Shaping a future to share

Eleanor Robertson (pictured) is the Senior-Vice President of the Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) UK and Ireland and is currently in her fourth year at Liverpool University. With a passion for global health, having completed an intercalated masters in the subject at Maastricht University, Eleanor is interested in the vital contribution of the veterinary profession to a sustainable future.

The initiation of Vet Futures in 2014 was a cause of great excitement amongst the Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) committee, myself included. Why? Because as students, the future of the veterinary profession, we should be active in shaping it and championing the project through a myriad of various opportunities.

Vet Futures was established jointly by the RCVS and BVA with the proactive aim of readying the profession for an uncertain future. By foreseeing some of the challenges the veterinary team might face, Vet Futures encourages innovative thinking and presents a co-ordinated approach to them.

So, keen to play our part in making the project a success, AVS created the ‘Vet Futures Student Ambassadors’ initiative. We wanted not only to increase the visibility of this incredible project at a student level, but also encourage active engagement with it.

We promised the BVA and RCVS ‘excellent and dynamic’ individuals to become ambassadors, so… no pressure there. Although, as you all know, vet students seem to be a sea of enthusiastic, driven individuals! We were delighted at the level of interest from students from across all the vet schools and very impressed by the ideas and innovative thinking demonstrated in the applications.

Vet Futures Ambassadors at the training day in London

The newly appointed Vet Future Ambassadors then came down to the RCVS headquarters in London for a day of training. The day included training on planning, communication, presentation and leadership, focusing on developing student-led projects.

A lot of coloured pens later, we had five project groups that are now hard at work bringing the Vet Futures ambitions to fruition among vet students. These groups focus on innovation, One Health, mental health awareness, veterinary societal outreach and Graduate Outcomes.

I am really excited to introduce this project to you all. Have questions or want to contribute? Don’t hesitate to get in touch – We want vet students to embrace the amazing opportunity we have here! Keep an eye on the AVS website for updates on our progress!!