Ross initially emailed the incoming September class back in March 2016 to introduce us to the mentorship Ross offers with Banfield Pet Hospital, which gives Ross students the chance to get their hands dirty and learn alongside a teaching doctor, which in my experience, is very hard to find. I immediately sought it out! After having shown interest to the contact person, Mr. Skinner, I was sent the application and filled out the application through the Banfield website (which was sent to me in less than 24 hours) and (again in less than 24 hours) I was asked to set up an interview. I was in shock!
During my interview, I was asked what type of medicine I wanted to focus on, he told me how much the pay would be, which blew me away, and he answered all of my questions before he got off the phone with me, and was never in any kind of rush. He told me within 3 weeks I would have an answer back as to if I would be accepted into the mentorship program as a SJP (Student Job Program). Unfortunately, it took them a while (more than 3 weeks) to find a doctor to be my mentor, which I was a little perturbed about, but it worked out and the timing was perfect! I did get the email saying “We would like to extend an offer of employment to you for the position Student Job Program Participant,” which I had no idea would the best veterinary experience I’d receive.
I was matched up with Dr. Chris Leonard, who has just been fabulous; he is a great teacher, doctor, friend, and boss. Not to mention, the associate veterinarian at the hospital, Dr. Shawn Kitziger, who has also been a great teacher and role model; she has given me compliments since the first day I worked on her service. I’ve learned in the matter of 6 weeks how to confidently place IV catheters, draw blood from jugular veins, and correctly monitor patients under anesthesia (which were 3 things I had no experience with prior). The team has been so great in helping me learn new things and constantly showing their gratitude and appreciation for me and my (I think) extensive knowledge in the field. I think I’ve made a least a few friends I’ll keep in touch with because of this program. Sadly, I only have 4 more weeks left until my mentorship is completed and I leave a better soon-to-be doctor of veterinary medicine.
I was out of the field of veterinary medicine for over a year before going to work as a SJP at Banfield. I had been looking for a job for the majority of that year which would get me back into a veterinary practice so I could get my hands dirty and learn some more before leaving for veterinary school in September, but things just never seemed to work out because I was leaving in a matter of months. I was, however, working for a pet boarding and daycare facility which gave me so much knowledge about dog behavior, and tricks for dealing with all kinds of aggressive behaviors, which I know I could’ve never learned in a class or a book. I do have to tell you, though, it felt (and feels) so good to get (and maintain) a job in the veterinary field. Being able to do procedures every day and having the opportunity to learn something new before setting foot in a veterinary class is irreplaceable.
The purpose of this posting is if you have the opportunity to work in a mentorship with a doctor through the Banfield/RUSVM program… TAKE IT! For me, it was the best opportunity I could’ve ever gotten before heading off to Ross. And I didn’t have to go looking for it, it was placed gently in my lap by a school I am excited to attend in less than 50 days. No matter what you think you know, you can still learn new things, and this mentorship was exactly that for me.