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Exploring Veterinary Careers

There are many different paths that students can take to prepare for Veterinary school since majors, experiences, and interests vary among students. This section provides tips for applying to Vet School, information on the application process, the prerequisites for most schools, and a timeline to help you get a head start in planning your career in Veterinary Medicine.

Is Veterinary School Right For Me?

Though most people think of Veterinarians as people who heal ill and injured animals and help all kinds of creatures live better lives, a career as a veterinarian can also prepare one for a specialization in public health and research with the links between animal and human diseases. While most veterinarians do work in private practice with household pets, there are veterinarians who work with large animals, marine animals, exotic animals, disease control, food animals and food animal safety or go into academia.

Here are some ways you can find out what Veterinarians do:

  1. Research online resources through the Berkeley Career Engagement’s Career Exploration Veterinary pages.
  2. Talk to veterinarians, veterinary students, faculty, and school representatives.
  3. Attend veterinary school Information days and campus tours.

Top Tips for a Career in Veterinary Medicine

  1. Major in the field which interests you the most, while showing good academic ability in science.
  2. Explore the field of veterinary medicine; be sure you know the positive and negative aspects of being a veterinarian and the future of the veterinary profession.
  3. Pursue extra-curricular activities which interest you.
  4. Show breadth in your experiences with animals; work with different animals in different settings, e.g. animal shelter, humane society, 4-H, marine animals.
  5. Leadership, communication skills, compassion, and being scientific minded.
  6. Keep your grades as high as possible. An upward trend in grade performance will be noted, especially when you are trying to overcome a less than spectacular year.
  7. Be sure to start looking for people who can write you letters of recommendation. Choose those individuals who know you and your work well.
  8. Pursue an academic interest in depth.
  9. There are many paths to veterinary school. People of different backgrounds, experiences and ages, etc. all get there.
  10. Lastly, be sure to talk to as many people as possible about the veterinary profession (veterinarians, veterinary students, and veterinary school representatives) and keep current on veterinary issues from researching the veterinary profession.