Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

From the very moment that my mother allowed me to rescue a sick stray kitten and nurse it back to health and happiness, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career as a veterinarian. As I became more educated in the field, I realized the job was not so one dimensional. I now know that veterinarians are often the unacknowledged keystone of sustaining agriculture, public health, and the overall welfare of the environment. Without their vast participation, much of what we take advantage of on a daily basis would be fictitious. Contributions aside, the true beauty of veterinary medicine is the options within the field. This portrays the career to be a diverse collaboration of compassionate individuals--and the idea of being a part of something this special excited me.
After gaining experience and conducting more research into my future career, I found a disheartening pattern I couldn’t ignore. The veterinary field has consistently been rated the least racially diverse profession. Rarely could I find a veterinarian of Black descent to speak to or work with to gain insight. I get this is an issue of perspective--it may not seem like a big deal to someone who has never had to worry about being taken less seriously because of something as trivial as the color of their skin. But, the fact that I couldn’t find someone who resembled me and thrived in the career that I craved so badly, caused diminished confidence. It was truly a revelation in the importance of representation.
This opened my eyes to the reality of my pursuits. No longer was I unsure of my goals, nor was my priority to just save animals. My sole motivation is now bigger than myself--it has shifted to become an inspiration for the next generation of veterinarians who too need validity that they can succeed if they persevere. I work hard to change the narrative and set a new standard of what a veterinarian can look like. My hope is to be a role model that someone can look at and think, “If she did it, then so can I.

A'zani from Pennsylvania
Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine