Once I’d done the difficult bit (deciding that yes, I did want to spend another 4 years at university), it was time to actually do it – apply to vet school.
I chose: Nottingham, Surrey and the graduate accelerated vet med at RVC.
I figured since I had done this all once already, it would be a breeze – WRONG. The application process was far more grueling than I remember. Personal statements… also known as the agonizing hours spent trying to fit your life into 4000 characters. This was hard at school when all you had to write about was how you did D of E award, loved science and wanted to save animals.
Applying as a graduate is a whole new ball game and it suddenly occurred to me how much had happened since I left school and how much I had matured. I had jobs that had taught me so many new skills, I had so much work experience to talk about and I then I needed to justify my decision to undertake another degree. It really did take me weeks/months to get it to a point where I was happy to send it off and for me there was no other way than to ruthlessly cut chunks out of my statement. (tip = much easier if you get someone else to do it as your are too emotionally attached to every semi colon at this point). There comes a time when you just have to accept that it will never be perfect and you’ve got to send it off before you lose sanity!
Pressing send on UCAS was the best sigh of relief I have had to date. I put my feet up and thought great, now to put it out of my mind and wait for the rejections to roll in!
I wasn’t expecting the long list of extra tasks that followed…
RVC wanted a detailed log of all my work experience placements (tip=keep a diary as you go, makes this bit SO much easier). Surrey had THREE different papers to complete; a questionnaire, two essay questions and a situational judgement test (SJT). Nottingham was fairly similar with a work experience log, SJT and a looong questionnaire that took me all morning to get through. With this all finally completed, I was left wondering what was left that they could possibly ask in an interview!
Due to the high levels of competition in the UK and the extortionate fees, I also decided to apply to a European university as a bit of a safety blanket. (I have done a separate post on this) I did a lot of research into the few European universities that are RCVS accredited and decided on Kosice, Slovakia. The most influential factors were the tuition & living costs, small town location (as I’ve said before – I’m from a tiny island and living in a big city has never really appealed to me) and the positive vibe I got from reading some current students blogs. This university also offer graduates a 4 year course which is a real bonus. The application process could not have been more different to UCAS! I sent off an email with my exam certificates, degree transcript and a CV – job done.
Now the waiting game begins….
Do yourself a favour and don’t follow threads on the Student Forum. People post daily from the minute after application deadline asking who has heard from X university, who has got an interview etc etc and it leaves you feeling anxious and makes the wait more painful. There is nothing you can do now so chill out and try to check your emails less than 25 times a day.