VetCat Graduation Stories: Atessa Szeglin

Aug. 18, 2023

Celebrating our VetCat Journeys: Where They Are Going

Atessa Szeglin wears graduation regalia and poses in front of a Tucson mountain landscape.

With graduation less than a week away, third-year students at The University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine are celebrating their triumphs and preparing to walk across the stage at the Tucson Music Hall. After three years of dedication to their studies and exploration of their chosen field, these Doctor of Veterinary Medicine candidates are ready to answer to the title “Doctor.”

Atessa Szeglin wears graduation regalia and sits indoors with a dog and a cat.

Atessa Szeglin chose to embrace discovery and conquer her fears head-on by applying for an internship that covered the areas in which she had personal reservations. This fall, Atessa will begin her internship and hone her veterinary skills. Her integrity drives her to become the best veterinarian she can be.

Next Steps

After three years in veterinary school, Atessa is ready to begin an internship in the Phoenix area. She will develop skills in multiple vital areas and learn more about herself as a practitioner.

What are your plans after graduation?

AS: I applied to a program called The 5th Year. I knew I wanted additional training in ER and surgery, since those were the things that terrified me the most about veterinary medicine. So I decided to do an internship in those. The 5th Year appealed to me because they offer an individualized mentorship program teaching a variety of skills from dentistry, advanced imaging, general practice, emergency medicine and advanced surgery. This seemed like a really good fit for me to build my confidence in these areas.

A Time of Discovery

Atessa’s time at The University of Arizona has been marked by discovery. Through her time here, she has learned about the many opportunities available to her as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Tell me about how your experiences at The University of Arizona influenced your career path.

AS: Being a student at the University of Arizona allowed me to learn about the different disciplines of veterinary medicine and how many different career opportunities there are out there. The U of A vet program allowed me to work through specific fields of study and specific systems like cardiology, surgery, anesthesia, and large animal medicine and really helped me decide what type of practitioner I wanted to become.

How have your clinical year experiences prepared you for your veterinary career?

AS: In my clinical year, I had the amazing opportunity to work with several dedicated specialists in a variety of fields including zoo med, internal medicine, oncology and cardiology. Some of them had done five or six internships to get to their specialty residency and they provided a lot of feedback on the types of internships that would suit my goals. Learning from them I was able to narrow down what my requirements would be as a day-one vet which helped me pick my internship with The 5th Year.

Atessa Szeglin wears graduation regalia and poses in front of a Tucson mountain landscape.

Advice for Others

Atessa shared some advice near to her own heart and encouraged first-year students to embrace discovery. Sometimes, discovery can mean changing paths. The decision to change paths is an admirable one, and Atessa understands this.

What advice would you give to a first-year student?

AS: Some advice I would give to a first-year student is to be flexible and follow your bliss even if that changes over the years. Veterinary medicine is such an expansive field and it's ok to change your mind a couple (dozen) times. It's all part of the process and it's ok to work somewhere for a year or two and do something completely different later. Just enjoy what you learn throughout vet school and through your clinical year and if you decide later on to change paths again that is perfectly acceptable. It's one of the best things about vet med in my opinion. Just follow what makes you happy.