A little over half-way through his vet tech program at Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud, Dan Petersen has found the perfect job as a college student: resource center tutor.
Petersen explains that he is working on his second career, so he understands how challenging it is to find your way to a career that matters. He can relate to students who are looking for that motivation and direction.
“I wanted to try to pick a path where I knew I could be passionate and motivated every day about what I did—which is very simple: helping animals,” he says. “It’s awesome! So far it’s just as I imagined. I love everything about it! I’m pumped to come to school and tired at the end of the day, but I don’t care.”
Petersen adds that he can already see results in his volunteerism at the Tri-County Humane Society. “I’m applying what I learn.”
Tutoring helps Petersen reach his goal of being as involved as possible in his college experience. (He is also vice president of the Student Chapter of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America.) Tutoring reinforces what he’s already learned. And it’s “an ego boost,” he laughs.
“In vet tech,” he explains, “we have math competencies and they terrify people.”
He works to alleviate that fear.
Petersen concentrated on those exams with two students this quarter, and they both passed. There’s a lot of satisfaction in that.
He reflects that there was one student in particular who was completely math phobic. He met with her on a weekly basis and “as the quarter went on,” he says,”I could see each week she became more confident. She was totally getting it. Even though she didn’t necessarily realize it, she was succeeding in this class.”
Erin Manney, a vet tech student, sings Petersen’s praises. “He explains in ways you can understand,” she says. “And if you don’t understand, he’ll give you a different perspective and break it down.”
That is especially important to Manney, who is dyslexic. “I have a bigger hill to climb than most people,” she explains. “He doesn’t judge.”
As for a “real” job? Petersen’s ideal job would be a combination of emergency veterinary medicine and shelter work.
For now, the students in the resource center are a perfect fit.