Ambassador Profile – Elli Verrocchi, Royal Veterinary College, London, UK.
Hi, I’m Elli – Social Sec of the Royal Veterinary College Zoological Society (RVCZS) at the Royal Veterinary College, London, UK. I have been a part of The Expedition Project Ambassador team since 2022.
I have been working with The Expedition Project since 2021 and joined the Ambassador team in 2022, helping with live streams and developing online courses with the help of Wildlife Vets like Dr Peter Rogers, and fellow ambassadors from around the UK.
WHEN DID I FIRST REALISE I WANTED TO BE A VET?
Growing up in Australia, I always had an appreciation and passion for saving wildlife – with many of my early animal encounters being straight from my backyard with occasional stranded possums and various native birds (unfortunately, no Kangaroos in my area). However, it wasn’t until I went to my local vet with my first dog that I realised I wanted to become a vet myself.
WHAT IS MY MOTIVATION TO BECOME A VET?
My biggest motivation to become a vet is to ensure all animals I come across have the life they deserve, with the best standard of care possible. This includes educating clients on how best to care for their pets, as well as on a global scale, creating more meaningful policies + protections for wildlife and their habitats.
MY BIGGEST TIP IF YOU WANT TO STUDY TO BECOME A VET IS…
Have patience. Like human doctors, you will not learn everything in the short time that is ‘vet school’. Be kind to yourself, and trust that with time and persistence, everything will come together just as it should be. Coming into vet school studies with high expectations and unwarranted stress leads to a nasty case of burnout. You want to be in this profession for the long haul, so it’s best to give yourself the time and space to absorb everything and give yourself some needed downtime.
THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A VET IS…
One of the hardest parts about being a vet is ‘client communication’. If you don’t like talking to people, this profession is not for you. 90% of the time, you will speak to clients, colleagues, and off-site partners about all things medicine. It’s crucial to have good interpersonal skills and convey what you are thinking to various people. Not all of them will understand your ‘vet language’, so being able to adapt your communication is a great skill to have, but it does come with a lot of practice and varying experiences.
WHAT IS MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL?
My favourite animal is… can you guess? (It’s a short version of my name) … ELEPHANTS! These wise creatures remind me of my favourite person in the world, my mum. I have always connected deeply to these animals (and all their subspecies). I could watch them all day.
MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL RELATED STORY IS…
Coming from Australia, animals are EVERYWHERE – including places you don’t want them to be. I think the funniest animal story I have had so far was when I was in high school. At school camp, the teachers warned us about keeping snacks in our tents as animals would ransack our belongings. A friend of mine thought she could get away with keeping some candy in her tent… lo and behold, our tent had been turned inside-out by a wombat. The only reason we knew what type of animal it was, was by the cube-shaped presents it had left behind…
MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL PHOTO I HAVE TAKEN IS…
I took a road trip to ‘Phillip Island’ in Victoria, Australia. There they have super “friendly” Kangaroos that have adapted so well to the tourists feeding them Kangaroo pellets – that they just come up to you and nudge for your bag of food – also making a great photo opportunity when the moment strikes.