Friday, February 11, 2022
Camille White is an ambitious senior veterinary nursing student who is not afraid to take giant leaps to reach her entrepreneurial career goals in the field of veterinary medicine. Camille was born and raised in Indianapolis, where she was the youngest child of five and soon will be the second to earn a college degree.
Camille attended Warren Central High School and was involved in student council and Spanish club among other groups and organizations. Her hobbies and interests include drawing, painting, photography, and fashion design. Camille graduated in 2017 and that summer began her Purdue education through a study abroad program in Peru, where her courses focused on leadership and sustainability. Having entered her freshman year at Purdue enrolled in Exploratory Studies, Camille now is on the home stretch to graduate with a degree in veterinary nursing and a certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation. Her story provides hope and inspiration to those who have big plans for their future.
Growing up, Camille’s dream was to become a veterinarian with dentistry being her backup plan if she was not accepted to Purdue University. As it was, her hard work paid off and she received a letter of acceptance to her top school. “Purdue had always been my dream college,” said Camille. “It offers the field of study I wanted to go into and it is so well-known, I knew I wouldn’t get an education like it elsewhere.” Camille sought information regarding the DVM program by talking to pre-vet majors on campus during her time in Exploratory Studies and soon realized the profession was not 100% tailored to her career coals. So, seeking answers and a new path, she scheduled a meeting with her academic advisor, who recommended the Veterinary Nursing Program. At the time, the program had just changed its name from “Veterinary Technology”, and the terminology was new to Camille. But after researching the description and requirements, she realized it was everything she’d dreamed of in a job since she was young.
Camille is unique in her decision to CODO (Change of Degree Objective) from Exploratory Studies to Veterinary Nursing, and she said she doesn’t regret her decision for a second. “Even though I was a little bummed about having an extra year, I really found myself and started to understand life more during that time,” reflects Camille. “I believe everything happens for a reason and I strongly believe it was one of the most important things that has happened to me because I started to find my purpose.” As for the CODO requirements, Camille said the process led to a smooth transition. It also helped that she and her peers were all just beginning to take courses specific to veterinary nursing in their second year, regardless of whether they started in the Veterinary Nursing Program or Exploratory Studies.
Looking ahead, Camille explains that her career goals don’t stop at becoming a veterinary nurse. In addition to pursuing veterinary nursing, Camille has completed Purdue’s Entrepreneur and Innovation Certificate Program. For years, Camille has been passionate about the career goal of starting her own business. Once she shared that vision, her exploratory studies advisor suggested she give the certificate program a try. The process was a huge success. “I’ve met so many different entrepreneurs – from CEOs of big business to owners of small startups,” said Camille. “The program has given me so much insight and motivation to start a business.”
So, what does Camille plan to do with her degree and certificate? She said she plans to start as a veterinary nurse in a research role with the hope of one day receiving funding for a research project. Eventually, she would like to start a business that provides grooming, boarding, vaccination, and other health-related services to household pets. Additionally, she would like to start a rescue. And her career aspirations don’t stop there. Camille wants to make a global impact by traveling to other countries to rehabilitate animals and work to solve problems with the populations of dogs, cats, and other domestic animals. Overarching each of her individual career goals is the desire to be an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the field of veterinary medicine and to join organizations and groups that are currently taking steps towards progressive change.
Camille provides valuable advice to younger classes and incoming freshmen who are currently in the midst of or thinking about pursuing veterinary nursing:
- Don’t stress over degrees out of fear of not making it, because you will, as long as you put your mind to it.
- You are not alone. A lot of people are going through the same things as you.
- Don’t stress about not having it all figured out at this moment. Most of us just stepped out of high school.
- You have time, but it is precious.
- Don’t allow the little things or negative emotions to consume you and hold you back.
- Let out your emotions and reflect on them – it will help you get to know yourself.
- Most importantly, enjoy yourself and enjoy the college experience, but make it your own.
“Step out of your comfort zone, make connections, and take on opportunities,” Camille advises. “You can do anything you set out to do. I have big dreams that may sound impossible to some people, but as long as I have the spirit to accomplish them, I know I will.” Camille adds, “I have already achieved some of my biggest goals in the last five years, so I know it’s possible. Live the life you dream of.”
Madeline Brod, PVM Communications Intern | firstname.lastname@example.org