Veterinary/Zoology based work-experience

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fryjer
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Hi, I am currently trying to find placements for Summer of 2022 & am struggling to find any for my age [16 soon to be 17] or location.

I wanted to be apart of the ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Academy, but again couldn't get a place. I live in the East Midlands, so most zoo-based volunteering is over an hour away - which is obviously highly inconvenient.

For University, I am looking to study either Zoology or Veterinary Medicine. However, I am unsure as to what I should be searching for in placements/what will look good on my UCAS profile. Due to COVID, I lack any volunteering or other extra-curricular experience so am hoping for a reputable spot & something I will gain from.

My Uncle has connections with the Chester Zoo society, but I am unsure as to whether I can approach him asking for guidance in this area, as I see it as cheating a bit. I understand this is mainly Zoology based, but if anyone has information regarding Vet experience, that would be really helpful. Thanks!
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Wannabevetnurse
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Use your contacts, you need it in the vet med world as well. Try farms, stables and any surgery’s near you.
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fryjer
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(Original post by Wannabevetnurse)
Use your contacts, you need it in the vet med world as well. Try farms, stables and any surgery’s near you.
Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it! Regarding contacting local stables/surgeries, do you have any direction as to how I should contact them?

I found with the Zoological placements, that they either want application forms or just to be approached with no guidance as to what needed to be included [age, qualifications, etc.] I'm not sure how to stand out against other potential candidates.
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Wannabevetnurse
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(Original post by fryjer)
Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it! Regarding contacting local stables/surgeries, do you have any direction as to how I should contact them?

I found with the Zoological placements, that they either want application forms or just to be approached with no guidance as to what needed to be included [age, qualifications, etc.] I'm not sure how to stand out against other potential candidates.
Walk into stables and surgeries. Or email them your CV and why you want experience, how long you want it for. Give them emergency contacts for insurance purposes.

Then use the ones that give you an application form to give you a rough guideline for the ones with 0 guidance.
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McGinger
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Useful online short course on Veterinary from Uni of Nottingham - https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/...cation-support
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RambleAmple
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For veterinary each uni has a specified amount of time you must do by the time you apply - it is a requirement the exact same as grades and without it you'll be rejected early on, and work experience does form a lot of the application process in your personal statement, extra forms you do after you apply and in interviews, so it is really important and not really a thing to do just to stand out as every applicant must do it. Pre-covid times these used to be at least 2 weeks in a vet clinic (some ask for at least 2 separate vet clinics to be used, and it can be smalls/equine/farm/mixed/exotic etc) and 2-4 weeks of non-clinical husbandry, which can include equine so stables they always love extra hands, for farm lambing is great to do obviously more in Spring and finding placements is usually easy through the National Sheep Association website which comes live in about November (a lot of farms offer accommodation too) or if you can find dairy/calving/beef, or maybe pigs (I just done a placement at a pig sanctuary) or poultry that would be good too, and for smallies I spent time at a dog groomer pre covid but you can also look at shelters or kennels/catteries etc. You can also do something more niche, before covid messed it up I was going to do a week at a bird of prey centre, and I also did a bit of time at an alpaca farm for example. With zoos it is rather competitive, seeing as you were looking at Whipsnade have you looked at Woburn Safari Park which is very close? They offer work experience in rather large blocks (think minimum 4 weeks commitment at a time) however they used to ask that you are already on an animal-related course.

I would suggest that doing all this work experience would be beneficial not just if you do end up applying to veterinary, however it'll be good to figure out if you actually want to do zoology or vet med - they are highly different and vet med is incredibly competitive with like 10 applicants per spot and a demanding 5 year course, so not really a decision to take lightly, but there's nothing wrong with figuring it out! With vet med while there is some work on exotics it is also highly focused on the domesticated species (at Liverpool we do focus on the dog mostly, but also other smallies and cows, sheep, pigs and poultry are our core species we learn mostly about) so you can also see if you would even be interested to learn about the domestics for 5 years. You also need to make sure you have the right subjects and grades - most unis ask for biology and chemistry at an A plus your third subject at an A or a B, plus GCSEs are fairly important too. This guide makes a good starting point for research on vet med, and there isn't too many universities which offer it so it wouldn't take you too long to look at their individual websites (Liverpool, Nottingham, Bristol, RVC, Surrey, Harper Keele, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Aberystwyth, UClan, SRUC with the last 2 being very new ones).
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