What if you could “test out” your dream career before ever taking a college course? Dozens of middle school students had the chance to do just that this summer at the Minnesota School of Business – Blaine campus. This is the fifth year the school has hosted its wildly popular Vet Tech Camp. It is offered in partnership with the Anoka-Hennepin Community Education program and has quickly become a summer favorite—so much so in fact, MSB extended it to four different sessions this summer. Some even had a waiting list to get in.
“Ever since I was little I always wanted to be a veterinarian, and I wanted to see what it was like to be on the job and see what that looks like,” said eighth grader, Lauren Bursch. “It kind of exceeded my expectations.”
Students rotated through four different stations during the day. In the diagnostic madness station, students examined blood, urine, feces and other samples under the microscope and learned what each one could tell them about an animal’s health. They got to see a tapeworm up close and discovered the potential harm it could cause a pet.
Resident Veterinarian Dr. Whitney Woelfle led the surgical assisting station, showing campers how to properly scrub in for surgery, what happens with anesthesia and the important role a vet tech plays during surgery.
“You can always learn something new about your dream job, and I learned a lot today,” said eighth grader, Delanie Schroer.
During the physical exam and anatomy station, MSB vet tech students walked campers through a physical exam using a 13-week old German Shepard puppy as their example. Campers also got to see preserved animal organs like a heart and even an eyeball. It was a highlight for campers and MSB students alike.
“Seeing the kids come in… I was in their shoes at one point in the past,” said vet tech student Jimmy Souvannalath. “it was a great learning and teaching experience as well being able to have the kids come in and show them and tell them what we were all about and what they could expect.”
Program chair Susan Coopmans said the camp was equally as valuable for Minnesota School of Business student helpers.
“It’s really important for them to speak to people of every age. That’s a big component of a lot of our courses—client education,” said Coopmans. “So this just helps them formulate their knowledge and ask questions and work with a different population.”
The final station gave campers a unique and inside look at some of their favorite pets, quite literally. During the diagnostic imagining station, they got to learn more about what to look for on X-rays and why they are an important tool.
“The goal of the event is to create an understanding that you can turn a love of animals into a career, and that science and math are important factors in doing so,” said MSB – Blaine Dean of Education Julie Kresh. “We’ve had students attend the summer vet camp leave saying things like, “I want to come here for school to be a vet tech,” which is so exciting because that tells me that we’ve achieved the goal.”
To learn more about the annual Vet Tech Camp or our vet tech program at Minnesota School of Business, call 763-225-8000.