Alumni Stories: An English Major At Vet School

Alumni Stories: An English Major At Vet School

Bryanna Mariel Andrews graduated from Davis in 2015, having double majored in English and Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology. She is currently enrolled in the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, where she is studying wildlife conservation medicine. We asked her three questions about her time at Davis English and her transition to life in Scotland.  

Are You An UCD English Alumni?

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Could you give us an example of a class, an assignment, or a book that stayed with you after you after graduating? 

I took two demanding courses with Professor Seeta Chaganti that challenged us to think critically about a text by examining it from every angle and being prepared to defend our views to each other.  So many of the skills I either learned with her or strove to perfect with her have been applicable in my science career, especially in professional school. The ability to respond quickly to a topic or to have well-organized thoughts in a report are things that my English degree gave me that have followed me to Scotland and continue to make my work stand out.

It seems like veterinarians have a lot of choices of where to live and work. Where do you see yourself practicing veterinary medicine?

I have always wanted to work with wildlife, and that is no less true now than before.  However, I have absolutely fallen in love with Scotland, and that presents some challenges in working with wildlife as there is not much left here.

I think I will end up living and working here for a few years after I graduate to gain practical experience necessary to apply to wildlife and conservation veterinary residencies, and I will probably complete my residency in Australia because of the strong programs they offer and the vast amount of wildlife still in existence after that. Ultimately, I would like to use my degree to travel as much as possible and work in under-served, rural, or underdeveloped areas; I would love to return to Africa and work there for a while, and perhaps southeast Asia as well.

The short answer is: I don’t plan on settling down!

We hear that you are a hiker. Could you talk about a particularly interesting hike you've gone on recently?

A flatmate and I took a week-long car-camping trip that took us through the Kintyre Peninsula and over to the islands of Islay and Jura in Scotland. Jura is especially remote, having only a few hundred people that live on the island permanently and several thousand deer. We took an amazing hike to Loch Tarbert where a waterfall falls down into the lake, and it was a several hour trip shrouded in mist, through which we could see the faint silhouette of deer stalking by in the distance. It was absolutely phenomenal, and I hope to be able to return to Jura to climb the Paps (tall hills).