Meet Kris: A Veterinarian Student Who Is Ready to Take on Life After College
What inspired you to become a vet?
I grew up on a farm in rural Colorado, so animals have always played an important role in my life, and I knew that when I grew up I wanted to be able to work with animals on a daily basis. I became interested in veterinary medicine when I did a summer internship at a local veterinary hospital. There I learned that the veterinary industry is more than just about the helping animals, it's equally about helping people. This idea really resonated with me because helping people through helping animals just sounded like my calling in life.
What externship program(s) did you complete through Banfield Pet Hospital, and what attracted you to it?
My journey at Banfield actually began long before attending veterinary school, I was first hired at a Banfield Pet Hospital in 2016 as a veterinary assistant. At the time, I was a sophomore undergraduate working on my prerequisites for vet school, and I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to be working in the industry that I was preparing for and passionate about. During my time at Banfield I have worked as a veterinary assistant, a shift lead, and most recently the Banfield Student Ambassador at Oregon State University. In addition, I just wrapped up my second summer SJP program. I was attracted to the SJP program because I got to see firsthand how it worked during my time as a veterinary assistant.
How are Banfield Pet Hospital’s programs different from others available to students? What stands out about them?
Arguably the most valuable aspect of the program is the amount of one-on-one coaching that the mentor doctors provide for the students. I learned so much in my short time as an SJP from not only my coach doctor, but from the other doctors at the hospital as well. I honestly felt like I was being trained to be a veterinarian even though I haven’t graduated yet. To me, this is what stands out about the programs that Banfield has to offer.
What were you responsible for during the externship program?
During my time as an SJP I was responsible for a variety of things one might expect from a doctor, all supervised by an actual doctor of course. This included anesthesia, dental extractions, medical notes, routine surgical procedures, diagnostic procedures, and so much more. Having all of these responsibilities really helped me realize what my day-to-day was going to look like once I graduate veterinary school.
What accomplishment are you most proud of from the program?
The thing I was most proud of during my time as an SJP was being able to do a castration from start to finish and an ovariohysterectomy from start to finish. These are considered bread and butter skills that I haven’t even been able to do in my veterinary school curriculum yet. Going into my 3rd year, I am far ahead of my fellow classmates in terms of surgical experience which will be incredibly beneficial during my surgery labs.
What are you responsible for as a student ambassador for Banfield Pet Hospital? What do you love most about your role?
As a student ambassador, I act as a liaison between the student body of Oregon State University and Banfield Pet Hospital. This includes facilitating lunch talks, distributing Banfield literature/swag, and answering any questions that students may have about Banfield as a company and potential future employer. What I love most about my role is that I can share my firsthand experience as a Banfield associate with my peers by sharing with them how Banfield has positively impacted my career trajectory and how it could do the same for them too.
How will your externship experience prepare you for your career as a vet?
My experience as an SJP has been invaluable to me as a future veterinarian.
I genuinely feel like the time I spent in the hospital has given me a glimpse into what my day-to-day work life will look like once I finish my schooling. Having the opportunity to experience this and have one-on-one coaching has given me the confidence to know that I can succeed as a veterinarian.
What attracted you to work at Banfield Pet Hospital after you graduate?
Banfield is most known for its dedication to preventive medicine, which is something that I strongly believe will make a positive impact on the lives of countless people and their pets. This is something that I would love to be a part of someday. In addition to the overall positive company culture, and the competitive benefits that are offered has led me to see a future where Banfield can offer me the lifestyle I would like to live.
What did you like best about the company culture during your externship with Banfield Pet Hospital?
Even though I have worked at 5 different locations during my time with Banfield, I have felt like a family member at each location. I always enjoy how tight-knit the staff is, and how each location has welcomed me with open arms into their Banfield family.
What advice do you have for those thinking of pursuing a career in veterinary medicine?
My advice to anybody thinking about pursuing a career in veterinary medicine is to be ok with a tremendous amount of debt, and to take every opportunity you can to get into a clinic and get experience.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
I would say that the best advice I’ve ever received is to study early and study often, because vet school requires a LOT of studying!