Samantha Thomas - Washington State University
To an incoming 1st year,
Vet school will challenge you in ways you cannot yet imagine. My advice to you is to not merely hang on for the ride, but to fully embrace it – go boldly. Surround yourself with a strong network of family, friends, and faculty who will help you reach your lofty goals, and make time to work on yourself and your personal development. This last piece is a critical priority.
Being a leader is inherent to being a veterinary professional. In vet school, you will have opportunities to develop your professional skills along with your technical ones. Take advantage of these opportunities, but resist the urge to learn basic “leadership skills” and immediately begin using them to direct others. Instead, focus initially on yourself. In order to lead others, we must first be able to lead ourselves, and in order to lead ourselves we must first know ourselves intimately.
Take time to reflect on who you are, why you are here, and what your goals are. Identify your guiding principles and operate within them to find the most rewarding opportunities and career options you can. Be slow to speak, seeking always to first understand the perspectives and ideas of others. Be pensive; take time to reflect on your experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Find strength and leadership in yourself, which will in turn enable you to become your best self, and thereby your most effective servant leader and veterinary professional.
A soon-to-be 4th year