At Your Service

Career Counseling services guide students toward success
two people presenting as females talking in an office setting
Career Counselor Gillian Kruskall, V14, meets regularly to provide assistance to Cummings School students. Photo: Jeff Poole, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

With an employment rate that is projected to grow 20 percent from 2022 to 2032, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, young veterinarians should have many options to find a professional position to fit their preference, as nearly 18,000 jobs are expected to be added. The average growth rate for all occupations is 3 percent.

At Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Career Counseling services are provided by Dr. Gillian Kruskall, V14 (she/her), who has served as a career counselor for four years. “The vast need for veterinarians in today’s marketplace means that there are many opportunities for students to explore.”

Available to all Cummings School students and alums, Kruskall spends much of her part-time role meeting individually with those looking for support in their search for internship, residency, or employment options. “I’m willing to meet with any student or graduate,” she says. “And if I don’t know the answer to a question, I will help them find out who does.”

Hannah McCarthy (she/her), a fourth-year Cummings School student pursuing a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, has taken advantage of the service. “Dr. Kruskall has been immeasurably helpful,” Hannah explains. “After editing my C.V. [Curriculum Vitae], we reviewed questions to ask in interviews to ensure that I can find the best workplace for me.”

Following this advice, McCarthy applied to a few positions and quickly secured a phone interview for a position at a shelter in Oakland, California. “This would not have happened without her support,” says McCarthy, who intends to land a position at a shelter/community clinic. “Because of her encouragement, I already have a few places I’m speaking with, and I have the confidence to apply to many more.”

Upon request, Kruskall meets one-on-one regularly with students to provide specific assistance and delivers presentations throughout the year, covering C.V.s and cover letters, interviews, as well as internship and residency applications. She provides reminders about key milestones and deadlines for the annual North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) and the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program (VIRMP), two key resources that graduating students regularly pursue, depending upon the career path selected by each individual.

“I try to help alleviate students’ worries about the process of searching for jobs and internships and alums are welcome to contact me for resources if they are considering career transitions,” she says.

Working with hospitals, clinics, and other organizations, Kruskall receives and maintains an online list-serve of open positions, which students and alums can search through for available opportunities.

Panels are held throughout the year so that students can learn about different opportunities within veterinary medicine. Options are available on the Cummings School events calendar. “We also developed a series called Career Path Conversations, where specialists from our hospitals meet with students over lunch and talk about the path they took to become specialists,” Kruskall says. “These are smaller group gatherings targeting second- and third-year students, which we share via emails.” 

These options help students to see that there are many ways to get to their career destination, while often encouraging them to expand their search of an area within the field that they may not have previously considered.

Cummings School to host Career Fair November 4

Connect with employers from more than 30 veterinary hospitals, clinics, practices, and affiliated organizations.

On Saturday, November 4, Cummings School’s Office of Student Affairs and a team of student leaders will host a Career Fair, offering students and employers an opportunity to connect. The campus event is open to students, interns, residents, staff, faculty, and alumni. Representatives from more than 30 veterinary hospitals, clinics, practices, and affiliated organizations will attend the event, to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Agnes Varis Campus Center.

Dr. Lori Feldman, V95, A91 (she/her), co-medical director of Veterinary Centers of America (VCA) Brookline Animal Hospital, plans to attend the Career Fair, which will be held in person for the first time in several years. “I want to give as many students as possible some answers and guidance to help them,” she says. 

Feldman deeply values her Cummings School education and the connections she’s made. “It is great that we did not track [into a veterinary specialty as students] and that we learned about various species/disciplines. I now own horses, goats, and chickens but work in small animal medicine,” says Feldman. “Our broad education has helped me across the board in life, and Tufts has created a community of colleagues to which I feel comfortable reaching out.”

Career Counseling at Cummings School proudly supports students throughout their time on campus, and beyond. “As students begin to remember and write down the experiences they have had, they often connect with how much they have accomplished and learned along the way,” Kruskall says. “I love helping students to recognize these accomplishments, gain confidence, explore their passions, and advocate for their future careers.”

If you are interested in more information about Career Counseling or wish to make an appointment, email or call 508-887-4402.


DVM Program