“Why on Earth should I buy Vet School?”
Okay, so you’ve always wanted to be a vet and know that you need to go to vet school in order to study. You may already be aware of how competitive it is to attract an offer of a place at vet school. Every year many young people just like you, all of whom would probably have made fantastic vets, fail to win a place at university to fulfil their dreams of becoming veterinarians. For some it may simply have come down to the cruel ‘numbers game’, in as much as there are only so many places available and significantly more applicants than places – they have to draw the line somewhere after all. For many, however, the chances of them having any success were slim from the start, for a number of reasons, all adding up to a below par application. It is the active pursuit of creating the very best application and ensuring you are as well prepared as you possibly can be for your application to vet school that is the raison d’être of Vet School and Vet School Success.
Chris ‘The Nerdy Vet’ Queen
My name is Chris and I am a vet. A number of years ago I was sat in exactly the same position as you are right now, dreaming of going to vet school and fulfilling my ultimate ambition of becoming a vet. It wasn’t particularly clear what I had to do in order to start my path to Vet School Success. There was a bit of information available from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and I called up the universities to ask them to send me their prospectuses. Aside from that it wasn’t as if the information and advice was flowing my way and no one at college or school really had any idea about what was required for a successful application to vet school, and that was even in the face of the fact that my college had a couple of students who had gone to vet school over the past few years, which is actually considerably more than most schools or colleges are usually able to boast. Anyway, I started early, completing work experience placements, reading and re-reading vet school prospectuses, keeping an eye on the news, especially for science and animal health related stories, and generally knuckling down at school to achieve the high grades that I knew were needed to get a place.
Little Advice Available
Completing my application was a bit of a hit and miss affair, and it was only by being able to look at a vet student friend’s personal statement for inspiration that I was able to pen anything worth a look. The interviews were, again, relatively nerve-wracking and although I was able to keep myself generally informed, there was no help with regard to preparing properly for interviews and no source of advice, guidance and example questions specific to veterinary.
Anywho, long story short, I received a couple of offers and selected Bristol, where I started after a last-minute decision to take a Gap Year (there is more about this decision in my personal account of applying to vet school, ‘The Nerdy Vet’s Vet School Success’, which is available through the website). Fast forward six awesome years, complete with the euphoric highs of university and vet school life and the deep chasms of dullness that accompanies exams each year, and I found myself at the end of one of the best periods in my life.
Filling a Need
I had, for a number of years, even whilst at vet school, been advising prospective students on vet school and how best to go about their applications, delivering lectures at conferences during some of my vacations, and this continued following graduation. It was in 2009 that I first decided that there was clearly a real need for an honest, reliable guide to vet school that was written from those who actually knew it best: vets like me and vet students. As such, I set about putting in print the advice that I had been honing and developing over the years, with the very first edition of Vet School the result.
The book was a great success and the students who were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get Vet School really gave it the big thumbs up, with many even offering to contribute to the next edition. In fact, the new books feature many profiles from vet students who, themselves, found Vet School instrumental in their own journeys to vet school success. In fact, it is this feature of the Vet School books that has been one of the most original and novel, and I know for a fact that the real-life profiles and interviews with vets and students represent one of new readers’ favourite parts of the books.
A ‘One Stop Shop’ for Vet Careers Advice
Vet School, as a concept, basically puts all of the very best advice about vet careers and successfully applying to vet school in one, or in the case of the new books, two places, answering any and all questions that you may have about how to go about getting in and training as a vet. The first and the best premier guide to vet careers and studying veterinary at university, Vet School literally is like having your own, personal career guide by your side from the start, with the sole aim of getting you into vet school.
Not ‘just another career guide’
Like many others you may have already purchased a ‘career guide on veterinary’ and be wondering what the benefits of paying more for ‘just another’ guide are, especially given that Vet School is more expensive than the other books. You’re right to ask such questions and in fact if you are the kind of person who doesn’t ask questions then being a vet might prove to be a challenge. So, what are the benefits of getting yourself a copy of Vet School, even when it means buying two books when others seem to suggest one will do? Allow me to answer such questions….
