Biology Freshman, Purdue University
Eshan Selvan has spent many summers and holidays at Leo’s Pet Care, from 2014 – 2021. Here is what he had to say about his first experience when he was only 12 years old (!):
This summer before I started my externship at Leos Pet Care I did not know what to expect. I have always been an animal lover and my career goal is to become a veterinarian. I did not have any experience in the field and have only caught glimpses of a veterinarian’s life through T.V. channels on animal planet. Coming in at a young age I figured my day would consist of watching procedures and playing with animals. I even had some ideas on things I wanted to see, like neuters and x-rays. Through the help and assistance of Jen, Stephanie, Hannah, and Dr. Magnusson, I realized that a vet’s life is harder than it looks.
Right after my interview, I was put to work. Dr. Magnusson and his whole team opened their clinic to me and shared their passion for veterinary sciences. They took me through everything step by step and taught me what they did and more importantly why they did it. When they felt I was ready they let me perform certain tasks, including, preparing vaccines, running heartworm, urine, and blood tests. They allowed me to restrain patients, trim nails, fill out lab work and send out fecal tests. The team also taught me how to use the Avimark system for checking patients in, weighing them, entering patient medical history, and starting new patient accounts. I learned more than I could possibly learn from television shows and books I also learned from a veterinary clinic. On top of that Dr. Magnusson helped get me to get shadowing opportunities at other veterinary clinics to see what they do differently including Avian Exotic Animal Hospital, knowing that I had a passion for avian veterinary care. Every day I enjoyed working with the team, learning new things, and overall having a great time. The team members also made me feel like they wanted me there and enjoyed sharing their passion with me, and I now know what a veterinarian’s life truly is like.
I highly recommend for anyone who is trying to get a veterinary job, internships, or college credit to visit Leos Pet Care. For clients who are looking for a passionate, caring clinic come visit Leos Pet Care, you won’t be disappointed, just like me.
Dr. Magnusson responds:
I took my first volunteer position at a veterinary clinic when I was 15 years old, and I was a terrible volunteer. I didn’t follow directions, I didn’t do what I was told, and I was more interested in hanging off the veterinarian’s every word than picking up a mop.
Eshan isn’t nearly as foolish as I was. He already understands exactly what it takes to succeed, whether it’s as a volunteer in a veterinary clinic, as a student with dreams of becoming a veterinarian, or likely in any other area of life.
Eshan took on every task we gave him with vigor and a positive attitude. Always ready with a smile, we could count on him to keep our exam rooms neat and tidy, clean up after our patients, pull up vaccines, or do anything else we asked of him. The more Eshan succeeded at small tasks, the greater tasks we gave him, and he met and exceeded our expectations every time.
We get phone calls almost every week or two from students with dreams of joining the veterinary profession, and almost without exception, after meeting these kids in person we decide they’re not yet ready for the challenges of a busy clinic. From the first day I met him, Eshan never failed to impress me with his maturity, his work ethic, his sense of humor, and most importantly, his humility.
These days, humility is a precious resource. We could all learn to be a bit more humble like Eshan.
I also met Eshan’s father, and it was instantly clear where Eshan got his confidence and the clear head on his shoulders. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a father more proud of his son, as well as he should be.
It was my great pleasure to meet Eshan Selvan, and I will gladly watch over his career with interest. If he keeps up these wonderful habits he’s developed, he’ll accomplish any goal he sets for himself.
2017 UPDATE!! Eshan’s Third Summer At Leo’s!
I’ve been with Leos Pet Care, for three summers now, and can safely say there’s no place I’d rather be.
Having grown up very passionate about animals and having an interest in science, I’ve always thought that being a veterinarian would be the perfect job for me. So when I moved to Indiana in 2014, I decided to act upon it and spend the summer working with animals. After calling countless veterinary hospitals, and animal shelters, and asking about possible volunteer positions, I was denied and not given even a second thought after they heard my age. After calling many, many more clinics and getting politely rejected I was shocked when a small clinic called Leos Pet Care told me I might have the opportunity for a volunteer position. I was on cloud nine when I was told that the doctor would see me in for an interview. At that time I was completely oblivious of how much of an impact Leos Pet Care and each of its individual employees would make on my life.
The way Dr. Magnusson opens up his clinic and spends his free time teaching, mentoring, and providing himself as a role model, for his staff is truly remarkable. Thus, going even further to offer me (a High School Student), a paying job. To put your trust, and the reputation of your professional business in the hands of a 15-year-old is something only someone who truly cares about you and your future would do.
After spending the past 2 summers as a volunteer I didn’t know what to expect starting up as an employee. In the beginning, I worked slowly and hesitantly, nervous of making mistakes, but I soon realized Dr. Magnusson’s approach to mistakes. He welcomes them (to an obvious extent) and when mistakes were made, instead of getting angry and yelling, he would teach. He taught me how to efficiently correct mistakes in the most professional and courteous manner, and how to eliminate the possibility of the mistake altogether. Once I realized this I was able to learn to my fullest extent, learning and participating hands-on more than ever before.
