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Special thanks this week to my Nan and Grandad for spoiling me rotten this Easter, as always, but also for reminding me to re-brief my story for new readers to keep up to date and understand the reason I’m whittling on and trying (desperately) to fundraise so much money for myself and charity.
An overview of my blog posts so far:
• Welcome – a short intro and explanation, worth reading if you don’t like reading.
• Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s veterinary – why I want to be a vet.
• 3 Grades, 2 Chances, 1 Place – why I am not a vet.
• A Bio for Bioveterinary – what I’m doing alternatively to secure my place as a post-grad vet.
• The Spice of Life –the ‘shit’ I get up to on work experience (NOT an idiots guide to Indian cuisine).
Well worth a mooch, bedtime read or just scroll through the pics at the bottom. Don’t just take my word for it, my English teacher likes my blogs, ‘a good read’, so they can’t be that bad.
*Small spoiler* It costs £45,000 to study vet med as a post-grad student, minus the living costs. Read my blogs above if your heart just stopped.
Please support me via my Just Giving crowdfunding page or my PayPal.
To clarify, I donate a contribution of my crowdfunding sponsors to my chosen charity per challenge, BUT I lose 5% to the bloody website… so if you’re tight like me, sponsor me via PayPal and I’ll keep every penny until uni robs it from me in tuition fees.
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“People are like tea bags, we do not know our own strengths until we are in hot water”. I had ‘brewed’ over my strengths and weaknesses for some time. Making sure I highlighted my weaknesses as potential strengths although, the problem with the majority of vet school’s interviews is their MMI structure. Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) are what they say on the tin. Your skills, personality and knowledge are observed by a team of individuals at different stations. Depending on the number of interviewees and interviewers it can take 20 minutes to an hour, or a whole city tour from TK Maxx to China town as my Mum found. This said interviews are also “like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”. You can plan your answers perfectly on paper, but no one knows what you could be asked. I knew for sure that in any interview, my greatest weakness would be the maths. I’m not going to hide my struggle with maths over the years, I avoided it at A-level but it never fully goes away. Much like my mathematician housemate, always there. I worked hard for my B at GCSE, it was hard but that was all I needed to get me on the right track. At the dick vet interview, ( the Edinburgh vet school NOT a euphemism) we had to complete a sticker challenge. Sounds simple but there was a code, key and pattern to master in 5 minutes. You’ve got to keep your cool in these things. Arguably my greatest strength, I can remain calm, decisive and maintain focus under pressure, much like a hobnob biscuit in hot water. Which reminds me, besides the obvious, ‘why do you want to be a vet (or other degree/ profession that requires an interview)?’, you never know what curve balls they can ask you at interview. Oxbridge particularly like complicated, nonsense question. They are more interested in how you get to your answer and the structure of it. For example, ‘if you were an *inanimate object* what would you be?’, ‘when is something considered to be dead?’. The answers are endless. I can talk for Britain so I can always come up with something, you only have to read my blogs to see how good I am at blagging…
I have attempted to condense my main strengths:
Decision making – as I mentioned above, I can handle stress effectively and also take responsibility, analysing the benefits and consequences of a plan. (Oh the irony as I rack up £45,000+ of debt to my family, but at least I’ll make a difference as a vet ey?). One day I hope to master the art of removing sensitivity whilst maintaining sentiment in life and death situations, but I hear it never gets easier to ‘let go’.
Problem-solving – our intentions don’t always go to plan. I am a living, breathing example of ‘try, try and try again’. Sometimes ‘turning it off and back on’ doesn’t work so an alternative method must be devised, something I face daily and push myself to achieve. The satisfaction in solving a puzzle is even greater if it is for a good cause.
Critical thinking – breaking things down from complex to understandable and memorable chunks is how I revise and try to teach others. Being rational and confident in your judgements, noticing trends and differences are key to any science related degree but are useful to all occupations.
Communicating – be it socially, academically, online or in person, communication is KEY. I pride myself on appropriate communicating. Polite, professional and sometimes persuasive. I like to advise and help others where I can, learning from my own mistakes and giving back what I can to society. How cliché I hear you say, well it’s true, I like to listen as well as talk.
Team worker – equally, I like to work effectively and efficiently, especially in labs; in and out get the job done. I am a firm believer in the old phrase: “if you want a job doing, do it yourself”, avoiding disappointment, confusion and a poor outcome. Besides, There’s no ’I’ in team, but there is in ’Evie’. Howver, I do have faith and trust others, but I also set high targets, meaning I will give 100% to the job but I know when to delegate roles to their most suited worker.
My main weaknesses, besides condensing:
Leader– my strength and my weakness. I’M BOSSY OKAY! Taken the wrong way, I could be seen as domineering and competitive, but really I just have high expectations of myself and I have always known that everything I do will reflect on my grades, personality and overall, my vet application. If I have to work collaboratively, I will naturally take leadership of the task in hand to ensure the job is a success. I am very driven and enjoy motivating others (particularly exercise related). This can be difficult to swallow for the laid-back and un-inspired members of my ‘team’; friends, family or peers. I do try to be inclusive, but I am not afraid to tell people when they need to pull up their socks for themselves.
Perfectionist – I can sometimes come across as a control freak, or a little OCD, but I really am just over organised. Then again, I wouldn’t fit as much as I do into my days without knowing exactly when I was ‘free’. Being a perfectionist does not mean I am inconsiderate, I hope, but it does mean that I will always strive for the best and will not settle for half measures. And so, despite my weaknesses, I am keen to learn and develop my skills, particularly those I am in awe of.
Creativity – Other than AU costumes, I tend to struggle with materialising ideas and designs that I have made up in my head. I disagree that you are either English or Maths ‘wired’ but I do believe that the arts are often underappreciated, especially when I, myself lack talent in them.
Being completely honest, and trying to be modest, I am sure there are many other strings to my bow and chinks to my armour. I will list some helpful interview tips and continue this topic with some more commonly asked interview questions soon but next week’s blog should hopefully give light to the importance of vets and their influence on our lives besides treating our pets.
Sunday’s 13.1 miles (2 hrs 13 mins) was strangely enjoyable, until the Monday morning sheep market where I couldn’t straddle over a gate to save my life. Also, turns out it was 400 yards short of a half marathon… good thing I’ve signed up for two more for this year! Keep an eye out for my next challenge as I take on a Swimathon for Cancer Research and Marie Curie.
Huge thanks to Abbie, my Dad and Sharon, my older but shorter Sis and my Sis from another miss (that’s you Alice) for their generosity. I have invested in my own shares this week thanks to Keith, I think I’ll be following his knowledge and advice mind you. Well done Tom and thanks for acknowledging me in your dissertation, who said a poly and a posh couldn’t help each other out. Big loves, Evie xx
Edible weaknesses – the temptations of a sweet tooth