May 22, 2014
In less than two weeks Danielle Gaucher (Boston) will zip up her wetsuit and plunge into her dream job. All 5.7 million gallons of it.
A recent graduate of Blinn College’s Veterinary Technology Program, Gaucher has secured a position as an aquatic research intern at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. Beginning June 11, Gaucher will assist with health checks and treatments of aquatic animals ranging from crustaceans to sharks, dolphins and manatees.
“This is my dream job, and I don’t think I would have gotten here without the Blinn vet tech program,” Gaucher said. “It’s exactly what I went to school for and I can’t wait to get started.”
Though it’s not a program requirement, students enrolled in Blinn’s competitive two-year vet tech program often secure hard-to-find internships and full-time employment positions upon graduating because of the rigor of the coursework and the hands-on experience the program provides its students.
Program director David Sessum said he receives internship opportunities throughout the year and a lot of students pursue opportunities on their own.
“The level of education Blinn’s vet tech students receive is unparalleled,” Sessum said. “They participate right alongside veterinary medicine students at Texas A&M University and use state-of-the-art equipment you can’t find at other facilities.”
Veterinary technology is one of the fastest-growing professions in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Veterinary technicians assist in diagnosis and surgery, sample collection, sample submission, client communication and research. They provide support to veterinarians in much the same way nurses assist doctors.
Blinn’s program is one of just seven accredited in the state, and its partnership with the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences allows Blinn students to get hands-on training in every aspect of the wide-ranging field.
Before enrolling in Blinn’s Vet Tech program, Gaucher earned her bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University at Galveston. After volunteering with the Galveston Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, Gaucher decided to continue her education at Blinn to give her a competitive edge in the job market.
“Marine biology is extremely competitive,” Gaucher said, “It’s hard to get a job, and even harder to secure one that pays well.”
Gaucher was selected for the Disney internship from 80 applicants. She credits Blinn for helping her land the internship, and possibly her dream job when the internship concludes in January.“The vet tech program absolutely helped me earn this internship,” Gaucher said. “Having my bachelor’s degree combined with hands-on experience made me a competitive applicant