Ruthie Henchman

Bachelor of Veterinary Science (2015)
Veterinary Technical Supervisor for the Ministry of Primary Industries

One of the greatest things about the veterinary degree is the flexibility – there are so many more options than working in a clinic, and there are many specialties available within clinical work too.”

As an avid James Herriot reader, I had wanted to be a veterinarian since I was six years old. In the fourth year of my post-graduate career in medical science, my love of animals and the need to challenge myself academically culminated with a resignation letter and a vet school application.

Vet school was hard work interspersed with traditions and fun, as well as an appreciation for some of the small wonders in life, such as caffeine and the reciprocal apparatus.  

I changed a lot as a person throughout the course of the degree, and it is interesting to look back and see how it shaped me. I learned a great deal about the things that I was good at and those that I needed to do more work on, and learned that working hard will achieve anything.

Throughout most of vet school I stoically refused to believe I would be anything but a dairy vet, which later changed to a passion for pathology. However to everyone’s surprise, including my own, I took a government position and I positively love it.

Being positioned at a meat processing plant doesn’t ring with romance to most people, however I enjoy the challenges and learning, and the interaction with company staff on a daily basis really makes the job. As a verification veterinarian I oversee the whole process of meat production from animals arriving on a truck to labelling on cartons providing assurance to our overseas markets. It’s a friendly place to work and I’ve made a lot of wonderful friends. It is a career that is sure to bring new opportunities and challenges every day.

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