Jessica Pringle will never forget the first time she was paged for assistance with a medical procedure at the VCA Cat Hospital of Philadelphia. Knowing that the staff believed in her ability to complete a task instilled in her a deep sense of confidence.
As a result, the senior biology major from Lithonia, Ga., will return to The College of Wooster this fall brimming with self-assurance. Pringle spent the previous fall semester at The Philadelphia Center (one of the nation’s oldest experiential education programs), which is certain to give her an advantage as she prepares for her final year at Wooster and her subsequent entry into the “real world.” “I chose to go (to The Philadelphia Center) because of the possibility of obtaining an internship and to manage living in my own apartment,” she said.
While in Philadelphia, Pringle interned in the pathology department at the University of Pennsylvania and at the VCA Cat Hospital. She attended lectures, assisted with necropsies, organized photographs, and sat in on consultations at the University of Pennsylvania. She also worked as a veterinary technician and assisted the medical director at VCA . In addition, she took a class on abnormal psychology and a seminar, titled “Conversations on the Constructions of Race in America.”
Pringle says her work at Penn was an inspiration. “Every day, I was excited to learn about the new cases and watch as the doctors worked together to solve a case,” she said. “My experience at the University of Pennsylvania has motivated me for my upcoming journey to become a veterinary doctor.”
The perks did not come without effort, though. Pringle was often overwhelmed by the complicated medical terminology she encountered; she also struggled to gain confidence and overcome her anxiety when speaking with the medical professionals; and she even got lost occasionally in the large buildings. But overall, the internship was extremely valuable. “This past summer I was able to obtain a job as a veterinary assistant because of my experience in Philadelphia,” she said. “This allowed me to gain more hands-on experience in the veterinary career field. Also, I have been encouraged to apply to the veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania.”
Currently, Pringle is following up on the lessons she learned as she applies to various veterinary programs. And she looks forward to the next time her name comes across the intercom, paging her to an even higher level of confidence.
- Written by Libby Fackler ‘13
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