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Meet your new AVS President: Charlotte Jones

25 Mar 2024 | Charlotte Jones


New President of the Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) Charlotte Jones shares her journey to vet school and her priorities for the year ahead in her new role.

Meet your new AVS President: Charlotte Jones Image

How would you describe yourself?

I’m a sociable individual who genuinely enjoys connects with others. While some might view the role and all it brings as networking opportunities, for me, it’s about engaging in authentic conversations while learning from the expertise of those around me.

I’m a hard worker who is actively working on improving my organisational skills as this is a crucial aspect that I believe will greatly benefit me for the year ahead, and allow me to make the most of this opportunity.

Why vet school?

Since the age of three, becoming a vet was my dream. I was determined to build my work experience to meet the entry requirements of the vet schools I aspired to apply to. However, while completing work experience at a vets practice at 13 years old, one negative experience stopped me pursuing veterinary science.

My journey then took me on a new path, and I completed a degree in Neuroscience. Not long after, I met some vet students who shared their positive experiences with me. Learning that the negative encounter during work experience wasn’t the norm and overall, the sector was positive, I decided to reconsider veterinary science. I knew funding for a second degree may be difficult, but with some research and hard work, I managed to make it happen.

Since enrolling at Bristol, I haven’t regretted it, I’ve relished every moment, reaffirming my passion for this field.

Why should students engage with AVS?

As an association we do the following:

  1. Representation: AVS provides a platform for students to voice their opinions, enabling representation across various organisations. It plays a pivotal role in addressing challenges with vet schools, EMS, and collaborates with influential bodies like BVA, RCVS, and the Veterinary Schools Council to bring about real change.
  2. Support: AVS offers a wealth of resources and grants in collaboration with other organisations, assisting students throughout their studies.
  3. Community and fun: engaging with AVS is not just about advocacy and support—it's an opportunity to connect with vet students from across the UK and Ireland.

What inspired you to run for the AVS committee?

I initially ran for Senior Rep on a whim—bored after breaking my shoulder, I found the prospect interesting. Despite being unsure of what I signed up for, I delved into events, met fellow reps, and organised congress. It turned out to be one of the best things I've done in vet school, opening doors to various opportunities. This led me to run for Junior Vice President (JVP), and now I’m the incoming President.

What are your priorities for the year ahead?

My three key focuses are:

  1. EMS survey advocacy: continuing the work on the EMS survey conducted earlier in the year, ensuring tangible change results from the findings.
  2. Championing mental health: prioritising mental health advocacy, encouraging open conversations, and enhancing welfare resources based on insights from the Canmore Trust talk and personal experiences.
  3. Increased engagement: initiating a monthly newsletter, expanding engagement beyond sports weekends, and leveraging marketing and social media to welcome new vet schools and bolster AVS participation.

Any advice for vet students?

Firstly, stay organised. Managing your EMS placements and paperwork may feel like a full-time job, but it's worth it to maintain your peace of mind. And secondly, echoing John from the Canmore Trust, don't hesitate to talk to people if you're facing challenges. The veterinary journey can be tough, and some experiences might be difficult to digest, but reaching out to friends and family, and asking for help when needed, is crucial. Remember, struggling doesn't diminish your potential to be a great vet.


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