Student Profile


STEM career:  What is a veterinarian?

MelanieVeterinarians treat diseases, disorders, and injuries in animals.  Many veterinarians work in a clinical setting, but there are other options as well.  Some veterinarians do research and work in settings such as public health, government, military and pharmaceutical companies.

Melanie is passionate about being a veterinarian and finds it to be a rewarding career. 
“I feel that I make a difference when I educate owners about the health of their animals, in turn, allowing me to improve the quality of life for the animals,” she said.

Melanie also has been working with a pharmaceutical company to advance veterinary medicine by writing proposals to the FDA for drug approval.  She has a multidimensional career, both in a clinical setting and in research – the foundation of which all started at Monroe County Community College.

Why did you choose to go to MCCC and how prepared were you when you transferred to a 4-year university?

Melanie knew from a young age that she wanted to become a veterinarian and work with animals.  As she was preparing to graduate from high school, she compared universities and her local community college to determine where she would spend her first two years of college. 

Melanie decided to go to Monroe County Community College (MCCC) because of the smaller class sizes  - allowing her to interact more with faculty - reasonable tuition, and the ability to save money while living with her parents.

Melanie transferred to Michigan State University to complete her degree in veterinary medicine and was hired at Sylvania Veterinary Hospital. 

“As I transferred to Michigan State University, I felt very prepared academically and probably learned more at MCCC during my first two years than if I had gone directly to MSU from high school,” she said.
“I think the small class sizes and relationships I was able to build with faculty contributed significantly to my success.  MCCC faculty know us by name!”

What advice would you give to a 7th-12th grader who wanted to enter a STEM field?

“I would advise students to take the STEM courses in high school that will prepare them to be college-ready, such as math, biology, chemistry, physics, etc.”

She added that the ability to write and speak effectively is an important point for all STEM careers.

 “Veterinarians must have good communication skills and be able to communicate effectively with their clients on the health of their pets,” she said.

Written by: Tracy Rayl, Assistant Professor of Biology

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