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Network your way to an equine career
  1. Ben Mayes

Abstract

Careers evenings provide an opportunity for those wanting to find out more about working in a particular area of practice to network with potential employers. Ben Mayes describes an event to be held at this year's BEVA congress

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LAST year, for the first time, the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) held a careers evening as part of its congress in Birmingham. The event proved successful and is to be repeated at this year's congress, which is again being held at the ICC in Birmingham, from September 8 to 11.

Several practices and practice groups took part in the inaugural event, and over 100 young vets and final-year students attended. The evening was lively and informative, and provided an excellent chance for students and recent graduates to find out about existing job opportunities within exhibiting practices, and what employers are looking for. It also provided time for some to discuss the ups and downs of their first job, and for interns and residents to explore their next career move.

Ben Mayes is BEVA's junior vice-president

Equine practices, and mixed practices with an equine department, from across the UK have been invited to attend this year's event, and a number have already signed up. While some of the large, established equine hospitals already take stands in the main commercial exhibition at the congress, there has, until now, been no real place for smaller equine practices to promote themselves to potential employees. At the careers evening, practices will be allowed to display a small stand and distribute literature, in return for a contribution to the costs of a ‘happy hour’ being held in the exhibition. The event is intended to provide a platform for any equine practice, however small, to raise its profile within the profession and enhance its standing in the long term. Even if a practice is not currently considering recruiting, BEVA hopes that the evening will provide a chance for practices to put themselves on the equine veterinary map and to chat to, and liaise with, the new and enthusiastic younger members of the veterinary profession.

BEVA's careers evening provides an opportunity for young vets to find out more about what working in equine practice entails

Positive experiences

The feedback from last year's event was very positive. Practices found the networking valuable for meeting plenty of equine vets at varying stages in their careers who, even if they were not suitable for present vacancies, might well be the ideal candidates for other positions that might arise in the future. The evening resulted in some candidates being offered formal interviews.

Wendy Furness, practice partner at the Scarsdale Vet Group, part of XL Vets, commented: ‘We found the careers evening very useful for promoting who we are, and were pleased with the opportunity that it gave people to come and talk to us, not only about vacancies, but also about their future careers.’

Nicholas de Brauwere, head of welfare, education and rehabilitation at the Redwings Horse Sanctuary, also found the evening to be a positive experience. ‘This forum has great value, enabling employers to meet potential candidates – I chatted with at least six people who were interested in working for us – and also in allowing practices to showcase their businesses, as pathways for career development. It is a unique and valuable opportunity for young vets aiming to get a foot on the ladder of the equine veterinary world.’

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