Ambassador Profile – Orla Shipway, University of Liverpool, UK.
Hi, I’m Orla – I am currently studying at the University of Liverpool, 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?
I have been fascinated with animals for as long as I can remember, but the idea of becoming a vet didn’t occur to me until I was around 8 years old, when I started watching a TV show called ‘Animal Cops’. In this series, vets played an important role in treating and rehabilitating animals that had been abused and neglected. I knew I wanted to make a difference like them. For many years however, I did not think I would be able to cope with the emotional aspects of the job, but after my first week of work experience in a vet practice, I knew it was for me. Although some parts are upsetting, my drive to help animals outweighs it.
WHAT IS MY MOTIVATION TO BECOME A VET?
Animals often can’t help themselves and a lot of the time human beings are responsible for their suffering. However, we also have the resources and knowledge to help them, so I want to do everything I can to do just that. It is also important to me to be able to educate others about the health and welfare of animals so that we can all make a difference, no matter how small. Steve Irwin has always been a massive inspiration to me, and I would love to one day follow in his footsteps and work in conservation as it is more important now than ever before.
MY BIGGEST TIP IF YOU WANT TO STUDY TO BECOME A VET IS…
Don’t ever think you aren’t smart enough. If you really want it, you will work hard for it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Also, don’t let studying take up all of your time. Make some time for yourself to do other hobbies as it can get incredibly stressful if you’re constantly working.
THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A VET IS…
Seeing animals suffer and not being able to treat them. This may be for financial reasons or not being able to establish what is wrong with them. The job can certainly be challenging emotionally, but all you can do is try your best for the animals and remind yourself of the positive times.
WHAT IS MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL?
Seeing animals suffer and not being able to treat them. This may be for financial reasons or not being able to establish It’s difficult to decide but I’d have to go with elephants. I love that they are playful yet sensitive and smart. They have an incredible memory, not to mention the fact that they are SO CUTE!!! They seem like such gentle giants, and it is my dream to one day see and work with them in the wild.
MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL RELATED STORY IS…
I used to have a hamster who would somehow escape from her cage in the middle of the night, navigate her way to my bedroom, climb onto my bed and wake me up by climbing over my face. It terrified me the first time as you can probably imagine. She was certainly clever, but a cheeky little thing.
MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL PHOTO I HAVE TAKEN IS…