Open the door to a dynamic career in veterinary medicine

21 February 2024
Explore your passion for animal health in a rewarding industry
From treating cattle to researching animal disease, no two veterinary science jobs are the same. Hear from three of our recent graduates about how studying veterinary medicine at the University of Sydney has shaped their careers.

Veterinary medicine is a dynamic and rewarding field that sees practitioners involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illnesses and injuries in animals, while also contributing to broader aspects of public health, policy, research and education.

Our Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine provide aspiring veterinary scientists with the tools they need to build a successful veterinary medicine career through a rich interdisciplinary curriculum that sees them engage in hands-on practice and in-depth research.

We spoke to three of our veterinary graduates to see what they’ve been up to since completing their studies. 

Headshot of Angel Lam Ngo

Angel Lam Ngo

Veterinary Pathology Diagnostician, Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute

Growing up, Angel always knew she wanted to work with animals and pursue a career in science. Today, she works as a veterinary pathology diagnostician at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute and is training to be a specialist veterinary pathologist.

“My role involves diagnostic investigation of predominantly production animal disease and outbreaks, as well as wildlife and aquaculture species,” she explains. “This includes case management, necropsy or post-mortem investigation, as well as histopathology."

When it came time to choose a degree, Angel was looking for a comprehensive and interesting veterinary training program close to her hometown. The Sydney School of Veterinary Science provided just that.

“The degree taught me important practical skills and provided knowledge in animal handling, surgery and medicine,” she says. “Many of the classes were varied and hands-on, and there was ample opportunity to experience the workforce through placements. It allowed me to explore many different facets of a veterinary career and opened up a world of possibilities."

For current veterinary medicine students and recent graduates, Angel recommends keeping an open mind and exploring as many options as possible.

“I strongly encourage all veterinary students to explore specialities or career paths that might take them off the beaten track during their time at Sydney,” she says. “The degree gives you a plethora of transferrable skills, whether you want to branch out into research, diagnostics or policy.”

The knowledge I gained in critical thinking, experimental design and research has become invaluable.
Angel Lam Ngo
William Douglas holding a baby alpaca

William Douglas

Mixed Practice Veterinarian

After graduating from the University of Sydney, William Douglas started working as a veterinarian in the Hunter Valley, NSW. He has also volunteered at a vet clinic in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he originally visited as a student in 2019.

No two days are the same for William, who could be performing surgery on cats and dogs in his clinic one moment and travelling to farms to treat cattle the next. 

“The variety of the job means something really interesting is always occurring,” he says. “I think one of my proudest moments was saving a little cattle dog with rat bait toxicity very early on in my career. Another proud moment was the first calf I ever delivered.”

This variety was something William was seeking out when he was choosing where to study.

“I wanted a really good mix of both large and small animal knowledge, and that was what Sydney was able to offer,” he says. “I've wanted to be a vet since I was young, having grown up on a small property on the south coast of NSW. Coming from a small rural town, I wanted a change and to live in the city while studying.”

Going to university taught William key skills that he still applies to his work today.

“I learnt to think critically about a case and not just jump to the immediate conclusions,” he says. “I was also taught to strive to improve, to keep reading about cases and constantly think about how things could be done better.”

For students considering a career in veterinary medicine, William recommends diving into study with passion and commitment.

“The time and effort and commitment you put in now will be so worth it,” he says. “Being a vet is the best job in the world. You’ll be forced to think on your feet and try things you’ve never done before. It will be awesome.” 

Stephanie Brooks standing next to a horse

Stephanie Brooks

Equine Veterinarian at Matamata Veterinary Services

Stephanie Brooks has built a career as a passionate equine veterinarian. She secured a position at Matamata Veterinary Services in Waikato, New Zealand after completing a rotating internship when she graduated from the University of Sydney in 2021. Her role involves running the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where she is responsible for intensive care foal cases at the biggest equine clinic in New Zealand. She also sees referral medicine cases in the hospital and is the ambulatory veterinarian for one of New Zealand's largest thoroughbred studs.

“I love this job and am very passionate about foal medicine,” she says. “The most rewarding part of my job is seeing our sick foals stand and nurse for the first time and then leave as happy, healthy foals. I really love this job and am very proud to be running it with support from an amazing team."

During her time at Sydney, Stephanie uncovered valuable experiences both inside and beyond the classroom.

“My time at the University of Sydney not only prepared me for my professional career but was also a time where I formed friendships which I am sure will last a lifetime,” she says. “The opportunities for clinic placements, the international visiting experts, the small cohort of students and the quality of teaching all set me up for my professional career.”

For new graduates, Stephanie recommends seeking out supportive professional spaces and engaging with fellow alumni to help find your path. 

"If you have any questions or concerns, just connect with a University of Sydney alum and talk to them,” she suggests. “We are all proud alumni and happy to support current students.”

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