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Cara Rafanelli

Cara Rafanelli

Veterinary Student

Ohio State University

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"I think I was most scared of working in the real world, not being able to get a job or not getting into graduate school and such. My advice would be to trust the lessons Purdue taught you. The skills you developed to succeed in your studies and in your activities at Purdue will help you succeed in the real world."


What was your major/minor at Purdue and when did you graduate?

I was a biology major with an English minor and graduated in 2018


What drove you to pursue your current career path?

 I was driven by both my love for animals and my desire to make an impact on the world around me. 


What was your most compelling class and why?

I think it would be a tie between one of my classes for my major and one of my classes for my minor. For my major, it was BIOL 121 with Dr. Minchella. This class was an introduction to what college science class were like and really allowed me to develop my study habits. Some of the study skills I learned from that class I still use in veterinary school today. For my minor, I took a class entirely on Jane Austen; which consisted entirely of reading her books, discussing them, and writing papers on them. It was great to have my homework simply be sitting, reading, and thinking on the words of one of the most influential writiers of all time.


Did you pursue internships/co-ops, research experiences, volunteer, or join student organizations while you attended Purdue?

I completed an internship over the summer called the Banfield Student Job Program at a Banfield veterinary hospital. Through this internship, I was shown what life is like in a small animal practice and was able to work on technical skills such as blood draws and IV catheter placement as well as communication skills.


Are there any special accomplishments you've achieved after college that you might not have been able to do without your college experiences?

One of my favorite experiences I had at Purdue was a study abroad trip I participated in over the summer. It was the first time I had ever been out of the country and it was an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It helped push me out of my comfort zone and I become more confident in myself. And being able to talk about how I grew from that experience was helpful for both job and veterinary school interviews.  


What advice would you give to prospective or current Purdue students about how to make the best use of what Purdue offers?

I would definitely get involved in a club or activity that you’re passionate about. It can range from club sports to dancing to service groups or really anything you enjoy. Purdue has so many activities that you can do outside of class that give you the chance to meet people from all different majors, allow you to de-stress, and get to have experiences you’ll remember for the rest of your life. These activities also teach you organization and communication skills you can’t learn in the classroom, which will be invaluable in any job or graduate school you pursue.

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