Project sets vets for success

April 14, 2016

VetSet2Go aims to help veterinary graduates make a successful transition into professional practiceA new project to help veterinary graduates make the transition into professional practice and a lifelong successful career has been launched by a group of pioneering vet schools.

VetSet2Go is an international collaboration led by academics from Murdoch University, which aims to bridge the gap between undergraduate veterinary courses and employers, client and graduate expectations.

Over the next two years, participating vet schools in Australia, the UK and the USA will be consulting with students, new graduates, veterinary educators, employers and clients to develop an evidence-based employability framework and associated teaching methods.

Key goals are to promote wellbeing and resilience among new vets, smooth transition to professional practice and develop transferable skills, including communication and team work, which are essential to success in the veterinary marketplace.

Research leader Associate Professor Martin Cake, from Murdoch’s School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, said the project would involve research into the qualities vet employers are looking for in graduates and what makes experienced practitioners resilient.

“We plan to ensure the capabilities that most influence employability are more explicit in education, to help students better prepare for the challenges they will encounter in transition to practice,” he said.

“As well as building the fundamental ‘transferable’ skills that will bring success in any work situation, the additional focus on satisfaction in employment will bring much-needed attention to resilience and wellbeing in the transition to work.”

Professor Cake said a dedicated subproject would explore the factors influencing resilience, which is highlighted in their early findings as a key consideration for recent graduates.

“This and other research will inform the development of an employability framework firmly grounded in evidence and stakeholder consensus,” added Professor Cake. “In the second phase of the project, this framework will be used to develop various online assessment tools and resources to help build these capabilities in veterinary undergraduates.”

The VetSet2Go website has just been launched and the project team are now keen to hear from those with an interest in employability and resilience.

There will be many ways to get involved in the project, such as by participating in surveys or by attending events, including an inaugural ‘Veterinary Employability Forum’ planned for early 2017. To register your interest or to receive ongoing news about the project, visit the project website at www.vetset2go.edu.au, or follow @vetset2go on Twitter.

Notes for editors

The project is a partnership between the veterinary schools of four Australian universities – Murdoch University (lead institution), University of Queensland, University of Adelaide, and University of Sydney), and two in the United Kingdom (University of Edinburgh and University of Nottingham). One member of the project team is now based at Washington State University, extending the potential reach of the project to the US.

Support for this project has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views in this project do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.

Professor Cake’s Murdoch colleagues Dr Melinda Bell, Dr Caroline Mansfield and Dr Laura King are working with him on the VetSet2Go project.

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