Author: Holly

A qualified veterinary professional who has diversified into the world of project management, events and marketing, with particular interests in wellbeing, mental and physical health. Alongside working in the events and community side of VSGD, I co-run Vetfit; a wellbeing service aiming to support mental and physical health among the veterinary profession through exercise, social support, and evidence-based management solutions. My skills are currently focused on event planning and delivery, website building, and digital marketing. I'm a very project-oriented person, with a particular love for getting knee-deep into a project, and nurturing it to fruition! I was also lucky enough to be shortlisted for Pioneer and London Vet Shows 30 under Thirty Cohort 2022.
  • Ellie Lee BVSc MRCVS – Director, Manchester...

    Ellie Lee BVSc MRCVS

    Director, Manchester Cat CLinic

    Posted: 25/09/2023

    Salary

    We're not currently paying ourselves a full salary but once the finances are more stable we'll be on £50k each, increasing that as the practice grows

    Travel

    None

    Values

    Going the extra mile for clients & patients Being an empathetic employer

    Region

    Manchester but you can open your own practice anywhere!

    Essential Skills

    Confidence in the clinical side of the job Good interpersonal skills

    Ellie Lee BVSc MRCVS

    Check out our Career Q & A questions below to take a deep dive into this career path.  If you’re interested in this type of career but unsure how to take the next step, click below to learn more about our services designed to support you.

    My first job was at Vale Vets in Kidderminster, an independent small animal only practice in the West Midlands. I worked there for two years and feel very lucky to have started my career in such a lovely, supportive practice. I learned so much from some amazing vets and nurses and at the time we did our own out-of-hours which, although I didn’t love it at the time, taught me a lot and really helped my confidence. I then locumed in the UK for a few months before moving to Wellington, New Zealand to work at the SPCA for a few months, followed by some travelling, then returning to the UK as a locum based in Manchester.

    My husband and I had been locuming in the Manchester area for a couple of years and felt that we would never really be ready to settle down into a permanent job again unless someone opened a cat-only practice in Manchester. We’d sort of joked about doing it ourselves but had never really been serious about it until November 2021 when I was in a pub in Gloucester with some other BSAVA volunteers and the subject of opening a practice came up. I chair BSAVA North West Regional Committee and sit on Council, so I’d travelled down to BSAVA HQ after work ahead of a Council meeting the next day. The vets I was speaking to were so encouraging and supportive of the concept of me opening a practice that it went from being a bit of a joke to a serious idea and I went home the next day wanting to seriously look into it. We booked onto Onswitch’s Open Your Own Practice course and one thing led to another and now we’re practice owners!

    We had to make a business plan to get loans for equipment and premises renovations (we used a company called Vector Finance who were fantastic). We were very lucky that there was a veterinary surgery which had closed in 2020 very close to where we live – it had been a vets since 1948, sold to a corporate in 2018 but the previous practice owner retired and the practice closed due to staffing issues and Covid. The corporate had been paying rent on an empty building for a few years by the time we came along and were very keen to break their lease. Our landlord is a retired vet who was very happy for us to take over.

    I love the feedback from staff and clients about how nice the practice is. Multiple times a day clients will tell me that they’ve never been to a vets like ours and that both them and their cats are so much more comfortable here. We really do our best to go the extra mile and I think the way we’ve renovated the practice and made it much less clinical and more friendly really makes a big difference. We’ve also been very lucky to have recruited an absolutely brilliant group of people who are a pleasure to work with

    I’d say my day is pretty typical for a small animal vet except I only see cats, which is such a treat. I get a lot less scratches and bruises than I used to and the practice is much quieter and calmer than anywhere I’ve ever worked.

    The management side has been a big learning curve and the admin burden has been absolutely huge but we’re getting into the swing of things now and have been able to delegate a lot of things to the rest of the team. We’ve just recruited for another vet and RVN as we’ve been so busy that we’ve needed to grow really quickly. My husband and I have been working 50-60 hours a week since we opened but we should actually be able to have a day off once the new vet starts which we’re very excited about.

