Purdue University North Central graduate Erin Weber was the little girl who played veterinarian to her friends’ stuffed animals. She gave them imaginary vaccinations, treated their pretend wounds and cured their make-believe illnesses. And so it was logical that she grew wanting to become a veterinarian.
Weber will enter the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine to begin her studies.
In actuality, Weber has spent most of her life preparing for this moment.
“I’ve always wanted to do this,” said Weber, who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology in May. It all started when, as a little girl, she accompanied her father as he took the family dog to the vet, and the vet let her “help” give the dog a shot. She was hooked.
“That’s all I talked about,” she laughed. “Dr. Mike in Bridgeman, Mich., became my role model and inspiration.”
There are just 28 veterinary schools in the United States and Weber applied to four and was accepted by three. She chose Missouri because of its renowned large animal department. She would like to work with farm animals.
“It’s exciting working with large animals,” she said. “It can be dangerous. You can get kicked and stepped on, but I love it. I love the challenge.”
The veterinary school admissions process is extremely competitive and only the most qualified students are accepted. For example, Missouri received 806 qualified applications for fall 2010 admission. Only 119 students –14.7 percent – were admitted.
She will also work on a Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health at the same time.
Weber is confident she will succeed.
“I know I can do this,” she said. “I’ve spent my life working toward this goal.”
Indeed she has. In high school she worked on a dairy farm and for the past three years she worked at the North Central Veterinary Emergency Center. At PNC, she served as treasurer of Delta Sigma science Club; president of the Pre-Vet Club and was a teaching assistant for Chemistry 111 and the Biology lab. On campus she was a four-year member of the Dean’s Leadership Group, played on the PNC softball team as a freshman and helped out with blood drives.
“I tried to have as much experience as possible related to my field,” she explained. “I wanted to learn as much as possible.
“PNC prepared me well. Dr. Vanessa Quinn (assistant professor of Biology) was my savior.”
She admits that she did hear naysayers who told her that “No one gets into vet school,” but she refused to listen to that.
“It is possible to get in. I am living proof of that,” said Weber, noting that she knows of at least two other PNC alums who entered veterinary school.
She mentored students in the Pre-Vet Club, sharing her knowledge of the application process and helping her fellow PNC students plan their course work to ensure they were on the right path.
“I’m looking forward to the future. School is going to be a lot of work, but it’s all going to be worth it,” she said.