I picked the UTM vet tech program because of my love for animals and my passion for helping them. When transferring from another institution, I was looking for a place that fit my academic and athletic needs. I was originally alerted to UTM for the equestrian team and after learning about this exquisite program I quickly made the arrangements to become a UTM student. I look back over my years in the vet tech program I will always regard my decision to come to UTM, as one of the best decisions of my life! I wanted an education and a major that would stand out on my resume while applying to the competitive zoo field. This program gave me exactly that. The hands on learning lab and lecture curriculum gave me the professional skills and knowledge to bring me, and my classmates success in the animal field. The professors are attentive and qualified, with practical work experience that they bring to the classroom every day. The teachers are supportive, caring and helpful in and outside of the classroom. The vet tech student body is also remarkable. This group of students makes a safe environment to be unique and understood all while helping each other learns the skills we will need for our future careers. The UTM vet tech program tremendously helped paved the way for its students’ success. My education and hard work has landed me my dream position at Memphis Zoo as a Zookeeper! Through the support of my family, friends and my invaluable UTM experiences I am able to live my passion of helping animals every day as a Zookeeper!
I came to college at UT Martin undecided and not knowing what I wanted to do. I knew that I enjoyed working with people, so naturally I ended up in UTM's veterinary technician program working with animals. This may sound odd, but in veterinary medicine it truly takes a dedicated team of individuals working together to improve the lives of patients and their owners. As a vet tech, I get to be a valuable part of that team; getting to work with animals every day is just the icing on the cake.
After finishing my coursework at Martin, I was fortunate enough to be able to come to the University of Tennessee College Of Veterinary Medicine (UTCVM) for an externship. I was even more fortunate that at the end of my externship, a technician position at the UTCVM hospital became available. Because of the knowledge and skills I gained at UTM, as well as my experience working at Hooks Pet Clinic in Martin, I was hired as a "floating technician" and moved to Knoxville.
As a floating technician I am cross-trained in many different services, and I move all over the hospital to various departments when they need another technician. This could be due to an unusually large caseload that day, or because their regular technician is out. I have been able to work with everything from lions and tigers and bears in exotics, to critically ill patients in ICU, to healthy puppies and kittens in spay/neuter lab. Being in a teaching hospital, I have found that being able to pass my technical skills and knowledge on to veterinary students is one of my favorite parts of the job. Most importantly, I continue to be an integral part of a veterinary team, albeit a large one, and continue to improve my own skills as a veterinary technician.