People often assume that Evolution has some intention- that organisms turned out the way they did for a reason or in accordance with some gradual improvement plan. But it doesn’t really work that way. In reality, Evolution is more like your generally agreeable but somewhat oblivious high school buddy, plodding along with no particular goal in mind. Like the rest of us, it’s basically just fumbling around in the dark.

Mara Grunbaum, WTF, Evolution?! A Theory of Unintelligible Design

I received my copy of WTF, EVolution?! the other day and its a hilariously great book. I recommend it.

Tips to Rock Your Vet School Interview

So you have an interview coming up? Cool, I bet you are wondering what to expect and what you can do to help you succeed.

Pre-Interview:  Stand or sit in a power pose for at least 2 minutes prior to your interview. Studies have shown that power poses can decrease cortisol levels and increase confidence- giving you the edge to rock that interview!

Interview: be confident (but not over confident), shake hands, and make eye contact with everyone on the panel. SMILE!

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Open/closed, behavior/ non-behavior interviews normally start with the ice breaker question”Tell us about yourself”. Think about what you would want a stranger to tell you if you were wanting to get a broad idea of who they are. Talk about where you are from, your interests, experiences, dedication, etc.

Interview Questions: These questions are meant to test your behavior to situations, and often times your inner personality. It is okay to take a moment and formulate an answerer to these questions, without answering immediately. It is also okay to ask your panel to repeat the questions.

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Be sure to fully explain your rational behind answers; why you feel one way or another, why you would act one way or another etc. If you are presented with a question and you don’t know the answer don’t BS it, simply say, “I don’t know”. You will get more points for saying “I don’t know” then looking like a fool stumbling over yourself.

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Many schools have closed interviews, so the panel that is interviewing you knows nothing about you, if there is something you are proud of (research, experience, etc) find ways to work this experience into your answers. They will often ask you questions that are uncomfortable, and leave you wondering whats the appropriate way to answer, don’t stress about these, take your time, and answer honestly. If they ask you about a negative quality about yourself, be able to turn your negatives into positives. Always end on a positive strong note!

Questions/Wrap Up: Research the school you are interviewing at before hand thoroughly so if something comes up during the interview you can ask an intelligent question at the end.

When you are done, shake each panelists hands again, and thank them for their time.

Dressing for Success: What to Wear on Interview Day

After applications are submitted, and you finally hear back from the schools that you have an interview the next stressful endeavor is trying to figure out what to wear. There are many opinions on this matter and mine is just one of the hundreds, so take it as it is.

This was my outfit:image

My outfit was a fitted black pant suit from New York and Company, I don’t remember the cost, but I got it on sale and it did cost less than $100. The blouse is also from New York and Company and is a fitted 3/4 length sleeve pinstripe teal/aqua? color. I chose this brighter color because it draws out the color in my eyes, its a bright cheerful color, and its also a memorable color (much more memorable than gray/white). I paired the suite with a pair of simple black small heels. I wanted a smaller heel to make them easier to walk around in and also because I am over 6’ tall. I also think heels look slightly more professional than flats (to an extent). I wore a simple necklace and simple pearl stud earnings, and wore my hair down.

I also carried a black leather portfolio in with me. Why carry a portfolio? Well it gives your hands something to do, and can prevent fidgeting. You can also stick your CV in this portfolio in case they ask about something (though many interviews are closed file, so they won’t know anything about you).

Rules for Success:

Above all, first impressions are very important! Applicants should demonstrate utmost professionalism in all aspects of their attire (hair, clothes, jewelry, mannerisms)

Dress for Woman:

  • Pant suits or skirt suits are both acceptable. At interviews, a variety of colors can be seen from the traditional black to charcoal pinstripe. (though black is most popular). Shop around, you can find some nice suits on sale without spending a fortune. I think I went to like 10 different stores before I found a great deal on a suite (that also fit correctly).
  • Blouses: color is personal preference, but ladies just make sure the blouse doesn’t allow the girls to participate in the interview as well.
  • Hair: Up, down doesn’t matter. Make sure your hair is clean and washed and is arranged in a professional manner.
  • Jewelry: Wear minimal jewelry, nothing over the top that will detract from you! Be aware that if you have facial piercings besides from the ears, these should be removed for the interview.
  • Shoes: Flats or low heels are the best.
  • Minimal to natural makeup is best.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t smoke while wearing your interview attire. You might be interviewed in a closet (yes a closet) and if someone is sensitive to smoke you don’t want to choke them out.
  • Don’ go crazy on perfume/cologne! (for the same reason as above, in fact its always safer to just not wear any)
  • Don’t wear jeans/khakis/polo shirts- these are not not acceptable.
  • Don’t let bra straps show.

Men:

  • Collar shirt
  • Tie with a suit (jacket and slacks) in black or gray.
  • Appropriate nice shoes and suit socks

Above all your most important article you can wear is a smile, use it well, and use it often.

First Solo OHE Completed!

 Surgery days are always interesting, because they are marked with sleep deprivation, caffeine, and confinement. With an early rise time of 5:00am and having to be at the school at 6:00am everyone has guzzled significant amounts of caffeine, which becomes interesting when it is time for surgery as by that time the fluids have moved through the system and everyone has to desperately urinate. I however, withheld my lifeblood of diet coke, because I did not want to have this infliction affect me.

My patient was an adorable young cat, that was super cuddly and full of purrs and looked something like this: image

This was the first time I have preformed an OHE (ovariohysterectomy) on a cat, and there were some marked differences from a dog. The uterus was smaller, and more friable, so I could just put circumferential ligatures on my pedicles without having to clamp first, which did save time. Also the uterine body was remarkably closer to the ureters than in the dog, which was interesting.The whole surgery went pretty fast, and went super smooth with no complications. Yeah! (also I have no idea why this whole paragraph is italicized, it won’t let me uninitialized it.)

My team was amazing and everyone preformed their jobs wonderfully, which helped the surgery run smoothly and effectively. Really I could not have asked for a better team, or for a better day in surgery.

Our cat recovered well, and loves its pain management medication (pain management by the way is important for any animal undergoing surgery, because its not only humane but it decrease healing time).

So all in all, successful day! Afterwards my team went and had a celebratory milkshake (because I kept singing the milkshake song as I was sweating through my gown), and then I came home and slept until I had to go back and SOAP my patient. Regrets about skipping afternoon classes… None. Now if I can get some sleep and energy back so I can pay attention in class tomorrow…that is a different story.