Ross University is on the island of St. Kitts. It is one of the accredited Veterinary Colleges, where students do the clinical year at a school of their choice in the states. We also have another interview with a Ross University student here. There are also many scholarships listed on our resources page, for you to check out.
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Check out this book: Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR) to help you navigate all of the requirements for each college.
Name, veterinary school attended, and year that you started.
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
What was your major in undergraduate college?
Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
At what age did you first apply to vet school?
How many schools did you apply to?
Colorado State University in 2011 and Ross University School of Vet Med in 2012
How many application cycles did you apply to, before being accepted?
Only one I was accepted on my first cycle at Ross. I did not reapply to CSU again.
How many schools invited you for an interview?
One, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.
How many of those gave you an acceptance letter?
One, Ross University.
Do you remember any specifically challenging interview questions?
What about you will make you a good vet?
What was your GPA (in undergraduate)?
What was your GRE score? GRE at Magoosh.com!
I don’t remember, but it wasn’t great
Did you attend grad school?
No, I was told by the Colorado State University Veterinary admissions office that I should complete a post bachelorette program, or apply to grad school in order to look like a better applicant. Which I thought was ridiculous and an unnecessary expense and use of time.
What types of paying jobs did you have before going to veterinary school?
USDA food inspector –food animal
Quality Assurance manager- food
Quality Assurance technician- food animal
Marketing Manager- Doggy daycare
Veterinary hospital Assistant
Veterinary hospital Receptionist
Humane Society receptionist
How many people read your personal statement before submitting it?
Did you volunteer? If so, where?
I volunteered at the following places:
Minnesota Zoo, Minnesota Children’s museum, wildlife rehab center, Battered women’s shelter, and I was a research assistant through Earthwatch.
When did you decide to become a vet?
At age 5. Discouraged along the way by my parents, significant others, undergrad counselors. Decided to pursue pre Vet at age 22. Applied to vet school at age 27. Now I am 32 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
Did you interview any vets before starting the application process? If so how did you approach them?
Yes. I worked with them, and just asked if we could have a lunch interview.
Were you a member of the pre-vet club at your undergraduate?
Did you join student clubs in your DVM program? If so, which ones? Were they helpful?
For 2 semesters I was in the Bovine Club. It was fun, but we didn’t really do much that benefited my overall learning. Just paid dues and had barbecues.
Did you apply for vet school after, or during your Bachelor’s education?
Letters of recommendation are required from professors and veterinarians, did you have both? Did you know them well?
I had both, but I did not know the professors well. The class sizes were large so we didn’t get that much one on one time to get to know each other. They basically just knew my grades.
Are you happy that you chose this career?
Yes. But many recent grads are regretful and ungrateful of their choice to bet a vet. Many say they wouldn’t go to vet school if they had the choice to do it over again. Most of them had an easy time getting in and an easy time paying for it. I feel that I am more thankful and grateful to be a vet because it wasn’t easy for me to get into the field, and my tuition wasn’t paid for by family.
Do you have any advice for students, once accepted?
Make time to de-stress. Most of the time you will either be in class or studying, so when you are caught up on studies, make time to go to the beach or go out to dinner, or have a movie night.
Any study tips?
The best thing I ever did was make the decision during my first week of vet school to never stay up studying past 10pm, and go to bed at 10-11pm. It was a rule I set early on, and I stuck with it. I did better on tests with less studying and more sleep than others in my class who would stay up late trying to memorize everything and not get enough sleep, and would fail exams even thought they knew the material.
I cannot stress enough how important it was for my learning and well-being to go to sleep early and never pull all nighters. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it. The classmates that pull all nighters would pass the class usually, but you can’t do that in real life. You cannot stay up all night studying for a surgery and go to work the next day with no sleep and make mistakes because your brain isn’t rested.
Have there been any classes, within your DVM program that were especially relatable to your current position?
Clinical pathology. Reading bloodwork values and interpretation.
What was the most challenging class, in your DVM program?
Many students failed anatomy in the first and second semesters of vet school. I had the hardest time with Pathology.
As a Doctor, has there been any particular case that was your favorite?
Severe Allergic dermatitis cases can be rewarding when we are able to get a resolution of itching and see the skin go back to normal. So many animals suffer from severe atopic dermatitis.
Do you have a specialty or are you working towards one?
No specialty. I enjoy dermatology and gastroenterology in small animals. I suffer from a dermatological disease, psoriasis, as well as GI disease, Crohns disease and Ulcerative Colitis. I can relate to the pain and suffering that these animals go through on a daily basis, and I enjoy working to find a resolution for them.
I have a special interest in food animals and slaughterhouse practices. I would like to work for the USDA as a veterinarian in the future.
What has been your most challenging case?
A case dealing with osteosarcoma in a 10-year-old labradoodle. The owner was denial and in turn, the dog was suffering.
Do you frequently have to research cases, on off hours?
Yes. I’ve gotten better about it, and I spend less and less time each week. It is my first year as a vet, so I suspect I’ll be doing a lot of learning still.
As a Ross University student, when you were preparing for your clinical year in the states, did you get to go to your top choice? How many choices did you get?
Yes, I did go to my top choice, Minnesota! I believe we got 3 choices at that time, in 2015.
Do you have any advice for students thinking about attending Ross?
I have plenty of advice! But, if I had to say one main thing to students thinking about attending Ross University, it would be that this is a life changing experience that you will not find in the state schools. It will give you an opportunity to find out who you truly are, and live in a beautiful country with many life lessons to learn there. I would go there again, and do it all over in a heartbeat!
What did you like most about Ross University College of Veterinary Medicine?
What I liked most about Ross, was that I loved the island the school was on!—- I loved the small town feel, I loved the ocean, I loved the weather. But, as far as the actual school, I loved the events and parties for students, I loved the ability to reach out to professors for help, I loved the campus–so relaxing and laid back. All of the administrative staff is AMAZING. Ross really, truly wants you to succeed. Ross staff and professors are there for you to succeed, they want students to do well and create a good name for the school. I think the school went above and beyond what I had during my undergraduate experience in the states, where nobody seemed to care about my success or well being. Ross cares about that, and you can feel that as a student there.
Have you read or listened to anything worth sharing (doesn’t have to be Vet related)? (articles, podcasts, books)
Andy Roark has funny videos and good advice for wellbeing
Vetgirl has some funny articles, but sometimes her complaining about owners and how “dumb” they are gets on my nerves a little bit.
I use Merck Vet Manual for almost all quick references.
I don’t use VIN, a lot of students and vets use it, but I find it disorganized and not user-friendly at all.
I like DVM360 for vet related things, and it has client friendly hand-outs.
Do you have any last words of wisdom?
This paraphrase of a Charles Darwin quote resonates with me and my journey throughout life and into vet school.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
I have been told I am not smart enough to handle the curriculum of becoming a Veterinarian. At first, those people discouraged me, and I gave up on the idea of ever becoming a Veterinarian. But later, I came to realize that I didn’t need to listen to those people and I needed to follow my passion. I knew that I was a good person that could make a great Vet one day. The discouraging comments made me work harder, strive to learn well and succeed.
I may not be the most intelligent person, nor the strongest, but I’m willing to adapt to new things, and I believe that this is how I survived the vet school journey.
How can people find you?
Via my blog:
FB @Hannah Curtis DVM