"I am a remedial massage therapist with a background in the thoroughbred racing industry. Ever since I was 14, I have wanted to be involved in equine rehabilitative and manual therapies. I had planned on becoming a vet, but I discovered the cost and time were much more than I wanted to give to eventually do horse massage. So I have been searching for a course that will give me veterinary credibility and an ability to work autonomously in an allied health capacity. Vet Tech is this course, as it will provide knowledge and industry recognition, overcoming the stigma that horse people often have for 'alternative' therapies.
"Additionally, Veterinary Technology works for me because it incorporates a great deal of equine reproduction, and I would eventually like to look at manual therapies for both neonates and in a natural fertility capacity.
"It is a long way to go still, as I also need to complete the animal massage component to finally achieve my career goals, but I'm on track.
"This course is offered in New Zealand, my home country, but it is not offered by distance education. I am a mature-aged students with a life that I couldn't pack up and shift, so being able to do this course of study by distance was crucial. Additionally, CSU's agricultural and veterinary science reputation makes me feel like I am in safe hands, as far as graduating with an applicable and industry relevant qualification.
"Distance education allows me to work full-time as normal, and fit study into early mornings, late nights and train rides. It is very challenging, and I am extremely jealous of the students who have only themselves and their study to think about, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It allows me to continue to develop my massage career, and fit in other courses as well. I love the flexibility, and the fact that financially I can still be comfortable and independent.
"Residential schools are wonderful! They help to bring the subject together, and having the lecturers up close and personal is a great experience. They are hard work, and action packed, but they do make me feel like I am having the same subject experience as the on campus students and not missing out on any key information.
"Work placement has been tricky time wise, fitting it in around full-time work and full-time study, however my vet clinic placement was wonderful. I was very well received by my clinic and they were very supportive of my course. Having always worked with large animals as well, it was amazing to get some insight into the behind-the-scenes of a small animal clinic.
"As a horse person and a massage therapist, dissecting the equine lower limb at res school had to be the highlight. I have been waiting for that class for about five years!
"It is much easier to connect with other distance education students after res school, as you have a name and a face, and have begun those connections. However, there are platforms in place to easily connect with others, and through these I made a solid friend as mad as I am, with the same ridiculous study load, and we are carrying each other through. The connections with other distance education students are absolutely crucial, as it is easy to feel overwhelmed and alone.
"As a country girl, I feel that regional universities have a huge part to play in developing industry relevant skills. They are in touch with the farmers and rural industries, and they understand what those people need from their professionals. I know for a fact that a great deal of rural market research went into developing my degree, and I feel confident that as a result it will be well received when veterinary technologists hit Australia.
"CSU is a fantastic experience. The support for first year and distance education students is wonderful, and the staff are the perfect balance of knowledgeable professional and understanding individual. The course content is relevant, relatable, and industry practicable. Overall, as a mature-aged student who didn't finish high school, studying full-time by distance, CSU has been a really wonderful experience."