Vanessa Yeager

Vanessa Yeager

Year of Graduation: 2009

Major(s): Liberal Studies

Current Position: Veterinarian (Graduate School: Benedictine University School of Public Health and University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)


Please give a brief description of your current position.

Founder and Owner of Full Circle Animal Health, a mobile veterinary practice serving the Chicagoland area that provides in home veterinary care to Chicagoland’s pets.

What path did you follow to get to your current position?

Unlike most pre-veterinary students who majored in a typical science, like biology, I wanted to be different. I choose the Liberal Studies major because it allowed me the freedom to choose my courses. I loved science, but I also loved art and literature. The major allowed me a variety of experiences, which helped me become a well-rounded person and professional. After graduating from Saint Ben’s, I went on to obtain a Masters in Public Health out of an initial interest in epidemiology gained during a statistics course in college. During my Masters program, I applied to veterinary school and was accepted. Veterinary school was a blur and very challenging, but the reward was great in the end. I had always wanted to do house calls- I am very lucky to have had the opportunity and the perseverance to pursue this dream. In addition, I am also involved in food safety research at the University of Illinois.

What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?

Follow the beat to your own drum (if that is your style). Major in what you want! You do not have to major in a science in order to do veterinary medicine as a career or get into veterinary school, as long as you have all of the required pre-requisite courses most veterinary schools require. Gain a wide variety of experiences not just with animals, but also with people. The veterinary practice is a practice built on relationships with people, so be sure you enjoy working with them.

What skills are important in your field?

To be a good veterinarian, you’ll need communication, organization, and most importantly, empathy.

What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your position? Most challenging?

Helping clients help themselves-educating clients and giving them knowledge and tools they can use to help better the lives of their pets. This can also be the most challenging!

(June 2017)