Dr Jasmin Pender (CC2010) graduated from the Cornish Campus of St Leonard’s College before pursuing a career in veterinary science. Here, she shares with us her reflections upon recent professional highlights as well as the influence that Cornish has had upon her work with animals and specialisation within the sciences.

I knew from an early age that a love for animals would result in me working with them for a living; I sincerely believe that being surrounded by animals at Cornish helped to fuel this passion. After completing VCE in 2010, I studied the Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (with Distinction) at The University of Melbourne, graduating in 2016. Since then, I have worked as a small animal general practitioner veterinarian in Melbourne before recently moving to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

My tertiary education has led to many opportunities, including the chance to seek professional pathways interstate. Given a worldwide shortage of veterinarians, finding a job has not posed a problem; however, deciding upon a suitable and engaging career trajectory is somewhat trickier. For now, I have decided to continue with general practice as I enjoy the day-to-day challenges of that role, yet am cognisant of other subdisciplines worth exploring in the years to come. Some of my university cohort have, for example, branched into research or biosecurity following their earliest years in the workforce.

I believe that the Cornish experience has allowed me to ‘think outside the square’ and embrace challenges—both of which are vital skills as a veterinarian. I believe that the school excels in encouraging students to follow their interests and is supportive of individual skill sets. In fact, I only discovered my strength in science once starting at Cornish and was encouraged to pursue this area of potential. I am deeply grateful to those staff – especially Dr Marcia Behrenbruch – for sparking an initial interest in the sciences and for laying the foundations of both theoretical and hands-on work. I suspect that I would not be where I am today were it not for the chance to flourish at Cornish.