Verity Watkins is a 25 year old animal lover from Newport. Verity currently studies the Foundation Degree in Animal Health and Wellbeing at Coleg Gwent's Usk Campus.
What made you decide to embark on the higher education course at your college?
I really enjoyed my Level 3 course in Animal Management at the college so going onto a HE course here seemed a natural progression – I felt at home at the campus and I knew and liked the staff.
Initially I wanted to do the Foundation Degree in Veterinary Nursing but I didn’t have enough UCAS points so I opted for this course with a view to doing vet nursing afterwards, but I’m now leaning more towards a career in animal welfare having been inspired by the staff on the course.
What's the best thing about the course?
I love that I get hands on experience in the college’s animal care centre as I learn better by doing something, rather than just reading or hearing about it. I’ve also done work placements in two vet surgeries and at an animal charity and will do more work placements before I graduate as you have to do at least 200 hours as part of the course.
As well as being able to demonstrate experience when I’m applying for jobs, the placements are a good way to gain an insight into different areas of animal care to see which route you want to pursue as a career.
How are you finding the jump from level 3 to higher education?
I find studying at a higher level more interesting as you go into more detail than I did at Level 3, but it’s more challenging than I expected, so you need to be sure it’s what you want to do and stay committed. You’re not alone though as tutors are always there to help me.
I’m in college for two days a week but I know if I email my tutors in between they get back to me really quickly so I don’t have to put my assignments on hold until I’m back in college.
Would you recommend the course to others?
Definitely. I’d recommend that anyone considering the course should come along to an open event and meet the staff – they really are an inspiration.