This post is sponsored by Vet Set Go.
If you are interested in a career in veterinary medicine, one of the first steps is to find opportunities to learn more about the industry. Whether that is a veterinary medicine-themed camp, a job shadow opportunity, work as a kennel attendant, or other animal care experience, these are all valuable in learning more about the work a veterinarian does on a daily basis.
Finding these opportunities can take a little bit of work. And keeping a record of each experience is just as important as finding the opportunities, as you will need to list all of the hours you have spent in veterinary and animal experiences on your veterinary school application. But if you are struggling to find and record experiences, Vet Set Go has just released a new app that is perfect for you!
Before I proceed, I do want to disclose that this post is sponsored by Vet Set Go. That being said, Vet Set Go truly is a fantastic website and the products and posts this website is creating are a great asset for any student interested in learning more about a career as a veterinarian.
If you haven’t heard of Vet Set Go yet, you should take the time to check out their website packed with information for students interested in veterinary medicine. From educational blog posts to lists of volunteer locations to useful courses about job shadowing a veterinarian, there are a lot of resources on this website. You can find the website at VetSetGo.com.
While the website is great, it is not the focus of this post. Today I want to share information about Vet Set Go’s new mobile app: Vet Volunteer.
Vet Volunteer: A Mobile App
Vet Volunteer is a free app for your phone. It can be downloaded from either Google Play or the Apple Store depending on what type of cell phone you have. Below is a screenshot of what the app icon looks like.
Simply install the app and create a profile. Then you will gain access to all the features of the app. There are four main parts of the app.
- The home page gives you an overview of your total hours logged and visual links to the other parts of the app.
- In “Log Your Hours,” you can enter all of your volunteer and work experiences.
- In “Find New Experiences,” you can search for volunteer locations.
- In “The Latest News,” you can see new entry’s from other users.
My favorite feature of Vet Volunteer is that you can enter and save all of your veterinary and animal experiences. This might not seem like a big deal early on in your shadowing experience, but it will be super helpful and important if you do end up applying to veterinary school.
According to a 2019 admissions analysis by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, the average candidate reported 1811 hours of veterinary experience, 1977 hours of animal experience, and 393 hours of research experience. Individual veterinary colleges have varying requirements – from no specific number of hours to a 500-hour minimum for successful applicants. You can find out more about the requirements for each veterinary school in this nice interactive map on VetSchoolBound.org.
But regardless of if you have 500 or 1500 experience hours, that is still a lot of hours to keep track of!
The Vet Volunteer app lets you enter your hours each time you work or volunteer. Simply open the app and after you sign in, you will be routed to the home page. If you click on the first box at the top of the screen (teal with the learn more button) you will see a list of all of the hours of experience that you have entered so far. You can also get to this screen by clicking on the clipboard icon at the bottom of the screen.
I entered a sample experience so you could see how the app works. In this case, I entered that I spent 5 hours watching surgery on dogs and cats at Banfield Pet Hospital. (Currently, the app does not allow you to delete experiences, but you can adjust all the details of an entry if needed.)
To enter new experiences, you can either click the big + button at the bottom of the screen or click on the yellow “Log Your Hours” bar on the homepage. Clicking on the plus button will give you a choice between logging hours or adding a new location to the system. Clicking the yellow “Log Your Hours” bar will bring you straight to adding volunteer hours.
When you add hours, you will need to fill out the following details:
- the date of the experience
- how many hours you logged
- the location of your experience*
- experience type (veterinary, animal, volunteer, science education, or other) – you can choose multiple experience types if applicable.
- the types of animals you worked with – you can choose from dogs, cats, cattle, horses, goats/sheep, or others. Again you can select multiple species if applicable.
- write a brief list of the tasks you performed – be detailed as this will be important when you are filling out your veterinary school application.
*You will need the location of your experience to be in the app’s system before logging your experience. If the location isn’t already in the drop-down list, you can add a new location by clicking the plus button and then going to the “add location” option and filling out the required information.
When you log hours, you can also add a review of the location you spent time at so others can learn more about how your experience went.
If you keep up with timely logging of all of your experiences during the years you are exploring the industry and preparing to apply to veterinary school, filling out the experience section of your Veterinary Medical School Application Service (VMCAS) application will be so much easier. I really wish I had an app like this to use during my pre-veterinary years. It would have been easier than keeping track of them on a paper list and more convenient than having to create a list on a computer.
Additionally, while you currently can’t export data from the app, the app developer is hoping to work on this in the future to make it even easier to sort through all of your logged hours as you work on your VMCAS application.
Finding New Experiences
The other great feature of this app is that you can use it to find new opportunities to gain more experience. If you click on the orange “Find New Experiences” bar or the search icon in the lower right-hand corner, you will be able to browse locations that have already been added to the app.
You can choose to search by state (the app defaults to experiences in your state) and by type of experience. All locations are listed alphabetically and if any reviews have been posted you can see those below the name of the location.
If you are just beginning to search for good veterinary and animal experience opportunities, this aspect of the app will be just as valuable as the ability to easily log and keep track of hours. If a location is listed in this app, there is a good chance that this location will be open to having new students. Phone numbers and websites are listed for most locations, so you can find contact information to reach out to new locations.
I don’t know about you, but during my pre-veterinary years finding good experience opportunities was a little tough for me unless I already had a connection with someone. This app provides you with an easy way to start searching for opportunities – both locally in your state and throughout the country.
Download the Free Mobile App Now
And the best part is that all of these features are available in a FREE app. So what are you waiting for? If you are interested in gaining more experience in animal care and veterinary medicine, grab your phone, open Google Play or Apple Store, find Vet Volunteer, and download it today.