    Someone who doesn’t mind a big admin burden and is very organised – there is just so much to think about and do on top of all the clinical work. We expected to start off fairly quiet but we were pretty much fully booked from the get go, and by all accounts that’s not unusual, a lot of other startups have also been doing really well.

    It also really helps to be a people person, not only for managing the team but also clients really like to see a vet at the face of an independent practice and really appreciate getting to know you. We get a lot of comments about how much they want to get to know a regular vet and see a familiar face, and our social media posts get a lot more engagement if they have our faces on it. It can feel a bit weird to put yourself out there (especially after we’d been fairly anonymous locums for a few years) but clients really appreciate it.

    We didn’t have any money! We’d got married the year before and bought our first house the year before that so we had no cash at all. Thankfully vets are seen as very safe businesses to lend to and we were able to borrow £240k for cash and renovations based on our business plan alone. We continued to locum through the same limited company that we were using to open the practice so some of what we were earning went towards the costs of setting up the practice too. It was a bit of a scary leap and even though we’d done the maths and had good accountants we still felt a bit like we were winging it and it was a big relief to get all of the bills paid without running out of money.
    1. Onswitch’s “Open Your Own Practice” course
    2. Onswitch’s “Managing & Coaching Teams” course
    3. Speak to people who own their own practice
    Do the “Open Your Own Practice” course from Onswitch – I can’t express enough how hugely helpful not only the course was but also the massive amount of help we’ve had from Alison Lambert and Ruth Gray since then. We could not have done this without them and they still give us so much advice and support. It also introduced us to a network of people in the same boat as us who we get a lot of support from. It makes a huge difference being able to speak to people who are going through the same thing and get answers to the millions of questions we had.

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

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    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

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  • Human Radiography and Vet Nursing: A Dual...

    Human Radiography and Vet Nursing: A Dual Career Journey with Bethany Scott

    Are you looking for a dose of RVN career inspiration and motivation? Bethany's journey through the world of veterinary nursing and her transition into Diagnostic Radiography is nothing short of inspiring.

    Posted: 01/09/2023

    Location

    zoom, online

    Dates

    18th September 2023, 19:00 BST

    Speakers

    Bethany Scott
    Hosted by Ebony Escalona

    A dual career journey as an rVN

    Are you looking for a dose of RVN career inspiration and motivation? Bethany’s journey through the world of veterinary nursing and her transition into Diagnostic Radiography is nothing short of inspiring.

    Bethany climbed the ladder from being an Auxiliary in 2012, to a Student Veterinary Nurse (SVN), and eventually achieved her RVN qualification in 2017. Her adventurous spirit led her to a stint in a Caribbean clinic, however the challenges of the pandemic left her feeling jaded and burnt out. Instead of giving up, she decided to pivot.

    In 2020, Bethany embarked on a new path, enrolling in Diagnostic Radiography, and she proudly graduated in 2023. Today, she enjoys the best of both worlds, working in the NHS while still indulging her passion for veterinary nursing through locum work.

    Watch back to hear her remarkable journey firsthand, gain valuable insights into career transitions, and discover how she successfully balanced two worlds.

    🌟 Why You Should Watch:

    • Gain insights into the transition between Veterinary Nursing and Diagnostic Radiography.
    • Learn about the challenges and triumphs of a career switch.
    • Discover the secrets to balancing multiple passions and career paths.
    • Get your burning career questions answered by Bethany herself.

    Get ready to be inspired and empowered by Bethany’s journey 🌟

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

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  • Mary-Anne Frank – Vet and Co Founder...

    Mary-Anne Frank BVSc CertSAM MSc AHE MRCVS

    Vet and Co Founder of OVForm

    Posted: 22/08/2023

    Salary

    Tangible - it may take a while to build up but don't forget to pay yourself. There is no upper limit to earnings.

    Travel

    Occasional conferences

    Values

    Freedom, Helping others, Creativity

    Region

    Wherever you choose!

    Essential Skills

    Creativity, Empathy, Service

    Mary-Anne Frank

    Check out our Career Q & A questions below to take a deep dive into this career path.  If you’re interested in this type of career but unsure how to take the next step, click below to learn more about our services designed to support you.

