Preparing to get into veterinary school takes commitment and high grades. As a career counselor, I have met with several students who want to pursue that path. Professional schools want to know that you are focused and this is the path you want. So, you will have to ask yourself:
1: Why this field, what happened in my past that made me realize I want to do this?
2: What type of animals do I want to work with? Small or large (animals in a zoo)?
3: Do I want to go into conservation of wildlife? Or do I want to own my own practice? Or do I want to work with food safety (USDA)?
4: Have I volunteered/worked with animals? How long?
When you apply to Vet School, you will be asked to write an essay and the questions above can help you get started on developing that essay.
You will also want to start volunteering (if you are not currently doing so) at an animal shelter, at a zoo, applying for internships at amusement parks that have animals such as SeaWorld, Six Flags, or Disney. If you want to work in Food Safety then you may want to apply for internships at USDA or the meat department at your local grocery store.
This volunteer or work experience will help you answer questions 2 and 3.
Once you have figured out what you want, then you can research the veterinary schools, look at their programs, look at the faculty to see their background and what schools they attended, and most importantly, ask if the program provides internship opportunities. You also want to ask where the alumni are currently employed.
Once you graduate, you can apply for this entry level training program from the USDA: (if this is the area you want to work in)
Loan repayment information:
Cassandra recommends the following next steps:
- Research the field: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinarians.htm#tab-1
- Volunteer at an animal shelter or with a veterinarian
- Maintain high GPA in the sciences