This summer, I am an Animal Care Intern at the Ohio Wildlife Center’s Hospital and Pre-Release Facility. This is an organization that is dedicated to helping injured and orphaned wildlife and educating the general public about wildlife and their importance to our ecosystem. I’ve personally never had an experience in the world of wildlife care and wildlife medicine, so naturally, this organization and their internship opportunities really piqued my interest. I applied in February for this position and started during the second week of May. So far, I have learned how to feed and care for younger animals such as squirrels, possums, rabbits, ducklings, and small bird chicks like robins, sparrows, and starlings. I’ve learned how to prepare diets for adult animals and raptors and how to help with certain medical tasks such as injections and medications. So far, I have learned so much about these wonderful animals and each day is filled with experiencing something new.
Because I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio, I had to find an apartment here in Columbus so that I can gain this internship experience. In order to life some financial burdens off my shoulders regarding rent payments and gas fills for my car, I applied for STEP (Second Year Transformation Experience) funding and was approved. Thanks to this program, I can focus my time and energy on learning and not have to worry as much about the costs.
In July of 2017, I started my new job at Perimeter Veterinary Hospital, a small animal clinic in Dublin, Ohio. Since I want to attend vet school, it was important that I gain experience in the various fields of veterinary medicine. I heard about a job opening at this clinic through Ohio State’s Pre-Vet Club over the summer, and decided to apply to gain interview experience. After interviewing with then practice owner Dr. Sherrie Ridenour, I realized how much I fit in with the staff and the overall atmosphere of the clinic, and was very pleased to hear that I’d been hired.
Working throughout the school year was a bit of a challenge, as it was something I had not done since high school. I had to get used to planning my days thoroughly and making sure that I had enough time to keep up with my classes. It was tough at first, but became much easier. By working at Perimeter Veterinary Hospital, I’ve learned so much about restraining patients for physical exams, monitoring patients in surgery, and how to communicate effectively with our clients. I’m truly glad that I was able learn and grow at this clinic and am grateful to have been given this opportunity.
All my life, I’ve wanted to become a veterinarian. It seems like it’s every child’s dream to work with animals, but for me, it has become something I want to make a reality. But over the past couple years, I had started to doubt myself. Every time I looked for information about vet school, it always came to the facts there were only 32 vet schools in the nation, and that getting in would be the most difficult thing imaginable. I didn’t think I had what it would take to get in. I didn’t think that I’d be able to succeed academically during my undergraduate years and meet the standards.
Last Christmas, a very close friend of mine gifted me this wonderful keychain. When she gave it to me, she told me that while I didn’t see the potential that I had to succeed and follow my dreams, my friends and family did. She told me that she hoped that I would eventually gain the confidence to see in myself what other could. I carry this keychain on my lanyard every time I leave my dorm. It is a reminder of why I am here at Ohio State, and what I can do if I push through, and just simply, believe in myself. The next four years will be tough, but I have to believe that I can do it. I am grateful to my friend for seeing in me what I initially could not, and I know that I have what it takes to get into vet school.