    I started out in mixed practice and moved to a busy small animal practice to increase my caseload while studying towards a Certificate in Small Animal Medicine. I struggled with my energy levels and was completely wiped out on my days off. It felt like everyone else was managing, why was I unable to cope? After having kids the extra workload intensified this issue and I felt very stuck and unable to figure out a solution.

    During Covid I had time to dig deep and figure out what my strengths were. I realised that I needed to do more with my natural creativity and that I wanted to start my own business.

    In 2021 I was under huge pressure with an increase in demand from our clients who all got new pets during Covid. Then due to Brexit, the pet travel scheme changed and clients who wanted to travel with their pets needed a 12 page form filled in by their vet. These forms were taking me over an hour and heaven forbid I make a mistake leading to border dramas. OVForm was born because I found filling in the forms very stressful and difficult and it was taking time away from other important jobs. I mentally broke the form down into it’s simplest components and asked my husband if he could create software to edit the pdf documents. We tested the concept and it worked. I now had a solution I could use but we needed a website so that other vets could use it. The website was created by my brother and so OVForm was born and is still run by the 3 of us.

    Starting a business is easy, you can learn from other entrepreneurs through courses and mentorship. I had about 50 ideas but picked the one that was easy, profitable and had potential to scale. It was important to me that the people I work with can work in their “flow” and knowing what my strengths and weaknesses were made it easier to choose partners who could fill in the gaps and add technical expertise.

    My business model and role are very intentional. I work in practice 2 days a week, I keep bees, I have 2 young children. The business has to fit into about 10 hours a week. If I spent more time on it it would probably get results faster but I pick the one or two tasks that move us forward each week. I ditch, delegate and automate tasks where possible and try not get stuck in the weeds of working in the business itself.

    Neurodiversity is the secret sauce that is both the reason why OVForm exists and why it is so good. When we all work in our flow it generates results that exceed expectations, that is for me the best bit!

    I usually work 10am – 3pm Monday – Wednesday. I do an “overview” look at all areas then pick a couple of tasks for the week based on what I feel is going to be the most impact. Right now that would be getting 2 more people on board to do customer services and marketing and setting up onboarding emails and videos for a corporate that has just joined.

    Someone creative, a problem solver, with genuine desire to serve the people they are selling to.

    I am a massive introvert and it took a lot of “inner” work to reprogram mental barriers and limiting beliefs that were holding me back particularly when it came to telling people about my idea. I used Neuro Linguistic Programming for this and it worked very quickly.

    1. Network with others on the same path
    2. Find out what you are really good at and make it a part of your business
    3. Find out who you want to help and find out what they are struggling with

    Solopreneurism is overrated, find people with the right skills to work with and your life will be much easier

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

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  • Building Your Negotiation Toolkit – at The...

    Building Your Negotiation Toolkit – at The Veterinary Financial Summit

    VSGD Director Mel is a guest speaker at the Virtual Veterinary Financial Summit!

    Posted: 22/08/2023

    Location

    Virtual Summit (Online)

    Dates

    September 30th - October 1st. Mel's talk is 1pm EDT on Saturday 30th.

    Speakers

    Melanie Barham

    Building your Negotation toolkit

    1:00 pm EDT

    Speaker: Melanie Barham, DVM, PMP, MBA

    Gain practical tools you can put to use right away in negotiation with this interactive talk for both associates and employers. We’ll cover” the rule” of negotiation, understanding yourself and the person you are negotiating with, ethical or long-game negotiation, and how you can take the fear factor out of negotiations.

    **Now RACE-Approved for 12 hours of CE!

    Join us at the 4th Annual Virtual Veterinary Financial Summit for an opportunity to connect with other highly driven veterinary professionals while learning about financial topics that matter to you the most!

    Whether you are just starting out in your financial journey or are looking for more advanced content, we have you covered! With topics on investing, practice management, recruitment, veterinary contracts, and more, there is something for everyone.

    Topics this year include:

    • KEYNOTE “If It’s Not a “Heck Yes!”…Then It’s No!” – Dr. Dave Nicol
    • “Building Your Negotiation Toolkit” – Dr. Melanie Barham
    • “Managing a Practice Through Economic Downturns” – Bash Halow
    • “How to Attract Talent with Social Media” – Dr. Caitlin DeWilde
    • Hot Topics: Associate Traps, Bitcoin, & Compensation Models
    • Workshops on Investing, Real Estate, Student Loans, & more!

