Frequently asked questions as a Vet Student

Moving to Surrey to finally start training towards my dream career has been such a dream come true. Vet school has been everything I had hoped it would be and more! If you’ve read any of my previous blogs or seen my takeovers on our Student Instagram then you’ll also know that I absolutely love talking about my experience. In this blog, I’ll be answering some of the most frequently asked questions we get from prospective vet students!

What’s the best thing about studying Veterinary Medicine?

My favourite thing about the course at Surrey is definitely how hands on the training is! On my very first day at Vet school, we had an off site practical where we visited a local college farm and milked their dairy cows! It was a really great learning experience and definitely demonstrated the Surrey ethos of preparing you for the real world, whether that’s out as a vet in practice or as a vet student going on placement. This has been the case for all of my years here as well – just last Tuesday we got to do real life surgery! The teaching staff and technicians are so fantastic about supporting you through any process and really work hard to make learning enjoyable. This practice and way of teaching definitely makes you feel very competent and confident which are essential skills for any vet.

The Queen vists the vet school clinical skill labs and is shown model where banaging is practiced
The Queen touring our amazing clinical skill labs!

Ultimately, feeling like you have the potential to make a real difference is incredibly rewarding and being able to care for both animals and their people is very fulfilling and is the best part of training to be a vet.

What sort of vet do you want to be?

My answer to this question definitely varies from day to day! At the minute I am leaning more towards shelter and charity medicine, particularly small animal, after some amazing clinical placement over the summer and our practicals with different charitable organisations. I think a job where I get to learn and practice surgery is also important to me. 

That said, there is an incredible amount of career paths a vet can go down, including all of the ‘regular’ sorts of practicing vet to all of the diversifying routes. The curriculum at Surrey definitely prepares you for this and gives you a great amount of opportunities. The teaching is also varied to include all different types of animals and this is reflected in our practicals with trips to Birdworld and Marwell Zoo, for example. You can find out more about our partnerships here.

The professional and interpersonal skills you learn here are also vital for pursuing careers outside of practicing medicine. Having so many opportunities is very exciting and it’s reassuring to know I’ll be supported in my decision making – particularly as Surrey has just been awarded University of the Year for Graduate Employment!

Vet graduates in cap and gown infront of the vet school having just graduated
Our 1st graduate cohort who are now pursuing their passions out in the real world!

If you’re interested in the different professions definitely check out Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify for more! 

Do you have time for sport/work/other social activities outside of vet school?

Definitely! The academic side of vet school can seem quite daunting but there is plenty of time to enjoy yourself and pursue other activities. The main tip I have for this, is to make sure you try and be as organised as possible – however that works best for yourself and your style of learning. For me, this means setting aside specific time slots to catch up on work, create revision materials or pre-read for future sessions. Planning out my time is really important to me and it makes sure I have enough time allocated for things like sport and seeing my friends. There is so much to get involved with here at Surrey – you can out more here!

Getting involved with Vetsoc is also a the best of both worlds. We have social sports teams, a choir, and a lot of clinical clubs where you can socialise and pursue your own interests. My favourite thing is definitely the famous Vet Balls which is an annual black tie event and a fantastic celebration of all of your achievements!

Students in formal wear at Vet Ball
Best night of the night!

What’s the best thing about Surrey Vet School?

This is a very easy question because there are just so many wonderful things about studying here. You can check out my top 3 favourite things in this blog post but the supportive nature of the university as a whole has to be my top reason. I’ve been able to make some incredible friends, have had so many amazing opportunities and have never felt unsupported throughout my time here.

Hopefully you have enjoyed this blog answering some of the top questions vet students get! To ask your question be sure to send us a message on Surrey Student and look out for open days where you can speak to other academic staff and current students!