You might remember Missy, a former vet tech at Falmouth Animal Hospital who embarked on a journey to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinarian at Ross University.
Well, time is flying and she's now our student representative at Ross and she's almost halfway finished vet school, so we decided to get in touch with her to check in and see what things have been like since she traded Cape Cod for island life.
Q: What inspired you to become a veterinarian?
A: I've had a profound fascination with animals from a very young age that has only grown stronger over the years. My obsession began with my first pony ride on my grandmother's horse when I was four, and I've been enchanted ever since. From family pets to being a competitive equestrian and caring for dairy cows and livestock, I've enjoyed it all. I can easily say I have a love for animals, but after working in clinical settings, my love for medicine also fascinates me. I'm intrigued by the challenge that is veterinary medicine and I'm eager to understand its concepts myself.
Q: What made you choose Ross University? And do you love it?
A: I picked Ross for two reasons. The first is that I heard nothing but good things and glowing reviews. I knew alumni who referred to their schooling and experience as the “best time of their life.” Secondly, my undergraduate university has an affiliation with Ross. The affiliation was beneficial to me in the application process and by that time, I knew the most about Ross compared to other schools I was considering. Ross offers an adventure in addition to vet school, and I feel so blessed to have been able to start this journey. In addition to a fantastic program and curriculum, I also love the sense of camaraderie that is universal among students and faculty.
Q: Is vet school as difficult as you thought it'd be? Did being a vet tech help prepare you at all?
A: Truthfully, vet school is harder than I could have ever imagined. It is relentless and draining both mentally and physically. It's full of highs and lows. There are days where everything clicks and you feel on top of the world and others where you question if you're cut out to make it. Despite the difficulty and challenges, I do feel that being a technician has helped me tremendously. My previous experience has given me the advantage of having a solid foundation of knowledge to which I’m just building upon. It is extremely useful to have familiarity with concepts and the practice of medicine, especially on tests to help you narrow it down to the correct answer. I am not only more comfortable but also more confident thanks to my time as a technician.
Q: We have to know. What's island life like?
A: Island life is truly like living in paradise, but it has its quirks. Unreliable and spotty Wi-Fi, island-wide power outages, hurricane warnings, roadblocks thanks to monkeys and goats, never being able to find all your groceries in one store, and the feeling of isolation are a few. One thing is for sure when it comes to living on an island and having to deal with these frequent mishaps - it will make you resilient. Here at Ross, we lovingly call it “Rossie Resilience.”
Q: Is it hard getting your work done in such a gorgeous place?
A: I think the hectic schedule and stress keep me on track. It’s almost like you’re too afraid of falling behind to be distracted, but it does make study breaks that much more enjoyable.
Q: This is unrelated, but do you have any amazing food or drink recommendations? We need tips for when travel restrictions are lifted.
A: If you ever come to St. Kitts and Nevis, you can’t leave without first trying a Johnny Cake! It's a sandwich that tastes like fried dough stuffed with veggies and your choice of chicken or salt fish.
Q: Love it. What are your plans after Ross? Do you think you'll come home?
A: As much as I love the island and I'm grateful for this adventure, I can’t see myself staying here long term. My heart belongs to Cape Cod, Massachusetts which is where I see myself settling down.
Q: Happy to hear it! Do you think you'll do your externship at one of our hospitals?
A: Yes, I plan on doing an externship with a VetCor hospital. I love everything that VetCor has to offer and would love to take advantage of this during my clinical year.
Q: Fantastic. How do you think being part of the VetCor family has helped you so far?
A: Being a part of VetCor has helped me solidify my career path in so many ways. I started out with VetCor as an intern in 2015 at Falmouth Animal Hospital in Massachusetts where I later became a technician. At this clinic, I fell in love with small animal medicine and was inspired by the talented doctors and staff. I owe so much to my mentors for their guidance, support, and all that they’ve taught me. I am so fortunate the doctors and staff there became more like friends and family who have always believed in me. The same holds true for the company as a whole. I have met and worked with people on all company levels ranging from recruitment and marketing all the way to Chief Advisers and the CEO. No matter who it is or what their position may be, it's abundantly clear that they support and believe in you. I'm so happy and grateful to have gotten my start here, and I'm very proud to be a part of the VetCor team.
Q: What benefits and/or programs do you think our company offers that might be of particular interest to students?
A: I think one of the best things about VetCor that also makes us very unique is the company’s dedication to mental health. VetCor has numerous mental health resources, as well as an overall wellbeing initiative. It feels great to know the company is committed to support and helping overcome such a huge issue in the field.
Q: Great answer. What advice do you have for techs or recent grads considering applying to vet school?
A: My advice for anyone currently contemplating vet school is to just go for it. Even if you're doubtful, there's always more regret in not trying at all. Additionally, everyone has their own path with vet school and it's okay if it’s not traditional. I personally took three gap years between undergad and vet school to gain more experience in the field. I have classmates who went straight from undergrad and others who are on their second career path. Everyone’s journey is different, so don’t stress if yours is taking longer than others.
Q: Do you have any important advice for someone who's just starting vet school?
A: One helpful tip for someone just starting vet school is to try to do your best and not be so critical if you fall short. I am very much a perfectionist and my own biggest critic, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s important to be easier on yourself when you miss a question or don’t get the grade you were hoping for. I wish I had realized sooner the point of vet school isn’t to get perfect grades but to learn.
Q: Alright - last one. What kind of vet do you want to be once you graduate?
A: After graduation, my plan is to be a small animal general practitioner. However, I plan to continue to ride and own horses for the rest of my life, so I'd like to be able to treat my own horses as well. I hope to rejoin VetCor as a doctor. I can’t imagine working for any other company.