Allie Lockhart

Pre-Health Core Studies ‘18


University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine ‘22
Pre-Health Programs, University of Pennsylvania ‘18
Bachelor of Science in Applied Science, Washington University in St. Louis ‘14

“I think a lot of people don’t have an appreciation for how much school vets need to go through,” laughs Allie Lockhart. Now entering her second year at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet), Allie is experiencing first-hand the level of education required to provide medical care to animals. “Veterinary school is just as intense as medical school,” she adds. “We have to learn all the diseases and how to treat every species of animal.” Still, Allie feels confident that her professional trajectory has taken her to the right place. “I have just always loved animals,” she says. “I started volunteering at animal shelters and I really liked the hands-on, one-on-one interaction with clients. It’s really satisfying and rewarding to see how you’re helping someone in that moment.”

Allie had graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in engineering when she began caring for animals on a volunteer basis. When she realized her vocation lay in veterinary medicine, she knew she’d need to enhance her transcript with prerequisite courses and accrue more hours of hands-on experience in veterinary clinics in order to become a stronger candidate for vet school. “I did a lot of research, and Penn had the best program for going back to school and getting really good veterinary experience,” she says. “The Pre-Health Programs also gave me the flexibility to work at the vet school while taking classes.”

While enrolled in the two-year Core Studies track, Allie became well-acquainted with Penn Vet: pre-veterinary students had the opportunity to tour the facility and meet some of the staff, and Allie also took a position working in a research laboratory at the vet school. When it was time to submit vet school applications, Allie knew that Penn Vet was the best next step for her. “I got the chance to decide that I really like the work before I applied,” she says. “It was still a difficult process to apply, but it helped that I had been to Penn Vet and had connections and letters of recommendation.” Allie also made the most of the advising and support offered by the Penn Pre-Health Programs team. “The requirements for every vet school application are different,” she explains, “but we have advisors to help figure out a plan for applying and what classes we need. For me, the most difficult part of the application was the essay, so we had writing seminars and I worked with one of the instructors for a few months to get my essays in order.”

Allie encourages future pre-veterinary students to take advantage of every opportunity available to them. “Really put yourself out there, and talk to other students in the program,” she says. “I didn’t know when I started that you could work in a research lab at Penn and get tuition benefits while you’re in the program—that was a really great thing.”

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