Hi everyone! My name is Brandon and I am so excited to be Veterinary Emergency Group’s first Lead Ambassador! This is a new role that we developed this year and I’m ecstatic to have taken it on.
A little about me – I was born and raised in sunny (and way too hot) Los Angeles, CA. I then moved to Northern California in 2014 to attend the University of California, Berkeley for undergrad – GO BEARS! After graduating, I continued to work as a technician at a local emergency & specialty hospital before starting veterinary school at UC Davis in August 2019.
Why Did You Want to Become the First VEG Lead Ambassador?
When Lexi, Laura, & Caroline asked me if I would be interested in becoming the first Lead Ambassador for Veterinary Emergency Group, I was floored. What an honor! This was an opportunity to deepen my involvement with an organization that was changing emergency medicine as we know it.
VEG has provided me with an incredible amount of mentorship, leadership training, and personal and professional development. It has forever changed my perspective on what a career in veterinary medicine can look like. Therefore, I jumped at the chance to help provide that experience for other students. It’s been such an honor to chat with fellow ambassadors, share with them what I’ve learned, and help them problem solve.
What Have You Learned as a VEG Ambassador?
As cliché as it sounds, my journey as a VEG Ambassador has taught me a great deal about self confidence and knowing that you truly are enough.
Like most people in the veterinary profession, I am great at being hard on myself. It’s all too easy to pick apart all the things you think you’ve done wrong and cast your accomplishments into the darkness. One of the things I love about being a VEG Ambassador is that you are really empowered to take charge and shape your role as an ambassador as you see fit.
One of our spikes is “we always find a way to say yes” and that doesn’t only refer to our interactions with clients – this is pervasive throughout VEG. When I started working with the Student Relations Team, I was running every decision by them. I soon realized that while they were there to help out if I needed assistance, they really trusted me to represent the company and take the lead on carrying out my ideas. As long as I had a plan in mind, they were behind me 100%.
I am consistently amazed by the faith the Student Relations Team has put into their ambassadors. Growing up, my dad used to always tell me that I had to “take a leap of faith” and trust that I could do what I set out to do. Time and time again, VEG has had me practice doing that and I believe I have become a better person, friend, leader, and professional because of it.
What are Some Meaningful Moments You Have Had as a VEG Ambassador?
Where do I start?! There are so many to choose from!
If I had to choose some to highlight, the VEG Ambassador Training would definitely be at the top of the list. This was such an incredible opportunity to meet doctors, technicians, staff, and other VEG Ambassadors. The Student Relations team put so much work into making it a great experience and it showed. Thank you for that!
Despite having been a VEG Ambassador for a year, because of COVID, the Ambassador Training in July was my first in-person VEG event. I remember being struck by how happy all of the VEGgies were. I had never encountered a group of veterinary professionals who were all so excited to be there, to work, to see each other, and to get to know us all. Even our CEO, Dr. David Bessler, was there to chat with us candidly about his experience as a veterinarian and answer questions we may have had.
Additionally, I have been amazed by how I’ve been able to reach out to any VEGgie, even if I’d never talked to them before, to pick their brain and get advice. Notably, I’ve been able to get on the phone and have some fantastic conversations with Dr. Ashley Gray and Dr. Mariana Pardo to discuss potential career plans, life advice, and seek their guidance. They are both incredibly busy and yet they both took time out of their schedules to chat.
I’m so grateful for this VEGgie family!
What are Your Future Career Plans?
That’s a tough one. Emergency medicine has always been near and dear to my heart, but I am also interested in specializing in either critical care or internal medicine. In fact, one of the reasons I messaged Dr. Pardo (one of our DACVECCs at VEG White Plains) was to hear about the role of a criticalist at VEG. If I don’t end up pursuing a specialty, you better believe I’ll be applying to work at VEG!
Only time will tell.
Interested in Applying to be Your School’s Next VEG Ambassador?
Be on the lookout for Ambassador Applications opening late spring! In the meantime, contact your school’s ambassador to find out how to get more involved with VEG!