Future vets get heads for business

06 Dec 2010 16:12:43.457

PA 346/10

Fifth year vet students at The University of Nottingham are getting a chance to learn all about the commercial realities of running a vet practice.

The new extra mural business placement is being pioneered by the School for Veterinary Medicine and Science — in partnership with Nottingham based Vets4Pets. As part of their final year students are being offered two weeks of hands on experience in the commercial world of clinical practice.

Naomi Ragsdell from Derby is coming to the end of her two week Business Extra Mural Studies option. Naomi said: “I have always been interested in business studies and understanding the commercial reality of running a veterinary practice will certainly help me with my future job prospects.

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Jalil Khan, Business Development Director for Vets4Pets, said: “We have been supporting our partners in running veterinary practices for a decade now and we felt we should be giving something back to the industry and support its future. It’s all about giving our future veterinary surgeons a flavour of setting up and running a business of their own.

“The students are tested to assess how much they have gained and understood during the two weeks. We want to make sure the student has gained a deeper understanding of setting up, running and selling a vet practice. But the tests were also quite fun, so the student can enjoy the experience with us, rather than feel stressed.”

The placement takes a student through the process of finding an appropriate site and property to set up a new practice, utilising demographic software to determine the target client profile, assessing the competition and understanding the commercial considerations of running a successful business. The students then get the chance to look at how to equip the practice, get it ready to trade and put together their very own five year business plan.

The students also learn about the staff recruitment and development process, marketing initiatives as well as interpreting operational information, and management key performance indicators. Finally they will learn how to improve the performance of the business and get it ready for sale.

Professor Gary England, Foundation Dean of the School for Veterinary Medicine and Science, said: “We hope that many students will see the advantages of gaining a commercial perspective alongside their academic studies. We want our course to prepare students for when they qualify, rather than purely teach the science, this initiative expands the opportunities for our students and we will continue to look at ways we can challenge and support our students in their studies and beyond.”

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news

University facts and figures at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/about/facts/factsandfigures.aspx

More information about Vets4Pets is available at


Story credits

More information is available from Karen Braithwaite, Director of Academic Support and Administration on +44 (0)115 951 6413, karen.braithwaite@nottingham.ac.uk; or Jeff Gascoyne at Vets4Pets on +44 (0)1481 213201, jeff.gascoyne@vets4pets.com

Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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Published Date
Wednesday 8th December 2010

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