Extra-curricular activities


Vet school provides an opportunity not only to grow academically but also to enrich your life with extra-curricular activities that can “round out” your educational experience. UMN CVM students have a long tradition of participating in research, community service, and school activities. Students have valued basic or clinical research, participated in State Fair activities, worked with undergraduate students as a part of the Mentorship Program, volunteered with various groups and participated in multitudes of wet labs and lunch hour discussions.

All activities should be balanced with one’s educational responsibilities, but for most students, time exists in their schedules to “get involved”.

Benefits of Getting Involved

There are many ways that participating in class activities, community service, or scholarly pursuits outside of class can benefit each of you:

  • It provides an opportunity to get to know classmates and form new, lasting friendships.
  • It provides an opportunity to work with and get to know faculty in the school.
  • It can strengthen your résumé, making you more competitive for internship positions.
  • It can contribute to the function of the CVM.
  • It can provide an outlet or break from lectures and a means of applying lab skills.
  • Depending on the project, it might lead to learning more about a topic than one could from a textbook.
  • It can lead to a sense of accomplishment.
  • It can help build confidence that can be carried over to other aspects of your life.
  • It can provide an opportunity to learn about different careers.
  • It provides an opportunity to give back to the community.
  • It can serve as a reminder that you are a whole person, and build an expansive sense of self.


  • Join Mentor Connection
  • Actively think about whether you’d like to contribute in the form of community service, class activities, or research. Be proactive!
  • Identify areas you have passion for.
  • Call the contact people and get involved.
  • Talk to other students about their activities.
  • Check out the global health case competition
  • There is a Little Free Library in the vending area of the Animal Science / Veterinary Medicine building to promote reading for pleasure among students, staff, and faculty. Borrow a book any time and feel free to donate as well

Final Comments

Extra-curricular activities add to the richness of your vet school experience. Determine the time that you can afford to spend on these while still maintaining a strong academic performance. Identify areas of passion. Get involved.


Have you ever noticed that all the clubs in vet school are all about, well, vet school? Have you ever felt like you’re supposed to be filling every moment of your time with externships, shadowing, and volunteer experience relating to the veterinary field? It seems like we’re constantly being told that we need to do more veterinary things, but I strongly disagree. We spend so much time in and out of the classroom studying for exams and practicing skills, my advice is to use your free time to pursue other interests! Go to trivia nights, try out different fitness classes, join a book club, find friends outside of vet school. In my experience doing these things doesn’t detract from time spent learning, but rather having time to disconnect completely from the vet med world means that I avoid burning out and come back to school feeling ready to learn.”

UMN CVM Student, Class of 2019

“Join clubs, but don’t feel like you have to join every single one. Be a human outside of vet school.”

UMN CVM Student, Class of 2019


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Well-being Handbook Copyright © 2019 by Erin Malone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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