Name: Becky Norton
Vet School: RVC
How did you get into vet school?
By the end of year 11 I had narrowed down my careers choices to being a teacher or a vet. Following this I spent 4 weeks of my year 11 summer holidays working at Whipsnade Zoo and 2 weeks at my local vets. Despite the two experiences being worlds apart they helped me clarify that veterinary medicine was the career I wanted to peruse. After completing my A levels, gaining AAB in Biology, Chemistry and English, I decided to take a year out in order to gain more work experience and earn some money prior to embarking on university. During this time I gained offers for RVC’s Gateway (a preliminary year) and Veterinary Medicine as well as an offer from Bristol. After much deliberation I choose to take up the offer of RVC’s Gateway course; having been out of full time education for a year I thought it would give me time to settle into RVC before undertaking the Vet Med teaching. Having now completed the Gateway years I would strongly recommend it to any aspiring applicants.
What was the most demanding aspect of the application process?
Juggling all the different aspects of the application was by far the most demanding aspect of the application itself. A particular challenge I faced was finding farm placements due to arable farming dominating where I live . My advice to any applicants struggling to find large animals placements, because they live in cities or urban areas, would be to ask any small animals vets if they have any contact details for large animals vets who they studied or made friends with during their training.
What do you feel most prepared you for vet school?
I believe the best preparation I had for vet school was undertaking one of RVC’s student shadowing days where you shadow a current student for a day. These are a fantastic way to gain and understanding of how you will be taught and they types of activities you undertake whilst at vet school.
What advice would you give to applicants?
My advice to future applicants would be to make sure you look around as many of the vet schools (if not all of them!) as I strongly believe you get a gut feeling if you feel comfortable and at home at a specific university from looking around and speaking to staff and students. Also, don’t be disheartened if you don’t get in first time around! Lots of people I know, including myself, have had to take a year out for one reason or another; having a year out can be a fantastic opportunity to travel, complete more work experience, and earn some money before you go.