Graduate shines a light on Vets Now’s popular internship programme

Vets Now has a host of programmes for vets eager to gain more hands-on experience.

One is our rotating internship, which is designed for highly motivated recent graduates who are keen to expand their skills, knowledge and experience in all aspects of small animal practice.

It’s aimed at vets considering a career in emergency and critical care, general practice, or who have ambitions of doing a residency. In this blog, we regularly feature interviews with interns working in our busy Glasgow and Manchester hospitals.

This interview is with John Burgess, who hails from Zimbabwe. John applied for an internship with Vets Now as he wanted to gain hands-on experience in ECC.

Image of vets working Vets Now's emergency hospital in Glasgow

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Tell me about your background?

I was born and raised in Zimbabwe. I attended the University of Pretoria in South Africa and graduated at the end of 2017 before moving to the UK to start the Vets Now internship.

When did working as a vet become an ambition?

I’ve been passionate about working with animals since I was young, but it wasn’t until I was midway through high school that I decided being a vet was for me. It’s been my only career goal ever since.

Why did you apply for a place on our internship programme?

It’s an excellent hands-on way to get experience while learning from some of the best specialists in their fields. The fact that I’ve only recently graduated didn’t affect my application which was nice, because sometimes it can be hard to get the experience you need to work in the profession.

The Vets Now internship allows young vets to experience life in a busy Vets Now hospital

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’m interested in ophthalmology, so hopefully, I can follow that and specialise in the future. Perhaps by then, I’ll be working towards an ophthalmology residency in the UK.

What attracted you to Vets Now?

I liked the whole ethos of the company, the supportive nature of the team I will be working with, and the attitudes of everyone I met at the hospital. Vets Now appears to be a forward thinking company and one I look forward to being a part of.

As part of the internship, you work out of hours in ECC. Do you enjoy these shifts?

I enjoy the variety of the cases that come in after hours and the excitement involved in ECC work. You never know what you’re going to get, so you always have to be adapting to whatever situation arrives. Each case is a massive learning experience, and every time you treat a patient out of hours, you’re improving your skills and knowledge. One of the most satisfying things about working out of hours, however, is the impact that you can make on a patient’s life — you can take a patient from a critical condition where things are looking bleak, and turn it around so they can go home with their owners relatively quickly.

An image of John Burgess, a Vets Now Manchester intern, standing in a clinic for Vets Now article on Internships
The Vets Now rotating internship is designed for highly motivated recent graduates

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Is the internship good preparation for working in ECC?

I’m keen to gain as much experience as possible working in an ECC hospital, as well as improving my knowledge and competence in small animal medicine and surgery.

From the way the programme has been laid out, and from all of the talks and lectures I’ve attended so far, I think this internship will provide me with the perfect foundation for a career in ECC.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of becoming a vet?

Follow your dreams and work hard to achieve your goals. It may sound a bit cheesy, but it’s true, if you’re passionate about something then you shouldn’t let anything stand in your way. There will be a lot of tough times in becoming a vet, but the rewards are even greater and will make everything worth it in the end.