Welcome to our popular Personal Statement series where we present a successful Personal Statement, and our Oxbridge Tutors provide their feedback on it.
Today, we are looking through a Veterinary Medicine applicant’s Personal Statement that helped secure a place at Cambridge University. The Veterinary Medicine Course at Cambridge offers a world-class opportunity to study the scientific basis of veterinary medicine and clinical veterinary science.
Read on to see how this candidate managed to secure an offer from a world-class department.
Here’s a breakdown of the Personal Statement (the applicant uses most of the 4,000 characters available):
The universities this candidate applied to were the following:
LONDON VET SCHOOL
INTERVIEW + REJECTED
INTERVIEW + REJECTED
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Veterinary Medicine Personal Statement
Witnessing the birth of a calf was a wonderful experience and has helped to confirm my long-term ambition to be a vet. This desire has been a motivating force in all my decisions at school. Veterinary medicine is a challenging and worthwhile career that encapsulates my profound interest in animal welfare, scientific enquiry and problem solving. It will satisfy my passion to work with people and animals as well as my love of science. It requires academic rigour, is scientifically-based and provides opportunities for further research either in laboratory or clinical settings. It involves considerable practical skills and the potential for great job satisfaction with the possibility of running my own practice.
My work experience has been thoroughly enjoyable and included working with a country vet, a farrier, at a private stables, a commercial reptile centre, a dairy farm and a small animal clinic. With the country vet I observed two successful treatments on cows to correct displacement of the abomasum by external manipulation and surgery. I helped with TB testing, learning the process, its importance and the wider context. Working with the farrier opened my mind to other people who interact with the veterinary profession. Whilst involved in cleaning and feeding at the private stables I developed a great respect for horses including an awareness of the danger they can pose for humans and other animals. At the reptile centre I handled a bearded dragon, monitor lizard and snakes whilst assisting in an educational talk and at Beaver World learnt to care for guinea pigs, rabbits, beavers, pheasants and fish. During my nine-day stay on a dairy farm I took part in the daily routine of milking, and as well as observing the birth of a calf, I saw the deterioration of a cow and the eventual decision to put her down. It was apparent that working in a small animal clinic involves many routine operations like the castration and spaying of cats and dogs. I learnt that diagnosis involves history-taking, examination and investigations such as blood tests and diagnostic imaging. To gain more experience I plan to work at a city farm, participate in the delivery of lambs and carry out placements at London Zoo and the London Aquarium.
I attended VetMedlink at Nottingham University, thirty six lectures on all aspects of veterinary care. As part of this course I voluntarily undertook my own research into potential new uses of stem cells and submitted a paper which was marked and for which I received a distinction. This is due to be published on-line sometime this year. My focus was how stem cells inserted into the brain could be used in the future to improve intelligence and treat neural problems such as Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, I will be attending a course in November to enable me to administer aid to stranded or injured marine mammals.
As well as good examination grades, my other school achievements include prize certificates in mathematics and biology; I was especially pleased to win Gold Certificates in the UK Maths Challenge. This year I was commended for the quality of my answers in the Chemistry Challenge set by my school which required logical reasoning skills. I have a special aptitude for mathematics and attended six maths lectures at Greenwich University on themes which included matrices and types of mathematical proof.
I aim to involve myself whole-heartedly in university life, using my musical skills by playing the keyboard and perhaps playing in or starting a sports team.
I truly believe I have the ability to work effectively with people and animals. I am excited about the veterinary course since it offers the opportunity to undertake research projects, understand the scientific basis of medicine, gain in-depth knowledge of veterinary practice and develop key practical skills. I am determined to become a vet and eager to begin the formal course of training in what I know will prove to be a fascinating field of study.
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Good Points Of The Personal Statement
A well written and well-structured statement that provides a good insight into the student’s character and development, both academically as well as personally. The student demonstrates a good scientific foundation, achieving various degrees of academic excellence and also demonstrates a wide range of different work-experience attachments giving insight into different specialities of veterinary medicine. This is particularly important due to the wide range of differences between different animal species. The broader the experience before starting the degree, the better. Furthermore, the work-experience placements will provide valuable contacts for when the student will be required to conduct care attachments during his/her studies at university.
Bad Points Of The Personal Statement
One of the central points of veterinary medicine not related to the academic side is the funding structure. Recognising the challenges that come in regard to the treatment of patients, as well as in regard to the interaction with owners, is an important component. Since the student experienced care in different practice settings, it is likely that he/she has come across this issue.
UniAdmissions Overall Score:
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Good statement giving good detail about the student and his/her motivation as well as his/her individual development. It could be improved by additional reflection on the challenges of veterinary practice, for example, the existing funding structures.
This Personal Statement for Vet Med is a good example of demonstrating motivation and development which is vital to Admissions Tutors.
Remember, at Cambridge, these Admissions Tutors are often the people who will be teaching you for the next few years, so you need to appeal directly to them.
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