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

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  • Negotiating for Relief Veterinary Professionals

    Negotiating for Relief Veterinary Professionals

    This lecture will focus on the skills and strategies relief veterinarians (and everyone) can apply to be successful in negotiating for yourself.

    Posted: 22/08/2023

    Location

    Zoom, Online

    Dates

    September 7th, 2023, 8pm EST

    Speakers

    Melanie barham (External Event with Relief Rover)

    This lecture will focus on the skills and strategies relief veterinarians (and everyone) can apply to be successful in negotiating for yourself.

    We will specifically cover fee negotiations, as well as self-advocacy and communicating the value you bring.

    Objectives:

    • Understanding the frameworks and norms in negotiation
    • Understanding how to communicate value to others
    • Troubleshooting the “dance” of negotiation

    This webinar is 1 hour RACE-CE approved.

    Interested in this webinar but can’t make that date and time? No problem, Click the button below to register and get notified when this course is available for on-demand viewing!

    Dr Melanie Barham

    Melanie is a veterinarian, entrepreneur, speaker, educator, and mum. Melanie loves working with teams to create change, find new ways to think through problems, and collaborate.

    She holds a DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College, and MBA in Sustainable Commerce from the University of Guelph, and a Project Management Professional designation.

    Melanie has held roles in many fields of vet med including sport horse medicine, consulting, laboratory, surveillance, not-for-profit/ NGO, and charity sectors. She founded the DVM Project, the North American branch of VSGD, and formally joined the VSGD team in September 2022. Melanie’s MBA research focused on veterinary career paths.

    Outside of vet med, Melanie loves riding horses, hiking and cross country skiing, writing, and beekeeping.

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

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    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

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  • Something’s got to change! Coaching session with...

    Something’s got to change! Coaching session with Dr Melanie Barham & Dr Leann Benedetti

    Not sure how to take your next career step or re-design your life to get to a sustainable, satisfied space in your career and life? Watch this session!

    Posted: 22/08/2023

    Location

    Zoom, online

    Dates

    September 6th 2023, 19:00 EST

    Speakers

    Leann Benedetti
    Melanie barham

    Something's got to change! Coaching Workshop

    “I want to leave practice; I don’t know how!”

    “I want things to be different, but I have no idea where to start.”

    “I just feel stuck!”

    If any of these feel familiar, like something has to change in your career, this is the session you’ll want to watch. Join coaches Dr. Leann Benedetti and Dr. Melanie Barham- We talk about how change happens (not by willpower or desire alone!), and we walk you through how to take your next career step or re-design your life to get to a sustainable, satisfied space in your career and life. You’ll leave with tools to self-reflect, and to determine your next career step.

    We also talk about our group coaching program that starts September 21, and do some give-aways and prizes!

    Dr Melanie Barham:

    Melanie is a veterinarian, entrepreneur, speaker, educator, and mum. Melanie loves working with teams to create change, find new ways to think through problems, and collaborate.

    She holds a DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College, and MBA in Sustainable Commerce from the University of Guelph, and a Project Management Professional designation.

    Melanie has held roles in many fields of vet med including sport horse medicine, consulting, laboratory, surveillance, not-for-profit/ NGO, and charity sectors. She founded the DVM Project, the North American branch of VSGD, and formally joined the VSGD team in September 2022. Melanie’s MBA research focused on veterinary career paths.

    Outside of vet med, Melanie loves riding horses, hiking and cross country skiing, writing, and beekeeping.

    Dr Leann Benedetti:

    Dr. Leann Benedetti is an experienced veterinarian that has worked in mixed, small animal and mobile practice. She is a serial entrepreneur, having started one of the first small animal mobile practices in Ontario, designed, built and operated a full-service small animal practice, and now having stepped out as a certified coach for veterinary professionals.

