Final Year Veterinary Student Ciara Sweeney explains what it is like to go to a veterinary conference as a student 

With about a month to go until (hopefully) final exams for my veterinary medicine degree, its safe to say that I have some study to do. And what a better way to kick start myself into study mode than a trip to the BSAVA Congress in Birmingham.

BSAVA for anyone (most of you) unfamiliar, is the British Small Animal Veterinary Association and once a year they hold Congress (a giant conference in the UK with tonnes of talks and stands to visit). Each year they offer student bursaries to penultimate and final year students to attend Congress, and this year I was lucky enough to be awarded one of these bursaries, along with a few of my classmates. So off to Birmingham we went last weekend.

The Congress lasts for 4 days and just to give you an idea of size, there is about 11 ‘streams’ or topics of lectures you can attend each day from lectures to interactive sessions to demonstrations and laboratory sessions. Its a great way for practicing vets to gain their continuing veterinary education (a thing graduated vets have to accrue yearly over the course of their practising lives – no, the learning doesn’t stop after vet school) and its a great opportunity for students to brush up on their knowledge and network with vets and recruitment agencies.

Each year they also run a dedicated student stream with focused topics for veterinary students on things like how to do your first spay procedure to how to find your first job.

Outside of the talks, there is also an exhibition where you can chat to different companies about new products, technology, job openings etc.

So after my weekend of learning, I’m feeling slightly more prepared and definitely inspired to tackle exams and the exciting few months ahead.

& finally here is my caricature that I had drawn with one of the companies at the conference.