Be brave and it will give you a very happy and fulfilling career and life
Since completing the NYSF 2013 Year 12 Program, alumna Beth Metcalfe is only just about to finish her final year of tertiary study to become a veterinarian! She shares how NYSF allowed her to become more outgoing and make connections from around Australia.
"I’ve always loved animals and always known that I wanted to be a veterinarian. I chose to study at the University of Melbourne because it had an outstanding reputation, and I knew would give me a solid grounding in both research and small and large animal medicine. I went straight from high school into a Bachelor of Science, and within two years was able to accelerate onto the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.
After six years of tertiary study I’m finally in my final year of the DVM, and am thoroughly enjoying my set of clinical rotations and placements. These expose me to all aspects of the profession – from medicine to surgery, to anaesthesia, to general practice and emergency/critical care – and help me prepare for life as a fully qualified veterinary surgeon. In addition, this year I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to organise, run and write up a research project investigating antimicrobial usage in veterinary practice, to address the issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the need for the ongoing development of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) guidelines in veterinary medicine. It’s been a challenge I’ve very much enjoyed, and am keen to continue developing in the future.
I heard about the NYSF through my year eleven chemistry teacher (Mr. Bill Esman), and immediately knew that the program was for me – where else was I going to get the chance to meet people who were just as passionate about, and committed to, a future in science? It was a life-changing experience – I arrived a shy closet nerd and within two weeks exploded out of there a more confident, driven and well-rounded science nut. To this day I still help interview future NYSF candidates through Rotary, and nothing makes me happier than being able to grant young passionate people the same chance to realise and extend their dreams that I was given all those years ago.
NYSF really helped take the stress out of year twelve and the idea that I had to get a “perfect” ATAR to get to where I wanted to go. The forum taught me that, as long as you have a genuine love for your field of interest, and are willing to work hard to get there, then your dream will always leave a window open. It helped open my mind to alternate career choices, and to this day I still attribute the love of microbiology and immunology I discovered and maintained at uni to my experience with the NYSF. Now, when I graduate, I hope to be able to unite my loves of vet medicine and research in this area, because I’m excited to make a real impact in the field of animal health and, by extension, human health and wellbeing.
To NYSF students past, present and future I say this: anything is possible. Don’t be afraid of learning new things, or changing your mind, or of not getting a perfect score. The world of science is vast and ever-changing and, whatever your passion, there is ample room for all of us within it. Be brave and it will give you a very happy and fulfilling career and life."