Have you ever wondered what it was like to attend The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies? Read the interview to see what credentials Nikki had before applying.
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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 and year you started Veterinary Medical school.
Nikki Noro, I started The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in 2016.
What was your major in undergraduate college?
I studied Chemistry, English literature, Creative writing, Maths and Biology at AS level and then Maths, Chemistry and Biology at A2. (As an explanation, in England we can get to vet school straight out of high school so these are my A levels, which are the last two years of school in England)
At what age did you first apply to Vet school?
When I applied to The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, I was 17 and turned 18 during the application.
How many schools did you apply to?
4 (This being the maximum number you can apply to via UCAS, the system to apply to universities in the UK or at least Great Britain)
How many application cycles did you apply before being accepted?
What types of paying jobs did you have before going to Veterinary School?
Did you volunteer? If so, where?
Before getting accepted to The Royal (Dick) School for Veterinary Studies, I did a lot of volunteer work experience, which in the UK is necessary to be able to apply. I did a full 8 weeks at the start of my application. -4 at a small animal vet with two at a vets which was next to a referral hospital with a hydrotherapy pool.
-1 at a farm Vet.
-1 at a mixed farm.
-1 at a beef farm.
-1 at a stable.
I also volunteered Saturdays and Sundays at a Kennel and Cattery from 8-1 from September to December as well as milking every Saturday evening from August to May. For two weeks, I also helped out in a badger vaccination program. After I received my offer I did some work experience, from UCAS, but this didn’t aid my application.
When did you decide to become a Veterinarian?
I always wanted to be a vet from a young age and so in Year 10 when I was 14/15 I did my first week of work experience and realized that this was definitely the career I wanted to do.
How many schools invited you for an interview?
I was interviewed by all four schools to which I applied.
How many of those gave you an acceptance letter?
With the English system, you can apply for the first time during your last year of high school (the process runs from September to May more or less) if you apply during this time, you mainly receive conditional offers that are dependent on you getting certain grades on your exams. I only received one offer, from The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.
What was your GPA (in undergraduate)?
My GSCEs (taken at 16) are 12 A*s, my AS results (taken at 17) are AAABB and my A2 results (taken at 18 and my condition to get into uni) were A*A*A.
What was your GRE score?
We don’t have to take a GRE to apply but Cambridge and RVC have the BMAT as an admissions test and as I applied to Cambridge I took it and I scored 5.2, 6.2 and 3.5A.
Did you interview any Vets before starting the application process? If so how did you approach them?
I obviously had the opportunity to talk to Vets when I was doing work experience at their practice but other than that I did not interview any Vets.
Were you a member of the Pre-Vet club at your school?
No, at my high school I was the only one who wanted to study Veterinary medicine and there were no clubs for vets/medics etc.
Is it a good idea for students to join clubs and organizations once they are enrolled in Vet school?
Yes! I’m only in my first year at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, but one piece of advice we’ve been given a lot is to find something else apart from Veterinary Medicine to enjoy as a stress relief and to meet people who aren’t Vet students (of course this is only applicable if your university has non-Vet students) and I’m really enjoying doing things outside of my degree.
How did you handle your letters of recommendation? Were they from Professors or Veterinary Doctors?
I got a reference letter as part of my UCAS application from my high school teachers and references from all of the places I had done work experience.
Did you know them very well before asking for a letter?
I knew my teachers very well, the people who wrote me the references less so.
Are you happy that you chose this career?
Yes! At the moment I am really enjoying vet school at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies! It’s all very interesting and fun!
Do you have any advice for students, once they are accepted?
Take some time to let it sink in that this is not a mistake, pack well for uni and be mindful of what you do and don’t need, realize that you’re no longer going to be the smartest in the class, aim to pass rather than only studying so that you can excel, have fun and reach out to people if things are getting hard.
Any study tips?
I’ve only just started so come back to me in a bit, but listen to any advice older students give and if there’s any study skills help available, take it.
Do you have any last words of wisdom?
Be prepared for rejection and don’t let it bring you down, it will be hard but you can get through it. Prepare for interviews as best you can and be yourself, don’t say sorry for not knowing something at an interview especially for Cambridge, they’re expecting you not to know stuff. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and behind at Vet school, everyone does, so you can get through it just like everyone else does. Treasure your moments working with live animals, at the moment the majority of animals I see are dead dogs for dissections, so live animals are a lot more fun. Anatomy is hard and there’s no easy way to learn it. If you can, record your lectures!! I tend to be tired in the morning so the fact that I’m recording the lecture lets me not miss anything if I doze. Go to all of your lectures and practicals even if it’s not new information, you will look good to your lecturers when you’re one of 30 who turn up. Have fun and try out new things.
How can people find you? (Social media or email)