The Student Room Group

Work Experience for Vet Med - lots of large animal

Hey, I am a mature student (21) self teaching A levels with the hope of applying for Vet Med this October. I am wondering how much more work experience with small animals/exotics I should aim to get this summer holiday and if I need more clinical experience? Also is there anything I definitely NEED on my application which I am missing? I am worried having a lots of large animal wex will disadvantage me if I don't have enough small animal to go with it, its just hard to find placements near me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

So far I have:
1 week small animal vets
2 weeks lambing
2 weeks dairy farm
3 weeks horse sanctuary (abroad - will this be accepted?)
1 week mixed beef, pigs and sheep farm (did not learn much on this placement)
I also have some lambing and calving jobs coming up in the next few months which should equate to 5/6 more weeks with large animals.

For summer I have booked:
2 weeks kennels and cattery
1 week small animal vets
1 week large animal vets.
Don't worry, you are doing great! That is more than enough. I always advise to try to get each of smallies, equine and farm in some way (either clinical or not) and you have more than enough of all! Make sure to keep a diary of things you saw and learned + all their contact details etc as that will make it easier when you come to fill out the work experience forms. Also make sure you have references from all as some unis ask for these - Surrey has a good guide for references although I don't think they ask for them anymore themselves. If anything large animal experience is probably preferred as you get to be a lot more hands on with things like lambing and dairy which properly prepares you for the 'ickiness' and long hours in all weather conditions etc of vet med, whereas a lot of non-clinical smallies placements aren't as intense. You have more experience than I've seen from an applicant in a long while lol so really don't worry. I have a few general applicant tips in my GYG blog if you fancy a read but I think you're doing great.
Original post by lilydarrell15
Hey, I am a mature student (21) self teaching A levels with the hope of applying for Vet Med this October. I am wondering how much more work experience with small animals/exotics I should aim to get this summer holiday and if I need more clinical experience? Also is there anything I definitely NEED on my application which I am missing? I am worried having a lots of large animal wex will disadvantage me if I don't have enough small animal to go with it, its just hard to find placements near me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

So far I have:
1 week small animal vets
2 weeks lambing
2 weeks dairy farm
3 weeks horse sanctuary (abroad - will this be accepted?)
1 week mixed beef, pigs and sheep farm (did not learn much on this placement)
I also have some lambing and calving jobs coming up in the next few months which should equate to 5/6 more weeks with large animals.

For summer I have booked:
2 weeks kennels and cattery
1 week small animal vets
1 week large animal vets.

You're doing perfectly fine, do keep it up and once you have done your summer placements you'll have a perfect variety. I wouldn't worry about being disadvantaged, I only had 3 weeks farm, 2 weeks SA vet and 1 week equine yet still got my interviews and one offer so far (although that may be due to my location as I live in London and its quite hard to find large animal placements)
(edited 1 week ago)
Original post by biologylover5
You're doing perfectly fine, do keep it up and once you have done your summer placements you'll have a perfect variety. I wouldn't worry about being disadvantaged, I only had 3 weeks farm, 2 weeks SA vet and 1 week equine yet still got my interviews and one offer so far (although that may be due to my location as I live in London and its quite hard to find large animal placements)

hey I volunteer at a riding centre, does this count as work experience and should I or should I not include it in my application when it mentions work experience
Original post by icebear05
hey I volunteer at a riding centre, does this count as work experience and should I or should I not include it in my application when it mentions work experience

Hey there, yes a riding center definitely counts. I actually volunteered at a riding center too and included it. Best of luck with your application!
Original post by icebear05
hey I volunteer at a riding centre, does this count as work experience and should I or should I not include it in my application when it mentions work experience

I volunteer at a riding center too and it does count, although you might want to check you've got a appropriate reference letter for the total time you did or are doing (if its a few hours every week for example). Good luck!
Original post by futures_vet

I volunteer at a riding center too and it does count, although you might want to check you've got a appropriate reference letter for the total time you did or are doing (if its a few hours every week for example). Good luck!


thank you! Around what time should i ask for a reference letter, do i ask for it around y13 when I submit my application to ucas
Original post by icebear05
Original post by futures_vet

I volunteer at a riding center too and it does count, although you might want to check you've got a appropriate reference letter for the total time you did or are doing (if its a few hours every week for example). Good luck!


thank you! Around what time should i ask for a reference letter, do i ask for it around y13 when I submit my application to ucas


If you're going to be volunteering often and consistently, then there is no problem in waiting until right before your application to ask for a reference. If not, then whenever you stop going, you should let them know you need one.
It's also helpful for them and saves time if you prepare a reference format in advance with all the info you would need to include and the total time you spent there (they might not remember).
In the end, as long as you get the reference before the ucas deadline, there should be no problem. In general, the more time you've got, the better, since it shows good dedication and consistency.

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