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What extracurriculars should I do to get into a good vet school?

I'm a sophomore in high school. I really like biology and have always liked animals. I decided a while ago that I wanted to become a vet. I really want to get into a good university and some of my friends have started volunteering and doing other things that will look good on their college application. I want to start doing something too, but I don't know where to start.

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Mary Jane’s Answer

Hi Billy! Great job thinking about this early in your education! You should focus on activities that you like and enjoy! If that's something like sports or theater, you should definitely keep doing that! Everything you do doesn't have to be animal-focused to be successful as an aspiring vet.

On the animal side of things, you might look into something like volunteering at an animal shelter or working at a veterinarian's office or horse stables. You could also start your own pet-sitting or dog-walking business to get more experience handling animals.

You can shadow some vets in your town and ask them for suggestions for jobs or volunteer opportunities that they think would be a good opportunity to learn more about the field. You might search the internet for summer veterinary medicine programs for high school students -- your state's vet school might have a day camp type program that you can participate in to learn more about the process of becoming a vet. If you live near a zoo, they may also have some summer camps or internships for high schools students. Look around at the agencies in your town that work with animals to see what they offer and give them a call if you can't find anything on their websites. Explain who you are, that your goal is to become a vet, and that you're looking to gain more experience with animal care and behavior, then ask if they have any opportunities for high school students.

Vet schools like to see a variety of animal experience, not just small house pets. If you have the opportunity to get some exposure to large farm or zoo animals or to wildlife, that would be a bonus. Is there a wildlife rehab center near you? Can you get involved in 4H? Who in the community is doing work that excites or interests you?

Outside of animal experience, think about activities where you can gain leadership and communication skills. Vets focus on animals but all their communication is done with humans. The more practice you get talking to people in a caring, respectful, and professional manner, the better you'll do. From that standpoint, working at a restaurant or coffee shop can teach you the customer service and "people" skills you need to excel as a vet.

I hope that helps! Good luck finding something that you love!
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Jacob’s Answer

It's fantastic that you have a clear career goal and a passion for biology and animals at such a young age. To strengthen your application for vet school and pave the way for success, here's a strategic approach to choosing extracurricular activities:

1. **Animal Experience**: Start by gaining experience with animals. Volunteer at local animal shelters, rescue organizations, or even at a local zoo if possible. This hands-on experience will give you valuable insights into animal care and handling.

2. **Academic Excellence**: Maintain a strong academic record, especially in science-related courses. A solid foundation in biology and other sciences is crucial for vet school admissions.

3. **Extracurricular Balance**: While focusing on animal-related activities is important, don't neglect other extracurriculars. Join clubs or teams that align with your interests outside of animals, such as science clubs or sports teams. This showcases your well-roundedness.

4. **Leadership Roles**: Seek leadership positions within clubs or organizations. Holding leadership roles demonstrates your ability to take initiative and make a positive impact.

5. **Science Competitions**: Participate in science competitions or Olympiads to showcase your academic prowess in biology and related subjects. Winning or performing well in these competitions can enhance your application.

6. **Research Opportunities**: Explore opportunities to participate in scientific research projects, particularly those related to biology or veterinary medicine. Research experience can set you apart from other applicants.

7. **Shadowing Veterinarians**: Connect with local veterinarians and ask if you can shadow them. Shadowing experiences provide insight into the daily responsibilities of a veterinarian and show your commitment to the field.

8. **Animal-Related Clubs**: If your school has clubs related to animal care, join them. These clubs often organize events and activities that can strengthen your understanding of animal welfare.

9. **Community Service**: Engage in community service projects, especially those related to animals and environmental conservation. This demonstrates your dedication to making a positive impact on your community and the environment.

10. **Summer Programs**: Look for summer programs or camps that focus on biology, animal science, or veterinary medicine. These programs offer immersive learning experiences and networking opportunities.

11. **Letters of Recommendation**: Build strong relationships with teachers and mentors who can write compelling letters of recommendation for your college applications.

12. **Stay Informed**: Stay up to date with developments in the field of veterinary medicine and animal science. Read books, articles, and attend lectures or conferences if possible.

Remember that the key is not just the quantity of extracurricular activities but the quality and depth of your involvement. Choose activities that genuinely interest you, align with your career goals, and allow you to make a meaningful contribution. Your passion and dedication will shine through on your vet school application, increasing your chances of gaining admission to a good university.
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SAMATA’s Answer

Hello Billy,

Volunteering will look good on a High School and College Applications alike. Extracurricular activities will greatly influence in your career path. Working with Animal Advocacy Groups,Animal Shelters try interning at a Vets Office,Pet Stores.
Hope this helps. Good Luck!
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