Author = Vet
For starters the book has been written by a vet (me) and as such by someone who has been where you are right now and successfully come out the other side with a vet degree – mission accomplished! So I know what I am talking about and am not just another general careers advisor. Veterinary is a unique course to apply to and it makes sense that the path to vet school is a bit unique and quite different to applying for other degree courses. I have been writing Vet School in it’s various forms for the best part of six years now and so am confident that I know what advice is needed and works. If the feedback I receive is anything to go by, anyway.
So much advice there are TWO books!
Secondly, Vet School is packed full of proven advice and tips for maximising your chances of success. In fact, it’s so jam packed with advisory gold that the decision was made to publish Vet School in two parts, so that you get to access everything without having to carry around a single book the size of an encyclopaedia! The simple truth is that I literally couldn’t, and wouldn’t, cut out any of the advice and content of the book this time as it is all, in my humble opinion, essential reading and vital to your chances of successfully applying to vet school. One of the benefits of being both author and publisher of my own book is that I get to decide what is best for my book and for you, the reader. Previously I had to edit down Vet School whereas this time I simply felt it was doing you a disservice not to offer up everything. This is, as far as I am aware, the FIRST veterinary career guide to be published in TWO parts, a bold decision that I feel strongly will strengthen the offering to you.
Choice is a good thing
Thirdly, it offers you choice. Some of you may be at the very start of your vet school journey and only really interested in learning more about how to start out, perhaps turning your thoughts to work experience. If that describes you then Vet School: Part One is going to be the book you choose. Others of you may be preparing your actual applications and preparing for interviews, or even to start vet school, in which case Vet School: Part Two is the book for you. Of course, like many people I prefer to read a book, including a series, in it’s entirety and so you may, like myself, actually elect to get both books to read them at your leisure. The key point, however, is that you have a choice whilst still being assured of having all of the information available – how many career guides honestly offer that?
How much?! Why should I pay for your books?!
Now I know there will be some naysayers who will argue that a) the books are overpriced, b) you can get all the information free on the internet, or c) I am only even writing them to line my own pockets. I have heard all of these criticisms before, albeit from very few and, rather tellingly, none of whom I am aware received vet school offers. I will, however, pre-emptively quell some of their concerns here so that they can go away and find someone else to bother.
1. Vet School is more expensive than other books on the market. That is a fact and I make no secret of it. I am a great believer in the adage “you get what you pay for” when it comes to most things. Knowledge and advice is one such ‘product’ where value is crucially important. Why are students prepared to pay more to attend the Harvards and the Oxbridges of this world? Because the quality of the teaching and the ‘product’ that is being paid for is better than that available on Main Street. I am fiercely proud of Vet School and the quality of the advice provided. I know without hesitation that my books are better than any other vet career guides on the market and are therefore worth more than the others. The fact that I am told consistently by readers that I should, and could, charge more than I do for the books serves to reinforce this viewpoint. I know that for some of you paying more than the going rate is not something you feel comfortable with, and that is fine. There are other books available and I wish you all the very best with your personal journeys. Many of you, however, are savvy enough to recognise real value when you see it and will, I am confident, make the shrewd investment – for that is what it is – in purchasing Vet School and giving yourselves the very best start to your vet school quest.
Limited Numbers of Copies
As a minnow in the publishing world, the number of copies of Vet School that are even available is actually very small. This pushes up printing costs, which is another reason for why Vet School is more expensive than other guides. It does also mean that your copy of Vet School is relatively exclusive and previous editions have become somewhat collectible, with many people actually coming back and ‘adding to their collections’ with each new edition. I like quality and so vowed to print my books at a high spec, meaning that the book you read is clearly one that feels as premium as the information contained within it. I personally detest books that are printed on cheap, thin, rubbish paper and so my books are printed on quality paper – go ahead, compare Vet School to other books and see for yourself.
Sure, you can find any information for free
2. Some of what I cover in Vet School, parts One and Two, is indeed there to be found free of charge on the internet. In fact, it can be argued that any and all information is out there if you a) have the time, and b) the inclination to go searching for it. Why then do we still choose to pay for information and why is it a great idea to get Vet School? Well, the simple truths are that you are paying for the fact that someone with a wealth of knowledge and experience – an expert if you will – has taken the time and effort to collate, process and present all of the most pertinent and useful information available in one easily accessed place and format, meaning that you can feel confidence in the advice you’re receiving and only have to look in one place for it. Simple. You also know that what is written in Vet School is reliable and accurate. It is not faceless info and I have a personal interest in ensuring that you receive the best advice available – I want you to succeed. The random bit of advice or information that you might stumble across on some anonymous website or forum, from an unknown source, may be free but what could be the real cost of acting on it alone? Again, it comes down to a value call and is one that you have to feel confident in yourself.
