Essay by Rebecca Culbertson

Rebecca Culbertson of Irvine, CA, won the 2018 $2,000 Larry Grannis Memorial Scholarship

My career goal is to become a board-certified veterinarian, and by being intentional in my academic and extracurricular actions, I will achieve my goal. From a very young age of five, I have felt particularly drawn to the world of veterinary science and my role in it. I have such a deep-rooted love for animals and want to offer all I can to their state of wellness. It’s genuinely fascinating to me how modern science and technology allows us to heal animals that are suffering. Though I have other interests, such as soccer, youth ministry, love of good books and community service, to name a few, it has always been veterinary science and love of animals that has been my constant focus.

I plan on achieving these goals by, first and foremost, continuing to work very hard with my studies, especially in the areas of science and math. Then I will look to get into a four-year university with a focus on Animal Science and Biology. I have worked hard with the purpose of finding college programs that offer research and hands-on opportunities to younger undergraduates. After I obtain my Bachelor’s Degree, I hope to get into an accredited veterinary school where I will work hard to get my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. Then I will complete my residency and study diligently to pass the board certification. I aim to work for another veterinarian practice to gain the experience, personal insight, and learn the business aspect of owning a practice with the intention of running a clinic of my own.

I have also been intentional about gaining experience in my field of choice. The spring after my sophomore year I reached out to local practices inquiring about opportunities to shadow a Veterinarian. I have been fortunate to shadow a local veterinarian for the past two summers. I spent my summers waking up at seven and driving half an hour down the freeway to get to that little clinic in Laguna Niguel, and I don’t regret a second of it. It was challenging balancing work, summer assignments, my time at Monarch, a social life and college applications, but it was a wise investment of my time because I learned so much. The world of veterinary medicine has always enthralled me; having the opportunity to scrub in on surgeries, see ultrasounds, tooth extractions, tumor excisions and even personally administering rabies injections on a daily basis confirms that veterinary medicine is the career path for me.

I am still in the exploratory phase of determining which species I prefer to work with and what specialty are I may pursue. There are so many possibilities yet to explore. It is indeed incredible how many different ways there are to maintain the wellness of our animals. Eventually, it is my goal to open a clinic of my very own with a staff of veterinarians that covers every specialty so that we can serve the needs of any animal that comes into my clinic. I know I will succeed because of my pursuit of education and practical experience. Most of all, I know I will succeed because I am not afraid of hard work; it makes success all that sweeter.

 

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