Make The Connection

November 23, 2020 | By Cole Hatcher

Liza Dmitrieva ’21 works with a pony during her summer veterinary internship in Texas. Her experience was supported by an OWU Connection grant. (Photo courtesy of Liza Dmitrieva ’21)

Aiding Animals

Ohio Wesleyan Senior’s Veterinary Internships Include Helping Dogs, Cows, Wolves, and More

Name: Liza Dmitrieva ’21
Hometown: Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Moscow, Russia
Majors: Pre-Professional Zoology and Environmental Science
OWU Connection Experience: A Theory-to-Practice Grant supported internship at Central Texas Veterinary Hospital

Dmitrieva completed a seven-week veterinary clinic internship this summer working with farm animals and pets in Early, Texas. She previously interned in Minnesota with support from OWU Small Grant Program funds and in Dubai. In Minnesota, her internship included helping to tend to wild animals including swans, porcupines, and even wolves. While there, Dmitrieva also conducted independent research on invasive species of crayfish in Northern Minnesota lakes. In Dubai, she worked in a dog shelter and other settings.

My Favorite Moments

“This internship required me to get out of my comfort zone a lot. I have never lived in the Southwest or in the (rural) country, so it was a unique opportunity to live, work, and communicate with people with a Southern mentality and distinctive accent, which took me a while to get used to.

“The work in the field required me to be always on my toes because when working with bulls you never know when you will be chased, and I had to physically challenge myself because it was almost always too hot and field work required a lot of muscle strength, which is rarely used in clinical settings. …

“Also, it was good to test if I fit the profession I am pursuing. I have never worked with large animals and, to be honest, I have never even seen a cow this up close. …

“Above all, I learned that Texans have a great heart, welcoming behaviour, and great self-confidence. Probably, my favorite experience was to be around those kind people, making friends, and learning new skills and different perspectives on life.”

Lessons Learned

“Of course, there were ties to my biology, zoology, and chemistry classes to understand the processes beneath of veterinary procedures. However, the surprise is that my public speaking and language classes were very handy, and I want to thank OWU for being a liberal arts university, which teaches various competences.

“Also, I learned how exciting it is to work with farm animals. Prior to that internship, I was planning to study exclusively small animals, but this experience expanded my view of the industry. So, this experience adjusted the direction of my future plans.”

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan

“I’m a nomad student who lived my whole life outside the USA. When I first began to research colleges, I was not familiar with the concept of a small liberal arts school. However, reading through the ‘Colleges That Change Lives’ book, I learned about the small classroom atmosphere and deeper and personal connections with professors, which grabbed my attention.

“My parents and I decided to make a tour from Colorado to Michigan to Ohio to North Carolina to the East Coast, visiting a dozen big state and small liberal arts schools to feel the difference and to find the best fit.

“I still remember the good impression I got at OWU after interviews with an admission counselor and professor Laurie Anderson.

“I believe the deciding factors were a great zoology program and attractive scholarship offer made by OWU. I would add now, the location is also great: a small town that helps to focus on study, and at the same time a big modern city to visit just a short drive away.”

My Plans After Graduation

“I have applied to veterinary schools this past fall for mixed animal program. I would like to learn to work and be helpful with various types of animals, including farm livestock and small pets.

“I really enjoyed my mixed practice schedule this past summer of spending some time in the clinic and then (visiting) ranches and farms. However, I am a city person, so I think in the long run I would prefer to work with small animals (because there are simply no cows in downtown).”