Any expert does what they do because they believe passionately in their chosen pursuit – I am passionate about ensuring prospective vets have the very best advice and guidance available, something that was not available when I applied, and so this is the main factor that drives me in writing Vet School. I do, however, also wish to make a return from my huge investment in terms of time, professional energy and personal risk (I pay for all of the printing, website and marketing costs) and so need to charge for my work, as any other expert does. If I am to continue to do what I do and make Vet School available as the very best guide there is then it has to provide a return. By purchasing Vet School you are offering me a vote of confidence in my ability as someone to bring you the best advice and information there is and to offer it to you in a form that is attractive, easily accessed and useful from the minute you start reading.
No ‘Get Rich Quick’ Scheme
3. I have been writing Vet School in one form or another for six years, in addition to lecturing and advising scores of students on vet school and applications. The honest truth is that I have made virtually nothing from the books to date, with any profits actually having been ploughed back in to publish other books, such as the Med School and Psychology guides, which I published with my former business. You may imagine that Vet School has bankrolled a lavish lifestyle featuring sports cars and expensive holidays. Not so. I work as a vet and, truth be told, if I were to do the maths and calculate how much the book pays me per hour that I work on it, both before and after publication, I daresay I would be better off, financially speaking, to simply work more hours as a vet in practice than to write. So it’s clearly not about the money for me. Like many entrepreneurs I enjoy what I do and it is the pleasure in doing a great job and seeing my efforts result in positive results for you, my customers, that drives me. Obviously, if I can make a return from my efforts then that’s a great bonus but it isn’t the tail that wags the dog. If any of you are still convinced that I am sitting atop a mound of gold then I will happily send you a copy of my latest student loan statement, which makes for rather sobering reading 🙂
A Collaborative Experience
Vet School is a pleasure to write, in large part due to the fact I get to meet and work with some incredible contributors, all of whom have provided profiles and content to make Vet School the premier guide out there. The best way to learn and emulate those you aspire to become like is to hear their stories and benefit from their experiences and advice. That is exactly what I always wanted Vet School to do and is something that I know it does. Many students who were sat just where you are now, contemplating the purchase of a little known book by a little known vet a few years ago now feature in these new editions, having benefited from the advice and insights offered and choosing to generously return to offer the next generation the value of their experiences. I am sure that many of you will choose to do the same and I personally look forward to working with you on the next edition.
Step by Step
So, what does Vet School actually offer? The main thing that Vet School achieves is to offer a great overview of what it is to actually enter the veterinary profession. What are the truths about being a vet? What does a vet actually do? What are the career options? What are the perks and the downsides of being a member of the veterinary profession? What will you get paid? Every question that you are likely to have will be answered in the two books. Once you are satisfied that vet school is for you, we then explore, in the order in which things will happen, the application process and the stages that you will need to go through in order to win that place at university to study to be a vet.
Everything from what types of work experience placement you should be doing, to how to actually book them, right through to choosing which vet schools to apply to, how to write the very best personal statement you can, including a real-life example statement which led to the student who wrote it receiving offers from vet schools, all the way through to interviews and beyond. The interview chapter alone, which opens Part Two and covers nearly 100 pages, is more comprehensive a guide to vet school interviews than you will get anywhere else. With over fifty pages of example interview questions, if you don’t feel prepared for your interviews after reading Vet School then there’s not much more that can be done to help you do so. I have often been told that this one chapter, which has had to be edited right down in previous editions, is worth the price of the book alone! And you know what, I agree – it is!
Check out the sample pages for yourself and if you like what you read and feel like making a great investment in your future then go for it – getting your own copies of Vet School: Parts One and Two is super simple.
Thanks for taking the time to listen to me and for supporting Vet School. All the very best with your own Vet School Success and whether you choose to buy Vet School or not be sure to keep in touch, whether through the Facebook page, Twitter or website, and good luck.
Yours in nerdiness and vettiness
Chris (The Nerdy Vet) Shivelton Queen
BSc BVSc MRCVS