VET Festival 2015 by Hannah Bowley

Back when I was deciding which universities to apply to to study Veterinary Medicine I came to an Open Day for the University of Surrey and listened to the staff talk about how the Surrey vet course was going to be a different, a new type of veterinary education; I was desperate for one of those first few places.

Just over a year later, having passed my first year, I was reminded of why I chose Surrey. Sitting listening to Noel Fitzpatrick’s closing speech, at the end of my first day volunteering at the Vet Festival, explaining to veterinary professionals who had come from far and wide about his vision for the future of veterinary medicine I was so proud to be involved in an event like this and be one of the students who can be part of that future.

I used to go to a lot of conferences in the job that I had before I became a vet student but ‘Vet Fest’ had such a different feeling to it compared to those. Yes it was a conference with world-class speakers but it was fun as well.

I feel very privileged to have been able to volunteer, listen to some of the talks and see how much everyone enjoyed the event. Looking after the door for the nursing stream on the Sunday I was listening to people coming out of the lectures, really enthusiastic to take what they’d heard back to their practices. One nurse had to leave early to catch a train and she was genuinely upset that she had to leave and miss the end of the last talk.

The event closed with a speech from Jane Goodall, which earned a standing ovation from all those present. It’s truly inspiring to be able to listen to people like Jane, who has such passion for her work and I for one will remember that speech to keep me going through the rest of this course. And when they need volunteers for next year’s Vet Fest… Sign me up!