Learning From Life: Veterinary Technician, Brittany Cody Masters her Life and Career
Brittany Cody, 26, a recent graduate of Carrington’s Veterinary Technology program, has had enough life experience for someone three times her age. This is what she said about her childhood: “I was being put in the situation to make me become who I’m becoming. I felt that everything was for a reason. I can’t dictate what’s going to be thrown my way; I can only dictate how I’m going to react.” And she should know: when Brittany was 8 years old her mother died of a heart condition. She then moved in with her father, who entered her life again after becoming remarried. But then her stepmother died when she was in middle school. A few years later at 16, her father died of pancreatic cancer. Brittany had to grow up much faster than most children; and as a result, is wise beyond her years. Here is the remarkable story of this young graduate, who understood everything is a learning experience and has found her career in the love of animals and in her fascination with how the body works.
Wow. You’ve already lived through so much. And you’re wiser than a lot of your peers, I imagine. First off, what would you say to your peers about how you managed to get to this point of accomplishment to start a career as a Veterinary Technician?
I’d say don’t let your life circumstances tell you who you are and what you think you can become.
How did you get interested in the Veterinary Technology program?
I’ve always had a huge love for animals. I grew up with pigs, goats, chickens, and always a dog and a cat. I got a degree in Kinesiology, the study of the human body. I love the human body, but I didn’t really want to work with people hands-on so much. I knew I had this love for animals, so I thought why not take my knowledge of the body and apply it to animals and do something I love to do.
Was there anything when you were growing up that helped you figure out how to get through school so successfully?
Sports played a part. My biggest mentor was my middle school volleyball coach Penny Bartholomew. She was a support system for me. I also looked up to my teachers. Right before my father died he set up a guardianship with my softball coach, who was married with two daughters. I used softball to build my work ethic, my attitude toward life to keep working hard, and I learned you have to practice to get to where you want to be. I became a “utility player” on the team, the one who could play any position on the field. I always watched what other people were learning to be able to play their position. Coach wanted us to learn every aspect of the game. I realized I succeeded by doing.
And now you’re working already?
I have a really good work ethic, so when I went to my externship at Stanford Veterinary Clinic in Modesto – it’s a 24/7 ER – I got a job offer on the very first day! The manager watched me and said she wanted me to work there. I can hold my weight – a while back I worked at a Texas Roadhouse; it’s a really fast-paced restaurant. I was the only girl busser! Within a year of working at Stanford ER I was offered a lead position, moving up from my triage position. Now, I direct everybody; it’s kind of like being a manager on the floor but not the head manager.
What do you look forward to now?
I’m looking forward to getting registered so I can do procedures independently. I still have to pass the state exam to get a license, sometime between November and December.
Why did you choose Carrington?
The biggest thing that drew me to Carrington was that the classes were already picked and there was hands-on training in a lab from [instructors] who have actually done it. You learn from your own experience rather than a book because not only are you in a lab, but you’re getting taught by teachers who actually have worked and can share their experience. I could have tried to get into other programs but Carrington would be faster and less trouble.
How would you describe the Carrington culture in one word?
Support. You always have someone there to help you or to answer any questions.
And is there a particular instructor you would like to acknowledge as someone who encouraged you?
Amy Abel was that person for me.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to school to become a Vet Tech?
Put the time in and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Be eager to learn.