New app collects pre-vet students’ real-world preparation

Students planning to apply to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree program have a new way to track their veterinary and animal experiences: the Pre-Vet Tracker Mobile App.

The app allows users in internships or who are volunteering or shadowing veterinarians to log dates, hours, supervisors, contact information and list of responsibilities in one place, saving time and making the application process easier.

“Students preparing to apply for a DVM degree program are required to have real-world experiences learning about the profession and working with animals,” said Jennifer Mailey, admissions director at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, who conceived of the app. It was developed through a collaboration between the College of Veterinary Medicine and a software engineering class in Computing and Information Science. “The app will help prospective students log their experiences anytime, anywhere quickly,” she said.

Members of the team that developed the app, from left: Pracheth Javali, Gabriel Gamez, Yashaswini Papanna, Jennifer Ann Mailey, Niyati Mehta, Monisha Chandrashekar, Anusha Morappanavar, Vikas Nelamangala.

Under the guidance of William Arms, professor emeritus of computing and information science, seven students worked closely with Mailey for three months to develop the app. “We had a good team where the majority were computer science graduate students, but surprisingly none of us had any prior experience with iOS app development,” said team member Yashaswini Papanna, M.Eng ’16. “This motivated us to take up the challenge.”

Once a profile is created on the app, users can continually add and track their veterinary and animal experience information, including what they learn. “Anyone considering applying for veterinary college one day – high school students, college students and career changers – should start using this app now,” said Mailey. “All the information collected is needed for your application to Cornell and any U.S. veterinary college.”

Initially, students split up the work of the project individually, but eventually everyone was involved with all phases of the application. “One of the tasks we really enjoyed was designing the user interface,” said Papanna. “We had a brainstorming session with Jennifer where ideas and sketches were flying all around. It was a lot of fun, and it looked like she loved it too.”

Once the app was developed, the graduate student team transferred the project to the Veterinary Medicine Information Technology team to finalize and launch it on Apple’s App Store.

Mailey and the students confirm the collaboration was a win-win. “Apart from gaining good technical knowledge, we also became a close-knit bunch of people coming out of this project. We were thrilled to see the app listed on the App Store,” said Papanna.

Mailey hopes to release a Droid app in the near future.