Career Tips

A majority of Americans struggle with student loan debt. In fact, according to Student Loan Hero, the average college student graduates with almost $30,000 in student loan debt.

Unfortunately, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that that number is typically much higher for veterinary students, who graduate with an average of almost $167,000 in student loan debt.

Veterinary students are the future of veterinary medicine and we want to make sure they’re able to thrive while simultaneously managing their loan debt.

If you’re a recent veterinary school graduate, consider these three tips for managing your student loan debt:

Piggy bankRefinance your loans

Refinancing involves getting your original loan paid off and taking out a new one (for the same amount) but with a better interest rate. Because student loans provided by private student loan servicers, such as Sallie Mae, often come with higher interest rates than federal loans or bank loans, it’s helpful to refinance them to save money on interest.

However, you should consider your situation carefully since refinancing your loans can remove some protections afforded to you by utilizing federal loans.


Getting your first job can be a nerve-wracking experience. You might wonder how you’ll be able to get your foot in the door without prior experience or worry about how your first job interview may go. Luckily, we know a thing or two about how to find work in the veterinary field.

Resume GraphicUse these tips to successfully land your first job:

1. Create a resume

Having a resume is important when applying to any job. Find a template that’s both professional and relevant and fill it out in full. List any academic honors you’ve received, sports you’ve played, clubs you’ve participated in, and volunteer work you’ve done. Discuss any long term commitments you’ve made - it will prove that you’re reliable.

2. Identify your skills - and emphasize them

You don’t necessarily need to have had a prior job to showcase your skill set. Even without professional experience, you can bring a lot to the table. Think about your skills - communication, computer skills, self-management, the ability to collaborate, etc. - and how you’ve used them to your advantage in the past. Be prepared to talk about them.

3. Get comfortable pitching yourself

Interviewing can be stressful, especially for the first time. That’s why it’s a good idea to get comfortable pitching yourself to others. Practice talking about yourself, how your skills are relevant to the job you want, and why you want the job you’re applying to. Try enlisting a friend or parent to conduct a mock interview.


Practicing gratitude is a great way to improve your emotional wellbeing which, in turn, positively affects your overall health. It motivates employees to do their best, leads to higher levels of empathy for others, and increases overall happiness. It’s easy to practice and the benefits are endless which is why you should actively try to foster emotional wellbeing in the workplace.

Thank you cardWe recently asked our doctors and hospital managers how they express their gratitude.

Their responses included:

1. Celebrating special occasions

For Christmas, the hospital manager at We Care Animal Hospital bought personalized ornaments for every staff member. At one year of service, team members at Brackett Street Veterinary Clinic receive a card and flowers. Every Easter, Columbus Central Veterinary Hospital hosts a team Easter egg hunt featuring candy-filled eggs and gift certificates.

2. Emphasizing specific individuals

At every team meeting, the hospital manager at Bay View Veterinary Clinic picks a team member that everyone will express their gratitude for. The hospital manager at West Allis Animal Hospital writes thank you cards to recognize individual team members for their hard work or for going above and beyond.

3. Giving out rewards for good work

South Mill Veterinary Clinic gives free ice cream tokens to employees who successfully handle difficult customer interactions. They also have a Catch Me at My Best box that team members can enter one another into when they’re caught doing good deeds. Those nominated are entered into a monthly drawing to receive a credit to their account.


Externing is an exciting way to experience the ins and outs of veterinary medicine firsthand and gives you endless amounts of insight into the veterinary field as a whole. However, time flies by when you’re having fun (and learning!) which is why it’s important to make sure you’re getting the most out of your externship while you’re there.

QuestionsUse these tips to do just that:

1. Make a good first impression

Be sure you’re off to a good start by showing up early, introducing yourself to the team, and inquiring about what you’ll need to wear prior to your first day. It’s better to be overprepared than underprepared, so do your due diligence.

2. Get to know the practice beforehand

Checking out the practice’s website and social media pages will help give you a sense of their culture, their clients, and the types of services they offer. Do a little bit of research prior to beginning your externship to learn about their history and feel out their personality.

3. Establish ground rules

Ground rules will assist you in transitioning into your new role. Before you get started, email your supervisor to ask pertinent questions such as where you can park, when you should ask questions during your shift (asking in front of clients may not be acceptable), and where you should stand in the event a patient has an emergency. Having answers to those questions early on will make for smooth sailing.


Career Fair CandidatesIt’s that time of year again and class is back in session! Veterinary students have headed back to school where they’re likely to attend a career fair or two. These fairs serve as one-stop shops for them to hand out their resumes, network with experienced professionals, and, with any luck, land a job or externship.

