Getting into vet school is highly competitive…you need good grades and GRE scores as well. You also have to complete 500 hours or more of veterinary shadowing. But if you want to improve your odds of getting accepted into vet school. Here are few suggestions that might help you to improve your application.
First, start shadowing early in a local veterinary practice or shelter and create a good professional networking. Plus, look out for new opportunities and get hands-on experience in different veterinary settings. For example, If you started volunteering in a small animal clinic, next summer, you might try to volunteer in an equine hospital, dairy farm or even in a zoo. Getting diverse experiences will improve your chances and it will also help you get good handling skills with animals of all sizes. Don’t be afraid to work with animals that you haven’t worked with before. In the end, you will also get a better perspective of the opportunities in veterinary medicine and you may have interesting stories to tell in your personal statement when you applied for vet school.
Second, consider applying for a summer research internship or a summer enrichment program that will help you enhance your application and prepare better for vet school. There are two pre-veterinary summer enrichment programs offered by the University of California Davis and Michigan State University. I participated in 2013 SEP Program offered by UC Davis and it was a great experience! They allowed me to do mini clinical rotations at their veterinary teaching hospital. In addition, I participated in several lectures/ labs and received GRE study materials and study sessions twice a week. However, if you are a high school student, you can participate in veterinary summer camps offered by many vet schools including Tuskegee University, Ohio State University, Tufts University, and Auburn University. Most of them offer financial aid or even scholarships.
Lastly, getting involved in community service or leadership activities is very important. Be an active member of a club/college organization and try to organize at least two activities each semester. These activities will help you improve your communication/leadership skills needed in vet school. I highly recommend you to take good pictures of your work and create an electronic portfolio. This is a free tool available with your email account and offered as Google sites. Just start by creating a Google site and named it e-portfolio. After you have created your portfolio, you can create as many as pages as you want and name them as autobiography, veterinary experience, leadership/community activities, certificates and more. My personal e-portfolio was very helpful, I consider it helped me a lot when I was applying to the UC Davis Summer Program and vet school as well.