MSc Veterinary Medicine, Marine, Zoology

I have always wanted a career in veterinary medicine, combining my compassion for animals with my analytical skills and scientific interests. As a child I was responsible for the welfare of household pets and was intrigued by their husbandry and care; delivered at home or at the vets. I maintain an interest in current affairs in animal welfare, such as the outbreak of foot and mouth and more recently, Blue Tongue. As a result I found Biology fascinating at A-level, understanding the immune response in animals and especially enjoyed exploring animal physiology. Mathematics has strengthened my ability to think in a logical sequence; an essential quality in approaching a problem orientated course. A level English Language has enabled me to explore the art of persuasive writing and construct powerful arguments in the support of ethical animal research. I believe being a Veterinary surgeon would provide a career that is both challenging and rewarding in a changing society.

During 9 weeks work experience I was able to see how Biology linked with the care and welfare of animals. When spending time in an Australian zoo, shadowing a keeper, animals were fed Lucerne; I was able to understand why this plant was of more nutritional value as it contains nitrogen fixing bacteria in its root nodules. This placement enabled me to improve my organizational skills. Being responsible for sorting feeds, I managed my time ensuring all animals were cared for appropriately. Experience with primates and marsupials led me to develop an interest in exotic animals.

I developed animal handling skills at a city farm, with a diverse range of animals. Time spent on a working farm demonstrated the interdependence between humans and animals. I saw the difference between the commercial and economic state of trade as well as animal environment interaction. I demonstrated my capability to work on my own initiative, and cope under pressure when complications emerged. I supported the farmer during a lambing period as he checked for problems during births. My ability to cope in intense situations was augmented through a Marine Mammal Medic qualification at a VetSim conference. The ability to work under pressure is an invaluable skill for Veterinary surgeons undertaking complex and timed operations.

These placements showed me the importance of correct care and husbandry of animals and experience at the RSPCA provided an insight into the repercussions of incorrect care. During time at a stables, I gained important knowledge on common health issues affecting horses. For example, reducing time spent in fields and on hard ground prevents Laminitis. Two weeks spent at a small animal Veterinary Practice, reinforced the professional role of the veterinary surgeon in the administration of care. I was able to observe the animals from initial diagnoses through surgical procedures and recovery. I viewed routine operations such as spaying and neutering as well as complex operations including lumpectomies. While employed at a Pet Food Superstore, I saw the need for good communication skills with pet owners, enabling them to choose the best diet for their animals.

My interest in organisms and their environments led me to become a member in my school's Eco-team. I am responsible for aiding the organization of a conference, while raising awareness on issues such as conservation of energy and recycling. I have achieved my Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award with Explorer Scouts, and am continuing towards Gold; showing that when I set myself a goal, I am determined to achieve it. I am a keen martial artist, currently Brown belt in Tae Kwon Do. I play the flute at Grade 7 Distinction standard, and am aiming to take grade 8. These activities demonstrate my perseverance and determination, attributes I feel are imperative to becoming a veterinary surgeon. I have the drive, skill and genuine interest to enjoy and succeed in this course and I look forward to it with motivation and enthusiasm.

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