Vet Tech Grad: From Enrollment to Employment
Published on January 28, 2014 by Bob Trewartha
(OREM) When Vicki Romero started her studies at the Broadview University-Orem campus, she was definitely out of her element. When the veterinary technology program student arrived in Utah, she had no friends; no real support system. She was really nervous about school, and began her studies as a solitary student who was determined to succeed. As with most of life’s great challenges, college is almost never “done” alone, and she soon learned that she needed help…and she found it. She reached out to her cohort, and in a short time, made life-long friends in the people she was studying with. She recently graduated with her associate’s degree and is currently working at a veterinary clinic in her home state of Maryland.
Vicki is an excellent example of the journey from “I want a degree, but I’m scared” to delivering the student keynote speech at commencement. She is always looking for opportunities to grow. And, although they are never easy, she has committed herself to trying new things, working through the process, and she comes out the other end a stronger, better person. She has courage.
I had the chance to ask Vicki some questions. Here is her story:
Tell me a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Gaithersburg, Md. I’m also the youngest of three. I’ve loved animals for as long as I can remember, and I had lots of critters in my home growing up. I originally wanted to go to college for photography, but decided it wasn’t for me and landed a job as a dog grooming assistant (and ultimately became a dog groomer) a little after graduating high school.
Why did you go to school? Why Broadview University?
I went to school because as much as I loved being a dog groomer (and still do), I regretted not going to college. I went to community college for one semester, hated it, dropped out and immediately started working full time. I wanted to earn a degree, and I wanted to give myself other career options. Honestly, I chose Broadview because after living in my hometown for 22 years, I was ready to get out and start fresh! I really liked what the program had to offer, I had family living near campus, and I decided that was where I needed to be. So I packed all my stuff and moved to Provo.
What was the biggest challenge you had with school?
Balancing my life around my school schedule. It was really hard at first. I had never lived on my own before going to school, so I had to figure out how to manage my work and school schedule so that I could keep my grades up and earn enough to pay rent. The other biggest challenge was maintaining my relationship. I had started dating my boyfriend before I moved, and we managed to make a long distance relationship work for us while I was in school. It was brutal, but I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. He always made sure I was on top of all my school work and really was my rock during all the tears and stress. Now that school is over, we are happily reunited and will never, ever go through that again!
Any situations, projects or classes you really loved?
I loved all my classes. I loved all my teachers, my friends, everyone. I never realized how close you become to others when you’re in a tiny classroom setting. You get to know everyone, and it makes the learning experience that much more enjoyable! I would have to say my favorite experience was going to Best Friends Animal Society with a couple of friends from school (Sydney Howlett, Teena Wright, Lis Brennan, Amanda Black and Elita Flores). We rented a cottage and volunteered there for a weekend during summer break. It was amazing! The sanctuary was beautiful beyond words, hanging out with the girls was awesome, and we were all there for a wonderful cause. I really can’t wait to go back.
Tell me a little about your new job.
I love it! I was really happy and fortunate to be able find a job not too long after moving back home. I really like the clinic, and you can tell everyone there really loves the patients like their own. It’s a wonderful environment for me to grow as a vet tech!
Any advice to other students?
Study hard, but not to the point where you burn out! The second to last quarter was awful in a sense that I had major senioritis, and I didn’t want to do anything anymore; I just wanted to be done! You will get to that point; you will want to procrastinate more than ever before, but it will come back and bite you if you give in! Stay strong! You can do it!
Vicki’s commencement speech was a great story of her educational journey. Vicki’s story is one example of what Broadview University does well. The university not only provide a stellar classroom environment, but cares enough about all students to make their educational experience as enjoyable as it is useful.