651-224-3038   •   1140 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

Getting to Know: Brianna

September 9, 2014

You may have noticed some new faces at Grand Avenue Veterinary Center recently. Brianna is one of our new assistants who is hoping to go to vet school in the future. Let’s get to know Brianna in her own words!


What make you decide to work at a veterinary clinic/why do you want to be a veterinarian?

Since I was a young child, I always wanted to work with animals. Throughout college, I juggled with whether to work in animal behavior research, animal welfare, or veterinary medicine, as well as what species to focus on. A wildlife rehabilitation internship at Four Lakes Wildlife Center, a wildlife rehabilitation center in Madison, during my last semester of college really steered me quite sharply in the direction of veterinary medicine. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of caring for sick and injured animals, and for the first time in all of my animal experience, really felt at home.


Where did you go to school/what year did you graduate?

I graduated May of 2014 from the University of Wisconsin – Madison (go Badgers!) with a degree in Animal Sciences.


Do you have an area of special interest in veterinary medicine?

I am notorious for having dangerously varied interests. My wide span of interests is dangerous in the sense that it prevents me from having tangible, realistic plans for the future. That’s why I did not apply to vet school straight out of school, because I still need time to “get my head right”. At the moment, my dream is to work as a veterinarian with a specialty in Zoological medicine, more specifically free-ranging wildlife. GAVC is swaying me, though, toward all of the wonders of small animal veterinary medicine. So, we will see where I end up!


Tell us about your pets.

I currently live with only one pet, a Jack Russell/Yorkshire Terrier cross (or so they say…), named Cuillin (pronounced “Coo-lin”). His unique name comes from a mountain range in Scotland. To most, Cuillin is a blur of boundless energy, but to those who know him best, he is actually a cuddly, lazy softy at heart. During my final year at UW-Madison, I also shared my apartment with two buff tabby kittens named Nugget and Yeezy.  They were amazing cats, but unfortunately custody went to my roommate when I moved back to the Twin Cities.


Tell us about your history with GAVC.

My parents have been clients of GAVC practically my whole life. Our first dog, a Jack Russell named Buster, received such amazing care at GAVC – especially when he developed grade III mast cell tumors at 9 years of age which would eventually take his life. Our experience with Buster at the clinic left me a big fan of the center, and after my freshman year of college, I returned home to St. Paul and volunteered at GAVC. I learned a lot and grew to appreciate the doctors and staff even more, and this stuck with me until a few months ago when I was on the post-graduation job search.  I lucked out and got a veterinary assistant position at a clinic that I believe is second-to-none, and I am very grateful!


What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod/MP3 player?

Nothing Can Change This Love by Sam Cooke. I am absolutely obsessed with Sam Cooke, and a sucker for 60’s soul music. Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, and the Temptations are a few more of my favorites.


What is your favorite time of the day/day of the week/month of the year?

Twilight/Friday/October (May is a close second)


What is the best gift you have ever received?

A trip to Ireland for my college graduation. I studied abroad in Dublin my sophomore year, and afterward I didn’t think that I would be able to go back for many years. When I was told about the gift, I definitely cried tears of joy. I got to visit some of my old stomping grounds, as well as discover where my family is from – it was amazing!


If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I would love to be able to speak and understand all languages. I have always struggled with learning new languages, but have always been jealous of those that are multilingual. I love to travel and learn about other cultures, so this power would be very helpful. Also, in my fantasy world this power would include the ability to talk with animals – because who wouldn’t want to have an intelligible conversation with an owl or orangutan?


What are you reading now?

Idiopathy by Sam Byers

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