Trio to follow animal instincts to career

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Three students in the same year at school are following their instincts as they embark on careers caring for animals.

The girls, from Ripon Grammar School, have different reasons for choosing veterinary medicine and where and how to fulfill their ambitions. But each is expected to gain the high grades necessary to pursue their chosen career.

Francesca Haldane, 18, of Harrogate has secured a highly sought after offer from Sidney Sussex College, at the University of Cambridge, one of only 70 places available on the course at the prestigious university this autumn.

“I’ve always really loved science and animals so becoming a vet would be a great way to bring them together,” said Francesca, who needs to secure two A* grades and an A in her biology, chemistry and mathematics A Levels.

“Cambridge is a fantastic university and after visiting the Department of Veterinary Medicine I was able to see the unique points of the university that make it so outstanding. In particular the focus on the science behind veterinary medicine appealed to me.”

Only eight UK universities offer veterinary medicine, which contributes to the grade demands being so high.

Hannah-Olivia Foster, 17, of Kirby Hill, near Boroughbridge, has three offers and, on meeting the required grades, can choose from Surrey, Liverpool and Nottingham. She also has an interview at Edinburgh this month.

“I’ve always wanted to be a vet for as long as I can remember and doing a total of 30 weeks work experience with a local practice really confirmed it for me,” said Hannah Olivia.

Tamsin Cutmore, 17, of Ripon, is postponing heading to university to take a gap year working with a wildlife vet in a game reserve in South Africa.

She explained: “I’d rather get my results first and I think doing the work experience in conservation will strengthen my application when I do apply to university. It’s also an opportunity to travel and take a break from academic study before embarking on a five-year veterinary course.

“I have been inspired by previous Ripon Grammar School students’gap year experiences. I will also be completing various work experience placements closer to home,” added Tamsin.