Why did you choose to intercalate?
Intercalation is actually something I heard about from a teacher at school’s daughter who was close to finishing vet school at Edinburgh and had come to our school’s careers fair when I was about 15! As soon as she started telling me about it I just knew it was an opportunity I wouldn’t pass up if I had the chance, so when I was told I could intercalate whilst at Bristol I was really excited!
What are you intercalating onto?
I’ve actually chosen to go externally to the University of Liverpool to study a BSc in Veterinary Conservation Medicine despite Bristol offering an amazing MSc in Global Wildlife Health and Conservation (and another similar one at Edinburgh) I wanted to do a Bachelor’s rather than a Master’s (for various reasons), so that’s why I chose to go externally, as I believe it’s the only course of that nature in conservation that you can intercalate into that isn’t Zoology (I wanted something still veterinary focussed) in the UK.
I’m really interested in going into the zoo/conservation side of the profession and I know it’s notoriously difficult to get into, so any extra qualifications that give me an edge I see as a bonus! With conservation being a major issue right now I’m really hoping to pursue this as a career.
How did you find the application process?
I think once I knew what I was doing, it was fine! It did take Liverpool a while to open their applications and their deadline was later than Bristol’s, but I think this was an admin issue more than anything.
The most nerve wracking thing about applying was whether Bristol would give me permission to leave considering they have a similar course available, so I applied to their course and also had to make a case as to why I wanted to go externally and then it was a case of getting my application at Liverpool accepted (as I needed 2 references, my exam results from my previous 2 years and a personal statement). It was very strange going back to writing a personal statement-like application and having to talk about myself but I needn’t have worried as I got offered a place in the end and admin were really helpful with my barraging of questions.
It was a bit awkward because of the overlap of Bristol and Liverpool’s deadlines (January and April respectively) I couldn’t immediately give Bristol a decision as to whether I wanted to accept a place on the MSc, because if I did that would’ve forfeited my place externally. Luckily the Bristol intercalation admin and the course lead were really understanding and gave me extra time to decide until my Liverpool decision came back!
If you want to know more about my Bristol and Liverpool application experience, head to my dedicated page here.
“I’m really interested in going into the zoo/conservation side of the profession…”
What are you looking forward to most about intercalation?
I’m really looking forward to taking a break from Bristol for a year and exploring the beautiful place that is Liverpool and the Wirral Peninsula as I really loved visiting the vet school when I was looking to apply to vet school in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved living in the city of Bristol (and it’s been voted best place to live by the Sunday times in 2017!) but it’s time for a change and I have had enough of city life for a while (at home in Derbyshire I live on the rural-urban fringe so I get a bit of both worlds but prefer the quieter life). It’ll be great to take a break for a year in a new place, be a bit closer to my parents and other family members and hopefully have a bit of extra time to get a job or do some volunteering as the course will initially be much less intense than the main vet degree! (I hope!)
The course at Liverpool looks amazing, I will be based at their Leahurst campus in Neston for the majority of the time and the course is in partnership with Chester Zoo (which is by far the best zoo I have visited) so I’m able to do a zoo management or animal welfare/behaviour study with them before embarking on my own project or conservation related placement.
“It’ll be great to take a break for a year in a new place…“
What are your plans for the future?
I am so excited for the future, as I already mentioned I’m really interested in going into the zoo and conservation side of the veterinary world, what with our planet in more jeopardy than every before. Any chance to specialise in the area like a residency or perhaps doing the Bristol Master’s once I’ve fully decided and financially better off then I will! I’m also hoping EMS and eventually rotations will give me more of a grounding as to what I find interesting as apart from the wildlife stuff I have no idea what I really enjoy at the moment. I hope to gain a bit of experience and maybe dabble a bit working abroad etc, but whatever the future holds the veterinary degree opens so many doors for you!