Jane Vermeulen, BSc(Agriculture)’98
What would you tell your graduating self?
It will get better. Although I enjoyed my time at UBC, I did feel the pressure of doing well so I could get into a graduate program. At times, it felt like I was drowning and I did have anxiety attacks. I thought that life would be this tough forever. But, it did get better. I don’t regret working so hard during my undergraduate degree but I wish I had enjoyed myself a bit more!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I will be 44 years old at that time. I hope to have left private practice to either write full time or work for the government in a public health or wildlife medicine aspect.
What was the most important connection you made?
I make lots of connections and feel it is very important to always follow up and try to make a concrete plan to meet IN PERSON. I know we live in an era of social media/texting/skype but nothing compares to actual physically meeting a potential “work connection”. Always come prepared with questions, business cards (which can be cheap to have made) and a willingness to pay for their meal!
What was the best advice that you received?
When I was in my undergraduate degree at UBC, I was a real “Type A”/intense person. I took an overloaded course load and knew I needed very high grades to be accepted into veterinary medicine. My advisor recommended that I drop a non-essential course to make life more bearable. Initially, I said NO. My exact words were “I die fighting”. His reply – “Yeah, but you still die”. Good point and I dropped the class immediately. I got very high grades in my other classes and was accepted into veterinary school.
What did you think you would be doing when you started university?
I was unsure. I knew that I loved medicine but I did not think I had a chance to get accepted because I was not the most stellar high school graduate. But, when you start university, the slate is wiped clean. I was no longer bound by the peer pressure and expectations of high school. My room mates thought I was an obsessive studier (I was) but I always said “I am willing to sacrifice a bit of today for a lot of tomorrow”. I did get accepted into the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated as a veterinarian in 2002.