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COSAM Junior Pursing Childhood Dream of Veterinary Medicine

Published: 10/08/2019

By: Carla Nelson

Auburn University junior Emily Brown has aspired to be a veterinarian since she was 7 years old.

“A lot of people through the years kind of change their mind, but I grew up basically watching Animal Planet, veterinary shows – It’s just always been animals,” she said. “I started working at a clinic two summers ago now, and fell in love with it, fell in love with everything there. That’s when I decided this is the life I want.”

Emily is pursuing an organismal biology/pre-veterinary medicine degree through the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) and plans to one day work in a small animal clinic.

“People are a big deal to me, so I love the small animal clinics because it is very people oriented,” she said. “You are talking to the person behind the leash and that initial connection is being made.”

Originally from Nashville, Tenn., Emily works in a vet clinic back home each summer, but she said she hopes to land an upcoming internship with the Atlanta Zoo or a wildlife sanctuary to learn more about those animals.

Emily also has a passion for service. She is a member of Omega Phi Alpha, a service sorority that is centered on community service such as volunteering at nursing homes, food banks, fundraisers and more.

“I’ve been a part of this since spring of my freshman year,” she shard. “I found some really good friends through the sorority and it’s been really rewarding.”

She is also an officer of the Auburn University Outdoor Adventure Club. Emily loves hiking and got serious about it more than a year ago.

“The night before I went on my first trip, I bought a $40 backpack from Walmart and hiked in not knowing where we were going to sleep,” she said. “We ended up sleeping in a cave, couldn’t get the tent to work, it was freezing cold. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my entire life.”

Since then she has hiked 30 miles of the Appalachian Trail, almost every waterfall in Tennessee, parts of North Carolina and more.

Emily is also a member of the Pre Veterinary Medical Association and works to have relationships with professors and students in the College of Agriculture, where most pre-vet students study towards an animal and dairy science degree.

“Animal science is kind of looking at it from a farmer’s perspective, and that just didn’t quite interest me as much as biology and conservation biology,” she explained. “I also kind of liked the idea of having an overarching degree in COSAM. I have been able to take a lot of well-rounded classes.”

With Emily’s next step including applying to veterinary schools, she believes the challenges of COSAM have prepared her.

“It’s challenging and, honestly, I like that,” she said. “I like being challenged a little bit. I’m not one to take the easy way out pretty much ever. I have friends studying pre-med and pre-pharmacy, and have shown me options I may have if I ever decide not to go to vet school. I like the idea of having options, and COSAM is definitely the department where I have found those.”

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