If you’re a veterinary student looking for a job in your field, follow these helpful tips to allow yourself to stand out at the next career fair you attend:

1. Bring copies of your resume

Recruiters at career fairs meet a lot of people over the course of the day and it’s unlikely that they’ll remember you based on your face and name alone. That’s why it’s important to bring 10 – 20 copies of your resume (as well as business cards, if you have them) with you when you go.

Just remember to proofread your resume before printing it off. If necessary, have a friend or family member act as a second pair of eyes to check for any spelling errors or consistency issues.

2. Make a positive first impression

Dressing appropriately is vital to ensuring you make a good first impression to any career fair recruiters. Though appearance doesn’t actually have anything to do with your abilities or skills, we’ve been conditioned to make quick judgments about others based on superficial traits, such as wardrobe or how a person carries themselves.

If you’re unsure about what to wear, opt for comfortable business casual attire. Looking neat and credible will draw positive attention from recruiters and it can also boost your self-confidence.


Woman SleepingYour sleeping habits affect you in more ways than you may know. Getting adequate sleep plays a critical role in a person’s health, happiness, and overall functioning. It enhances athletic performance, strengthens the immune system, and improves cognition, concentration, and productivity. However, not getting enough sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, can be significantly detrimental to both physical and mental health.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reports that sleep deprivation is associated with multiple physical health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. It negatively impacts mood and mental health which can lead to irritability, depression, and anxiety. Inadequate sleep also poses risks of serious harm since drowsiness can lead to car accidents, impaired hand-eye coordination, and ‘microsleeps’ which are ‘very brief episodes of sleep while being awake.’

Unfortunately, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three American adults (108 million people) are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. In addition to that, a 2018 poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that only 10% of people prioritize sleep over other aspects of daily life, such as work, fitness, and hobbies. Interestingly enough, 65% of them said they believe sleep contributes to next day effectiveness, so it’s likely they understand the relationship between the two but have trouble implementing actual change.


At VetCor, we are committed to the growth and success of all our employees. Our Recruiting team can help provide guidance and support, in more ways than one! Ask your friendly Hiring Specialist how they can help steer you in the right direction with the following career opportunities.


You did it! You've hustled through four years of veterinary school, internships, externships, and more hard work, and you're excited to start applying for your very first veterinary job.

Remember – first impressions are everything. You've got to make sure that your application is the best representation of yourself and makes potential new employers want to meet with you. Follow these tips below to land the veterinary position you’ve been working so hard for.

Follow these tips for applying for your first veterinary job.1. Keep it short and sweet

Pay attention to the request for a resume versus a CV to apply for a position. More often than not, a short resume is all you need – one to two pages, max. Anything more than that can overwhelm the reader and make it difficult for them to see what sets you apart from the rest. Don't get overlooked!

2. Ditch the objective

Objectives are really not necessary for a professional position, unless you're using it to explain something about your application that doesn't align with what you're applying for. For example, you may want to note that you're looking for a position in the Chicago area if you're moving there from Tennessee, or moving from a large animal focus to small animal medicine.

3. Include all of your relevant hands-on experience

This includes being a veterinary assistant or technician at a hospital before school or during breaks. While an employer may want to hear about your externships, all of your clinical experience is great to highlight as well. Same goes for your customer service positions. If you have the room for it (remember, you want to keep it short), include that waitressing job or that time you answered phones. It is important to show that you can connect with clients and build their trust in your recommendations.

Remember to keep it concise and relevant. If someone wants to know the details of your academic career, including publications and research, they will ask for a CV.


It's that time of the year again - flu and cold season - and it's shaping up to be a bad one. But luckily, there are some easy ways for everyone to stay healthy and prevent the spreading of germs in the workplace. Here are some quick tips:

  • Hand washing is key to preventing the spread of germs.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing. You can also use the crook of your elbow, just be sure to wash your shirt that night. 
  • Wash your hands frequently using soap. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as your phone, mouse, keyboard, etc.
  • Flu shots - for anyone interested, you likely can get one at little to no cost. Please reach out to your medical insurance provider to confirm. (For those on our BCBS plan, the vaccine should be at no cost if received in-network. However, if it is received with other covered services at a provider's office, you may be required to pay the applicable cost for other services.)


Balancing RocksLife is all about balance. Between staying on top of your physical fitness, your relationships with family and friends, and your work life and financial goals, finding a healthy balance is crucial to a happy and fulfilling life. Especially during the busy holiday season, it’s important not to lose sight of your overall wellbeing and all of the parts that make up a healthy you – mind, body and heart.