    As a mother, daughter, wife, pet parent, community member, peer advisor, peer supporter, and mentor, her lived experience has brought personal and observed experiences and challenges related to integrating and balancing work and life, with mental and emotional health. The last 5 years have been dedicated to becoming certified as a professional coach, and exploring the support coaching can bring to us as professionals.

    Dr. Benedetti has learned the importance, influence and impact of our self, our organizations, and our workplace culture on our overall health. Finally, and most importantly – how important it is to honor the deeply personal nature of the challenges we experience. This relates strongly to how coaching can help to create unique solutions for us as individuals working in this profession.

    As an International Coaching Federation (ICF) ACC certified coach passionate about supporting the human beings of veterinary medicine, Dr. Benedetti helps to co-create innovative wellness solutions for professionals in veterinary medicine, build resilience, and learn skills to enhance wellbeing.

    VSGD career coaches Leann Benedetti

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

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  • Unveiling the Equine Mind: A Career Interview...

    Unveiling the Equine Mind: A Career Interview with Gemma Pearson, Pioneer in Veterinary Behavioural Medicine and Equine Welfare

    Come along and join our Career Q&A with Gemma; with a smorgasbord of equine experience and as the first RCVS recognised specialist in Veterinary Behavioural Medicine!

    Posted: 15/08/2023

    Location

    zoom, online

    Dates

    11th September 2023, 19:30 BST

    Speakers

    Gemma Pearson
    Hosted by Ebony Escalona

    Gemma has a smorgasbord of equine experience to share with you

    Gemma combines her time between research and outreach as Director of Equine Behaviour at The Horse Trust and running a referral clinic for clinical equine behaviour cases where she is based at the University of Edinburgh. She is also an accredited racecourse veterinary surgeon and enjoys working at Musselburgh racecourse.

    After working in ambulatory practice Gemma moved to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies where she completed a rotating residency programme in the equine hospital, completing her Cert AVP (EM), alongside an MScR investigating horse veterinarian interactions.

    Subsequently she completed her CCAB (certified clinical animal behaviourist) and her PhD thesis ‘Stress in equids undergoing veterinary care and the development of interventions that positively influence the horses’ experience’.  As well as continuing with her own research she supervises several students at PhD, MSc and undergraduate level. Subsequently she went on to become the first RCVS recognised specialist in Veterinary Behavioural Medicine (Equine).

    Gemma is frequently invited to lecture internationally, as a recognised expert in this field and an excellent communicator. One of the most successful projects was filming a series of short YouTube videos with the British Equine Veterinary Association aiming to reduce injury rates when dealing with difficult horses under the ‘Don’t break your vet’ campaign.

    As a previous Veterinary Liaison Officer for the International Society for Equitation Science, Gemma is passionate about improving interactions between horses and people, specifically regarding the application of learning theory. In her spare time she has competed up to advanced level endurance on a homebred horse as well as enjoying competing in affiliated dressage and eventing. Currently she is retraining a Thoroughbred recently retired from racing.

    Why not join us and Gemma in-person at London Vet Show in November! We have partnered to create the VSGD Experience at the show. A curated career trail full of inspiration, support and connection. Keep updated here and why not check out some great ticket options for all budgets!

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

    I need some career inspiration.

    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

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  • The power of emotional intelligence in our...

    The power of emotional intelligence in our careers: Olivia Oginska’s evolution from vet to human savvy specialist

    Join our Career Q&A session featuring Liv, a distinguished DVM specializing in Positive Psychology, emotional intelligence coaching, and conflict mediation at behumansavvy.com. Don't miss this opportunity to gain insights from a visionary leader in veterinary workplace wellbeing

    Posted: 15/08/2023

    Location

    Zoom, online

    Dates

    25th September 2023, 19:30 BST

    Speakers

    Olivia Oginska
    Hosted by Ebony Escalona

    Let's get Human Savvy as we gather, poised to immerse ourselves in Liv's Career story

    Liv Oginska is a veterinarian, speaker, positive psychology coach, a certified workplace conflict mediator and an emotional intelligence specialist who… “speaks Human”. Since 2010, Liv has been immersed in a global veterinary community, completing multiple externships in the UK, North America and Australia. In 2016, when she graduated as a veterinarian from the university of Poland, she pursued a veterinary career in the UK. That is also where Liv gained experience and credentials in positive psychology, emotional intelligence and conflict mediation, so that her passion for human wellbeing and interpersonal dynamics could be fully developed.

