SeeKay Mak: Malaysia - Class of 2015
Why did you choose The University of Edinburgh, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine?
My government offers full international scholarships for high achieving students wishing to study certain subjects at University. Scholarship students were able to study anywhere in the world, as long as it was a World Top 20 ranking University. Although I had a few unconditional offers from various institutions, I knew I needed to do some research before making my final decision. In the end I chose Edinburgh for its world ranking, rich history, strong academic research background and the high quality of students it has produced over the years. Admittedly, Dolly the sheep played a small part in my decision too.
What did you like about the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S) degree?
I like the way the course is designed i.e. learning the theory for individual species, combined with practicals and tutorials to consolidate what we learnt in lectures. I’m an active learner and therefore pick things up a lot faster through observation and active demonstration. Staff are always more than happy to give a helping hand, to offer advice on both work and personal issues and they even let loose and party with us during staff-student occasions.
How did the BVM&S prepare you for your career path?
The training and exposure I had at the Dick Vet was absolutely superb. The fact that it is RCVS, EAEVE and AVMA accredited meant that upon graduating with this degree, I had the option of practicing literally anywhere in the world. You emerge as a very well trained, confident veterinary graduate, from a highly prestigious Vet School, fully equipped with core knowledge and practical skills. Getting a job after graduation was not a problem at all and I believe my Edinburgh degree had a big part to play in that.
How would you rate the BVM&S staff support?
Coming from a different cultural background and moving halfway across the world away from my family and friends was a little scary at first, but I’m glad to say with the tremendous support from both staff and fellow students alike, Edinburgh soon became my second home and I miss it very much.
I’ve never been good at asking for help, as I tend to keep things to myself, but having a personal tutor to sit down with, at least once a month helped me a lot. I was able to talk things through and gain my confidence. The support I received throughout the years has allowed me to open up and improve my communication skills. In fact I have now progressed to a point where I actively approach staff and colleagues for guidance and advice.
What advice would you give to a prospective student?
“Work hard and play harder” has always been emphasized by both students and staff alike at the Dick Vet. We are not just there to get a piece of paper with our degree on it, we are there to also grow and mature into individuals with skills that will allow us to adapt and function in society. It’s all about finding the happy medium, life outside of your studies is just as important. My final bit of advice; always say AYE instead of Yes, always accept tea when offered and never, ever, under any circumstances, call a kilt a skirt!
The fact that it is RCVS, EAEVE and AVMA accredited meant that upon graduating with this degree, I had the option of practicing literally anywhere in the world.