Veterinary Science student Miss Natalie Ford talks about her experiences in the new Charles Sturt ‘Have You Met?’ digital series.
After nine years of study, Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) student Miss Natalie Ford is now ready to take the final step from student to junior vet.
Natalie details her journey of study and learning at Charles Sturt in episode one of the ‘Have You Met?’ digital series, available on the Charles Sturt University news site.
Growing up in Griffith, NSW, around an array of animals, Natalie knew from early in her high school education that veterinarian life would suit her.
“I grew up competing horses and having pet cows and dogs and at a young age, I remember my Nan telling me she always wanted to be a vet,” Natalie said.
“I thought to myself, ‘I like communicating with people, I like interacting with animals and being involved with farming and the rural way of life, so being a vet would suit me fine’.
“And I’ve chased that dream ever since.”
Natalie’s twin sister Emma, and her parents, have been her biggest support system through her academic journey.
“I think my twin sister, Emma, has earned this degree as much as I have,” she said.
“She’s been my number one fan and has been there for me through all the tears and celebrated all the milestones along the way.”
There is no typical day in the life of a vet student, with Natalie undertaking lectures in anatomy, physiology and pharmacology in the early years of her degree before moving on to radiography and problem-based learning.
Natalie learned practical skills but also had the opportunity to network and gain international experience in countries such as Scotland, Hong Kong and India.
Working during the entirety of her degree has meant days of class followed by evenings and nights of work and on-call shifts at a veterinary clinic, meaning Natalie developed self-discipline and a strong work ethic.
“It is hard, it’s been rewarding but very hard,” she said.
“The greatest thing for me that I’ve gained out of my vet school journey is that it has shown me what I’m capable of doing.
“I know that if there is something I want to achieve that I can do it.”
Natalie is nervous and excited for graduation in 2020 and said she is ready to make the transition from student to practicing veterinarian.
“I am nervous about transitioning from being a student to finding my feet as a junior vet, but I’m really looking forward to that happening,” she said.
“The friendships that you get to form on a daily basis with classmates, staff and people show there really is a sense of community at Charles Sturt University and making sure everyone is getting across the line together,”
View episode one of ‘Have You Met?’ featuring Miss Natalie Ford on the Charles Sturt YouTube channel.