An estimated 500 prospective veterinarians and guests attended the AAVMC’s 2017 Career Fair at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. following the AAVMC’s Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium.
Students gathered information from more than a dozen veterinary medical schools at display tables staffed by college representatives, including admissions officers and deans.
In the exhibition hall, students and their parents asked questions and picked up informational materials about schools, admissions requirements, and veterinary careers.
After spending time in the exhibition hall, students attended information sessions on preparing to apply to veterinary school and heard a personal story about one speaker’s unique path to a career in equine veterinary medicine. Dr. Rachel Cezar outlined how she started showing horses at a young age, which led to involvement in the 4H Club and Future Farmers of America. She eventually attended veterinary school at Michigan State and is now the director of live animal imports for the United States Department of Agriculture.
In the session on how to get into veterinary medical school, the AAVMC’s Tony Wynne, director of admissions & recruitment affairs, told attendees that many factors determine the best school for prospective veterinary students, including “location, culture, climate and cost.”
He stressed that it’s “important to get on a campus and talk to students” in order to get a realistic assessment of the school, based on real life experiences, and warned about the two major reasons for an application’s rejection: (1) applying to a school for which the applicant is not qualified and (2) not reading or following directions.
Members of the student panel also stressed the importance of culture and values. “Vet school is not just hard to get into but hard to stay in,” said veterinary student Felix Rodriguez from Louisiana State University. “You can get good experiences no matter where you go, but find a place where you feel comfortable and can find a support system. I’m Hispanic and I wanted to go to a more culturally diverse place where I could speak Spanish with other people.”
During information sessions, students could answer questions to earn t-shirts that said, "I am a Future Veterinarian."