University & Degrees

8 ways to get animal work experience

4 mins
May 24, 2022
Looking for vet work experience or work experience with animals but getting stuck? We're here to help!

1.  Register your interest in Springpod’s Virtual Work Experience Programmes

Getting work experience is pretty tough and you might not have somewhere that offers it near you, so we’ve got the perfect solution! Virtual work experience is the easiest way to get valuable work experience. Our veterinary work experience programme covers a whole load of topics from veterinary science to disease and diagnosis, you’ll even cover what happens once an animal has been diagnosed with a condition in the veterinary treatment module. Finally, you’ll look at alternative veterinary careers. Throughout the programme, you'll take part in activities and quizzes, and get to question professionals in live webinars. Once you’ve completed the programme you’ll receive a certificate which you can upload to your LinkedIn! So what are you waiting for? Sign up today.

2. Speak to people in your network

Network?! What network? When starting out your fellow students, teachers and careers advisors are all people that are in your professional network. It’s a teacher’s (and careers advisor’s) job to look for opportunities that could help their students. They spend their whole careers developing contacts and one of these contacts might be able to offer you a placement! Another great resource is parents/guardians, ask yours and your friend’s they might know someone that could help!

3. Speak to a Vet or someone in the veterinary profession

You can learn a lot from simply having a conversation with someone in the profession, they might not be able to offer you work experience but they’ll likely be willing to give you 15 minutes of their time. Training to be a vet is a huge commitment, it takes years! So speaking to someone in the field before you start is a great way to ensure you’re working effectively and efficiently. If you’re able to reach out to a local vet they might be able to advise you on where to look for a placement.

4. Take a ride

To get accepted on a veterinary course all you need is great grades and experience working with animals (and that doesn’t mean teaching your dog new tricks!). It’s all about getting comfortable with animals small and large, so take a drive and spot any sanctuaries or farms, visiting a place in person will help you to see if it’s right for you and if the staff can help you get the experience you’ll need. 

5. Volunteer with an animal charity

There are hundreds of animal charities up and down the UK who are all committed to the safety and wellbeing of animals, and they could always do with an extra pair of hands. The RSPCA, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and Association of Dogs and Cats Homes

– are all great charities and there are loads more out there! Working for an animal charity will mean you’ll spend time with animals from lots of different backgrounds, some animals will be in poor health, might have been abused or can’t adjust to a domestic setting. Working with these animals will help prepare you for what life as a vet is really like - you’ll also meet loads of like-minded people who could help you on your way.

6.  Browse the web

We’ve mentioned charities and going on a walk/drive around your area to look for local opportunities, but we haven’t mentioned the many ‘private’ companies that are set up to care for animals. Groomers, kennels and stables are services dedicated to animal care, whether it’s ensuring animals are in great condition (grooming) or are being looked after while their owners are away (kennels), both will provide some helpful and practical work experience. Have a browse to see if there are any local to you and get in contact with them! It’s important to note that variety counts for a lot - if you’ve got lots of experience with different animals in different settings, this might look better than one long placement.

7. Reach out to a vet practice

Speak to your local practice and ask if they have any capacity to offer you some work experience, be sure to reach out with your CV and the dates when you’re available so you can get things moving as quickly as possible. Working at a vet’s will give you a window into what your career could look like, this includes the environment, people (vet nurses and pet owners) and tech you’ll be working with.

8. Join the British Veterinary Association

The BVA is the largest membership community for the veterinary profession in the UK, they champion, support and empower more than 18,000 vets of all ages, stages and disciplines. They are the leading body representing, supporting, and championing the whole UK veterinary profession. By becoming a student member you’ll ensure the BVA is committed to developing, supporting and championing you throughout your career.

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