AN ASPIRING vet from Castletown is poised to take up a rare opportunity helping out at a game reserve in South Africa.
For Lily Qualtrough it is the latest in a long catalogue of work experience designed to boost her chances of a highly sought-after and competitive place at veterinary college.
‘I’ve wanted to be a vet for a while,’ she said. ‘I’ve already done three lambing seasons at a farm in Colby. I think it helps having long, thin arms. Then I thought I needed some different experience so I have spent a few weeks with the Milan veterinary practice and I have also volunteered with the vet near to my boarding school in Sedbergh. Since coming back to the Isle of Man this summer I’ve done a couple of mornings at the abattoir too.’
This summer’s African work experience took a fair effort to organise. The application process involved filling in forms available online, a telephone interview and writing a personal profile.
‘It took a lot of emails. To be offered the placement, I had to write down a lot about myself and why I thought I deserved it,’ she said.
The trip which will last for two weeks at the end of August will see her involved in the care of both domestic and big game animals.
‘They let the veterinary students get more involved in the capturing of animals and giving injections and that sort of thing – I think we will be lending a helping hand,’ she explained.
The placement is to be near to Limpopo, where indiginous species include lions, rhinocerous, elephants, leopards, buffalo and antelope.
‘I’m hoping it will give me a taste of all the different areas of veterinary practice and give me a broad mind,’ she said. ‘I’ve always been fascinated with wild game and then I found it counted as work experience so now I’m desperate to go.
‘I’m really looking forward to it and I’m not particularly worried about it. I’m just so looking forward to seeing the animals in their own environment.’
Before heading away next month she will also be spending time on work experience at a stables and a kennels.
Back at home her family has a small holding.
‘We’ve had lots of animals: dogs, cats, ducks, guinea pigs, then I got asked to do a lambing season,’ said Lily. I’ve wanted to be a vet since about Year 7 [aged 11]. I read all the James Herriot books and I think I was inspired by that and a lot of the documentary programmes on the television like Safari Vet School.’
Lily, who is 17 and starts her upper sixth year in September, lives at Alexandra Road in Castletown. She has just completed AS level exams in chemistry, biology, maths and geography and will get her results while she is in South Africa.
‘I’m hoping I can arrange to have them emailed direct to me over there,’ she said.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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