The Purdue University North Central Pre-Vet Club members have their sights set on becoming veterinarians, or careers relating to veterinary science.
The PNC students know that getting into veterinary school is extremely competitive, but they are there to help one another and lend whatever support they can to ensure that all club members have a shot at admittance to the school of their choice.
Club president Erin Weber, of Bridgman, Mich., has already applied for admission to several schools. She admits it is not necessarily an easy process and she shares her insights with others.
“The process takes about a year, so many people apply after their third year of school to make sure they know their status by the time they graduate,” she explained. “Good grades are a necessity, but so are accomplishments, internships and volunteer work.”
“We’re all drawn to the field because we love animals and we want to help people who have those animals and educate them on their health and well being.”
Club Treasurer Jessica Snyder, of Rolling Prairie, looks forward to being a vet tending to large farm animals. “There’s a need for large-animal vets,” she explained. “I find everything about caring for large animals appealing – going out into the field, longer hours, irregular hours, it’s all interesting to me. It’s what I want to do.”
Tamara East, of Michigan City, said that her ideal job is that of a zoo veterinarian. “My backup would be to teach or to work in research and development.”
Club advisor Dr. Vanessa Quinn, assistant professor of Biology, is known for asking her students, “What can we do for you?” and then lining up the necessary university resources. When the Pre-vet students asked for some sort of club or activity her response was, “We can do that.”
She impresses on students that with the right preparation and background, they can be admitted to veterinary school and can succeed. Past PNC students have gone on to veterinary school and work in the field.
She also makes sure the students know that veterinary school can lead to careers other than as a vet directly treating animals.
“There are many opportunities in research and in labs,” she said. “Not all vets work hands on with animals.”
She noted that research has always fascinated her and that students sometimes overlook that option.
“I have always loved animals, but am interested in the science side of veterinary medicine,” agreed Megan McLothlin, of Valparaiso. “The club is a source of information and encouragement.”
Tracy Hubbard, of Porter, grew up around the field as the daughter of veterinarian Dr. Larry Reed and has always been surrounded by animals.
As a veterinarian, she intends to focus on wildlife.
Brandon Quinby, of Plymouth, already works at a vet clinic and said that his love of animals drew him to the field.
Club members hope to help in their communities by hosting fund-raising events that will allow them to donate money to animal shelters and agencies that help animals.
They are contacting area animal shelters and clinics for volunteer possibilities, they are seeking internships with clinics and zoos, they hope to line up ride-along visits with large-animal vets and they want to be able to shadow vets in their clinics.
“We’re a new club and we want to develop meaningful opportunities,” said club secretary Cassandra Galino, of LaPorte.
“Being a veterinarian is such a significant, rewarding field, we want to do something positive to help animals,” she said.