Educating the Veterinary Students of Tomorrow
What To Include?
The personal statement feels like the hardest part of the UCAS application for a lot of people, and understandably so! It is so unnatural to show yourself off so much but it is necessary to make yourself stand out. Your personal statement is a chance to show why you should be given a place to study veterinary medicine.
Things to write about:
1) Why you want to study veterinary medicine
2) Your work experience and what you learnt from it
3) Any voluntary work/jobs and what qualities these demonstrate
4) Extra curricular activities/positions of responsibility
Top Tip: So long as you have stuck to these criteria, don't be too concerned about the layout just yet. It is best to type your personal statement as a word document, and then copy & paste it into the personal statement box when you are ready to submit it. Sometimes the layout can slightly change when you do this, so be sure to double check before you submit!
Voluntary Work and Personal Qualities
This should include:
Examples from successful applicants:
"Playing violin at Grade 8 standard shows my dexterity needed to be a veterinary surgeon. Concerts and performance exams both solo and in orchestras, have improved my confidence and have forced me to learn how to deal with pressure of responsibility."
"I also held the position of elected House Captain, a role that requires organisation and responsibility as I coordinate House events and competitions."
There are some important criterion to be aware of. As with most things in the application process, there are certain criteria that your personal statement needs to meet:
Essentially, a personal statement is a piece of literature that is designed to portray yourself as an ideal candidate for your chosen course. It gives you the perfect opportunity to show why YOU would be a good student, and what makes YOU stand out over other applicants. This is one of the first materials that any univeristy will see from you.
According to UCAS - “Course tutors read personal statements to compare different applicants – so this is where you should describe the ambitions, skills and experience that will make you suitable for the course.”
Why Do You Want To Study Veterinary Medicine?
This is a good starting point for your statement, and is also a question that gets frequently asked at interview. Be honest and try to make it grab the reader!
Top Tip: Remember, only one personal statement can be submitted per UCAS cycle. In other words, this personal statement for veterinary will be applicable to any insurance choices. However, although universities are not obliged to accept another personal statement for an insurance choice, it may still be worth asking.
Reflecting on Work Experience
Work experience forms a huge part of your application, and you should use it to make your personal statement stand out.
Examples from successful applicants:
"I especially benefitted from my visit to an abattoir where I learnt a great deal on anatomy and various diseases such as liver fluke, whilst also being able to see the other side of food production not seen when I was at my farming placements."
"My weekly attendance at the vets has also enabled me to follow on cases I have found particularly interesting and gave me an insight into the balance between ethics and science that a vet faces every day."
Transferable Skills & Extra-curricular Activities
Extra-curricular activities play a huge part in showing vet schools why you should get an interview – you need to be interesting! Vet schools want a well-rounded, down to earth person on their course and you need to show them that you have these qualities.
Think about how you would like your ideal vet to be; personable, friendly, empathetic, efficient, professional, hard-working, a team player, but also someone who can voice their opinion? The list goes on!
Now work out how these skills play a part in your everyday life and hobbies, including any jobs you have done or clubs that you are part of.
These are just a few examples but the possibilities are endless, and once you start dissecting out the qualities you have gained from doing extra-curricular activities, applying them to why you would make a really good vet is easy! You’ll have a great personal statement in no time!