. I spent a lot of time listening and watching others during first year of uni - I'd gone all out with the work experience, ending up with over 30 weeks by the time September start of semester came around - and realised that every single other student in my year had come into the vet course with completely different scenerios. Some had only gained 4 or 5wks w/e, some had never been near a horse in their life, or had only been around horses and never worked on a darn before; whilst others had taken several gap years and worked at pdsa hospitals or similar. Some had received lower grades than expected, but were still there.

Therefore, after much reassessing what I'd been told for so many years (similar things as you, about "you have to start early" and "you can't have a life AND become a vet" - shocking, but true things I was told by careers advisors etc), I came to a realisation : there is obviously no magic "secret" to becoming a vet student, and then eventually a vet. It takes hard work and dedication. But I think the interviewing panels at whatever universities you put down are all going to want to see the core elements of your personality - approachability, professionalism (or as close as can get at age 18, if you apply straight from school), hard worker, proactive, independent thinker (this is a big one, they are always asking WHY and HOW because so much of becoming/being a good clinician is to be constantly analysing and questioning and considering), and able to find a balance.

So I think that, as hard as it is, only you can truly decide if you feel ready to apply this year. You are obviously aware of the demands of the application process, with the longer interview period etc. You're still only yr 12,and whilst your forward thinking is great, just remember that if you feel rushed or need a bit of a break at any point next year, don't be afraid to listen to yourself. I wish someone had told me when I was at your stage to take some time out from the "vet-applicant bubble", and also to realise that the vet schools don't want perfection. They look for people who are balanced and seem as though they are going to cope with the course - academically AND physically/mentally.

Just a last bit of advice: Whatever happens, I know it doesn't always seem this way at the moment, but if something 'doesn't go to plan' on your journey to applying to vet school, then don't panic or be hard on yourself. These things generally work out in the end, somehow.

And the vet schools do talk to eachother. If you end up being turned down by one, two or maybe even three of your four choices, but have an interview at the fourth, it's because the teaching styles vary at each university, and they think you'll be happiest and do best at a different uni. They all end up sending good vets into the world, so keep an open mind to the different universities and don't get too preoccupied/don't set your heart on just one. I got straight out rejections from two of my four choices, on the very first day after the applications went out. I thought that was it for me. Three months later, right at the end of December of yr13, I got two interview invites on the same day from my other two. Then I didn't hear back about their decision until the middle of April, and having given up hope, got both offers. Some people got four interviews and four offers, some people got one offer. That's all you need I really wish you the best of luck 🍀🙂 and have fun with placements.

EDIT : your w/exp requirements for universities are obviously going to be different for your year due to the pandemic! I imagine some guidelines have been published on the vet school websites. I know for vet students, EMS requirements and the whole RCVS course content and structure has had to be changed completely. So it's going to be worth having a check on that - I'm afraid I only know the new placement rules for students, I don't know about applicant requirements this yr.
Wow!! That was so helpful and inspiring to read 🥺 thanks so much for the long reply I really appreciate it and that made me feel so much better!!
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lost.not.found
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(Original post by aliaa03)
Wow!! That was so helpful and inspiring to read 🥺 thanks so much for the long reply I really appreciate it and that made me feel so much better!!
I'm glad I could help, sorry it was long, there's so much to say about the whole process! 🥴

If you need any more advice or have any more questions about vet school or anything, I'll do my best to help. Everyone's different but I remember having sooo many unanswered questions when I was at your stage of applying. I'm was/am at Liverpool btw
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flamingolover
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(Original post by aliaa03)
Thank you so much for the fast reply!!

My top vet school is Surrey, so if I got the offer I would definitely firm it.

Is there anything Surrey are particularly interested in, what made them want to give you an offer in comparison to others that get rejected post interview? Thanks!
Surrey is my insurance. I found that they are very research based so try to get something in that or at least mention it in your personal statement. At open days I was chatting to one of the research vets and lecturers there and he did one of my interview stations and remembered me so it’s definetely worth talking to people and networking and just mentioning what each vet school excels at.
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aliaa03
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(Original post by flamingolover)
Surrey is my insurance. I found that they are very research based so try to get something in that or at least mention it in your personal statement. At open days I was chatting to one of the research vets and lecturers there and he did one of my interview stations and remembered me so it’s definetely worth talking to people and networking and just mentioning what each vet school excels at.
Hello!