    For the last 3 years, Liv devoted her veterinary career to supporting both individuals and the veterinary teams (especially leaders) in becoming more human-savvy. The human-savvy work focuses on helping veterinary hospitals to turn into places where everyone’s humanity and dignity are embraced and cherished, regardless of one’s background or identity.

    Liv is starting a lecturing position at Murdoch vet school in the Autumn and is starting a PhD at the end of September, so she’s now affiliated with both Murdoch and University of Adelaide. While contributing most of her time to consulting other veterinarians, Liv still works as a part-time clinician, so that she can fully comprehend the complexity and the emotional demands of the clinical roles.

    Also, in October, she’s launching the new cohort of the Human-Savvy League as the first one was a hit! Here’s the website where everyone can sign up on a waiting list.

    Why not join us and Liv in-person at London Vet Show in November! We have partnered to create the VSGD Experience at the show. A curated career trail full of inspiration, support and connection. Keep updated here and why not check out some great ticket options for all budgets!

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

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    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

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  • Vets Stay Go Diversify x London Vet...

    Vets Stay Go Diversify x London Vet Show Trail

    Be part of the Vets Stay Go Diversify Experience at LVS in partnership with Summit Veterinary Pharmaceuticals. Exploring Potential Together with the Purrfect Partnership to Help Navigate Your Squiggly Career

    Posted: 14/08/2023

    Location

    ExCel, London

    Dates

    16 - 17 November 2023

    Speakers

    Team VSGD
    YOU the community!

    Let's hang out in November, IN PERSON! 16-17th November at the Excel London.

    London Vet Show and Vets Stay Go Diversify have teamed up to create a host of curated community connections and career development content. Whether you’re coming alone or with a group, we’ve got you covered! If you’re attending solo, fret not! We are here to help you find your career mentors, conference buddies, and future employers. Our experience is designed to foster meaningful connections, enabling you to expand your professional network, discover exciting opportunities and build on the brilliance of you! LVS have kindly given us an array of ticket options (see below).

    Thank you for helping us co-create the trail!

    1. Conference Buddy: Your Companion at London Vet Show!

      Feeling conference jitters? Join our Conference Buddy program at London Vet Show! Just email events@vsgd.co with “Conference Buddy” in the subject line or fill our sheet, and we’ll match you with a friendly companion. Together, you can explore, network, and enjoy CPD sessions. Plus, check out our new app and join our networking events for an unforgettable experience! 08:30-10:00 and 12:00-13:00 every day at the entrance zone. 

    2. Career Connections at London Vet Show:  A friendly networking event explore our potential together 

      Unite with fellow professionals at our face-to-face networking event. Thursday 16th Nov 17:45-19:00.  Discover mentors, support, and exciting opportunities. Hosted by Vets Stay Go Diversify this free session connects you with like-minded individuals. Add your details to this Career Connections Spreadsheet or email your goals via email at events@vsgd.co with “Career Connection LVS” in the subject line. Let’s shape your future together

    3. Community Mastermind:
      Making career transitions smoother and less scary!

      Join our community mastermind and conquer career transitions. Thursday 16th November 14:00-15:00 

      We answer your top requests for transition support by gaining insights from career pioneers in various fields. See the poll results here! Collaborate with us to create “how to transition into career X” guides and shape your future with VSGD’s Membership service. Don’t miss out! 🚀✨ Add your details to this Career Connections Spreadsheet

    4. Picture Purrfect Glow Up: Professional Headshots at London Vet Show!

    Upgrade your professional image at the London Vet Show Conference. Don’t miss our headshot service, where you’ll shine with confidence. Stand out in your field with a headshot you can use from LinkedIn to company websites– seize this opportunity to make a lasting impression! 11-12:00 every day at the VetShow TV stand. Email events@vsgd.co with headshots in the subject line to reserve your spot!

