Ursula Bruce

Job: Animal Health     Area: Tirau

The Large Animal Vet

Ursula grew up on a small sheep and beef farm in the Manawatu where she and her siblings helped out with the daily farm duties. Today Ursula works as a large animal vet in Tirau.

What does being a vet involve?
It is a really satisfying job. I help animals recover from disease and injury and I advise farmers about improving their production through animal health programmes.

What is involved on a typical day?
There are no typical days as a vet! I attend call-outs dealing with anything from pregnancy testing herds to vaccinations and dehorning. Every call-out is different; you never know what your day is going to be like. It’s never dull being a large-animal vet because the job keeps you thinking. Calving is the busiest time of the year, but it's part of the job and is also the most exciting work.

What does qualifying for this job entail?
You have to invest five years of studying Veterinary Science at Massey University. But it’s not certain that you'll be accepted into the course in the first place, so you have to study like crazy for the first semester of your first year. It's no big deal missing out on lots of parties then - you have plenty of time to make up for it afterwards.

What do you love most about your job?
It's the clients. Farmers are fantastic people with a great sense of humour and reason. Also, I have an awesome group of people to work with at the clinic. I get to be outside in the sunshine most of the day, meet lots of people and keep active.

What qualities are important to being a good vet?
The three most important qualities are personality, common sense and problem-solving ability.

Back to The Real World
"You get to see animals recover from disease and injury and also help farmers improve their production through whole Herd animal health programmes."

How did I get here:

School - NCEA: Science, Maths

University: Bachelor of Veterinary Science