Yeah and I’m also very interested in pathology and so the centre at Surrey is a big bonus too. Do they actually read the personal statement though? I’ve read on lots of websites vet schools don’t give weighting to personal statements??
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Vetgirl07
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Given that unis are reducing their requirements by quite a lot, nine weeks is going to be fine! I know it can look really intimidating when you see some people with 10-20+ weeks of experience, but it’s much more about quality than quantity. Ultimately, vet schools are looking for someone who can reflect on what they learned from their placements about animal health, husbandry and the veterinary profession as a whole, not someone who had 20 weeks and shrugs about it.

I’m a 2020 applicant and I applied to Bristol, Cambridge, Liverpool and Nottingham, got interviewed by all three that did interviews, and got offers from Cambridge and Liverpool. The work experience I had included 2 days with a heart specialist, 14 days across 3 SA practices, 3 days equine hospital, 6 months DofE volunteering at stables, a week at an alpaca farm, a week at a dairy farm, a week of mornings at a cattery, a day at an exotics pet shop and a day at a pathology lab. This totalled to 7 weeks experience (~4 weeks clinical, ~3 weeks husbandry) so I did have the “I’ve not got enough” vibe about it, but I’d say it didn’t overly disadvantage me as I fulfilled the requirements and made a lot of notes about what I saw. My Nottingham rejection was mainly due to my interview that didn’t go too well and because of how I struggled with the group activity. A bit more experience might have boosted my bristol application, but I think my rejection was mainly due to my answers to the questions on the form. Overall, my work experience wasn’t the ultimate deciding factor towards both rejections.

In short, go for it! If I could get in with seven weeks then you must have a chance with nine. Best of luck with your application, I hope it all goes well!
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giella
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Speaking to a senior veterinary figure in government last year and also to an admissions officer, I’ve gathered that abattoir experience is extremely valuable and one that not many people offer. It is looked upon very favourably and will give you a lot more to reflect on than a day at the dog groomer’s will.
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aliaa03
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Speaking to a senior veterinary figure in government last year and also to an admissions officer, I’ve gathered that abattoir experience is extremely valuable and one that not many people offer. It is looked upon very favourably and will give you a lot more to reflect on than a day at the dog groomer’s will.
Ohhh okay, thanks!! I’ll try see if I can find one around
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flamingolover
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(Original post by aliaa03)
Hello!

Yeah and I’m also very interested in pathology and so the centre at Surrey is a big bonus too. Do they actually read the personal statement though? I’ve read on lots of websites vet schools don’t give weighting to personal statements??
It depends on the uni. I think they do read them generally even if they don’t have a major weighting on them. At my nottingham interview they had my personal statement on the desk for one of the parts so it’s definitely worth trying to appeal to all the unis you apply to.
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aliaa03
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It depends on the uni. I think they do read them generally even if they don’t have a major weighting on them. At my nottingham interview they had my personal statement on the desk for one of the parts so it’s definitely worth trying to appeal to all the unis you apply to.
ohh okay, thank you!
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ReadingMum
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Liverpool is one that does not read use the personal statement
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It sounds great. That’s way more than anyone I know applying for medicine. Best of luck to you x
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write down everything from your work experience! even the mundane, you may think you remember a lot but trust me you won't XD that sounds like more than enough work experience, as it will all be recent. trying to get into an abattoir or maybe a hunt kennels if you are in the country is good. my experience with that side of things was through a safari park! anything interesting that you really want to see is good! if you can talk and write enthusiastically about everything that's good!
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aliaa03
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(Original post by kate.louise)
write down everything from your work experience! even the mundane, you may think you remember a lot but trust me you won't XD that sounds like more than enough work experience, as it will all be recent. trying to get into an abattoir or maybe a hunt kennels if you are in the country is good. my experience with that side of things was through a safari park! anything interesting that you really want to see is good! if you can talk and write enthusiastically about everything that's good!
thank you!!
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