Let me start off by saying it was not a happy ending for me. I was not accepted this year and I paid a lot of money for the experience.
To start off, the paper application; not a terrible experience but very time consuming. Every little achievement you have ever had, including High school achievements you put down. You need dates for everything! Don’t remember? Try to remember or guesstimate! You absolutely need every piece of ammunition to make you stand out from the one thousand students applying. Do not ever pull your punches. You are also encouraged to describe everything and it gives you the section to do that. Use that space to make it sound as prestigious as possible.
The application is expensive, strangely enough an electronic application that you yourself fill out completely costs 300 dollars for 1 application to be sent and 100 dollars for each additional school you apply to. You pay a lot of money for the required software. Sounds like a good gig if you invented it. You also have to pay for your official transcript to be put into the software but you have to pay extra if you don’t want to put all the info from the transcript into the software for which I did not opt for. The cost of transcript will vary but I paid 10 bucks.
After the paper application received intense scrutiny and corrected I submitted with three letters of recommendation barely before the deadline. I got the letter that I was awarded an interview! Super excited I intensely studied modern events in the animal industry. All efforts did nothing to prepare me for the actual questions.
Paying 300 something for airplane tickets since I was careless in Montana, I arrived in Pullman with my fancy business clothes, my make-up my hair style planned everything ready but life is cruel. I decided to stay with a high school friend, a musician who studies at WSU, because it was cheap and he was generally quiet, a peaceful evening to prepare right? Wrong! I failed to account for his theatric roommates who had a house meeting with their six friends who do not live there to decide the party house name.
A true disaster! I stayed up till midnight until I broke down crying, trying to find a last second motel to no avail. Eventually it was my mother who over the phone had a courteous conversation with the ring leader to kindly throw his friends out and let me sleep. It worked and I went to sleep.
I woke up at 7 in the morning to the ring leader’s rooster alarm clock blaring through the wall, he himself id not wake up. I got dressed and beautified, realized I lost my Harland, stole a protein bar from my friend for breakfast and trudged out towards campus. I bought some coffee, had a pleasant conservation with some more agreeable students and quickly realized my wedged professional shoes had rubbed the back of my foot down to blood supply.
In the waiting room for the interview I tried my best to stand out by being the conversationalist (unusual for my character but strangely helpful). I met physics majors, human doctors, teachers and normal 4 years of undergraduate students. I am pretty sure I was the youngest person there standing proud at 20 years old. Into the interview, I met with two facility members and one local veterinarian. Pleasant people not very intimidating but still I was nervous as hell.
They went through the moral questions, experience questions, and emotional questions. I managed to make them laugh a couple of times and even passed out business cards. I felt terrible! I mentally slapped myself every time I said “um.” I said I didn’t know about wildlife feed stations when I really did but it was a fast irrational action that I didn’t correct. One question was about vaccines for cows and I had no clue because get this, I have never worked with a large animal vet!
Devastated I spent the day doing tours and Q and A’s but spent every moment analyzing my performance. I had a freaking beautiful application! But my downfall is that I did not have medical experience with large animals. Later I had a personal call with Dr. Talcott about my application. She had no problems with almost anything; my academics were stellar, my GRE was above average, my experience was rounded, my achievements were impressive, all I lacked what large animal vet experience.
Now that I have learned my lesson, my ultimate plan is to find a large animal vet to work with to fill my gaps. Competition is fierce for vet school and you need to be flawless. Learn from my close to a $1000 mistake. Be prepared; educate yourself in your field of interest, be rounded in your life and rent a motel room for the interview.