In addition to their individual stories, we thought our interviewees' wisdom and insights were valuable in aggregate too!
Some of the higher level insights we found after conducting 23 interviews include:
- Collectively, our interviewees have over 533 years of combined experience!
- 21/23 participants have additional degrees beyond their DVM
- We purposively identified a wide range of veterinarians representing diverse careers in the federal government, academia, NGOs, and the private sector
Degree abbreviations: MDP = Master of Development Practice; MA = Master of Arts; OMD = Oriental Medicine Doctorate; MPVM = Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine; MS = Master of Science; MPH = Master of Public Health; Ph.D = Doctor of Philosophy.
- Often, participants reported that their most challenging experiences were also their most rewarding experiences. Interviewees working in the government sector expressed that navigating bureaucracy, stakeholders, and changing timelines can be particularly challenging.
- Almost all veterinarians we interviewed mentioned that teamwork and collaboration, especially international, are their favorite aspects of work.
- Recommendations from mentors, international work and travel, and research experiences were common themes in our participants’ journeys.
- While some participants always felt called to their current position, many conveyed that they never could have imagined their path.
- When asked if there was anything they wished they’d known as a veterinary student, several participants mentioned staying open to possibilities and maintaining a better work-life balance.
- While almost all interviewees shared that they would not have changed anything about their time in veterinary school, several non-clinicians wondered if they should have explored clinical practice more.
- Many participants reported that mentors and mentorship have had a significant impact on their journeys and access to opportunities.
- Participants shared a wide range of challenges experienced in their careers ranging from imposter syndrome to overcoming hurdles in their personal lives.
- The biggest lessons that interviewees want students and early professionals to know are to keep an open mind in terms of career and to maintain a work-life balance.
- Working with other people, especially on international projects, is a common highlight in people’s careers.
- Participants have worked on projects affecting all 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
- 6 federal government (26%)
- 10 academic (43%)
- 4 NGO (17%)
- 4 private sector (17%)
- 21/23 with additional degree
- 10 PhD
- 3 MPH
- 5 MS
- 3 MPVM
- 1 OMD
- 1 MA
- 1 MDP