The Student Room Group

Work experience to support Veterinary Medicine Application

Hi
My daughter is hoping to study Veterinary medicine starting September 2025. She is really struggling to find a placement within a practice. Does anyone have any advice on where we my be going wrong to secure this. Many thanks
How is she going about this? It is 100% better to call up the practice or even go in person with a little CV as emails are very easily missed or ignored unfortunately, and this way shows some initiative and confidence as anyone can type up an email. You may have to be prepared to book them quite far in advance. Contact as many vets as you can, and consider expanding your radius if all draw blanks - is there any friends or family she could perhaps stay the week or 2 with so she has more areas she can contact practices in? I'm not sure if you can join VetWings on fb that has adverts for placements aimed at vet students but if you are able to join asking on there may yield better results. Some practices unfortunately may not take any students or pre-vet students and may have rules on age etc. But obviously it is a very competitive course, a lot of unis require this experience and it will be an instant rejection if the hours aren't reached, and it is a very tough course and career to experience is key to ensuring your daughter is prepared. Has she done any non-vet work experience yet? That is just as important.
Reply 2
Thank you for the reply. Lots of good advice. She has worked since she was 15 so has customer service experience. Her grandfather and uncle have farms so she has spent time on them obviously. We are looking at her volunteering with a local animal rescue and she also volunteers with youngsters at Beavers. I will look at the Vetwings. Thank you for your help.
Unfortunately when I say non-vet I still mean animal-related just not at a vet clinic for it to count towards most unis - although I think Nottingham now allows for non-animal experience to count for some number of weeks. It is good she has farm experience and the animal rescue will be good! Perhaps look into stables too, riding schools generally love an extra pair of hands and it's good to have all the main disciplines in for smallies, farm and equine. I'd tell her to keep a work experience diary with the contact details, hours she's done and basic tasks/things she's seen as that will make it easier to fill out forms for unis and come up with things to discuss in interviews etc. Also make sure she gets references at the end of any placement as some unis ask for this - Surrey have a good guide for this although I think they've stopped requiring references themselves now ahah. It's good to hear she is actively thinking about vet school early though!
Reply 4
Original post by RambleAmple
Unfortunately when I say non-vet I still mean animal-related just not at a vet clinic for it to count towards most unis - although I think Nottingham now allows for non-animal experience to count for some number of weeks. It is good she has farm experience and the animal rescue will be good! Perhaps look into stables too, riding schools generally love an extra pair of hands and it's good to have all the main disciplines in for smallies, farm and equine. I'd tell her to keep a work experience diary with the contact details, hours she's done and basic tasks/things she's seen as that will make it easier to fill out forms for unis and come up with things to discuss in interviews etc. Also make sure she gets references at the end of any placement as some unis ask for this - Surrey have a good guide for this although I think they've stopped requiring references themselves now ahah. It's good to hear she is actively thinking about vet school early though!

Thank you so much for your help.
Hi! Not sure if your daughter is still looking for work experience, but here is my experience of this and some advice that I hope will be helpful in some way.

I was also looking for veterinary work experience in the summer last year (2023), and I still am, and it took me months to find any. I kept a list of all the practices I'd contacted, so as not to call or email twice, and it didn't fit on a single piece of paper, that's how many I contacted. I started with emailing them, I waited 5 days and then phoned them if I didn't hear anything. I'm not great using the phone so I wrote out what to say, eg. "my name is xxx and I emailed you a few days ago asking about work experience, and I was just wondering if there is someone I could speak to about that?" When I phoned them, they usually had a good reason for not responding, eg. short staffed etc. But they didn't all get back in touch or answer the phone, and one of the clinics took 5 months to respond to my email.

So if you don't hear from anyone straight away, just phone after a few days and see what they say. It sometimes helps if you say how long you've been searching for a placement and how many 'nos' you've gotten as they might feel a bit sorry for you. If you have any reference letters from previous placements, it's a good idea to attach those in the email.

However after contacting at least 20 clinics, I finally found one that would take me. I was lucky that they took under 16s for work experience, as none of the other clinics did (in fact some were 18+). There was a limit to what I could do, I wasn't able to be in the same room as any anaesthetics (after I turn 16 I can be though), and obviously no x rays. But I loved it and it made all the searching worthwhile.

And if you find one clinic that will take you, they often say you can come back any time. I did a few weeks at the one I found and now they've booked me in again for a couple months (just 2 days a week though).

Hope that helps, you just have to keep trying and don't lose hope, there will be one out there that accepts people! It's often the last one on your list that's the one 😃
(edited 5 months ago)
Reply 6
Hello Thank you for your help. We have managed to be get her some placements in 2 vets initially. Hopefully be able to get more time there. Good luck with your placements and applications x

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