This is the absolute cherry on your application cake!
You’ll most likely really enjoy you’re work experiences, because if you don’t at all – you might want to reconsider your choice of degree – as it’s going to contain a lot of the same during your Pre-Clinical Extra-Mural Studies (PCEMS)!
After weeks of working on various farms, being covered almost (and maybe entirely) head to toe in animal waste of some description will probably no longer bother you. This, in all honesty, is probably quite a good state of mind to have to be a vet, as generally, horrible and smelly bodily fluids come hand in hand with the job!
So, Liverpool are the most specific with regards to their demands of pre-application work experience and so I used it to structure my experiences. See below their guideline requirements.
– 6 Weeks on a range of commercial farms, stables, kennels/catteries (inc rescue)..
– 4 Weeks in two different veterinary practices.
– Additional experience in other establishments, such as abattoirs, laboratories, zoos etc is beneficial.
(correct on 23/11/13)
See the website for more details: http://www.liv.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/veterinary-science-bvsc/entry-requirements/
Don’t worry if you don’t have you’re own horse or haven’t been brought up on a farm! You are by far the only one and everyone needs to do a bit of everything! You will, for sure, have better contacts in one area than another but farmers are (usually) very well connected – so don’t be too scared to shamefully asked if they know a pig farmer nearby. You might be surprised how much help you get!
Also, if you already have a keen interest in an area of veterinary, for example equine medicine, try and get some experience with an equine/large animal/mixed animal vet or if you are very lucky – a referral equine hospital. This may give you that little extra encouragement when stress is rising, whilst providing you with a more specific experience which you can impress them with at your interviews! (And if nothing else – you might realise that being a frog vet just isn’t your thing..!)
Good luck – and enjoy it!