Ambassador Profile – Layla Ruggles, University of Nottingham, UK.
Hi, I’m Layla – I am currently studying at the University of Nottingham, UK. I have been a part of The Expedition Project Ambassador team since 2021.
Since working with The Expedition Project I have been doing live streams and developing online courses with the help of Wildlife Vets like Dr Peter Rogers, and fellow ambassadors from around the world.
WHEN DID I FIRST REALISE I WANTED TO BE A VET?
Animals have always played a big part in my life, particularly my cats who I’ve grown up with and who will always be the loves of my life! The first time I considered being a vet I was around ten years old as I had become determined to convince my parents to adopt a dog; I would make power-points about all the dog breeds, their needs and what medical conditions they were prone to (what a cool kid). My parents suggested veterinary to me, and it stuck!
WHAT IS MY MOTIVATION TO BECOME A VET?
I can’t imagine myself in another career! I love animals and have always been interested in medicine, so being a vet is the perfect combination for me. It’s such a versatile degree that opens doors to so many things I care about such as improving animal welfare and helping to conserve endangered species. When I’m studying what motivates me is knowing that I am doing a degree that I have worked so hard to be part of and training to do the job I’ve always seen myself doing. When I feel stressed or lazy, I like to think how proud the younger version of myself would be of where I am now and all I have achieved.
MY BIGGEST TIP IF YOU WANT TO STUDY TO BECOME A VET IS…
Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not smart enough or that it is a career that would be too competitive for you to break into. I didn’t have outstanding predicted grades and felt that I would get struggle to get into vet school; nevertheless, I performed well at interviews and worked hard to achieve higher than I was predicted and am now thriving doing the vet degree.
THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A VET IS…
Having to witness any animal suffering. No matter what field of veterinary you go into, you will see animals in pain. I don’t think as a clinician vets ever become okay with seeing animal suffering, particularly if it’s been inflicted or was easily preventable, and it’s these cases that can be frustrating and the most distressing to treat.
WHAT IS MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL?
Elephants!! They have always amazed me with their human-like demeanours, sheer size yet gentleness, and incredible social structures. I also love big cats, particularly tigers!
MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL RELATED STORY IS…
Whilst volunteering in Sri Lanka, chance would have it that 3 of the rescued street dogs at my accommodation needed to go to the vet; I squeezed myself and 3 dogs into the back of a tiny tuk-tuk without putting any of them on a lead!
MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL PHOTO I HAVE TAKEN IS…