For three days during winter break, John DeLia externed at Harleysville Veterinary Hospital with Dr. Paul Wagner ’92. He chose to participate in this externship because he has wanted to be a Veterinarian his whole life; however, he never had any experience in the field. John thought that this was the perfect opportunity for him to get some experience and figure out whether being a Veterinarian is what he really wants to do in the future.
According to John, his first day at Harleysville Veterinary Hospital was very exciting. The sophomore observed many interesting surgeries such as a dog getting his teeth pulled, ACL surgeries, removal of lumps, and even a swan getting corn removed from its nose! John enjoyed meeting all of the people at the hospital. The most challenging part of his experience was not being able to participate in the surgeries.
In order to prepare for the application, John first went to the Career and Professional Development Office to review his resume. Next, he talked to a student who had completed this externship last year and went over his essay with her. He emphasized that the Harleysville Veterinary Hospital opportunity was the only externship that he wanted to pursue. Once he was selected, he talked to the same student about what she had done for this externship last year, and he also spoke with a representative of the Pre-Vet Club.
The most effective questions that the sophomore asked his sponsor were about his experiences in college and advice on how to get into Veterinary school. When it comes to communicating with your sponsor, John recommends, “If they give you a phone number, I would use that, then email afterwards since hearing someone’s voice is always more meaningful than words on a page.” John advises others to make a good impression on an extern sponsor by talking with them and showing kindness and flexibility when requesting to stay in touch.
Externing at Harleysville Veterinary Hospital helped John to decide that veterinary medicine is what he would like to pursue in the future. “I learned that being in a veterinary hospital is much more relaxed than you would think. I thought it was going to be chaos all the time, but it’s really not that bad. All the workers are really close with each other and it’s an awesome environment,” adds the sophomore.
The Coolest Part of the Experience
“I don’t think I could really pick just one part, but if I had to pick something it would be hanging out with the staff and meeting people that will probably have a big impact on my future.”
If John were to participate in an externship again, he would try to be more open on the first day, and he suggests to get over your fears before you go. He would absolutely recommend this externship experience to anyone with a similar interest.