When you are putting together an application for vet school, vet school personal statement examples will be a great way to learn how to write your own. Samples statements are like templates, or a beaten path showing you the way forward.
This article will give you a few veterinarian school personal statement examples to look over so you can perfect your own statement. We will also cover some helpful hints to make your statement as effective as possible, and some pointers on what writing mistakes you should avoid.
“Saddle up,” is my favorite phrase of all time and it conveys with it a sense of adventure that few other phrases ever can. I suppose a lot of this comes from my early years where I loved cowboy stories, but it continued on through my life once I started learning about horses. I think that’s why I loved stories of the wild west to begin with: the horses – majestic, powerful, and almost living embodiments of freedom and adventure.
I grew up with horses. My cousin, Brianne, had horses and I spent as much of my time at Brianne’s place as I could. I found that other girls my age liked the idea of owning a pony, but weren’t as interested in the care of the animal. I didn’t mind it. I made connections, and learned rudimentary caring techniques. As I grew, I became more invested, and I started learning about how to care for animals on a deeper level.
My favorite thing that I learned was about trimming horse hooves. There are different schools of thought about shoeing, but I have always favored trimming and caring for horse hooves in their natural state. It is a difficult skill to master, but one of many I learned while looking after horses.
With that in mind, I took up my next job working in an animal shelter, and we dealt with all kinds of different animals that came through, mostly dogs and cats, but one animal we wound up with for a time was a chameleon named Fred who had been abandoned and neglected by his owner.
Fred proved to be a challenge – a less familiar creature than typical housepets. I started to read up on the care of lizards, tropical animals, and other exotic pets. I had to keep his cage warm, but mist it with water, and I learned that if another chameleon came into the store I would have to keep them separate, since they prefer living alone. I became fascinated with this lizard for these unique care items, and for his strange feet and rotating eyes. I knew that this was an area of study I wanted to pursue.
In case you were worried, Fred the chameleon is fine; I adopted him and he says, “Hello,” in his lizard way.
As much as I loved my job at the shelter, I decided that my experience would best come from the zoo. We live fairly near the city zoo, and a short bus ride brought me to work every day. I got first-hand experience working with exotic animals, and at last, my career goals, my love of exotic animals, and my love of adventure came all together to form one, clear path forward.
Whenever the zoo’s vets would come by and make their rounds, I would ask them questions and offered to help them with their activities. Through this, I got to “assist” on several routine events, usually with helping to control the animals and keep them still while medicine was being administered or a checkup was happening.
One of those doctors, Dr. Martin Bellford, offered to help me out with my studies, and has proved to be as inexhaustible at answering questions as I am at asking them. He has let me come with him on all subsequent zoo visits and has explained a lot of exotic animal medicine to me. He taught me about how to stay on my toes. There are so many different kinds of animals that a vet needs to know about!
My extracurricular activities inspired my academic pursuits. I have been studying biology extensively, and my favorite classes are my biology labs. I was a bit uncomfortable dissecting frogs; I didn’t know how to feel as an animal-enthusiast. I was grateful for the ability to learn about animal anatomy, but I do believe strongly in ethically caring for animals and ensuring their health and wellbeing, as well as their rights and welfare.
Someday, I hope to be an exotic animals specialist who works with strange, wild species. I’d also like to continue to care for horses, and serve as an expert or volunteer for organizations, like the World Wildlife Fund, to continue to aid the cause for wildlife preservation. Lofty goals, but goals that are filled with adventure and animals.
Applying to vet school? Check out these foundational requirements.
I was screaming at a birthday party, trying to fold in on myself so completely that I couldn’t be seen by the dog sniffing me. My best friend Jake had a dog and I was terribly afraid of dogs. I had been knocked over when I was little and I guess that memory stayed with me long enough to develop a Pavlovian reaction to seeing a canid.
But, here I am, all these years later, writing this letter with two dogs’ heads resting on my lap. I went from terrified to an enthusiast.
