Experiences

Helpful Hints:

  • Refer to the experiences chart to determine what experience type to select for your experiences.
  • Please select ONE category which best describes each of your experiences. DO NOT list an experience more than once in this section.
  • Include all relevant experiences, whether they are voluntary, paid, or academic experiences. If you are unsure of the dates or number of hours worked, please estimate.
  • If your current experience will continue beyond when you submit your application, list the expected ending date. However, the total hours should reflect completed hours (total hours-to-date), and should NOT include future hours.
  • If your experience was over broken periods of time (for example, summer break), enter the average number of weekly hours and note the periods worked in the Description/Key Responsibilities text box. List average weekly hours and total hours for each experience.
  • You are allowed 600 characters in the Description/Key Responsibilities text box.
  • If you select “other” for Animal Type, you are limited to 50 characters in the “Specify if Other” field.

Use this chart to understand how you should classify your experiences:

NOTE: Research, Employment, Veterinary, and Animal Experiences can appear very similar!

To help distinguish the differences between Veterinary and Animal use the following examples as well:

  • Giving a dog a shot in an animal clinic under the supervision of a veterinarian is an example of Veterinary.
  • Milking a cow on a farm is an example of Animal.

EXPERIENCE CATEGORIES

In this section you should enter your professional experiences under the following categories:

Animal Experience

Animal experiences should include farm and ranch experiences, 4-H membership, animal training, or other similar activities which were NOT under the supervision of a veterinarian. The experiences you report in this section should be different from those entered for Veterinary and Employment experience.

Employment

Paid work done outside of the animal or veterinary field; for example: a retail or restaurant job. Do not include any experience listed in Veterinary, Animal, or Research experience.

Extracurricular Activities

List and describe extracurricular activities in which you were engaged, including those during high school beginning with the most recent first. You may include sports and hobbies.

Research

Research should include ALL experiences in a research environment. Please report research experiences in THIS section, even if they were also animal or veterinary experiences. Be very specific about your work/involvement in the research experiences entered in this section. Veterinary schools can weigh your level of involvement according to their school’s standards.

Veterinary Experience

Veterinary experiences should relate to any veterinary clinical, agribusiness, or health science experiences which took place under the supervision of a veterinarian. Do NOT list any veterinary research experiences in this section. ALL research opportunities should be listed in the Research section. The experiences you report in this section should also be different from those entered for Animal and Employment experience.

Volunteer

Volunteer work done outside of the animal care field; for example, working for Habitat for Humanity, tutoring students, participating in or working for a fundraiser walk or blood drive, etc.

HOW TO ENTER YOUR EXPERIENCE

Please be sure to read the instructions above to determine the appropriate type of experience before entering your information.

Click the “Add an Experience” button and select the category from the “Experience Type” drop-down menu to begin inputting your information. Your experiences will not be displayed in any particular order, regardless of the order or the dates entered.

COMMON QUESTIONS:

Q: How far back in my career should I list experiences?

A: You may include any experience you believe is relevant to your application.

Q: Where do I send documentation of my experience hours?

A: VMCAS does NOT require any documentation for the experience sections. If any schools require documentation it should be submitted directly to them.

Q: What is my “title?” Who is my supervisor?

A: If you did not have an official title, enter the type of activity you did e.g. Horse Training. The Organization is the location where or for whom the work took place and the supervisor is the person who was responsible for you or was in charge of your activity.

Q: If I wasn’t paid for my animal care work, is that considered volunteer?

A: The volunteer and employment categories are referring to experiences which have nothing to do with the animal or veterinary field. All animal or veterinary activities should be listed under the Animal, Veterinary, or Research sections regardless as to your status as an employee or volunteer.

Q: I’ve begun my experience, but plan on accumulating more hours before the veterinary program begins. Can I include those?

A: In the experience sections, you may only document (in hours/weeks, etc) the time already completed in that experience. Once you submit your application, you may not update these hours. However, in the text box labeled “Description/Key Responsibilities” you may clarify your expected time commitment. You should subsequently send any updates directly to the schools to which you are applying.

Q: I haven’t begun my experience yet, but plan on doing so soon. Can I report that?

A: No, you cannot report “planned” experience. Once you have accumulated the experience, however, you can add new experiences to your application, even if you have already submitted it to VMCAS. Please note you can NOT edit experiences which have already been entered. You may send updated information directly to the schools to which you are applying.

Q: I have similar experiences. Should I list them out separately or group them together?

A: You may enter them in whichever manner you feel best represents your experiences to your programs.

Q: Where can I report my publications or presentations?

A: There is no place on the application specifically for publications. If you wish to include this type of activity, you may add them as part of an appropriate experience in the Description/Key Responsibilities text box. Or you can list them separately in the “Achievements” section of the application.



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