Final year Veterinary Nursing student Tina Tompkin is gearing up to start a highly sought-after internship that will allow her to experience “the highest level of care and veterinary specialism”.
Tina, 22, from Leicestershire, will graduate from the Harper Adams BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing program this summer before taking up her 12-month role at Southfield Veterinary Specialists, a 24/7 referral centre in Essex, where a team of RCVS, European and American specialists and clinicians deliver a wide range of specialist veterinary services.
Terrapin and cat owner Tina has always wanted to become a veterinary nurse and says she secured the placement thanks to both her own tenacity and the support provided to her at Harper Adams.
“I originally saw the internship advertised on social media a year before I could apply, so I watched out for it this year. Working in a referral centre is really hard to get into, as they want everyone to be at the top of their game. So any chance to get into that environment I had to take - it was too much of a good opportunity to turn down” she explained.
The application process was “strangely straightforward”, says Tina, who had to answer a few questions, submit her CV, and attend an interview.
“My lecturers were 100% helpful and helped me select the best examples of my work to showcase and the Careers Service got my CV up to scratch, proofread my application, and ran mock interviews for me over Microsoft Teams.
“In the interview, I had to critique a video of a catheter placement on a teddy against the practice’s standard operation procedures. I thought the interview went well, there were a few laughs but never did I think I would get it!
“I almost didn’t pick up the phone when they rang to offer me a place as it was an unknown number – but when they told me, I did one of those silent screams and then just started calling everyone. I was in utter disbelief that they wanted me over so many people.”
Senior Lecturer Jane Thomas shared her pride in Tina’s success: “She has done exceptionally well to secure this internship – it will allow her to experience the highest level of care and veterinary specialism that there is in the profession, in particular in the field of oncology.”
Tina, a cellist who has played at the Youth Proms at The Royal Albert Hall, is looking forward to her internship. “I have no time to be nervous, I’m absolutely excited about jumping in the deep end with a new job and living in a new place by the sea!”
The reptile and horse enthusiast admits she is looking forward to life post-Harper Adams but also that she is grateful for everything the university has offered her.
“I came to the open day and thought YES I can see myself here for four years and four years later thanks to Harper, I haven’t just earned a degree but also a once-in-a-lifetime internship and friends for life.”
“Who knows I may be back here lecturing at some point if all goes to plan” adds Tina, who previously spoke about her teaching ambitions when she was awarded a scholarship in 2019.