Name: Gareth Jones
What did you intercalate in and where: BSc Comparative Pathology at the RVC
When did you intercalate: Between 2nd and 3rd Year
Why did you choose to intercalate?
I decided I wanted to intercalate because I have always been interested in the science underpinning Veterinary Medicine. I realised that, as there is so much to learn during the 5-year course, it would difficult to take time and investigate the areas I found extremely interesting. Intercalating allowed me this opportunity, as taking a step back from the busy timetable, I had more time to look deeper into the science behind the medicine. I was also interested in doing some research, as I had been contemplating doing some after graduation. Intercalating allowed me to have my first exposure to a prolonged research project in a controlled and supportive environment to see if it was right for me.
What did you learn from your intercalation?
Apart from the in-depth pathology teaching on the course, I learned several skills, which have already helped me in the latter parts of the course. Exposure to post mortems and how to do them, the mechanisms of why lesions develop and exposure to new research outside the normal scope of the veterinary degree has been invaluable. Furthermore, the working in a research group and my lab work, as well as the writing of the dissertation, has helped build my confidence with the scientific process, from troubleshooting problems, evaluating papers and scientific writing.
What was the best part of your intercalation?
The best part of my intercalation year was the amazing opportunities and people I got to work with, as well as having more time to enjoy being a uni student (nice long summer where you can do whatever you want such as travelling is definitely a bonus!)
What was the worst part of your intercalation?
Leaving my old year group is probably the only bad thing of intercalating, as now all my old friends are graduating, while I am still here at university. But it’s not too bad as you get to make great friends in the year group you re-join in.
Has it changed what you will do in the future?
It has convinced me that I would like to do some more research and training post-graduation, probably through a residency and possibly a PhD.