Back to blog list

Employing a new graduate - the view from both sides - Part 2

14 Oct 2020 | Malcolm Morley | Practice management


Equine vets Izzy Wild and Malcolm Morley share their experiences of being a new graduate employee and employer respectively. In Part 2, Izzy Wild interviews Malcolm Morley about what he looks out for in a new graduate.

Employing a new graduate - the view from both sides - Part  2 Image

This case study is taken from the BVA New Graduate Guide, last updated in 2019, available to all BVA members in the resources & support area on our website.

Izzy Wild, a 2018 graduate from Nottingham, was 6 months into her job as an associate vet in a 100% ambulatory equine practice in Hampshire. Here, Izzy interviews Malcolm who gives his thoughts on what he looked for when employing a new graduate and tips for other new graduates who may want to follow a similar path

Malcolm, why did you look for a new graduate for an ambulatory equine role?

Over the last 15 years, we have always employed experienced vets but there's a shortage of good candidates at the moment. We were really impressed with Izzy when she spent time with us on EMS and that was the most important factor. Knowing her as a student and seeing her interact with clients and our team gave us confidence that she would be up to the job. Actually, it was rather a question of us head-hunting her as a good candidate, even before she did her finals.

What did you look for at interview?

We didn't have a very formal interview. Izzy spent a day with us talking about the job. In many ways it was a bit of a reverse interview and she probably asked us more questions than we asked her. We were most interested in finding someone with excellent communication skills who could be self-sufficient and work on their own from day one. That's quite a big challenge.

What are your top tips for a new grad in ambulatory practice?

  • You have to be well prepared by thinking through cases before you get there and ensuring you have everything in your vehicle. It is very easy to turn up with the wrong equipment!
  • You need to present a confident persona to clients whilst also sharing cases with your colleagues. With care, you will make the clients feel they are receiving a great
  • You must be happy to work on your own, relatively unsupported, which is not for everyone. An intern position may be more suitable for many new

What’s important for a practice employing a new grad in ambulatory practice?

The practice has to be able to offer quite a high level of support and mentoring to start with. It is vital that time is allocated

for reviewing cases and thinking about how the practice approaches routine problems. The new grad needs to feel they have support from across the team and that they can ask questions without any ‘loss of face’. It is not something we

would recommend for all practices, but it is something that has given us a great deal of satisfaction. It feels really worthwhile to have invested time in developing and supporting a new team member.



Want to join BVA?

Get tailored news in your inbox and online, plus access to our journals, resources and support services, join the BVA.

Join Us Today

Not a member but want a weekly vet news round up?

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for the latest vet news in your inbox.

For tailored content in your inbox and online, as well as access to our journals and resource and support services you might want to consider joining BVA.