(July 12, 2021) Paola Cruz Ramos is a 4th year veterinary student at North Carolina State University with an interest in Small Animal General Practice and Surgery. Born and raised in Guayama, Puerto Rico she completed her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with Pre-Vet at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez.
We asked Paola to share her academic experience with us. “The journey of studying veterinary medicine has been like a rollercoaster with many ups and downs and a rush of information coming your way. Moreover, moving to the US brought many challenges, like feeling homesick, experiencing the cold weather, new language, new culture, and new lifestyle. However, I would not change it for anything.
Aside from the stress of studying, we also face a great financial burden due to the amount of student loans. Therefore, throughout my time in vet school, I had many jobs. I worked as an assistant at the Small Animal Emergency Hospital at NC State for 3 years, as a Bilingual COVID Contact Tracer, as a Supplies Representative for “Veterinary Educational Textbooks and Supplies”, as a pet sitter, and did many internships during the summer. Yet, this did not compare to the immense financial help I received from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.
This is my 2nd year having the privilege of receiving the Merck Animal Health Scholarship and I could not be more humbled and grateful. This not only helps me financially but also motivates me to keep working for my dreams since I know that there are people out there who believe in me. To all veterinary and soon to be veterinary students I would say, always believe in yourself, be positive, and TRY even if it means you could fail, because it is better to fail than wonder what if. Sometimes we are our worst enemies and have a lot of self-doubt, but we need to change this and be our biggest motivator.”
AVMF is committed to helping offset the cost of veterinary medical education for students who are addressing the health and research needs of society – both today and tomorrow. Learn more about AVMF scholarships and external opportunities.