DVM Networking Session August 5th – Tonia von Hugo

Even with the many COVID-19 restrictions, OVC has been doing a great job organising many interesting and diverse events for CORE summer students. On August 5th, I had the opportunity to join a networking session with a number of past students from OVC, who shared their career paths after completing their DVM degree. While I’ve heard from other veterinarians that vet school opens many doors, I’ve always had a lean towards clinical practice and research and didn’t quite realize how varied that path could be.

It was interesting to see speakers who had ended up in very different career paths often have the same tidbits of advice to share. Both Drs. Floras and Imada highlighted the importance of maintaining a work-life balance and asserting your own boundaries - something that we hear about time and time again from veterinarians in the field. One of the common themes brought up by almost all of the speakers, is being very focused and goal-oriented leading up to their acceptance to veterinary school, and then needing to be open to the many opportunities it offers you. DVM student Andrew Poon and Dr. MacKinnon stressed embracing change and being open to trying new things. No two of the speakers had the same paths beyond attending vet school. Some prefer to work on the ground, while others conduct research that may help patients in future. Dr. French put it quite succinctly, “It was satisfying to cure the puppy with diarrhea, but there would always be another puppy with the same issue.”

Of all the events that CORE hosted this summer, the networking sessions were definitely my favourite. It’s always interesting to hear someone’s story, what influenced them to make the choices they have, and where they chose to land. Like many other students, I have had a clear path in mind since deciding to pursue a career in the field. I can’t wait to start at OVC in September and see how my own goals and priorities change over the next four years.