One of the skills that is most important in veterinary medicine (and many other professions) is the power of communication. Unfortunately, it is one that students often struggle with.
Some of the best relationships I have with mentors, practitioners, and employers started with me going out of my comfort zone and giving them a firm handshake and introducing myself. There would have been a time that I would have been very nervous to take such a step, but now it is second nature to me and it has given me a lot of incredible opportunities.
So how do you get better at communication and specifically meeting new people who might otherwise intimidate you? Like anything else, the answer to that is practice! No matter what situation you are in, avoid the temptation to cling to a wall. Get out there and meet some new people! Introduce yourself and ask the people you are meeting about what they do, where they go (or went to school), what their interests are, etc. Also be prepared to talk about yourself and what you are interested in and enjoy doing.
Many students in particular are nervous about approaching practitioners. Practitioners as a whole love to talk to students, but they might not take the initiative to approach you. When you approach a practitioner, especially at a social event, be patient if they are talking to someone else. When you have their attention, start the conversation by introducing yourself with a firm handshake. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to speak up and have confidence in yourself. There is no need to act shy or be afraid to talk. Take the time and initiative to have a meaningful conversation with the practitioner (or whomever you are talking to). You never know what opportunities, such as an externship, job, scholarship, etc, might arise from just a simple conversation.