Q&A with RUSVM Student Ambassadors
If you are a prospective student looking for information about what it’s like at RUSVM, you might get an opportunity to talk with a Ross Vet Student Ambassador (RVSA). The Student Ambassador program was created this year to make it easier for incoming applicants to connect with a current Ross student in the doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) program and ask questions about the Rossie experience. We sat down with our student ambassadors, McKenna Schoppe, Katherine Huff and Bianca Ferlisi to learn more.
What interested you in becoming an Ambassador?
McKenna Schoppe - I became interested in becoming an Ambassador so that I could help prospective students with their decision about veterinary school, all the while sharing the RUSVM experience.
Katherine Huff - I wanted to share my Ross experience and journey as I work toward my DVM, and be a guide for prospective students as they make a decision on this next big chapter of their life.
Bianca Ferlisi - I wanted to share my experience with prospective students to hopefully inspire them to pursue a DVM at Ross University. RUSVM has given me the opportunity to achieve my dream of being a veterinarian, and I want to help other students achieve their dreams as well.
What is a common question typically asked by prospective students?
McKenna Schoppe - Prospective students typically ask about life here in St. Kitts, along with course load, and hands-on opportunities to get involved in.
Katherine Huff - Common questions asked by prospective students are "what do you wish you had known before you had come to Ross?" and "how do you handle being so far from home?"
Bianca Ferlisi - Many prospective students ask what it is like to study to become a veterinarian while living on a small island. My answer is always this: "It teaches you to adapt, think outside the box, problem solve and overall it helps you to become independent while still having an amazing support system around you to mold you into the best vet you can be."
What information do you like to share with prospective students?
McKenna Schoppe - When talking with prospects, I share experiences that I have had in class, such as the hands-on experience in courses such as Anatomy and Essential Veterinary Skills (EVS). For example, my favorite thing to share are activities like the canine physical exam lab, surgical knot labs, and necropsy labs. These types of labs for me, made me feel like a real doctor, which is definitely motivating. Aside from required courses, I also like to share my involvement in the Bovine Club, where we are involved in lectures, palpation trips, calf handling, and much more. It shows that they have multiple opportunities for exposure to animals and knowledge early in their vet school career. Also, by sharing this information, the prospect is exposed to the idea that students don’t just study all the time.
Katherine Huff - I often share my three favorite aspects of Ross; the Rossie community, research, and faculty. Prospects are very curious about island life and living in St. Kitts. I like to express how many opportunities students have with clubs and research and how that can enhance their experience in veterinary school. Having a beach to run to after exams doesn’t hurt either!
Bianca Ferlisi - I like to express my experience as a prospective student, to help convey that all of the fears of unknowns and uncertainties are completely normal. I also love to talk about how much I love being a student at RUSVM. I have had so many wonderful experiences in the classroom, through extracurricular activities, and in general on this island that I like to talk about. I try to help paint a picture of what life at RUSVM truly is like.
What would you have liked to know when you were a prospective student considering RUSVM?
McKenna Schoppe – I would have liked to know what it was like to live in a different country, along with what research and hands-on opportunities are available at Ross.
Katherine Huff - I wish I had known more about student life, like RUSVM Facebook groups and how you can buy a lot of what you need from students at the 20-minute break.
Bianca Ferlisi – I would have liked to know more about what life on the island is like. It was a big transition to move to an island from a big city and I wish I had a better idea of what to expect. The great thing about RUSVM though is that there are so many resources to help you through the transition. Though at first I was a bit overwhelmed by the big move, I felt very reassured knowing I had so many people I could ask for help and guidance.