When did you decide to pursue veterinary medicine?
I first decided that I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was in elementary school. My uncle owned a veterinary practice in Astoria and ever since I went to work with him, I knew that that was the only thing that I wanted to do for a living.
What did you do to prepare for veterinary school?
When I was young, I didn't know how difficult it was to get into veterinary school, and only when I got to high school did I realize how hard I would have to work. I studied extra hard for my science classes and made sure to get a wide variety of veterinary experience in my hometown and anywhere else that would take me. I emailed local vets, horse vets, zoo vets, and basically anywhere that had animals.
By the end of high school I had worked in two animal hospitals, an animal shelter, and I had shadowed a horse veterinarian in Kentucky. I got most of my veterinary experience in college, but it was very helpful starting in high school to get the ball rolling.
What advice to you have for high school students who are interested in becoming a vet?
My advice to high school students would be to work as hard as you can and to never give up…but only if you know 100% that this is what you want to do for the rest of your life.
I was told by a number of vets that I should give up on going to vet school and go to medical school where all the money is. I kept telling them that there was no way that I would give up because this is the only thing that want to do.
Getting into veterinary school was difficult and veterinary school itself is very difficult, but it will all have been well worth it to be able to wake up every day thoroughly excited to go to work.