SPVS Lancaster Final Year Seminar has been a landmark event for many veterinary students over the last 31 years. The event is something that many current (and even some now retired!) practitioners look back on fondly as their first Congress and the moment when they considered themselves to be part of the veterinary profession at large rather than just part of the student body. Many of the questions and concerns of job hungry final years have remained the same over the decades; however, the Internet and modernisation of the veterinary studies to incorporate ‘professional studies’ content have led to a need to update the timetable. In addition, the ‘rolling final year’ timetable adopted by all of the schools has meant that at any one time, only one third of the student body would be available to attend. It was decided by the Lancaster team that we needed a revamp to improve relevance and to reach as many students as possible.
Inspired by the success of the VSGD conference in London last year, the Lancaster team have joined forces with both VSGD and Veterinary Voices to create a new format for Lancaster. The long term aim will be to hopefully take the ‘Lancaster Roadshow’ on a rotational cycle between the universities providing the skills and advice necessary for new graduates to gain a job that gives them a great first step up onto the career ladder. Excitingly our first pilot event is scheduled for 7th March in Surrey where we will be running a mini version of the best loved features of the Seminar from CV writing, to grilling recent graduates and bosses, to exploring the diverse range of careers that MRCVS find themselves in down the line. In order to maintain the excellent networking and mentoring that students have enjoyed over the decades (personally, I am still in touch with veterinary surgeons that I met when I attended Lancaster in 2009), we are opening many of the talks to local veterinary surgeons. Ultimately, career advice is always relevant and the dynamic range of speakers from VSGD should prove inspirational for those pre and post graduation.
Recent times have shown that large numbers of young vets have become dissatisfied with their careers, with a severe shortage in British qualified veterinary surgeons with more than five years’ experience reported in both BVA and SPVS led surveys. SPVS hope that we can inspire students by introducing them to a host of people for whom a life in practice has brought joy and fulfilment. In addition, by pairing with VSGD, the event should enable students to see that there is more to the veterinary identity than simply consult rooms and yard visits. Together we hope to encourage them to forge a career that best showcases their own individual talents and to recognise and pursue what really makes them happy. Whilst a career in veterinary practice may no longer be for life, we hope to show there is plenty of life in attaining an MRCVS!
For more information on this exciting new format click here