Podcast: Shweta Trivedi and VetPAC
Shweta Trivedi is the director of VetPAC, the Veterinary Professions Advising Center. VetPAC is a pre-veterinary advising program that provides NC State undergraduates with guidance, resources and experiences to create competitive DVM applicants. Those experiences include hands-on opportunities with both domestic and wild animals.
Founded by Trivedi 12 years ago, VetPAC typically has over 700 enrollees at any time. Participants can take advantage of resources like internships, advising and even study abroad.
“In early 2010, 2011, I developed a wildlife conservation course in India where I’m originally from,” Trivedi says. “So we radio collared tigers and they had been heavily poached and they had gone completely missing from one of the national parks in India. Students got to see that as humans, as veterinarians, what a tremendous role we can play in conserving wildlife in different parts of the world.”
Students also have opportunities to work with wild animals and help prevent rhino poaching in South Africa.
“My students get to work with rhinos,” Trivedi says. “We work with the South African wildlife veterinarians with rhino management and preventing poaching by collecting shavings of the rhino horns because they are specific to each rhino, and we have a DNA bank in which this hair sample goes.”
Other opportunities include museum internships, canine- and feline-focused internships, and working with shelter animals.
But what was the most memorable experience for Trivedi?
“I think that was one of the most memorable things that I have been able to is being able to change the radio collar on a Bengal tiger,” Trivedi says. “I was never that close and being able to lift its lip up and look at that real big tooth. The canine was amazing. It was an absolutely thrilling experience.”