Kelsey Durant

Hi, I’m Kelsey and I’m currently a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary Technology. I’m from Oxford Massachusetts, a small town right outside of Worcester. My passion for animals started young as I grew up right next to a pond where I learned how to handle frogs and turtles with care, and clean up their environment to keep their water clean. Growing up, my passion for animals only grew more as I was always drawn to animals wherever I went. I started volunteering at Worcester Animal Rescue League, and I knew that my life’s purpose was to help care for all animals. My college journey however made me question a lot. I started as a biology student at Assumption University in the fall of 2020, unsure if I wanted to pursue veterinary school or another field associated with animal science. I started a job at Hillside Veterinary Clinic and I fell more in love with veterinary medicine every day. My work at the hospital has let me achieve so many hands-on skills such as blood draws, taking appointments, vaccines, lab work, monitoring anesthesia, patient care, and client communication. My experiences at my work and research within veterinary medicine lead me towards veterinary nursing rather than pursuing veterinary school, and so I made the decision to transfer to Becker College in their veterinary technology program. I had one short semester at Becker College before they closed their doors, forcing all of their students to transfer. Thankfully UMass welcomed the veterinary technology majors from Becker and I found myself at what I thought was my worst-case scenario as I never wanted to attend a large school, however I have flourished!

Although UMass Amherst is huge, the veterinary technology major is small and full of like-minded, kind people who just want to help animals in any way they can. After my first semester on campus, I joined the student chapter of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (SCNAVTA). SCNAVTA is a club for the veterinary technician students where we’re able to raise awareness for our small program and help local communities with donations, rabies vaccines, and nail trims. SCNAVTA has brought forth many connections for me and the meetings are always a lot of fun!

After the sophomore year, veterinary technology students begin classes at the Mount Ida campus in Newton, Massachusetts. The Mt. Ida campus has a veterinary technology building specially equipped with a surgery suite, x-ray suite, and a kennel.

During my years exploring veterinary medicine and learning the rigorous but rewarding courses of veterinary technology, I fell in love with so many specialties such as canine rehabilitation, small animal emergency, and internal medicine. The veterinary technology major lets students discover different specialties due to the requirement of four internships. These internships let us learn so many hands-on skills, gain experience and see where our passion blooms. I’ll be starting my first internship at the veterinary specialty center of Sturbridge in June, where I’ll be rotating between specialty surgeries, internal medicine, urgent care, and rehabilitation. With the hands-on experiences the UMass Amherst veterinary technology program has given me with dogs, cats, rodents, exotics, horses, and livestock, I feel confident in my abilities as a young veterinary nurse, and I look forward to my internships and passing the veterinary technology national exam.