Last spring I was very lucky to be the recipient of an equine externship award that gave me $2,000 to use for educational expenses in exchange for completing a four-week externship at a clinic. As I selected my location, completed my externship, wrote up a report, and then eventually gave a presentation on my awesome experience, I kept in contact with the equine professional services veterinarian in charge of the program.
Today I walked into a lunch lecture that the equine club was hosting and as I sat there and read the title slide of the presentation, I was surprised to recognize the name of the presenter as the individual I had communicated with all spring and summer about my externship and experience. Even though he normally works in Kansas, he had traveled to Ohio State’s vet school for a presentation. Before he started, I took the opportunity to introduce myself in person and thank him again for the help as well as the funding and talk with him a little personally about my experience. It was nice to put a face with a name and shake his hand.
This just brought to mind that while the United States is a big country, the veterinary community as a whole is not that large, and you never know who you’ll run into at a conference or event. It is just a reminder that regardless of whether you are working with someone face-to-face or communicating over the internet to remember to always be professional. You never know when you will see someone again or who might know them if you are applying for a position somewhere. You wouldn’t want a poor experience with someone to haunt you down the road if it can be avoided.