The best kept secrets for success in vet tech schools are well known truths to Veterinary Technology Executive Program Chair, Holly Gazett.
Gazett oversees and mentors five vet tech program chairs at Minnesota School of Business (MSB) as well as her own department at the St. Cloud campus.
If she were to face a classroom of prospective vet tech students today, she knows exactly what secrets she would share with them right away.
- It’s not just about the animals. Quite naturally, students who are animal lovers are drawn to this field. But being there for the people—the clients—Gazett stresses is vitally important. Learning the communication and professionalism skills is the key to success. Developing relationships with clients over time is how veterinary businesses survive and grow.
- Know from the start that we have high expectations. Students must pass veterinary technology courses with a minimum of 70% and pass competencies throughout the program. This is good news because it ensures that when students graduate, they are among the best in the vet tech field and are well-equipped to compete in a tough job market.
- Recognize and seek out help when needed. Tutoring is available on campus specifically for vet tech courses. In addition, three and a half years ago, Gazett created a graduate course for prepping for the national certification exam. Graduates who experience test anxiety or lack confidence are invited to join a six-week mentoring program which introduces them to new test material and administers practice exams.
- Form study groups and learn from each other. Required courses, especially physiology, can be very intimidating and challenging. Successful vet tech students are each other’s strength and support.
- Build confidence. Gazett emphasizes that it is so important for vet tech students to believe in themselves and develop confidence. “We stress repetition,” she says, in order to build self-assurance. “[Students] perform lab skills until they get it right.” Mentoring students also helps increase their confidence as well as the one-on-one communication they receive within their classes.
Gazett says the highlight of her job is “seeing students grow and develop through their program.”
“When they graduate,”she adds, “I’m a proud mama!”
And Gazett’s own best kept secret? In 2012 she was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Foley High School for outstanding achievement and contributions in athletics. In 1996 Gazett was the state champion in the 200 meter dash. She still holds three Foley High School records.
At home, Gazett has three cats, two basset hounds and five mice.She is also a foster parent for Basset Buddies rescue.