Since she was a little girl, Carolyn Vasquez ’13 has loved animals and dreamed of pursuing a career in veterinary science. So, during her first semester, she regularly visited Career Services to help solidify her future career path. This spring, Vasquez secured a shadowing opportunity at Geneva Veterinary Hospital with Dr. Barbara Kauffman.
“I did not think twice about saying yes,” says Vasquez. “After my first shadowing, I was so amazed and grateful that I asked if I could keep going on a weekly basis. Fortunately, Dr. Kauffman seemed delighted by the idea.”
Vasquez has volunteered her spare time to the animal hospital every week since.
Vasquez jokes that her love of animals began “in the womb.” Growing up in the Dominican Republic, she had the opportunity to adopt and care for as many pets as she pleased.
“I always wanted to be a vet, but until recently, I had never thought about the drawbacks of this career, like having to euthanize an animal,” she explains. “I’d assumed that my devotion to animals would be enough to become a vet, but I worried I wouldn’t be strong enough to handle the emotional difficulties of this career.”
However, her weekly work at Geneva Veterinary Hospital has given her the confidence to pursue her dream. “I truly appreciate this opportunity. Now I am sure that nothing else will please me more in life than to save as many animals as I can and to relieve the pain of those that are suffering.”
In spite of the hardships of treating sick animals, Vasquez loves watching surgeries and seeing the veterinarian’s patients heal.
“The most rewarding part of this experience is watching an animal recover from an illness. It makes me feel like I have accomplished something important. I have learned that I have the strengths and passion to become a vet.”
Vasquez plans to major in biology and double minor in pre-health and math. She is involved in volleyball and the Pre-Health Club.