With the help of Dr. Magnusson, Dr. Gilliam, Jen, Angel, Tamara, Kristen, Abby, Maddie, and Jade, I was able to learn all of the different aspects of working in a veterinary clinic. When I needed help every last one of them was willing to help me and when I made mistakes they were all there to teach me how to correct them in the present and future. Thanks to them I vastly expanded my knowledge of veterinary medicine. I learned how to take care of a client from check-in to check-out, covering all points of a patient's stay with us. I was even able to learn in high-stress environments, including surgeries where Dr. Magnusson and Dr. Gilliam never failed to explain what they were doing and why. Thanks to the rest of the staff, I also learned many valuable lessons during the summer, like the importance of building client relationships. Or the ability to present myself in consideration of the “energy” of the exam room. But most importantly, I learned the true value of teamwork. From the start, I was taught the importance of communicating with the rest of my co-workers and to always ask questions to ensure that everything I do is done correctly. Dr. Magnusson stresses the importance of working well with the team and sharing respect for one another, to create not only a team feel but a family feel. Thanks to this I can truly say I work better with a team and am able to anticipate the feelings and reactions of team members so I can always act accordingly.
To sum up, this summer was amazing and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given. I have learned a lot regarding working with animals as well as working with people. I have made many mistakes, but thanks to my Leo’s Family I’ve learned not only to correct them but to “be smarter than my mistakes,” and not let them happen in the future. I’ve learned the value of teamwork and respect and how to act as a professional rather than a student, and I owe that all to Leos Pet Care.
Winter 2020-2021 UPDATE
Now, you’d think after 7 years of anal gland expressions, fractious cats, and heartworm tests, I’d have learned all I could from Leos Pet Care – and of course, you’d be wrong.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned as a part of this team is that you’re NEVER done learning. Whether you’re learning more about yourself and your interests, a procedure or treatment, or even just a new way to do something, once you enter the front doors, you’re in-store for personal growth, development, and the occasional headache.
Having worked at Leos for as long as I have, I’ve naturally fallen into a pattern of doing things. Clocking in, checking the schedule, and simultaneously preparing the clinic and myself for an inevitably long day at work. However, this year was one unlike no other. In the midst of a global pandemic, my transition to college, everything I thought I knew about Leo’s went out the window. From the adjustment to fully curbside care and new safety procedures ensuring the safety of clients, patients, and team members – this year certainly marked a new learning curve.
However, as you do at Leo’s, we rolled with the punches and adapted, committed to our continuing mission of providing our clients and their pets with the best quality of care we possibly could. Welcoming many new faces including Hope and Cassidy, and the return of some old-timers like Abby, I was able to continue learning anything and everything I possibly could about veterinary medicine. And while Dr. Magnusson, Angel, and Jade continued to teach me all they could about every mass, cyst, and lump that made its way to the treatment table, it’s what they didn’t explicitly teach me that became my biggest takeaway.
One of the most eye-opening experiences for me this year was working alongside my fellow student-employees, and learning from watching them learn. Witnessing Dr. Magnusson run Cassidy through her first health exam and being able to chime in with something I’d remembered him teaching me, or hearing Hope ask a question about a procedure that I’d never even considered, was a learning opportunity in itself that I’d never taken advantage of. The cohesive and hands-on dynamic at Leo’s renders itself to an amazing collaborative environment that serves as a unique learning experience for students willing to learn from it. Thanks to the professional culture the Leo’s team has created, students are able to learn the ropes of veterinary medicine, while simultaneously learning life skills like collaboration and teamwork – an equally important facet to a successful veterinary career.
Due to the special circumstances of this year and my Leo’s family, I was able to learn so much more than I could have anticipated, and as I continue my first year in college and pursue the career I’ve been training for since I was 12, I only have the Leo’s team to thank.
Thank you to Jade, for simultaneously serving as my biggest supporter, bully, and best friend and always making sure I’m performing to my fullest capability. To Angel, for being my “work-mom” and not only correcting my MANY mistakes, but teaching me how to learn from them, and never repeat them.
And a very special thank you to Dr. Magnusson, for continually opening his doors, and business to me. Taking me under his wing as a 12-year-old, and kept me around ever since, always taking me on as a student (and headache).
The first thing Dr. Magnusson ever said to me was, “by the end of your time here, I’ll convince you that you don’t want to be a veterinarian.” And while he hasn’t been able to deter me just yet, I know that no matter what path I take and what I choose to pursue, he and the Leo’s Pet Care team will be there to support me and continue teaching me on whatever journey I’m on.