Student Q&A with Veterinary Technology Student Sarah Karas
Sarah Karas is a student in the Veterinary Technology program at Carrington San Leandro. She has always had a love for animals and brings her passion, kindness, and helpful ethos to both the animals she works with and her peers in the classroom. Here, Sarah tells us about how her interactions with veterinary hospital staff led her to pursue her Vet Tech studies, the specific things she loves about her studies, her plans for post-graduation life, and the connections she makes with both animals and people.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in Fremont, CA with my husband and three small dogs. They are all chihuahua mixes and mean everything to me. When I’m not busy studying, I spend my time outside in the garden or reading a good book.
Have you always been interested in Veterinary Technology?
I wouldn’t say that I’ve always been interested in veterinary technology specifically. I’ve always had a love for animals, however. It took a long time for me to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. A few years ago one of my dogs had pancreatitis and had to be hospitalized a couple of times because of it. In my interactions with the hospital staff, I became more interested in the field. I saw what they did for my baby and how great they were with her and with us. Everyone at the hospital was amazing. After that, I knew I needed to be a part of that, at least in some form.
When did you decide to pursue a career in Veterinary Technology?
I was working an office job a couple of years ago and I knew that it wasn’t where I wanted to be for much longer. I needed something that would challenge me and that I could feel passionate about. Something that I could feel good about at the end of the day. I took some time to explore my options and decided to look into getting into the veterinary field. I applied for an entry-level job at the very same hospital that I had taken my dog to previously but didn’t hear from them. From that point, I decided to enroll in the Veterinary Technology program at Carrington. Shortly after that, I heard back from the hospital and was hired on as a technician assistant. After working there for a while, I knew it was where I belonged.
Who or what influenced your decision to pursue a career in Veterinary Technology?
It was the staff at the emergency hospital that I took my dog to several years ago that made me want to pursue a career in veterinary technology. Before I started my journey to becoming an RVT, two of my three dogs had been to this hospital. The care that they received during each visit was first class. I got to know some of the staff because I was there so much and learned that they were all pretty happy working there. It was a great environment, something that many people desire in a workplace. I think that my experiences with these people put a spark in me, that later would go on to burn brighter as I got closer to actually pursuing a new career.
What were you doing before enrolling at Carrington?
I was working for a big photography company in production. I worked in production for 2 years, and before that, I worked for the same company as a photographer for almost 9 years. I traveled all throughout the Bay photographing schools and special events. I loved working with the kids. It was my job to make them smile, and I was great at it. I also worked as a trainer for several years during my stint in photography. During my time with the company I acquired a lot of knowledge, and I loved to share it with others.
Why did you choose to attend Carrington?
Honestly, it was the first school that I learned about. I didn’t know much about veterinary technology, but I knew that Carrington offered many different programs. I did a little more research to see what else was available and I liked that Carrington is reputable. Once I found out that they had a Veterinary Technology program, I set up an appointment to discuss everything. After meeting with an advisor that day, I was sold. I enrolled that day, and the rest is history.
Tell us about your current work as a student. What do you enjoy most about it? What is most challenging?
I love the challenge of this program. It’s a lot of work, and it’s rewarding. I really enjoy the hands-on experience that we get with our lab and surgery days, as well as our time in our clinical rotations. We learn a lot during lectures, and it doesn’t always make sense until you see what you have learned in action. The hands-on experience helps to tie everything together. The most challenging aspect is having to learn so much about all the different animals we work with. Veterinary technology goes well beyond just dogs and cats. Sure, dogs and cats are the majority of patients that we may see, but we also may come across a variety of other animals. Not everyone goes into small animals, so we need to be able to work with more than just dogs and cats.
What are you most looking forward to after you graduate? What are your plans for your career?
I’m looking forward to getting back to the workforce and practicing my newly acquired skills. I also want to take the VTNE as soon as I can so I can get closer to becoming licensed. I worked hard for this! As far as my career, I’d like to work at least a little while in general practice. I know it’s a great place to build up your skillset and learn beyond schooling. Ultimately, I’d like to go back into emergency. I really enjoyed my time working in a hospital setting. Every day was different. I liked the fast pace, and I even kind of liked the weird hours that I worked.
What gets you through the hard times?
Knowing that at the end of the day, I can go home to my husband and my dogs and everything will be okay. My husband is my #1 cheerleader. He has supported me throughout all of my endeavors and continues to do so. We all need someone like this in our lives. Also, going home to dog snuggles makes the tough things that happened during the day seem a little less awful.
How would you describe the Carrington culture?
Supportive. Everyone you come across wants you to succeed. The teachers are great at giving extra support when needed. Even the front desk roots you on as you walk into finals week. My classmates all help each other out. We are a team.
Was there any advice you received or a motto you used to get through school?
This term one of our instructors gave us the advice to do our homework every day, at least two or three times a day. Our homework came with a question bank of anywhere from 60 to nearly 300 questions. By doing this, it helps us to study, and by exam day we should be ready to take our tests. I took this to heart and studied a little every day, and I did great on the tests. I know that if I didn’t do this, I wouldn’t have been as successful in the fourth term.
What advice do you have for students in school now?
Study study study! And make sure that you don’t wait until the night before to study. There is a lot of information that will be thrown your way, and it’s up to you to know it. This is the career you are working toward, so spend your time wisely. Also, if you need help ask for it!
What do you want people to know about going to Carrington?
Carrington is a great school with great people. Everyone wants you to succeed in your journey. This is the place to be if you want to start your new career.
What advice do you have for people interested in going into Veterinary Technology?
It’s a lot of hard work, but if you have the determination and discipline, you can do it. Be prepared to be challenged, and also be prepared to work with all different types of people. Veterinary technology isn’t just puppies and kittens, it’s also making connections with people.