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Tea with Professor Alasdair Cook - Head of Department of Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health,

On Friday evening, I went along to a networking tea that had been offered by the Tormead Biology Enrichment Programme, KYTOS. It was on the subject of careers in veterinary sciences and we had the privilege to meet and listen to the guest speaker Professor Alasdair Cook, Head of the Department of Veterinary Epidemiology & Public Health, at the University of Surrey. Having ambitions of becoming a vet myself, I was fascinated by the valuable facts we were given, and those skills which we could use whilst we pursue our careers. This included everything from how to answer the inevitable interview questions to dealing with difficult situations in the field. Professor Cook shared a personal success, in his earlier days as a vet, when he was called to a farm to assist a cow that was stuck in a ditch, to give birth. He described the sense of elation and pride that felt when he managed to get both the calf and the cow through the situation alive in such challenging conditions. It was really wonderful to hear a personal story like that, to inspire us more. He also explained that even through veterinary sciences one can get the opportunity to travel, which he did, and the importance of human interaction. Surrey University was also a big focus point as Professor Cook has just started a degree for veterinary sciences, which, he says, was another of his main personal successes. The evening was very educational and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The fact that we were able to ask the questions ourselves really helped with the personal queries each of us had.

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