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From work experience to qualified vet and graduate scheme


  • From work experience to qualified vet and graduate scheme

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    When 15-year-old schoolgirl Caroline Kyle embarked on work experience at a vet practice near her home on Guernsey, little did she know nine years later she would return to work there as a qualified vet. The 24-year-old Edinburgh graduate has ‘come home’ to Vets4Pets Guernsey to start the next chapter of her career, by joining the practice’s two-year graduate scheme. But the connection between Caroline and the Guernsey practice is much deeper than work experience and a graduate scheme place. The practice has supported Caroline continuously during her studies at Edinburgh, including a bursary to support her gaining wider experience across the world.

    “It’s great to be back at Vets4Pets Guernsey as it’s played a key role in me achieving what I have so far, although there is more to come from our relationship,” said Caroline.

    “Everyone at the practice has been very supportive, including joint venture partner Les Van Blerk, who I first met nine years ago when looking for work experience to support my future application to vet school.

    “The practice became my second home during school and university holidays; indeed the experience I gained here helped my application to vet school succeed.

    “And to help me widen my knowledge during vet school, Les provided me with a bursary to study veterinary practices around the world, including conservation work at a safari park, shelter medicine in India and time at the University of California Davis, completing an externship in cardiology.

    “Now I’m focused on the Vets4Pets Graduate Scheme for next two years, and will also provide support to young people who are interested in following a path to the veterinary profession.

    “I remember going on the induction day ahead of starting the scheme and coming away feeling excited about the next two years, not only because of the opportunities available, but because I’d met peers who would be going through similar experiences and would be there to share worries and learnings.

    “One of the biggest reasons I came back to Vets4Pets Guernsey, apart from the support I’ve been constantly given, was the structure of the graduate programme.

    “Not only do I have the practice team to ask for advice, but I also have the wide variety of regular CPD sessions available.

    “During my CPD I’ll be able to see my peers regularly, share thoughts and spend time away from the practice learning new things.

    “Everything at Vets4Pets is part of a much wider network of experienced professionals, from first opinion practices to referral centres, and means I can tap into significant veterinary knowledge very easily.

    “And with clinical freedom at all practices, it means I can learn the different things others do, helping me improve my skills as a vet.

    “The support network means I can take on cases from start to finish, which I find helps me improve my skills quicker.

    “But during the next two years I’ll also be spending time encouraging and helping young people who have a desire to join the veterinary profession, just like Les, the Guernsey team and Vets4Pets have done with me.

    “All in all the next two years promise to be another exciting chapter in the career I love and have always wanted.”

    Les said: “Like all practices in the group across the UK, we’re always happy to help everyone who has an interest in pursuing a career in the veterinary profession.

    “Caroline was the first young person we were able to actively support, through hands-on experience and a bursary.

    “Through her endeavours, we’ve been working together to provide a clear path to continually have people in the practice environment, progressing within the profession.

    “We now have two young people coming along regularly to the practice, just like Caroline did, and another person spending time here while studying at vet school.

    “As a Vets4Pets practice we’re very much a part of the local community and we want to give something back to the community, including being a place young people can gain valuable experience of a veterinary practice.

    “We’re now able to support Caroline during her two years on the Vets4Pets Graduate Scheme and help her fulfil her dream.

    “It’s fantastic to see Caroline back in the practice as a full-time colleague; she’s a great example of how hard work and a strong will can help achieve success. We’re very proud to be able to have helped her along the way and I know she’ll go on to have a brilliant career.”

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