    TICKET PRICING

    • Full Conference Pass is £549 + VAT use code VSGD
    • Can only come for one day? No worries! Use code VSGD1 for £349 + VAT
    • Exhibition only ticket: get a day pass to where the magic often happens… on the show floor! Learnings are not always in the lectures! Connect with organisations, pick up those free pens, join our networking session and find a conference buddy too! Use code VSGDE for £99 + VAT
    • Are you a student? Use the code VSGDS and for £79 + VAT you can join the two days. You can usually get this counted as EMS too! If you want to help show out and do a bit of work for a chance to get a free spot then hit reply and we can forward your details on to the organising committee. A great thing to add to your CV!

    Use your codes here

    We have three aims to support your career through connection, inspiration and support. Here is just a flavour of our curation across the two day and we have HEAPS of virtual career Q & As and free workshops scheduled in the run up too, so you can join from anywhere in the world! Scroll down to watch back 

    Which speakers would you like to hear a career Q & A from? Email events@vsgd.co and let us know!

    For our global audience that may not be able to make it in person – would you be interested in the recordings? Or drop us a line if you would like VSGD to travel to your local conference and support your career content!

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

    I need some career inspiration.

    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

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  • Beyond the Scrubs: Veterinary Nurses Down Under...

    Beyond the Scrubs: Veterinary Nurses Down Under Forging Diverse Career Paths!

    Watch back this chat between Down Under VSGDer Danni Dee and three veterinary nurses forging diverse careers from CPD to law!

    Posted: 06/07/2023

    Location

    Aus, Zoom, Online

    Dates

    June 2023

    Speakers

    Amy Presley
    Mich Lou
    Sara Ho-Le
    Stephanie James
    Hosted by Danii Dee

    Learn more about the panel...

    Sara Ho-Le

    Sara is the founder of EVE (Emergency Veterinary Education), where she provides CPD tutorials and ‘in house’ training in Melbourne! As a VTS ECC she found her passion in empowering individuals in our industry and showing them that learning can be FUN, not just intense!


    Tell us a bit about yourself
    I am a UK registered RVN who moved to Melbourne to work and travel in 2015. I loved it so much I decided to stay! During my career I have worked in first opinion practice, emergency and referral centres, university teaching hospitals and non-for-profit organisations. I have completed further study in emergency and critical care and obtained my VTS (ECC) in 2022.

    How long were you Vet Nursing and are you still clinical?
    I’ve been nursing for 16 years in total and 12 of those qualified. I stepped out of clinical work 15 months ago but still do occasional locum work to maintain clinical skills and integrity.


    Why did you decide to move away from Full Time clinical Vet Nursing?
    Like many vet nurses the injuries from long term manual handling and lifting took its toll on my back and I was no longer able to maintain full time clinical work. I now have a strong passion for correct manual handling and preventing injury at work. I was also ready to move into a teaching/educational role.

    What is the best part of your new job?
    The best part of my new job is educating and teaching vet nurses and vets! I teach emergency subjects (as that is my speciality) as well as other areas including inpatient care and surgery. I love that I am able to help vet nurses grow their knowledge and skills and empower them to continue further education and keep achieving career goals.

    Mich Lou

    Michelle started out as a kennel hand with Guide Dogs Australia, going on to qualify as a veterinary nurse in 2004. Michelle’s experience as a vet nurse includes general practice, emergency, and wildlife nursing and rehabilitation. Throughout her career, she’s held a variety of positions, including nurse manager, practice manager, and trainer and assessor.


    Michelle’s love for animals and her desire to make a difference didn’t stop there. In 2015, she embarked on a new adventure, pursuing a law degree with the goal of advocating for animal welfare, environmental protection, and the veterinary industry. She graduated in December 2021 and was admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland as a lawyer in June 2022.


    Michelle now works at Vitality Law Australia, specializing in commercial, property, employment, and health law. But she still finds time to work as a casual vet nurse, focusing on the care of Koalas and possums. She also volunteers with the Animal Law Institute of Australia and the National Environmental Law Association, using her combined knowledge and experience to make a positive impact in the world.


    When not working or volunteering, Michelle’s down time includes spending time with her family on acreage in the Glass House Mountains, gardening, exploring new creative projects, and reading.

