Now that I have my fourth-year schedule, my next major task is finding places to do my external rotations. Being a food animal student, I have more external opportunities than a small animal student, so I have quite a bit of work to do compared to other students.
Externals are a great opportunity to get away from the veterinary school and start learning how things work in real-life practices. At the same time, they are great for practicing skills learned at school and for developing relationships with other veterinarians. As you can imagine, these also could serve as potential working interviews for jobs later on down the road, which is a major reason why I am taking this process very seriously.
The biggest hurdle to clear is finding places to go and matching up my dates with what works for the host facility. Another major consideration is housing – a lot of the large animal places I am looking at offer housing for student externs but not all do. When you talk about 3-week stints, putting yourself up in a hotel or finding other accommodations can get quite expensive. On top of that, you have to travel to these other locations and have to keep that in mind as well.
Currently, I have locked down the one rotation that I really wanted – a seven-doctor dairy practice located about 20 miles from my home in Vermont. Ultimately I want to do dairy work and I can see myself going back to upstate Vermont after graduation so I am really excited to work at this facility.
A big chunk of my holiday break has been spent calling veterinary offices and seeing what is out there that might work for me. I’ve drafted a whole bunch of cover letters and sent my resume and information all over. With clinics so close, veterinary school is really starting to become interesting and I have never been more excited for the future.