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Irish vets, unite! The University’s Irish students were given a presentation on an association of professionals

Consulting in CV writing, legal and labour support, professional mentoring and stress management techniques – these just a few of the services provided by the Veterinary Ireland association, which was presented by the organization’s president Finbarr Murphy to the Irish students of the Budapest University of Veterinary Medicine on 11 November 2019.

“The best team is the Irish team,” said vice-rector for international affairs Tibor Bartha in his opening remarks. As he put it, no other country’s ambassador would regularly attend the University’s semester opening and closing events. This is a clear sign of the cohesion this community has. The University aims to support its students in as many areas as possible. As part of these efforts, the institution hosted Veterinary Ireland’s event to give an insight into their activities to the future Irish vets studying in Budapest.

Veterinary Ireland represents vets and veterinary surgeons in Ireland and promotes the veterinary profession in general to facilitate the development of animal healthcare and welfare. The wide spectrum of their services ranges from consulting in CV writing and career planning through legal assistance to professional mentoring. They also provide further training courses to help students obtain their required Continuing Veterinary Education (CVE) credits.

In his presentation, Finbarr Murphy talked about the latest developments in Ireland affecting the pet, equestrian and large animal practices such as the novel opportunities for vets to share their knowledge, join a consulting network or study-specific preventive programmes and new vaccination protocols.

The participants also got an insight into some interesting data on the veterinary profession in Ireland such as the salaries in the sector, the number of registered vets or the changes affecting the farms and the composition of livestock over the past few years. As far as salaries are concerned, private practices appear to be the most profitable (as a partner or business owner) where University graduates may expect incomes as high as EUR 87 thousand per year while the public sector pays an annual average of EUR 71 thousand. Veterinary assistants tend to make over EUR 47 thousand per year, according to sources actively involved in the Irish market.

Most of the participants of the meeting were interested to find a job in the large animal or equestrian area, which is quite in line with the association’s membership as most of them work with horses or other large animals in the agricultural sector. Finbarr Murphy concluded his presentation by explaining the benefits of membership for practising vets, including professional support and even stress management or mental health preservation through VetAP (Veterinary Assistance Programme).

The next lecturer was Lydia Langley, a 2013 Irish graduate of the Budapest University of Veterinary Medicine. As president of the Veterinary Ireland Companion Animal Society (VICAS), she talked about the organization’s training opportunities for graduate students. Referring to the mental health preservation services mentioned earlier, she noted that they were soon going to launch a new website where graduates can ask for help and support from other vets working in their areas.

She closed her lecture with a few tips on how new graduates should start their search for a job. She suggested them to join the veterinary communities of the countries where they wish to work. They should collect as many contacts as possible because efficient networking is vital for landing a good job. Good CVs and motivations letters are also essential, so you should consider seeking help or support in this area, too, she said. The platform where you look for a job is equally important, so Lydia Langley gave a few good tips to the participants in that regard as well. Although the situation was different a few years ago, there are now quite a few good jobs for young vets, so you should put in the effort and the time to find the position that best suits your needs, she concluded.