This change of outlook happened while pet-sitting for a family friend. I was forced to come up against dogs. At first, I was all nerves and anxiety, but one of the dogs, named Lion, really was insistent that I play fetch. At first I was throwing the ball to get Lion away from me; without realizing it, I began to throw it for fun. That evening, I found myself petting Lion while watching TV. I made friends, and started to love those dogs.
I wanted to know more about animals and work with them. My uncle Carl is a vet, and in early high school days I asked if I could work for him at his clinic. He agreed, and while I mostly did menial office tasks befitting a summer job, I also got to help out with the animals
Most of what I did there was feed the animals and look after any overnight patients, but sometimes Uncle Carl would show me about a particular procedure, and he always made time to answer my questions. One day he got me to help him with a dog’s hurt hindleg – how to settle the animal, hold it gently but firmly, and how to dress the wound so that it would heal.
Again, my thirst for knowledge took over, and eventually Uncle Carl couldn’t keep up with me questions. He told me which classes I should be taking in school to learn more. I took as many biology classes as I could, and I read up on extra material. I found that I learned best by re-wording what I learned, and wrote several extra essays just so I could understand the material better.
Through working at Uncle Carl’s practice, I have discovered that I gravitate towards domestic animals. Pets are so important to me, and I want to enter a field where I can provide care for the fuzziest of family members
Last year, Uncle Carl promoted me, and I have been more directly helping with the animals under his supervision. I have come to appreciate and understand the complexities of the vet profession, and have received many hours of direct experience with medicines, evaluations, care, and treatment options for household pets. Dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, and a few spiders and snakes have all come under my purview.
I also volunteer several days every month with an animal shelter, bringing in my knowledge of how to care for these animals and help them with their health
I don’t have lofty ambitions of changing the world on a global scale; I want to be a family vet, caring for pets. I think that’s plenty of world-changing for many people who need their family cared for and their pets looked after. I have seen the relationship that vets have with their patients, and it is rewarding and wonderful.
Preparing for an MMI interview? Check out these top tips!
There was nothing I could do, because when you have a three-inch gash across the stomach of a seven-inch piglet, it’s almost guaranteed to die. But hopelessness is for other professions. I’m a farm boy, so I dosed the piglet with Stresnil, grabbed a needle and thread, and sewed the little guy up.
Life on a farm has taught me a lot of things. It’s taught me about how to be tackled repeatedly by my older brother, how to fall in creeks your parents didn’t even know were there, and how to care for animals. I have seen every aspect of animal care, and participated in most of them as well.
I was there to welcome in newly-farrowed piglets, to care for them as they grew, to administer medicines and vaccinations, to feed them, scratch their backs, and put them down as quickly and humanely as possible when all else failed. Never have I lost an animal I haven’t fought for, and never have I given up on them, even in the last hours.
There is no question that this life has given me an excellent skillset and a lifetime of experience in working with animals, caring for them, and coming to understand their needs. As much as I appreciate being a farmer, my favorite aspect of the job is the care for the animals, and I want to focus on that. That’s why I want to go into the veterinary profession instead of following in my family’s business. Don’t worry, my brothers will keep the legacy going.
Maybe I shouldn’t tell you about my failures, but I feel like they were an important part of my journey, so I will. In college, when I started to study subjects I would need to become a vet, I found I had to get over myself. My experiences were valuable, but I didn’t know nearly enough. I had brought an arrogance with me; because I had direct experience with animal care, I thought I would breeze through my coursework and studies. I was wrong.
My first test score I got back for my environmental science course took me down a peg or two and I found out the hard way that I needed a better attitude, better studying habits, and to move into the hard sciences with more determination.
The attitude was a fairly easy adjustment. I have three brothers, and between their teasing and besting me in wrestling matches, my ego isn’t so fragile that it can’t take another hit. I accepted the fact that I needed to learn even more than my peers – I had allowed myself to fall behind. Then I fixed my study habits by setting a regular routine – I would always study directly after doing chores in the barn.
