When did you first decide you wanted to be a veterinarian?
When I was around eight years old, I switched from wanting to be a dentist to becoming a veterinarian. Interestingly, I have never had any pets, but my love of animals and goal to provide and improve care for them has gotten me this far!
What did you do to prepare?
I started by shadowing a small animal private practice veterinarian in high school and asking my aunt, who's a veterinary technician, lots of questions. I continued by shadowing nearly all the veterinarians in my hometown (about eight, large and small animal and some ambulatory) at least once to get a sense of the different aspects of the profession. I also toured Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine back when I was a sophomore in high school. I erroneously thought that I could go to vet school without undergraduate schooling at the time.
What advice do you have for high school students who are interested in becoming a vet?
If you are seriously interested in becoming a vet, talk to veterinarians, veterinary students and other pre-veterinary peers and college students. Hearing their perspectives and really understanding the veterinary occupation as well as the processes behind becoming a veterinarian are imperative before you jump in.