Narrowing down options
At the University of Illinois, students can take various courses, experience different visiting lecturers, seek out individual
mentoring experiences, and pursue externships to get a broad-brush picture of career opportunities available for those pursuing
a DVM degree.
In addition, elective courses in various specialties are available. Students are introduced to networking by opportunities
to attend local, regional and national professional meetings. Student organizations are encouraged to invite guest speakers
and outside organizations (veterinary product companies, USDA, the military) to discuss a variety of careers.
At Colorado State, Madden says many students, who may not have time to meet with career counselors, also may opt to go online
and seek out available resources through the CSU veterinary program.
Keep up communications
Just as you'll be spending plenty of time talking to clients about various conditions of their pets, students are advised,
according to Kelm, to "talk to everyone they can about the areas they are interested in," while still in school. "Students
must be proactive about their exploration and the sky is the limit in this field."
Madden says that not only is it vital to talk to everyone possible about areas of interest, but she also advises students
to begin doing this as soon as possible. She suspects many students are already aware of this, given the "personality" of
"The veterinary population is a very open and social population, given they have to work with humans as much as animals. Students
need to understand the importance of this communications connection. For employers, communication is the No. 1 skill they
are seeking. If the newly hired veterinarian can't communicate to the client, that's not going to benefit him or her, nor
Stephanie Skernivitz is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio.