Hand Feeding Giraffes and Wrestling Alpacas: Vet Tech Grads Turn Externships into Jobs

Posted by on October 1, 2014

Jenna Weber and Rebekah Pringle share a love for animals and an excitement to start their new careers in the veterinary field. They also both graduated from Minnesota School of Business-Rochester (MSB) with a veterinary technology degree and skipped the job search process by earning job offers with the veterinary clinics from their externships.

Veterinary Technology Program

Veterinary technology graduates Jenna Weber and Rebekah Pringle

The journey started with a love for animals.

Rebekah shared, “I love all animals, big and small, no discrimination here on what species they are. In my free time, I enjoy getting outside and taking my dog, Karma, on long hikes. I also love learning new things and especially anything that deals with veterinary medicine.”

Jenna has three pets including a dog, Harry, a cat, Marilyn, and a rabbit named Lola. She added, “As a kid I wanted to have pretty much every career you can think of, but the one thing that I kept coming back to was working with animals.”

Turning caring for animals into a career

While Rebekah always had a love for animals, she never really thought about turning it into a career. She decided to return to school after going home disappointed from her previous jobs because she didn’t enjoy what she was doing. She explained, “Now when I come home, I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of my day.”

Jenna added, “I love the challenge of working with animals. They can’t tell us what the problem is, so we have to figure that out ourselves. They each have a unique personality and no two appointments are ever the same.”

A rewarding educational experience

Rebekah chose the veterinary technology program at MSB because the program had a lot of hands-on learning and the location was convenient.

She noted, “I loved all my instructors that I had throughout my education at MSB. Each one of them will make sure you understand the material and you are competent enough to move onto the next quarter. Yes, it can be hard, but if this is the career for you, you suck it up, keep studying and get through that quarter and walk away with knowledge from it.”

Jenna chose to go to MSB because when she came for a tour, she really liked the campus and the people she met. She added, “I felt very welcomed from the beginning. I loved the idea of a small campus, small class sizes, and a hands-on learning experience.”

Jenna continued, “School has been challenging, but very rewarding. I’ve gotten to do a lot of really cool things in my classes like take X-rays of a chicken, be face-to-face with a cougar, hand feed a giraffe, wrestle with alpacas, hold a chameleon, and trim an alligator’s claws. My favorite class was Lab Animal, Exotics, and Pocket Pets class because in the future I hope to work in a clinic that specializes in these species. I also really enjoyed Surgery and Anesthesia.”

From externship to employment

Rebekah finished her externship at the Lewiston Veterinary Clinic, and they offered her a position as a large animal vet tech. She shared, “I’m excited about having this position because working with large animals was something I wanted to do, but I wasn’t sure where to start.”

Jenna had a similar experience of being offered a position from her externship. She noted, “I didn’t have to really search for a job. I am working at the veterinary clinic where I did my externship. I am excited to be working there because I came to really love the clinic. This will be good working experience for me and help me to keep using the skills I have learned. It’s pretty cool, too, to know I already have a job in my field once I graduate.”


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