I was listening to The White Coat Investor’s podcast interview with Dr. Bonnie. Regarding her motivation to write a blog, she said she was “…getting tired of writing the same answers over and over again….” This Spoke to me so strongly, it inspired me to write this entire post. THIS. This is my motivation. I want you all to Be Better, and I could only reach a handful of students at my home institution, and I got tired of giving the same advice, year after year. These are basic, important, and fundamental principles to advancing your career. Let’s do a brief review.
1) Care about your application. THIS IS YOUR LIFE! You spent how many years and hours of sweat and tears to apply to and get through undergrad to get to vet school, and you’re just going to leave the rest to chance? WTH? You need to care about your application for your next step at least as much as you cared about everything to GET you there! Polish your materials. Read blog posts and do your research. The amount of time you need to move from an OK application to a Good application is nominal, and I am still shocked that people don’t take this simple step.
2) Be a god-damned professional. I didn’t think this was hard or needed to be said, but it does. The items in the How to be Successful series are, in my mind, simple and self-evident, but I have learned this is not universally true. If you want to get ahead, you have to be Good, not Adequate. Push ahead, never give up, and keep getting better.
3) Interview well. I understand interviewing is challenging. It is a rare event, so it is hard to get much skill acquisition. There is often a lot riding on it, so it is high stakes. For these reasons, you MUST prepare and practice. There is not an alternative if you want to advance your career.
4) Be positive. I’m not talking about bouncy-bubbly-always-on personality. I mean: do you bring PROBLEMS or do you bring SOLUTIONS? The latter type of people get ahead, the former just makes everything worse.
I tried to think of a fifth point, and I couldn’t. This is it. It is simple. Please, for my sake, just do a little bit of work on the culmination of your whole professional life to this point. Help me help you.