VBMA Student Chapter Receives National Award for Programming Excellence

Mar 24, 2023

In January, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine’s (Ross Vet) chapter of the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) was awarded the National VBMA’s Exemplary Honors Participation Award. The inaugural award was given to the chapter that demonstrated the most dedication, involvement, and promotion of VBMA’s Business Certificate With Honors portfolio.

Grant Lorimer and Holly Schwarzman, both Class of ’25, as well as Luis Pablo Herve Claude, DVM, MPVM, PhD, assistant professor and faculty advisor for Ross Vet VBMA, attended the conference in Orlando, Florida, to accept the award.

“It was a great experience to be able to accept this award for our chapter,” said Schwarzman, the chapter’s current vice president. “The previous board – Shaz Safari, Samantha Valdes, Leslie Stenkamp, Chloe Daubenspeck, Kailyn Fittsporter, Amanda Coull, and Dr. Herve – were the ones who put in all the hard work, dedication, and long hours into growing the club. Their efforts are greatly appreciated and represented by this award.”

The VBMA is one of the largest student-run organizations in the United States, dedicated to fulfilling the need for a business education to enhance success in a student's professional career. Ross Vet’s chapter offers scholarship opportunities, peer-to-peer networking, internships, jobs, and other unique members-only opportunities.

Chapter members also have the option to complete the Business Certificate Program, where they can be formally recognized for their commitment to business learning in areas such as personal and business finance, employee and practice management, and career preparation and planning. Program participants complete a certain number of coursework credits for advanced training in communication, leadership, and business. VBMA students who complete the standard business certificate or honors certificate are given special chords depending on their certificate type to wear during their Commencement ceremony.

According to National VBMA, the certificate program serves as a tangible display of the student’s desire to learn many skills beyond that which is taught in the conventional veterinary school curriculum (source).


“No matter what you want to do with your career, VBMA has resources for you,” said Shaz Safari, Class of ’24 and the chapter’s former president. “If you want to be a business owner, we have lectures that cover it. If you want to be an associate for another practice, we have resources that will help you understand what business aspects of the veterinary field you need to know a little bit more about. All of this knowledge and business training are areas veterinarians don’t often prioritize while in school, and we offer that opportunity.”

The honors portfolio also consists of topics like resume and cover letter writing, optimizing your LinkedIn, and reflective courses for students to figure out what they want to do with their career practice.

Schwarzman added: “Through VBMA, we are also gaining the knowledge of what we’re worth. Although we as veterinarians care for our patients and clients greatly, we need to make sure we can support and advocate for ourselves as well. VBMA helped me gain more confidence in understanding veterinary medicine as a career and how to build a sustainable, sufficient plan for future financial stability.”

Now as a nationally recognized student chapter, Ross Vet VBMA hopes to continue growing its on-campus presence and creating opportunities for current students. For Schwarzman and the current leaders to continue building on the successes Safari and her executive board fulfilled, the chapter hopes to enroll in the National VBMA’s mentorship program that will provide input from former members on how the certificate program has benefitted veterinarians currently in practice. Whether it be with former members or each other, VBMA helps bring people together.

“It meant so much to me to be surrounded by people that are like-minded and supportive,” said Safari. “On top of our accomplishments and everything we did through VBMA, the close friendships that I made are what has meant the most to me.”

To learn more about Ross Vet’s VBMA chapter and other student organizations, visit our Clubs and Organizations page here.

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