In college, opportunities to join clubs, intramural sports leagues, social groups or even further academic pursuits were practically handed to me. I barely had to walk out of my dorm room before the onslaught of people attempting to convince me why their club absolutely HAD to have me as a member would appear. I might be exaggerating slightly; there is no way that I was that popular, but you understand my point. Now in veterinary school, the same quantity and quality of opportunities are there, however I have found that I have had to be a very self-motivated person to find and subsequently take advantage of them.
Nevertheless, one of my absolute favorite parts of Penn Vet has been those opportunities. For example, simply by sending an email to a doctor researching a topic I am vaguely interested in has been well received. Since that initial contact, I have helped that doctor work on two separate research projects during my time here, received a letter of a recommendation for my internship application, and have been exposed to more sectors of equine medicine than I ever knew existed.
Similarly, while on my large animal pathology rotation, I was allowed to shadow a visiting radiologist to help further develop my passion in that area and also accompany a field service veterinarian to hone my horse dental skills. The on-duty pathologists, like almost every doctor with whom I have come in contact, were more than willing to accommodate my request and even happy to hear that I was taking advantage of opportunities to make myself a better veterinarian.