Class of 2017 Story: Embracing Broadened Horizons

Brandon Armwood
Hometown: Spring Lake, N.C.
Focus and post-graduation plan: Poultry medicine. Will start a poultry residency at the University of Georgia on June 1

What sticks out in my mind most about my CVM experience is the vast amount of time I was allowed to go off and get new experiences.

With selectives, summer breaks and fourth-year externships, I had ample time to network and build relationships with industry veterinarians. Speaking with students from other schools, I realized how lucky I was to have had the opportunity to build new contacts. I do believe these learning opportunities got me my residency position at UGA.

Another thing that really sticks out to me is the fact that professors really care about your learning. I have seen professors willing to stay after and tutor students in anatomy and physiology. Professors have made podcasts, study guides and trivia games for supplemental learning.

My most memorable class has to be pharmacology because in this course I received a “C,” my worst grade of all of undergrad and vet school. I am not a great crammer and I had to cram for that final due to the surgery final being the day before. ALL THE DRUGS RAN TOGETHER (I am still salty about that grade if you can’t tell). I can still hear Wolfgang (Dr. Baeumer, his first name is cool) teaching about Pimobendan.

My most memorable teacher was Dr. Mathew Gerard. He is funny and willing to go above and beyond when helping students. He is the professor that will put in a full day’s work and still be willing to stay and help students in that smelly anatomy lab study enough until they felt comfortable with the material.

During my time here, I have learned that I can make it in any environment with multiple different personalities, ethnicities, religious beliefs and sexual orientations. Being the only African-American male for most of my time here, people would ask me if I felt comfortable at the CVM.

With no hesitation I would respond with, “Absolutely!” The CVM has welcomed me with open arms and has been a place where I could grow as a person. Yes, there are at times cultural differences,  but I like to use those times as learning experiences. At the end of the day I am going to have to work with many types of people so my mindset is why not learn how to sooner rather than later.

I have also learned that being involved within the community was very good for me. As the Open House coordinator, 2017 conduct chair, Poultry Club vice president and a member of the intramural volleyball team, I felt like I was truly an intricate part of the school. It allowed me to work closely with many of the faculty and staff.

My advice for other students would be to not go at this profession alone. Even while in vet school, build contacts, lean on others for advice and do not be afraid to ask for help. The course load is way too big and stressful to not have someone you can go to, even if it’s just to go get a beer and relax and not talk about school.

NC State CVM, it has been a great ride. Thank you for every last second of it.