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Jamie Smart - Aquatic Vet

What’s your name, and what graduating class were you from?

Jamie Smart, Class of 2018

What do you do at the moment?

Aquatic Vet.

What did your pathway look like, and how did you find your current job?

I started mixed practice, and worked for a few years - working predominantly farm/equine by the end. I spoke with several people who worked in aquaculture who really enjoyed it and it seemed an interesting developing field with scope to move up in the industry. This allowed me to continue doing work out in the field at remote sites in the highlands and islands, but also quiet times able to work from home writing reports, answering client queries, etc.

I looked into a masters course in aquatic vet studies at University of Stirling, and was able to get a scholarship for the course which allowed me to pursue it. Doing the masters allowed me a break from first opinion practice and if I didn't enjoy work as aquatic vet then I can always go back to mixed practice. Made a lot of contacts through the course/reaching out to different people in the industry then as approached and offered a job as a vet towards the end of the course

Why did you choose to move away from traditional clinical work?

I've always enjoyed the farm animal side more, getting out on the farms etc but I didn't want to be doing OOH at 40+ years old with kids, and you can't really get a 9-5 large animal job. Couldn't see myself working purely small animal as I like being out and about. On looking into aquaculture it's still a relatively young industry and always developing, interesting growth especially with expanding sustainable food production very important now.

What is the best part of the job?

Better work-life balance and not working weekends

This job may not be for you if…

You don't like traveling/ being out on the road yourself. Varied workload, some weeks quieter and can work from home. Some weeks up at 3-5 each morning to get out to sites and back 6-8 in the evening.

Do you have any words of wisdom for other alumni?

Work in mixed practice for a few years to see what you like and don't like before making a decision if going to choose a more focused path

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