Joel Cheong Zhi Chao
Diploma in Veterinary Technology
I graduated from Temasek Polytechnic (TP) in 2013. I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian at 15. I was not a high achiever and doubted that I would be able to meet the entry requirements for TP. When I received my O level results, I realized that I was eligible for the TP Diploma in Veterinary Technology.
As clichéd as it sounds, I am passionate about helping animals and doing the most I can for them. Upon graduating and finishing National Service, I applied and received an offer to study at the University of Glasgow (UoG), Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. I chose Glasgow University because the Vet School started a new curriculum in 2013 which is very different from the modular studies we are used to in Singapore. The subjects you learn in Year 1 can be applied throughout the whole course.
Temasek Polytechnic’s Diploma in Veterinary Technology certainly helped establish a good foundation and gives me a competitive edge over my peers; I don’t get lost when scientific terms are thrown at us, and I understand lectures faster. Through my course in TP and UoG, I realized that the veterinary industry is not solely about animals. Strong people skills are required for effective client communication. The course is by no means easy even with background knowledge. You need hard work, determination and passion to get through the course.
At the moment, I have a very strong interest in internal medicine, orthopedics or exotic animals. I intend to do an internship and residency in the UK to specialise in one of the fields above. Singapore lacks Veterinary specialists and I hope to bring a valuable skillset back with me. It is exciting to see the advancements in Veterinary Medicine and I have a strong desire to be able to contribute to that.