Job title: Attending veterinarian, Charles River Laboratories
Describe your current position and what led to your job.
I work for Charles River Insourcing Solutions as the attending veterinarian for a small research vivarium in Charlotte. I had no idea during vet school that I would go into laboratory animal medicine.
First I thought I would be an equine vet and then it was zoo medicine. When I graduated I took a research fellowship position and worked with non-human primates on the path to earning a Ph.D. I wanted to learn, ask questions and work with multiple species.
During vet school my adviser kept telling me to “build my toolbox.” That way when the perfect career path presented itself I would be ready. Now I am working towards American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine board eligibility through the experience route and I love what I do.
Describe job opportunity trends in your industry. What does the future look like for your industry?
The job field is pretty open, although it is geographically restricted to academic or industry centers. The future will depend a lot on research funding.
What advice would you offer alumni/students looking for a job in your field?
Having research experience goes a long way. I don’t think I would be in the position I am in without it.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Gain experience and skills that will allow you to be prepared for unexpected opportunities.
Share one “do” or “don’t” that you have learned regarding resumes, interviewing, networking or job searching tactics.
Do create cover letters that directly compare your skills to the specific job requirements.
Anything else you would like to add?
It’s important to explore the various career paths for veterinarians while you are still in school, but also know that you aren’t locked into a certain field.