In the summer of 2019, Jamie Baca-Perez felt discouraged. She wasn’t able to secure a job where she could work with animals, and that meant she couldn’t stay in Bloomington during the summer months.
However, this motivated Jamie to do as much as she could when she returned to IU for the fall semester. She began volunteering at the Monroe County Humane Association, and the next summer they offered her a full-time internship.
“I have always known that I wanted to become a veterinarian, but this experience allowed me to believe that this is what I am meant to do with my life,” Jamie said. “I loved going to work at the clinic each day.”
Receiving one of the Walter Center’s internship scholarships meant Jamie was able to pay for a large portion of her summer classes, so she didn’t have to find a second job while working a full-time unpaid internship.
“Ultimately this internship allowed me to pursue my career goals and helped bring me to an experience that is worth so much to me,” she said.
Jamie’s internship revolved around assisting the veterinarians with patients. Her duties were to restrain pets during exams, vaccines, and blood draws, run tests, talk to clients, do clinic laundry, clean up after patients, restock supplies, train new volunteers, and care after dogs in the kennels. She was also able to assist during surgeries, which meant taking vitals and providing the veterinarians with supplies.
“Some of the most rewarding parts of this experience was being able to be a part of something that is an important part of the community,” she said.
Despite working during the pandemic, Jamie loved getting to work alongside veterinarians and getting to do what she loved each day.