Lawrence Brown has carved a unique path with his expertise in veterinary medicine. Today he combines running an animal health consultancy and supporting the UK Government, whilst pursuing a part-time MBA at the University's Business School.
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine & Surgery (BVM&S)
|Year of graduation||2010|
Your time at the University
I have very fond memories of my time at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. I was recently back in Pollock for a meeting and all those memories came flooding back. I can’t believe it’s been almost 14 years since moving into halls and starting my first year at the University, time really does fly!
I think the highlight of my five years as an undergraduate was my fifth and final year. As a veterinary student you bring together all the experience and education you’ve collected and start your rotations. At this stage you spend a lot more one-to-one time with lecturers and clinicians, many of which are world-leading specialists. I really benefited from this style of teaching and used the time to build the foundations to start my career.
A notable experience away from the classroom was in my fourth year, captaining the College Rugby Club on and beating our rivals at Glasgow Veterinary School on their turf along the M8. We had a few hundred students watching the game and the win ended a two-year losing streak. I remember our stand-off floating a cross-field kick to the winger, who collected it beautifully to score under the posts. In my memory it was a try fit for Murrayfield, but I doubt in reality it was as good as I recall!
Your experiences since leaving the University
During my time at University I learnt a lot about myself and that the traditional path of a veterinarian would unlikely be for me. That being said, I knew it was important to gain some clinical experience.
I spent several years as a mixed practice veterinarian in England before using my qualification to work overseas. I began travelling around Australia as a locum vet and then a short period in the Middle East. On returning to the UK I started working in technical marketing for a multinational, veterinary pharmaceutical company to gain experience in industry.
Three years ago, my wife and I made the decision to move back to Edinburgh, which is home for both of us (and the best city in the world obviously!). I started my animal health consultancy business and now work with both private and public sector clients. One of my main roles is as the ‘Animal Sciences and Aquaculture Sector Specialist’ for the Department for International Trade (UK Government) as part of their Agri-Tech team. This has been a hugely rewarding contract, I have travelled all over the world (from New Zealand to Canada) and had speaking opportunities at several high-profile events in front of large audiences. Last year I was elected to sit on the Scottish Council of the British Veterinary Association (BVA).
When in Edinburgh I work from the Roslin Innovation Centre in the heart of the University’s Easter Bush site. It is incredible to see how far the Veterinary School and the campus has come in the nine short years. I am also doing a part-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Business School, it is great to be back at the University. Equally as rewarding second time round yet a very different experience as a postgraduate!
One of my main roles is as the ‘Animal Sciences and Aquaculture Sector Specialist’ for the Department for International Trade (UK Government) as part of their Agri-Tech team. This has been a hugely rewarding contract, I have travelled all over the world (from New Zealand to Canada) and had speaking opportunities at several high-profile events in front of large audiences.
On graduating, don’t be in a rush to tie yourself down (mortgages, car finance, high interest loans etc). Invest in yourself, experiences, travel, build your network, try different roles and responsibilities. The retirement age is getting later and later, you have time to experiment, to find your true calling and then you should go all in on your career. You won’t be able to get that time back once it has gone, the big 3-0 comes around quicker than you can imagine!