Fourteen students from the Professional Veterinary Medical Program at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will travel to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta this month to explore career opportunities with the CDC.
CDC Student Day, scheduled for Jan. 29, is an opportunity for students interested in careers with the CDC to meet with CDC representatives and learn more about career paths in public health, biomedical sciences, veterinary medicine and other fields. This is the second Student Day hosted by the CDC, which offers each veterinary school 10 positions for students to attend. Unfilled spots from other schools are being used by CSU to bring a total of 14 PVM students.
Ruth White, Veterinary Career Coordinator for the College, arranged the trip for the PVM students and Dr. Ashley Hill will be accompanying as a member of the faculty. Dr. Hill will stay an additional day for a special meeting on university and CDC research collaboration prospects.
“This is a great opportunity for our students to meet with scientists from the CDC, network with professionals and other students, and explore career paths unfamiliar to them,” said White.
Megin Nichols, a fourth-year PVM student attended the CDC Student Day two years ago and has now been offered a prestigious position with the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service upon her graduation in May. Nichols will graduate with her DVM from Colorado State University and her Master’s of Public Health from the University of Minnesota. White said that, to her knowledge, Nichols is the first graduate of the CSU PVM program to be offered a position with the EIS right out of school. Nichols will join the organization as an officer in the Public Health Service.
“In April, the CDC will hold a job fair of sorts when the freshman EIS officers will meet and interview with representatives from organizations within the CDC who have open positions,” Nichols said. “At the end of the week of interviews, I pick my top 5 choices and the organizations pick their top 5 candidates, then that information is put into a computer to match up the candidates with jobs. I’m interested in infectious disease, but could also wind up in a program focused on chronic disease, maternal and child care, or food safety, or a number of others. I’m just going in with a very open mind and am excited about the possibilities.”
Nichols said that she had great support from the College as she pursued the position with the EIS, including Dr. Lance Perryman, Dean of the College; Dr. Ashley Hill, Ruth White, and SCAVMA, the student veterinary organization that provided travel funds to the CDC Student Day for Nichols.
“This has definitely been a group effort,” said Nichols. “I didn’t do it by myself, but I’m very glad I have this opportunity and am proud to represent my college. My hope is that other veterinary students will take advantage of the great opportunities offered by the CDC, especially as the importance of veterinary medicine to public health programs, and its presence in those programs, continues to grow.”