That’s why this month’s health promotion encourages mindfulness and finding ways to handle all the various aspects of your life. As the holiday season fast approaches, try these 9 tips to be more mindful at work. Here’s to ending the year off right and helping our practices – and their teams – thrive in everything that they do!  

Are you looking to reach a better balance in your personal and professional life? Check out these tips and even a few pieces of technology that can help!


A cover letter is a great opportunity to introduce yourself and explain why you're applying to a particular practice. It should be short and sweet, but also relevant and insightful. It's your chance to prove that you have goals and interests that align with the practice, and that you are a great fit for their team.

Follow these cover letter do's and don'ts to get noticed and land your next interview.

cover letter1. Don't neglect formatting

Make sure your text is all the same font and size, and that you are consistent with style formatting. Try not to copy and paste from other documents, or use complicated templates you found online - they can often make your cover letter difficult to read. We like this cover letter template from Microsoft Word.

2. Do keep a professional profile

If you want to be taken seriously, use an email address that reflects that. Instead of "," use a more formal format, like the initial of your first name and your full last name. Also keep in mind that any social media may be looked at. Double check that you have the appropriate privacy settings turned on, and that anything public paints you in a professional light.

3. Don't regurgitate your resume

Think of your cover letter as an intro to your resume – it's a short synopsis, and if someone wants to learn more, they can read the full story in your resume. While you should mention any relative experience, try to keep it brief. If you're a new grad and don't have lots of experience, that's ok. Simply sharing how your professional interests and career goals will benefit the practice can go a long way in showing that you are a valuable asset and may fill a void they are looking for.


They say that getting into veterinary school is the hardest part. But it can be a huge adjustment transitioning from your undergrad years. With more responsibilities to juggle this time around, and a very rigorous workload, making sure that you have a healthy work/life balance is key to being successful.

Make the most out of your first year with these vet school hacks from veterinarians who remember the struggle all too well (and what they wish someone had told them sooner!)

laptop study station1. Create a study plan

Kienan Gold, DVM, a recent graduate from Harris Boulevard Veterinary Clinic in Charlotte, NC, says that time becomes your most valuable asset in vet school, so make sure you are prioritizing your studies. Don't abandon all of your hobbies – but some of them may have to take a back seat while you figure out how to prepare effectively for classes and exams. You can also look for study groups to join to help keep you on track.

2. Balance work and play

Molly King, DVM, another recent grad and veterinarian at Oaks Veterinary Hospital in Gainesville, FL warns you’ll go nuts if you don’t take some time to enjoy yourself and relax. Have fun getting to know your classmates and make new friends. You’ll miss them after graduation!

3. Eat well

Eating well while studying and on the go can be tough. But if you keep healthy snacks on hand, like nuts, granola bars and fruit, you can help keep junk food at bay. Meal prepping and making sure that you always have a healthy breakfast can also help to set you up for success.


Did you know that adults lose an average of 2.5 liters (more than 10 cups) of water each day, simply by doing ordinary tasks? You can imagine how much more we are losing each day while on our feet and busy at work!

Water can do so much good for us - it can eliminate hunger pains, prevent and ease headaches, increase our metabolism, fight fatigue, help us feel more alert, and more. Staying hydrated is not only a healthy choice, it’s a smart choice. Dehydration can actually be quite dangerous, and especially during these hot and humid summer months, it’s important to be aware of our habits and establish good ones.

Check out these quick tips we've put together to help quench your body's thirst and ensure you stay hydrated throughout your work day. 

1. Grab a couple of reusable water bottles

Water in glass

Not only are they good for the environment, but they can also help make it easier for you to sip water throughout the day. With such busy shifts, it's easy to forget to take breaks - let alone water breaks! Try keeping a water bottle with ounce markings tucked away in an area that clients can't see, but is easy for you to grab, so you can hydrate and keep track of how much you're drinking.

2. Spice up your water

Try jazzing up your water by infusing it with fruits or herbs to give it a burst of flavor! Sparkling or seltzer waters with natural flavors like lemon or lime can also keep things interesting, and help you feel more satisfied.

3. Limit coffee and soda intake

We know - you aren't you before your first cup of coffee in the morning! But keep in mind that caffeine can actually dehydrate you. Try to drink one cup of water for every cup of coffee/soda or two cups of black tea, to make up for the diuretic effect. Sugary drinks and juices should also be limited due to their high sugar and calorie content, and less effective hydration.


Fight the Feeling of Burnout

The veterinary field is fast-paced, demanding, and definitely stressful. Often times, as caregivers, we're so consumed with the wellbeing for our patients and their owners that we forget to take care of ourselves. It's important not to neglect yourself and your own needs amidst the commotion. 