    Amy Presley

    Tell us a bit about yourself!
    I’m Amy, a small animal vet nurse turned manager with an obsession with my Burmese cat.
    If I was a dog, I think I’d most likely be a pug based on my charm, my loyal friendship, and the ability to win people over 😉 .
    I’ve been in leadership/management roles for around 8 years now and I pride myself on being the type of manager I never had when I was a trainee nurse.

    How long were you Vet Nursing and are you still clinical?
    2023 marks my 16th year in the vet industry; say whattt?!
    Now I am working in a virtual capacity so do not work in a “clinical” setting except when volunteering for Pets In The Park.

    Why did you decide to move away from Full Time clinical Vet Nursing?
    I was given an opportunity to move into Practice Management, which I had already defaulted into in my clinic.
    It was too hard for me to do both nursing and practice management in a growing, busy practice. Once I took the full leap out: (as sad as I was to leave the animals) it was beneficial for everyone.

    What is the best part of your new job?
    I really like connecting with individuals and giving them a “safe space”; which encourages, supports, and empowers them.
    I particularly love helping women gain confidence in their skills, their abilities and what they can achieve within the vet world and outside of it.

    What was the most difficult part of the transition?
    Navigating changes in your professional relationships and in compartmentalising “friendships” and working relationships.
    Leadership roles can be very isolating and a lot of the time there is no real training or knowledge about that and how it can affect you and your interpersonal relationships.

    What are your recommendations for other nurses looking to transition into your role?
    If you are new to management, I would recommend the AIRC Diploma of Leadership and Management. It is a good introduction to HR, and I particularly like the modules on emotional intelligence.
    Courses to take? As above and become a MHFAC.
    Job sites to look on? Kookaburra Vet Employment, Facebook veterinary employment groups, however I highly recommend having a current and detailed Linked in Profile!

    What would you look for on a resume if you were hiring someone in that role?
    Proven experience in some form of leadership whether that be as a Senior Nurse, tech etc.
    Any form of HR duties, eg rostering, performance management, reviews.
    Experience working in a busy, fast paced environment where it is necessary to make solve problems quickly independently.
    Additional hobbies, CPD, etc that shows a passion in personal development and self growth.

    Stephanie James

    My name is Stephanie and I’ve been working in the animal industry for 10 years now- working as a veterinary nurse for the last 7 years. I’ve done GP nursing, Practice Management, Emergency Medicine and worked in a teaching hospital. This year I decided to take a step back from the clinic and now work for a global veterinary pharmaceutical company as a rep!

    Moving away from my nursing “Dream Job” was tough. I felt like I had finally risen to where I wanted to be in my career and my ego told me for so long I’d be a failing myself if I left.
    I was worried I was just like every other nurse in their late 20’s or early 30’s who abandoned “the cause”. But when a rep role landed in my lap, I was at my lowest point, and it felt like the universe was telling me that it was time to change my priorities. I was burnt the hell out. 12.5hr shifts alternating from day and night every week, a toxic workplace, a few unexpected patient deaths, and a long commute was sending me (and my personal life) into an early grave.

    The perks of being a rep? Sure there’s a few- work car, good pay, NORMAL hours, interstate and international travel, autonomy. But the biggest by far? I have my health back.
    I also love working for a company whose product I genuinely feel I can stand behind. Being in clinics every day I also get to meet so many new people and network- all the while educating vets and nurses about the latest advancements in veterinary medicine.

    Look is this job as rewarding to ME as veterinary nursing? No- absolutely not. But I think having your dream job by the age of 25, sets the bar high for anything else. I have no doubt you’ll find me in an emergency department on the occasional weekend very soon- but it will be for the joy of it, not because of this underlying guilt that I must continue burning myself out if I want to be worth something.

    If you want to make the jump into the rep world my advice would be to network, network, network. Get yourself a Linked In. Having lots of industry connections will not only help you find a rep role but will also help you so much once you’re in the job. If you’ve been a nurse for even half a minute, then you DO have sales skills. You sell best practice to your clients every day. If you’ve done puppy preschool than you have public speaking skills. You will need to be a self-motivator as there is a lot of autonomy in the role and of course time management skills are must!

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

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