Being a Balclutha local gave Lily Newton an advantage when it came time to choose where to study. She said she knew about the ‘Telford family’ and what the students got up to, and she wanted to be a part of the close-knit community there. The rural learning institute has a rich tradition of training young New Zealanders in a range of quality agriculture courses. Lily said in the beginning she wasn’t exactly sure what line of work she wanted to go into, but after reading the course content for the Rural Vet Technician’s programme, she realised it was perfect for what she needed to do, in order to guide her career choices. She also knew it would be interesting and fun. And the course didn’t disappoint.
Lily said she had an amazing experience and learnt a huge amount about the function of what a technician does, having already put a significant measure of the skills learned to good use. And they weren’t just taught the basics, she said they learnt everything they needed in great detail. This included briefly being introduced to more advanced knowledge so they had an awareness of areas they could go on to study or learn more about in the future. The practical aspects of the course were important to Lily and she specifically mentions how much she learnt about animal handling - how to be safe and prevent herself or the vet from being kicked. How and where to inject animals with different drugs was another skill she enjoyed acquiring.
Lily loves the fact that now she’s able to look back on her time at Telford, she can say “so much of the skills and knowledge I learnt I am now using on a day-to-day basis”. This gives her a real sense of satisfaction. She also appreciates the social side of her Telford year – she said being part of a great class was amazing and being in the hostel was a huge highlight as there were some really good activities planned during the year. In particular, the bonding and ice-breaker activities encouraging students to get to know each other were invaluable . Lily said the work experience weeks were amazing as it meant students could get out of the classroom and into the “real world” and participate in some of the highs and lows of farming and vet life.
Lily’s qualification from Telford has certainly been put to good use. She’s employed at a vet practice which handles mixed animals. “I am employed as a vet nurse but I am able to go out on large animal calls and help the vets by getting products ready and assisting them on the job”. She said it’s been wonderful have her current job as she’s had the opportunity to work with large and small animals. This has helped her decide to do further study and go onto vet nursing but she definitely wants to carry on with the large animal work as it gives her the opportunity to get out of the clinic and be outdoors, assisting the vets on farms.
In the immediate future, Lily plans to go and study vet nursing so she can add more depth to her skills. She said when she’s in a mixed practice vets, it will allow her to be the best at both large and small animals. Aside from the study, Lily says she may end up going into farming as well, and knows and her Telford training will stand her in good stead for this too. She said the large animal vet technician course has given her more common-sense and practical knowledge on how to look after large animals. For her future employment, she adds “This qualification makes me much more attractive to businesses that are looking for someone with large animal handling and vetting experience”.