Top Veterinary Technology (VeT) student Stacy Chong and fellow graduate Ann Lim Xin Yee have been successfully admitted into the second year of Murdoch’s Bachelor Degree in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVSc) programme. Traditionally, no exemptions are given for their BVSc course (equivalent to the training of doctors but for animals) and it is the first time that the university is doing so. In the past, graduates have to start from first year.
Murdoch University's Veterinary Science degree has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. This means that for eligibility to sit USA and Canadian veterinary licensing examinations, Murdoch graduates are now considered in the same category as North American graduates. Graduates are also qualified to register immediately and practise as a veterinarian in Australia and several overseas countries including Great Britain, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Here, Ann and Stacy tell us why they are glad they chose to do Veterinary Technology at TP.
1. Why did you choose to study Veterinary Technology, and what excites you about the industry?
ANN: I have always wanted to be a Veterinarian and thus decided to
choose this route instead of the normal junior college route. I actually studied in junior college for about 2 months before applying for a transfer to TP. While I was in JC, I felt unmotivated and unhappy as the subjects I was studying were unrelated to the veterinary medicine field. Despite facing much resistance from friends and family around me (many still think that the JC route is always the best), I chose to study Veterinary Technology so that I could learn more about this industry, contribute if possible and most importantly, indulge in my passion.
STACY: When I received my O level results, I was in a dilemma, and couldn't choose between NJC and TP. I’ve always aspired to become a Veterinarian because of my love for animals and my strong interest in medicine. Eventually, I picked TP.To me, it was an alternative pathway that allowed me to focus on my passion and also brought me one step closer to my dream of becoming a Veterinarian.Also, I personally felt that the Diploma in Veterinary Technology would give me a competitive edge over other JC students applying to university, as I would have hands-on experience with animals and a 5-month internship programme that they do not have.
2. Tell me about the Veterinary Technology course you did at TP. Did you enjoy it?
ANN: The Veterinary Technology course in TP covers both the clinical as well as laboratory side of the veterinary field. This enables graduates to have more options on what they would like to venture into in the future.
Being in this course certainly opened the door to many opportunities and insights that I never expected. I was given opportunities such as being a horse handler in the inaugural Singapore Youth Olympic Games (YOG) equestrian event. I also attended conferences such as the Singapore Association for Laboratory Animal Science conference, and had practical sessions on horses at the Admiralty Country Club andon birds at the Jurong Bird Park. Some of these experiences such as the YOG is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something that Igenuinelytreasure.
I certainly enjoyed my time here in TP. The school is very supportive of students and thelecturersare always there and willing to help us. I believe that it is the supportive and caring environment that contributed greatly to my enjoyable time in TP!
STACY: Yes, I enjoyed my course very much! Getting the opportunity to volunteer at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games as a horse handler has to be one of the highlights.Since I was born and raised in the urban city of Singapore, I’ve had minimal experience with large animals such as horses, but through the training sessions and two weeks of daily visits during the competition period, I had the chance to interact with these beautiful creatures.
The five-month internship also gave me valuable insight into the veterinary industry.
3. Why did you choose Murdoch University?
ANN: I aspire to be a Veterinarian and thus chose this course. Although I had received offers from several universities offering Vet Science, I chose Murdoch University as it is the closest to Singapore. This would enable me to come back and visit my family often.
STACY: Murdoch University grants a one-year exemption from the Veterinary Science course for Temasek Polytechnic students. The five-year course at Murdoch is a double degree programme that entitles you to a Bachelor of Science, and a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. Murdoch University also has a farm on-campus.
4. What are your future plans?
ANN: At the moment, I feel very strongly about animal welfare and thus, I intend to work in the welfare sector, like shelters. I had my internship in TP at a dog and cat shelter in Austraila. This further reinforced my plans to work in the welfare sector as I think that welfare work can be very fulfilling and meaningful. There's always a sense of unspoken joy when you see sick, injured or abused animals being nursed back to health and find new loving families and homes.
STACY: After I graduate and gain some experience working in a veterinary clinic for a few years, I'd like to volunteer my services to an animal shelter during my free time. I volunteered at Action for Singapore Dogs' (ASD) Adoption and Rescue Centre for more than 2 years, and really enjoyed interacting with the strays and abandoned animals.
5. Any advice for students?
ANN: Spend your free time volunteering at clinics or getting involved in this industry. This is to find out if being in the veterinary field is what you really want to do in the future. You need to have the passion and work hard to do well and know that the veterinary sector is not all about handling and playing with cute animals. There's so much more to it.
STACY: Find your passion and pursue it! Don't let others affect your decision. Every single person I knew objected to me choosing a polytechnic course, but I still did so, and have never regretted my decision!