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Career Advice

SolarGoatSolarGoat 68 replies27 threads Junior Member
I've already heard the question during my first semester, one I feel many here are familiar with: what do you plan to do after graduation? My first inclination was to pursue veterinary medicine or farm management since my major is Equine Studies. My ideas soon found themselves challenged after I struggled to complete a dissection in my biology course. Since I suffer from low vision, uncorrectable by neither surgery nor current genetic therapies, seeing the specimen was quite difficult. I feel it wouldn't have even been completed without the aid of a camera provided to me by the state. I had conversations with a local veterinarian along with two well-known veterinary colleges and the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners. The general conclusion was veterinary medicine demanded too much eyesight and precision to be a suitable and safe career for me. I also inquired into management and general farm work as a career in the horse industry however, the few equine professionals I met have voiced great concern about my impairment. My career outlook is hindered even more by the inability to drive due to my disability. Horses are my passion, and while I feel the horse industry is where I want to be, I'm having a very difficult time finding career possibilities within the industry. In a prior post, I discussed a few difficulties I've already experienced in my own academic department, which may stem in part to having low vision. I need advice as to where I should turn next. I plan on meeting with the Office of Career and Calling upon my return to campus, but I'd also like to receive some reccomendations from the College Confidential community.
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Replies to: Career Advice

  • RoaringMiceRoaringMice 690 replies2 threads Member
    It looks like you can use a computer just fine, perhaps with accommodations. There may be a way to combine your love of horses with a field where you wouldn't be as limited by your vision issues. For example, you could work in marketing for a company that produces food or etc. for horses or other animals, or as a planner/buyer/logistics manager for similar. Many "behind the scenes", office type jobs may be doable for you, with the accommodations you're using now to use a computer, if any. For example, although Hartz doesn't make stuff for horses, they do for other animals, and a look at their career pages might give you some ideas for the (many) types of jobs that they offer - and you can look into those that seem like they might be of interest to you, just to get some ideas:

    You can do lots of jobs for a company that services the horse industry. Marketing, accounting, IT, human resources, in-house sales, etc., with probably similar accommodations as you'd need for a standard, non-lab college class. Which one you do depends on your interests. In these jobs, your knowledge of horses would be of benefit, and your vision issues could be accommodated.

    If you find a field that interests you, you can either change your major, or add a second major or minor to get you there. Or you can change your major to that field, do a minor in equine studies. In either case, you'd want to do at least one internship in your field, to make your resume look good to future employers. You would also want to do work related to that field for clubs/organizations on campus, to build your resume.

    In addition, if there is a field in the horse industry that you would like to do, absolutely look into it, even if people in the field think that it's something you can't do. Perhaps they are right - obviously, do listen. But what if they are wrong? What if you can figure out an accommodation that would make that field realistic for you? Are there any other people with low vision who already work in that field? How do they do it? I'm not saying you can be a vet. But what other fields exist, and are any of those possible realistic targets for you?

    Definitely also meet with the career center. Ask if they offer something called the "Strong Interest Inventory", or something similar. These tests help you match your skills and interests up with potential careers. You can research each career, and see how you might be able to combine it with your love of horses. Then you can chart your path into that career.

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  • SolarGoatSolarGoat 68 replies27 threads Junior Member

    I have arranged a meeting with the Office for Career and Calling at the university during the opening week of the spring semester. I have already discussed internships with the equine department however, they show preference to the junior and senior students, but there is still a major issue beyond the prioritizing of the upper classmen. Their internships require students to drive, and while looking outside the university's personal connections, I'm finding driving to be a major component to all equine internships however, I can't obtain a license due to my low vision. I have been told sharing rides with fellow students or utilizing Uber would be a sufficient alternative to driving because of the lack of public transportation in my area however, the students I've asked have rejected me, and Uber is unaffordable. In fact, one round trip to a horse farm was going to cost me $60 for one day. I don't have my parents financial support, so every dollar spent is draining my bank account further as I will be out of work next semester due to over employment. I have reached out to the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, where I first started riding, and they're trying to find a way for me to volunteer with one of their facilities who'd be willing to accomedate me. They can't make any promises though. I have tried to get involved on campus with our equine clubs, but I've been either rejected or cast out from them. I believe it is from discrimination, and so I've arranged a meeting with our program director to sort it out. One equine student used the excuse another person in my class was a more skilled rider than me, granting her the reason to be involved so much. Despite their claim, I have ridden for an on going decade while she was in the saddle for the first time last semester. On the final riding test, she out scored me by a single point. One point does not indicate any significant difference in skill level. Discrimination is a major issue in the equine industry, and it's one I don't aim to let impede me from getting involved in my own program. If the meeting with the director doesn't work, then I would assume the next logical step would be to go before the chair of the chair of the school because I've not been given equal oppertunity contrary to what the university said they'd give me. I know no other people with low vision in the horse industry. If there would be any reason for it, I'd say it's because the equine industry and the people involved with it are so set in their traditional ways, which unfortunately promotes the discrimination of the disabled. I don't want to stop my continuation with the equine program or horses, as I feel my life without horses would be devistating, and so I must continue to fight against the challenges I face from the way I was born despite my father's urge for me to change my major to biology. Biology is fine, and I quite enjoyed my first semester biology class for non-majors, but it's not the same as being around horses.
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  • CaptainBunny29CaptainBunny29 1 replies4 threads New Member
    Hello, I know this post was from a while back and I actually just happened upon it during my search for help in giving me an idea towards what I want for my own future. However, I wanted to ask how your meetings went, I hope your situation has improved.

    Have you thought about establishing you own horse farm. I cannot say I know even the tiniest bit of information regarding horses but based on my basic knowledge as a consumer, I believe that your knowledge and experience would make you a reliable business. Assuming you opened your own farm, if you were to create a website and list your credentials while also using what you know to ensure that the farm is ran in such a way that the horses, themselves, are provided with the best accommodations possible.

    Speaking of accommodations, does your school have an accessibility center? That fact that your school doesn't provide the aid necessary to ensure your success at school, knowing of your disability is weird to me. My school has an accessibility office and I'm pretty sure that they'd be able to communicate with the financial aid office or someone else within the school to talk to you about transportation.

    Hoping you the best,
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