Finally, I took a whole new approach to my studies: I went in ignoring my grade entirely and instead just asking one question after another, allowing my curiosity to fuel my search forward. I have found that a need to understand is a far better incentive than a grade. A grade-seeker gets nothing more than a number, but a curious mind receives knowledge.
I won’t say I’m pleased that my grades have greatly improved, although they have, because I am far more wary of becoming egocentric again, but I will tell you that my studies are fairing better. I put in the work and have done some extra credit work to make up for my slow start.
Between school and farming I don’t have a lot of spare time, but I have made space to volunteer with an animal rescue organization, and I have even been fortunate enough to join them when they go out to retrieve loose animals. I have helped out with countless animals now, of many different kinds, and I am starting to expand my knowledge of the animal kingdom beyond those found on farms.
With that said, I do want to specialize in farm animals and become a veterinarian for farms. I might not be taking over for my parents, but I still love that life and those animals. I can’t save every piglet with a heavy wound, but I can try. What’s more, with training, I have the best chance possible of making every animal’s life a little bit better.
Each personal statement needs to answer one crucial question: why do you want to be a veterinarian? Answering that question is the main point of your essay, but it must be more than that, or that reason won’t be impactful. Anybody can say “I like animals,” you need to say and show why, and you need to tell the story of your journey to getting to where you are.
The reason is because your personal statement being good also hinges on whether or not your story is personal, unique, and shows your journey in the best light. You’re going to show the application committee why you are the perfect fit for the profession of veterinarian.
A personal statement is one of the best ways to stand out to the applications committee. This makes you more than a number or a list of accomplishments. It gives context to those accomplishments and shows your humanity and uniqueness – two very important factors in your acceptance and moving towards your future as an animal doctor.
1. Are personal statements graded?
Different schools process applications in their own way – including personal statements. With that said, most aren’t going to mark or grade the statement. That’s why it’s so imperative to make a statement that grabs your reader and makes you stand out. It needs to be a statement that makes the committee think, “I need to interview this person; I want to meet them.”
2. How much weight does a personal statement carry?
Again, it really depends on the institution; some will weight the statement more or less than others.
What you need to know is that your statement needs to grab the attention of the reader and that you should consider all aspects of your application to be of utmost importance.
3. What kinds of experiences are valid for working with animals?
All kinds are valid, and more types are better.
If you have cared for pets, volunteered at a shelter, or have more direct, medical experience with animals, anything is on the table and valid. Get as many different types as you can. More impressive candidates will demonstrate a rapport with animals – caring for them – as well as medical and scientific knowledge.
4. I want to be a vet for exotic animals, but I don’t have experience with them, and is that a problem?
No, it isn’t. Obviously, if you have direct contact with the kind of animal you want to specialize in, that’s great, but wanting to be an elephant doctor or somebody who helps save pandas from extinction are great goals, and you won’t be penalized because you’re not one of the rare few people who have access to pandas.
Focus on the experiences you do have to get to the ones you don’t.
5. Do I have to love all animals to be a vet?
No, but you should be an animal lover, so to speak. Even if you aren’t 100% sold on creep-crawlies like millipedes, you can still love animals and want to care for them. Nobody’s asking you to give a shot to an arthropod, anyway.
6. Where can I get experience in the vet area before I’m a vet?
Animal shelters, farms, pet stores, zoos, aquariums, and possibly even a vet’s clinic will all be places you can volunteer or work to gain experience working with animals.
7. Do I have to have pets to be a vet?
Not at all. You just have to be interested in animals and their wellbeing, the skillset, and the requisite academic requirements and experiences. Pet owner can be part of that, but it’s not the only factor.
8. I’m stuck staring at a blank page, how do I beat writer’s block?
Brainstorm for a couple minutes. Just take a paper and pen and free-associate about vets and animals for two minutes. Time yourself and stop at the end of those two minutes; you’ll probably have a lot to work with.
If you’re still stuck, try thinking of the moment or series of events that led you to your decision to be a vet. Start telling that story, highlight your achievements and growth along the way, and you’ll mostly be done your statement right there.