It happened at the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association's annual meeting earlier this year (see related story, "Mini-interviews
boost exposure to jobs, externships"). Fifty tables were set up, at which students were given five minutes to visit with professionals
before a whistle sounded, signaling participants to rotate. Afterward, students and prospective employers met during a social
hour to continue conversations.
"It was a great communication tool, giving students some interviewing practice with veterinarians and hospital administrators
who might want to hire them in a year or two. It's expected to become an annual event, and I've heard that other chapters
now want to try it, too," Sparks says.
Another energetic VBMA chapter is at Kansas State University, Sparks says. The group arranged a Progressive Practice Management
conference last fall titled "Improving Animal Care." The conference featured nationally known consultants and lecturers on
marketing, fostering client compliance, patient care, the latest veterinary software programs and effective use of the Internet
"Each chapter sets its own agenda and programs," Sparks explains. "Because communication skills are so important in dealing
with staff and clients, a lot of them (chapter activities) focus on that."
Other popular subject areas for VBMA chapters include customer service, negotiation, leadership and management skills.
VBMA sponsors include Hill's Pet Nutrition and Novartis Animal Health. To get involved, visit www.vbma.biz.