Oh, the Places She’ll Go: Veterinary Technology Degree Takes Graduate Far

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss is famous among traditional graduation gifts, but despite its popularity, few people fully understand and grasp the concept of where one’s degree may take them.  Here at Globe University-Sioux Falls though, veterinary technology school graduates are beginning to learn that due to the increasing supply of certified veterinary technicians (CVT) in the area compared to the demand sometimes means the job doesn’t come to you, and you must go to the job.

Amanda Thole, a recent winter 2013 veterinary technology graduate, has truly learned the meaning behind Seuss’s book.  Due to family ties, Thole initially focused her job searching efforts to a limited area of Iowa, exponentially shrinking the job opportunities available to her.  After spending a good month following graduation hunting for the perfect position (not to mention the time prior to graduating), Thole decided to expand her search area to include other parts of Iowa.

veterinary technology school

Amanda Tholse assists with surgery

Her decision paid off.  Quickly, Thole landed a position with All Pets Animal Clinic in Spirit Lake, Iowa.

Yet, Thole is not the only veterinary technology graduate expecting to find the ideal job in the city of one’s choice; and more importantly, she is not the only one soon realizing “ideal” may not mean reality.

Kim Sieverding, veterinary technology program chair, has been working tirelessly with future vet techs to educate them on the reality of the job market and what sacrifices may need to be made in order to work in their career field after graduation.

According to Sieverding, “Veterinary clinics want technicians with experience. The best way for students to get that experience is to get a job right after graduation. It may not always be that ideal job or position, but it’s a foot in the door.  It gives them experience, helps them network, and improves their hands-on skills.”

Sieverding emphasizes that there are several keys to successfully earning that desired position, such as a willingness to learn and a hard work ethic, rather than thinking about money.  She herself is an example of the hard work it takes to eventually land the perfect job.

veterinary technology school

Amanda Thole, pictured in glasses, doing an ultrasound

“I worked at a job for $4 an hour right out of school and put in 50-60 hours a week with no overtime,” Sieverding says. “I learned a lot, and to this day I still use what I learned and have been able to pass that knowledge and experience on to my students.  I was able to get the job of my dreams and worked for that doctor for over 13 years. I was able to make a good name for myself as a hard-working tech, and I think that is the most important thing you can do is make a good reputation for yourself.”

Sieverding offered some advice to current students and upcoming graduates, such as applying for jobs at reputable clinics and taking those skills and knowledge that you gain to future positions.

But most important, Sieverding stresses networking.  She suggests, “Network as much as you can with other technicians, veterinarians, other clinics, breeders, rescues, pharmaceutical companies, and sales representatives. Go to as many continuing education events that you can.  You never know when your dream job will present itself.”

By Ann Kolbrek, Director of Career Services, and Kim Sieverding, Veterinary Technology Program Chair, Globe University-Sioux Falls