Starting out as a vet intern helps you build your credentials and experience to add to a resume eventually. Here are a few things to remember so you get the most out of your internship when you are just starting out.
1. Be open to learning something new every time you get an opportunity.
No one enters an internship knowing everything even if you have spent years in school. Your entire reason for entering an internship program is to learn, so be open to doing so when you get the chance.
2. Don't hesitate to join in when field treatment is necessary.
Field treatment is so different than treating an animal in a clinical setting. You learn to handle challenges due to the setting, whether it is the weather or having to keep an animal contained. You also learn new methods for keeping an animal calm in new surroundings when you don't have the usual tools. Every chance you get, go on field treatment trips; you will learn a lot in the process.
3. Step outside of your treatment comfort zone.
It is so easy to get in a habit of only doing what you feel comfortable with as an intern, and it is also easy for your mentors to get stuck with always designating you with the same tasks. However, your time as an intern should challenge you on multiple levels. It is always good to get out of your comfort zone, whether that means spending some time treating a new type of animal or helping to do a certain procedure you've never done before.
4. Make a plan to do internships at more than one place.
You may start out as an intern at one place, but it is a good idea to plan to spend some of your internship time at another place. Every new place you go to is going to open up new opportunities for you. For example, if you spend six months at a vet's office, it will do you a lot of good to spend just as much time at an emergency animal hospital or at a zoo.
5. Build your network of associates by attending veterinary events.
The more time you spend networking and getting to know others in the veterinary field, the more equipped you will be to interact with these professionals as you step into your own professional role. Things like conferences, organizational meetings, and even fundraisers for animal-related charities can be rewarding for you as an intern.
To learn more about veterinary internship opportunities, reach out to local veterinary clinics.