Catching up with Jazmeen Suleman
On a scale of 1-10, how different is it living on island compared to back in Canada?
I would give it a 10. I’m from Calgary which has grown quite a bit. So coming to such a small island was definitely a big change.
It’s difficult at first getting used to not having everything accessible or having to travel to a few different places to find something that every store back home would carry, but you get used to it.
Was moving that far away to an island a positive or negative when making your decision?
Knowing that Ross Vet is located in the Caribbean was a huge positive for me. I could not wait to get out of the cold and have summer all year round.
It does get a little humid, as it’s pretty dry back home, but my skin loves it!
What made you choose Ross Vet?
I didn’t apply to any other schools because I had heard about how challenging it was to get accepted into a Canadian school, and I didn’t want to waste my time and money.
There was another student that worked at a clinic in Calgary with me, and I heard she was going here. I asked her about it, and she had nothing but positive things to say. So that really convinced me.
Would you do the same and recommend other Canadian students join you at Ross Vet?
Definitely! It’s such a great school.
I am an officer of RUSVM’s chapter of the Veterinary Business Management Association. We have speakers come down from the U.S. to talk about business related to the veterinary industry. So many of them stress how great and prepared Ross Vet graduates are.
So what has been your favorite thing about Ross Vet?
Getting to meet other students and professors from all over the world. You get a sense of community because you’re all experiencing these new things together.
How about the island?
My favorite thing about the island is being able to experience a different culture. My friend and I participated in Carnival this past December and January. We bought costumes and marched in the parade. It’s something you don’t get to do anywhere else. I love St. Kitts!
OK, now be honest, if you could change one thing about Ross Vet or the island what would it be?
There is nothing I can think of that I would change about Ross Vet or the island. Maybe making it easier to ship things down here.
Let’s talk about the clubs. How many are you in?
I’m the co-chair for the Wishmakers Club, membership coordinator for the Veterinary Business Management Association, International Veterinary Students Association Representative on the SAVMA Board. I’m also part of the Feral Cat Project, member of Scuba and One Health clubs, and I currently sit on the One Health Day Committee, as well.
Sooooo you might be a little busy is what you’re saying? I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s start with the Wishmakers, I guess. What do you do there?
I help plan and run events, keep in contact with different organizations we work with, and find new projects for us to help out with. We work with different local organizations to foster a positive relationship between Ross Vet and the St. Kitts community. For example, we hold a donation drive at the end of every semester where we collect and sort donations for Mickey’s Hope. Mickey’s Hope then takes the donations and puts them into care packages they deliver to families around the island who can only afford one meal a day or less.
That’s awesome. Now what exactly is the Veterinary Business Management Association?
VBMA gives veterinary students a chance to learn about how to run a business, as well as how to write a resume, cover letter, how to prepare for an interview, how to read a contract, etc.
All key things to know. Let’s do rapid-fire … Feral Cat Project?
We take in cats from around the island, spay/neuter them and set them free.
I joined to get certified as an open water diver. So I’m in the process of that right now.
One Health Club?
I currently sit on the One Health Day Committee. We are planning a whole week of events for One Health Day in November.
I think we got them all. So let’s get a little more personal. What made you want to become a vet?
I have always loved animals. I know that is the typical answer from a vet student but there is nothing else I ever saw myself doing. I was almost discouraged because I did not do as well in undergrad as I would’ve liked, but thankfully there are schools like Ross Vet that give people like me a chance.
And now you’re on the Dean’s List, right?
Yes! Making the Dean’s List is something I strive to achieve every semester. It makes me proud of myself to be able to do something I love and be succeeding at it. They also hold an awards ceremony every semester for recipients, so that’s a plus!
Now what about after you graduate. What're your goals?
I would like to open up my own practice. I am still thinking about specializing, so I am not sure how far into the future that would be.
This profession opens up so many doors that you never even dreamed existed. That’s what I love about VBMA, you learn about all of these interesting paths you can follow that you wouldn’t normally learn about.