After two years in mixed practice, Peter now enjoys applying his veterinary knowledge as an adviser in the pharmaceutical industry
How did you get your job as a veterinary adviser?
After spending almost two years in mixed practice, I wanted a change and to work in a more challenging environment. The veterinary pharmaceutical world offered me that, plus the hours allow for a better work/life balance.
These types of positions are usually advertised in the regular vet press. I got mine through word of mouth from the company's sales representative. Networking helps to get this type of job, I attended a lot of conferences when I was a student and introduced myself to people. You also need to be aware of the vet world: join the British Veterinary Association (BVA), read the Vet Times and other relevant information.
How relevant is your degree in veterinary medicine?
My degree is essential, not only for the veterinary knowledge and experience, but also for the transferable skills I learned at university such as communication, evidence-based decision making and critical evaluation skills.
What's a typical day like?
I am mostly office-based and my duties involve answering questions from vets and farmers about our products, training the company's staff, developing new products and dealing with adverse-reaction reports of our products.
Out of the office, I attend trade shows and conferences and also give talks to vets in practice about our products. I spend roughly two nights a month away from home; when at conferences or similar events, I am 'on the job' for 24 hours effectively.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I really enjoy the variety. I also like the hours and improved working conditions; I work a 40-hour week, with no on-calls or weekend work. Above all else, I still use my veterinary knowledge daily.
What are the challenges?
Some of my colleagues in practice refer to us vets in industry as having 'joined the dark side'. Dispelling this stigma can be tricky and colleagues always assume you are biased because of your commercial interests.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
I would like to be at a more senior level, perhaps dealing with exports.
What advice can you give to others?
Always think outside the box and remember the transferable skills you have.
Don't let work take over; maintaining a good work/life balance is crucial.
Find out more
- Discover what you can do with a degree in veterinary medicine.