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A recent graduate in industry
  1. Laura Randall

Abstract

As a student, Laura Randall used EMS to explore a variety of roles. Having qualified in 2006, she first went into practice, before joining Boehringer as a veterinary adviser for cattle health products

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IN the four-and-a-half years since qualifying from Liverpool, I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work in very different jobs covering three species areas – companion animals, equids (as a vet in mixed practice) and cattle (as a veterinary adviser).

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At university, I enjoyed using my EMS placements as an opportunity to explore the career options that would be available to me as a qualified vet. These placements ranged from spending time in a one-vet mixed practice in County Kilkenny, Ireland, to an equine referral practice in Virginia, USA, and a trip to vet school in Montevideo, Uruguay, thanks to a travel bursary. Therefore, it was not a surprise that once I graduated I wanted to continue exploring my options.

Like many others, before entering vet school I had envisaged that my veterinary career would always involve working in practice. And to reinforce this belief, I was very fortunate to find myself working in an incredibly supportive practice with lots of opportunity to learn as the practice expanded. While I was there, the partners bought two new premises and the practice acquired hospital status. I enjoyed the work in mixed practice immensely; however, I wanted to explore what else the veterinary world had to offer, and had a desire to enter another area of the profession.

A job in industry offered me the opportunity to discover ‘what was out there’, combined with a wider perspective of and involvement in the profession. In 2008, I joined Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica as a veterinary adviser for the cattle business, and embarked on quite a different career. Having not previously worked as a cattle vet, this presented a challenge in itself, but one that I have thoroughly enjoyed – especially getting the chance to immerse myself in this field.

Working in industry has opened up numerous opportunities to experience different aspects of the profession and use my skills and knowledge in many ways.

Variety

Although there are the essential parts of my day-to-day job, such as technical inquiries, pharmacovigilance and marketing support, my role also offers the opportunity to become involved in a wide range of constantly changing projects. These vary from short-term issues that arrive on my desk and need to be dealt with that day, to longer-term projects such as clinical trials, marketing studies and writing training materials, which can take months or years to complete.

CPD is also an important aspect of the role and, since joining the company, I have had the opportunity to attend lots of veterin-ary-related CPD, as well as non-veterinary related training such as media and presentation skills. Regular travel is a necessary part of the job, providing another element of variety within my working life through meeting and working with many different people, projects and challenges.

Opportunities

There are a wide range of career opportunities and paths in industry. Within Boehringer worldwide, vets occupy roles in sales, marketing, product management and research and development.

At this stage in my professional life, I have yet to identify where my future career path lies; however, the veterinary profession is an exciting, invigorating, challenging and constantly changing environment offering plenty of opportunities to explore different avenues. My veterinary degree can be useful within many roles to provide a fulfilling career and have a positive impact on our profession. This gives me great hope for a future career working within the profession . . . and who knows where it might lead me?

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