Accomplishing any major life goal is never easy. Buying a house, getting a promotion, or finishing that college degree requires dedication, hard work, and short-term sacrifices. One of the other key elements to reaching such a goal, I would argue, is an element of inspiration or knowing that someone else has been in your shoes and has reached a similar goal.
Recently Minnesota School of Business-Plymouth Veterinary Technology students had an opportunity to speak with Bethany Hahn, communications director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Bethany shared her inspirational story that also started with Minnesota School of Business/Globe University. Bethany talked about her love for animals and how this has taken her down an unexpected path.
Bethany has loved animals since birth. Her grandpa was a dairy farmer in Wisconsin for many years, and she has wonderful memories of the farm and, yes, she is a proud Green Bay Packers fan.
After high school, Bethany decided that veterinary school was too long and too expensive. So, she decided to attend Globe College, now Globe University/Minnesota School of Business, and earn a degree in veterinary assisting. After graduation she worked in a small animal clinic in the Twin Cities for two years and then accepted a position at the Minnesota Board of Animal Health in 2003, a position she had heard about through a former classmate at Globe College.
The new job was more administrative work than her previous position, and even though Bethany preferred the hands-on work, she understood that the new job would provide more opportunities down the road. “It got my foot in the door, and I learned new skills,” said Ms. Hahn who quickly earned her way into other positions at the board. “I learned to look at each new challenge or position as, ‘what does this opportunity have the potential to become’.”
After wearing many different hats and helping with the Animal Disease Traceability program, an important project that helps to more quickly contain and eradicate diseases in livestock, she was offered a job in the communications department. In 2012, she was promoted to the communications director. It is clear that Bethany is passionate about her job and the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
Her advice for students: “Put yourself in positions that terrify you. They help you develop skills that are invaluable to employers, like interpersonal communication, relationship building, and writing skills. As vet techs, even though we do work with animals, it’s important to remember that we also work with pet owners, practice managers, farmers and the general public.”
The students and staff were inspired by Bethany’s story. Vet tech student Laura Baumgart said “It was cool to see how such a specific career as a veterinary technician could lead her down a broader path. I liked her advice to keep an open mind when exploring career options.”
“Personally, I was happy to hear Bethany emphasize the value of skills such as communication and understanding the different viewpoints and value systems of the people we work with. She really cemented what we tell our students about the importance of soft skills, ” said Veterinary Technology Instructor Ann Gebo.
Thank you Bethany for visiting our classroom and sharing your story!