When Megan Jenks visited the Vermont Tech campus, she had already planned on attending another school. That changed when she saw our equine facility.
“I jumped ship!” She said. “I wanted to go to a school that had something to teach me other than what was in my textbook. I wanted more lab time, barn time, riding time and peace-and-quiet time. When I stepped into the Vermont Tech barn it wasn’t cobblestone floors and cedar walls, it was a real-life functioning barn that had real life things to teach me. I was sold!”
Megan Jenks graduated from the Equine Studies program in 2014 and now works at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky as a surgery technician. Her job is to prep equine patients for surgery and includes duties like cleaning and sterilizing surgery sites, assist anesthetists, surgeons, and interns during surgery, and transporting patients to recovery.
Although her major didn’t focus on veterinary medicine, Megan feels that the equine studies program prepared her well for this job by exposing her to a wide range of topics.
“The Equine Studies program gave me a great foundation education to go in any direction in the equine industry.”
Megan uses knowledge from many classes every day, but the labs and barn time were where the learning really got reinforced.
“I learned a lot in the classroom but I believe the most valuable experiences came from the hands-on time I got to spend at the barn. During this time, I learned important safety techniques to handle horses in real life situations. These skills can’t be learned sitting in a classroom but need to be practiced and tested.”
Megan also maintains professional connections (and friendships) with her former professors.
“All of my equine professors had a role in my path to employment after graduation. I used Jessica Stewart Riley, Natalie Chapel, and Lori Berger as references when I applied for both jobs I had upon graduation. But they were more than just references, they listened and gave me in-depth guidance from their own experiences. It was always on a personal level, I was never just another student.”
Working for one of the top equine hospitals in the country has been a dream come true for Megan. She encourages others to keep an open mind and, “Try to learn something new every day and never stop learning!”
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