After completing more than 170 hours of intensive training and sitting for a national certification exam last week, the Spring 2015 graduates of Brookdale’s Veterinary Assistant Certificate program are officially ready to get to work.
To assist them in their job search, Brookdale’s Business and Community Development (BCD) division invited a number of local employers to the Student Life Center on June 11 as part of the college’s second ever Veterinary Assistant Career Fair.
From the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, which serves as the students’ clinical training center each year, to large organizations like VCA Animal Hospitals and local offices across Monmouth and Ocean counties, the graduates had a number of options to choose from.
After passing his national certification exam two days prior, Seaside Heights resident George Lonnay said he was excited to get started in his new career.
“It was a fantastic program, especially the hands-on clinical work we got to do,” Lonnay said. “Now, to have all of these employers here in one place, it’s just a great way to move on to that next step.”
Event co-organizers Anne LaPorta and Erin Mattsson said the job fair, like the training program itself, is designed to help students find work and ultimately build a worthwhile career in the veterinary field.
“It allows the students to meet with employers face to face, and learn more about the position and the career options available to them,” Spetko said, adding that eight former graduates found jobs through the program’s first career fair in February.
“They may start as a veterinary assistant, for example, but that can be a stepping stone to veterinary technology and other fields.”
Those sentiments were echoed by practice manager Amy Arnone, who was attending the job fair on behalf of the Little Silver Animal Hospital. The skills required of a successful veterinary assistant, she said, can help aspiring professionals grow and expand their careers far beyond an entry-level position.
“It is definitely a job for animal lovers, but you also have to be a people person. All pets come with humans, after all,” Arnone said.
“You also have to be very detail-oriented. You’re taking care of a life – a member of someone’s family. It’s not an easy job, but it’s extremely rewarding.”
Brookdale’s 175-hour Veterinary Assistant training program, offered in collaboration with Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, is approved through the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America and provides nationally recognized credentials. It is one of only 13 programs in the country that have achieved this recognition.
Learn more by visiting the program’s webpage.
Check out more photos of the career fair here.