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What can I do to pursue a career as both a journalist and veterinarian?

I love animals and have always been interested in pursuing a career that involved caring for them since I was young, but as I began getting older I found interest in writing which made me want to be come a journalist. Now I'm stuck in trying to pursue both careers as I am currently going to college as a journalist major. veterinary-medicine writing journalism veterinary-medicine

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Nathaniel’s Answer

I believe you can do both, but maybe not both at the same time and, as a journalist's skills include mastery of one or more subject areas, it might be most straightforward to become a veterinarian first.

Veterinarians definitely need to go to graduate school and journalists benefit from graduate training even if they don't have a licensing requirement that demands it. You could pursue an undergraduate course that would qualify you for veterinary school--apparently different schools, probably different states have varying requirements; you'll have to research this for yourself. If you take the basic science courses required for veterinary school admission, you'll begin to develop specialized knowledge/topics you can write about as a journalist. If you dedicate as much of the your remaining classes to writing courses, you'll begin to prepare yourself for writing for a living as well.

I understand that veterinary schools like their candidates to have as much volunteer animal experience and internships as possible. You can use this experience to develop special subject knowledge and journalistic skills as well. For example, volunteer at a community animal center and focus not so much on animal handling as on the shelter's organization, how it fits into the community, how it raises funds. You could probably get something published about the shelter in your local newspaper, though you might not get paid for it. You could write the article as an assignment in a writing course, a business organization course, a community organizing course and get feedback and suggestions for your writing, You would be performing a useful service for the animal center, informing your community, providing content for your newspaper. Grad schools love this kind of stuff.

That' really a trick that most people never learn at all or, at least not before grad school: never do a task for a single purpose. Parlay your work into as many outcomes as possible. Do one thing at a time, but use that thing as many times as possible, always altering it to fit its current purpose.
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Chantel’s Answer

Hi Denishia,
I can very much understand having many interests and wanting to pursue different majors and careers.
Although this might be hard to hear, I very much recommend choosing one or the other.
You can't be a great vet for all of those animals in need if you're splitting your time and energy with journalism, and vice versa.
You'll be an excellent vet or an excellent journalist if you focus on one and perfecting your craft, as there will always be need for improvement.
I hope this helps!
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Tom’s Answer

Sure you can.

You'll need a vet degree, so find a school that offers that and some semblance of a journalism program, for a 'minor' if you will. You will be pretty busy in school, and after graduating, but this is a means to do what you are asking.

Ok, you are graduated with a degree in veterinary science and a minor in journalism. You begin by securing a job someplace with your vet degree, but you stipulate you will work only 4 days a week; the remaining days you devote to pursuing something journalistic in nature. There are all kinds of magazines that want first person stories from veterinarians, so that could be your first outreach. Most magazines pay little or nothing, but as you gain more experience you can command something more. Keep testing the journalistic waters part time until you find the perfect opportunity to commit to a full time job in that field, if you wished.

Dream Big!! (You are doing that already!, so keep it up!!!)

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