Jennifer Hall

LARGE ANIMAL VETERINARY SURGEON

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NAME Jennifer Hall JOB Large Animal Veterinary Surgeon COMPANY St David's Farm Veterinary Practice AGE 28 SALARY* £30,500 *industry average

What do you do day-to-day in your job?

My days vary from week to week.  I work in the South West, which means that I do a fair amount of testing for bovine tuberculosis (TB). 

My role requires me to visit farms to do routine health visits, which involve ultrasound scanning cows to check they are in calf (pregnant), checking cows that are not cycling, and discussing other health issues. 

I also do a lot of sheep health planning work, and emergency work that involves tending to sick cows, calvings, lambings and all sorts.

What qualifications do you have?

I have GCSEs (having separate science GCSEs is important) and A-Levels in Biology, Physics and Chemistry.  I also did a degree in Animal Science before studying to become a vet, but that isn’t essential.

There are currently seven veterinary schools in the UK. Six of them have 5-year degree courses and Cambridge has a six-year course. Once you graduate from vet school you become a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and you must pay an annual fee to the College to be allowed to practice.

What other jobs have you had?

None, other than holiday jobs working on farms and waitressing! Getting experience working with animals is really helpful when you are applying to vet school.

What other jobs or career path did you consider?

Following animal science, I considered agricultural consultancy.

What do you like most about your job, and what’s not so great?

I love working outdoors. It is also brilliant building up close trusting relationships with clients to help them progress their businesses in terms of their animals’ health and welfare.

What’s your long term ambition?

I hope to be doing veterinary consultancy work, either dairy or sheep.

What one piece of advice would you give people trying to get into agriculture?

The veterinary industry is a broad one.  Many vets qualify and don’t necessarily practice as vets.  However, having exposure to farms and clinical situations is very important to gain experience before you consider going into a consultancy/advisory role.

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