This is the second article of our "Keep Employing Youth (KEY)" series, highlighting the value of youth employees in the Tararua District. Watch this space!
A love of animals, several years of study, and being in the ‘right place at the right time’ has seen one young woman’s dream come true.
Dannevirke’s Sarah Turton says she always wanted to work with animals, and never considered anything else.
A year after leaving school she was enrolled at UCOL in Palmerston North studying for her Diploma in Veterinary Nursing.
The Diploma, which is a two year full-time course, requires students to go on week-long placements at veterinary clinics to gain additional experience during their studies. Sarah was fortunate to get a placement at Tararua Veterinary Services Ltd in Dannevirke. It was while she was there she was asked if she would like a holiday job over Christmas, as one of their nurses was leaving.
"Of course I said yes and when it came to the end of the holiday period they then asked me if I would like a job. That was at the end of my first year at UCOL. So I did my second year over two years instead of one. That enabled me to work three days a week at the clinic and spend two days a week studying.
"I learnt so much more working in the clinic than I did in class, it made it easier for me to learn. I wasn’t just reading it out of a book, and the staff really helped me, they’ve been fantastic."
Sarah says she never considered studying to be a vet, describing it as too academic with lots of science involved.
"I’m more into caring for animals; I just didn’t feel I had that academic level in me, or the desire to study for five years."
With her course completed, Sarah is now a full-time vet nurse at the clinic and says she loves her job and is planning to stay.
"I’d like to travel, but I don’t want to work or live overseas. What I really want to do is save up and buy myself a small farm for all my animals. At the moment they’re all living at my parents place."
The Dannevirke clinic is headed by local vet Dr Mary Lund who is also a partner in the business.
Mary describes Sarah as a hard working person who is an asset to the clinic.
"Sarah has great work ethics and is positive and enthusiastic, she is wonderful to work with and we’re fortunate to have her."
Sarah appreciates the opportunity Tararua Veterinary Services Ltd has given her, and says everyone has been really good to her.
"A lot of people in my class at UCOL still haven’t got jobs. There are not many vet nurse jobs out there at the moment, so I was lucky someone was leaving and they offered me the job. It’s good also to get a job doing what I love here in Dannevirke."