Blog Author: Oreta M. Samples, RVT, MPH, DHSc
NAVTA Committee Member
On May 15th, 1991, I took my first class at Fort Valley State University on my journey to becoming a licensed veterinary technologist. Never in a million years did I think I would, in 2022, be a co-editor of one of the books I had just purchased at the campus bookstore – a book which I might add is one of the most utilized in most veterinary technology programs in this country. Luckily throughout my college matriculation and subsequent career at an academic institution, I was surrounded by mentors who saw “something” in me.
I started submitting articles to veterinary technician journals and getting involved in my state association. I had my share of rejections early on from publishers and editors. I chose to view these rejections as lessons on what “not” to submit. This form of personal acceptance of rejection has served me well, allowing me to learn how to query publications and manage my writing focus effectively. Publications led to speaking invites, which turned into invites to serve on all sorts of local, state, and national boards.
Life has been exciting over the last 30 years and remains so as I take on new daily challenges. Now closer to 60 than the 28-year-old I was in 1991, I am still up to the challenge (although those challenges no longer include manhandling cattle or setting a sheep), and those challenges continue to get more diverse and interesting all the time.
While I believe that things happen for a reason, I also believe that you and those you look to as mentors and advisors throughout your personal and professional life play a big part in your overall success and direction both “in the moment” and in the future. While my passion is writing and teaching, yours may be mentoring or working in a specific area of veterinary technology – whatever the passion – feed it! The world is and will always be your oyster, and you can go places within your career that you have not even begun to dream of. I know…I have faith in you.