Q&A with Veterinary Technology Student Michael Fong
Michael Fong is a Veterinary Technology student at Carrington’s Stockton campus. Before enrolling at Carrington, he earned an undergrad degree in animal sciences at Arizona State University. Through Carrington’s Veterinary Technology program, Michael obtains the hands-on skills and experience he feels he needs before moving forward with his eventual long-term education and career goal of becoming a veterinarian.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Stockton, California. While I was growing up, I was mainly a sports guy. I used to play basketball. When I was starting high school, I realized that I was too short at 5ft tall to keep playing. So, I switched to playing water polo with my older brother. I played that throughout high school. After I graduated, I went to the University of Arizona where I majored in computer science. Then, about two years into my program, I realized that I hated doing computer science and decided to switch majors. One that jumped out at me was animal science. I’ve always had a passion for animals. Even as a kid, I would take our dog and the neighbor’s dog out for really long walks in the orchard by our house and play with them. That’s what inspired me to go into that area. So, I earned my animal science degree in the summer of 2021and then contacted Carrington about Veterinary Technology later that year.
So, late 2021 was when you decided to pursue a career in veterinary technology?
Yes, I was looking at applying to a vet school, but they are looking for people who already have experience working with vets. That’s what led me to Carrington and the Veterinary Technology program. Now that I’m in it, I’m just falling in love with it. I love it so much. I plan to finish this program, be a vet tech for a few years, and then go to veterinary school. I am twenty-four now. After I am done with Carrington, I will need a break from school, so I can hold down a job and get experience before I return to school again.
What motivated you to choose Carrington?
One of my friend’s older sisters, who is a vet tech, went there. She said it was a great program and you learn a lot. She also said it was quick, which was what I wanted. I didn’t want to move somewhere and do a long program.
What is your favorite part of your program at Carrington?
The hands-on parts are my favorite, where we apply the lessons we have been learning during the week. The most helpful for me has been venipuncture–finding veins and drawing blood. When we get to practice in labs, it helps us build our skills and confidence, so we are better prepared out in the field.
Is there a Carrington instructor or staff member who you would like to acknowledge?
All of them have been helpful to me. I can’t say that there is one in particular. Everyone who has been there along the way has helped me. They’ve taught me how to carry myself and be a professional in the field.
Please tell us about your current work.
I work at Mokelumne River Veterinary Services in Lockeford. I did my externship hours there and they liked me so much they decided to hire me. They have other Carrington grads working there too.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I just like it as a whole, because each day presents new cases. Veterinary science is a fulfilling thing because you know the animals can’t help themselves. You get to look after them and you’re always on their side.
How did Carrington prepare you for your career?
I had zero hands-on experience working with animals when I started at Carrington. Now I feel way more comfortable with just about anything involved with being a vet tech. When I finished college in Arizona, I felt like I’d learned a ton of great information, but I had no idea how to apply it. When I was doing my bachelor’s, I was more focused on learning things like chemistry. Now, I am thankful I knew all of that because it helped me a lot with the science in this program so I could focus on the hands-on portion. Carrington has given me the hands-on application and experience that I needed most of all.
Do you have any advice for people interested in going into your field?
My best advice would be to follow your passion. If being a vet tech is not your passion, you’ll quickly realize that you’re going to be doing some gross stuff. If you do have a passion for going into this field, it’ll show. It’ll show in your schoolwork and it will show when you go out in the field. Carrington was a great way for me to prepare for going out in the field, because not only do you get a lot of great information, but most of it is extremely applicable to the field. You also get loads of hands-on experience, so when you go out into the field, you don’t look like a brand-new person who has no idea what they are doing. You arrive looking like you have experience.