That's why we put together a few tips to help manage stress from work and keep any feelings of burnout at bay:

take-a-break-coffee1. Take a break

Take a walk around the building or simply step outside for a breath of fresh air. Though shifts can be busy or short-staffed, taking a moment to clear your head will refresh you and allow you to be ready to tackle the next case.

2. Eat lunch with coworkers

Taking a few moments to sit down and chat with coworkers about current events, the awesome book you just read, or the latest television show will not only give your tired feet a rest, but will also invite friendly conversation and even a laugh!

3. Communicate your feelings 

As veterinary professionals, we experience many different feelings and some hard days. It’s important to let it all out with a trusted listener, and to be a good listener to others when they have a rough day also. A couple words of encouragement and understanding can go a long way. You can also find local veterinary support groups online.

4. Enjoy a healthy snack

Almonds, smoothies, a piece of fruit or trail mix are all great ways to fuel your mind and your body. Snacking also helps to promote a healthy weight and blood sugar!

5. Turn work off at home

Try not to get bogged down by the stresses of your shift. Allow yourself only one hour after work to talk about it with family or friends, then focus on hobbies and interests outside of medicine. Simple techniques like box breathing or meditation can also help take your mind off work and allow yourself to let go.

The most important tip, however, is to remember to be good to yourself. Stay on top of your mental and physical health by getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating well. Take some time off every now and then, and give yourself some credit for all the hard work that you do.

While your cover letter and resume may show that you are qualified for a position, the interview is your chance to showcase your skills and prove that you can connect with the team.

Interviews can seem very intimidating but with these tips, you'll be prepared for a successful meeting:

top-5-interview-tips1. Do your research on the practice

Visit their website, read their reviews, and follow their Facebook and social media so that they know you are well versed on the hospital. This shows that you are interested in working there, have done your due diligence, and are excited about becoming a vital part of their team. 

2. Create a positive first impression 

Practices want to know that you will look professional and credible to their clients, so be sure to dress in business casual attire. Bring a couple of copies of your resume with you, and plan to arrive a few minutes minutes early. (Keep in mind that arriving too early may put pressure on the interviewer, who set aside a specific time frame to meet with you, so try not to arrive more than 5 minutes ahead of time.)

3. Remember to ask questions

An interview isn’t a one-way street – it’s an opportunity for both parties to get to know each other. While the practice will be determining if they think you are a good fit for them, you will need to decide whether or not the practice is a good fit for you, too. This is a good opportunity to ask hospital-specific questions like what a typical caseload looks like, or how they schedule their veterinarians, so you know what you can expect.

4. Consider the whole experience a part of your interview 

Every person you interact with from the minute you walk through the door is important in your interview process. These could be your potential teammates, after all. Even though you may not be sitting down to talk with each team member, they will be evaluating you and gauging whether or not you’re right for their team and beloved clients and patients.

5. Always say thank you

Be sure to follow up with the interviewer by mail or email. It may not make a difference in getting hired, but it could strengthen an already positive impression of you and show that you genuinely are interested in working at their practice. Don’t forget to incorporate something from your chat, to show that you were listening and engaged.

Best of luck on your next interview! 

Check out these tips for applying to your first veterinary job.

It's a new year, so why not make healthy work habits a priority in 2017?

Follow these five simple steps for a less stressful work environment and a healthier, happier you:

healthy-lifesytle-350px1. Bring a healthy lunch

Meal prepping is the easiest way to kick temptation to the curb. Make sure you pack a well-balanced lunch every day, and that you have healthy snacks stored away, too. Or even better, eat healthy with a co-worker - each of you can bring part of a nutritious lunch to share.

2. Take a walk during your break

Even though you may be on your feet all day, the change in scenery can help clear your head. A quick walk outside can help you take your mind off of work, de-stress, and get some vitamin D in as well.

3. Stay hydrated

Don't forget to drink water throughout the day. Especially during these winter months when temperatures drop and the air gets drier, water is our best defense against dehydrated skin. Keep a water bottle tucked away in an area that clients can't see, but is easy for you to grab on the go.

4. Wash your hands

It's always important to wash your hands after meeting new clients or handling pets, but now it is especially important because it's flu season. Help stop the spread of germs by taking a quick minute to wash your hands with soap or sanitizer. 

5. Keep your work area clean

Shared work areas can be difficult to keep organized, and the clutter can negatively affect both you and your coworkers. Assign each team member an area in the practice and hold each other responsible for keeping it tidy.

Eat healthy with a co-worker- each of you can bring part of a nutritious lunch to share.