In this Alumni Spotlight we caught up with Meranda Piazza, graduate of the 10 month Veterinary Assistant training program who currently works at Animal Ark and Kingdom Pet Hospital.
What where you doing prior to enrollment? What made you enroll in school?
Before going to Great Lakes I was doing a couple of odd jobs (daycare assistant, bakery cookie decorator, etc.) and decided that I needed to find something that I wanted to turn into a career for myself. I had taken a couple of college courses and on the road to becoming a veterinarian, but at the time I was not cut out to be a doctor. Still having a passion and love for helping animals and their humans, I choose Great Lakes Veterinary assistant program as my door into the industry.
Where have you worked since you graduated and where do you currently work? What is your title?
I started straight out of my externship at Twinbrook Veterinary Hospital. I had done my externship there and they liked me so much that they kept me! After two years with them, I moved to Animal Ark and Kingdom Pet Hospital. Since starting there three years ago, I have learned so much and am now the Assistant Manager at Animal Kingdom.
What types of things do you do there day to day?
So many things! I do lots of blood draws on healthy pets for wellness checks and sick pets for diagnostics. I help to triage emergencies, take in scheduled appointments, and help clients when they have questions about their pet's care for the day or need clarification on an estimate. When I was promoted to the assistant manager I also took on the responsibility of maintaining our diagnostic equipment and drug logs.
What do you like about your career?
Every day is different. No matter what is on the schedule it is not the same as yesterday. At my current hospital, we also see exotics and I have a special spot in my heart of everything above our puppies and kittens that come in. I love seeing a pet come into the hospital that was critical last week and is doing amazing today. Seeing my hard work make a difference in the lives of our clients makes it worth it.
What did you like most about attending Great Lakes? How did Great Lakes prepare you for your job?
I loved the comradery I found in my classmates. By the end of our program, we all had such a good rapport with each other. Our instructors were so supportive and made sure that every student was accommodated to the best of their abilities. We all learned so much that contributed to many of us finding a good career.
What advice can you give current students and new graduates that can help them be successful?
The best advice I can give is to show up. During each day of school we learned so much that we all felt the consequences for any day that we missed. And the same can go for future jobs. The biggest asset to any hospital is just showing up and being present in what you are doing.