Michael Streitz was awarded the Arrowhead Veterinary Medical Association Scholarship (Awarded to a 2nd, 3rd or 4th year student based on financial need and in good scholastic standing, with preference given to a student from the outstate Arrowhead region of Minnesota or Wisconsin.)
He said it is incredibly humbling to be recognized by the Arrowhead region and represent his area. He has career goals to work with state or federal government by informing disease program standards and developing policy that protects animals, humans, and our environment.
What inspired you to pursue a career in veterinary medicine?
I was inspired to pursue veterinary medicine out of an interest in providing care for our food producing animals. I am most interested in the intersection of human and animal health and how zoonotic diseases transfer between populations. I knew the only way to understand this system and affect the change I wanted to see was to pursue a DVM/MPH.
What have you learned the most about the profession so far?
I have learned the most about regulatory medicine and disease surveillance, primarily through an ongoing internship with the USDA. These experiences range from collecting samples, to inspecting premises, and even drafting legislative rule changes. Veterinarians have a much more diverse range of occupations than I ever could have imagined and I’m excited to find new ways to represent my profession in the future.
What are your career goals?
My career goals are to work with state or federal government by informing disease program standards and developing policy that protects animals, humans, and our environment. I want to work dynamically with producers, veterinarians, and legislators to help control disease and protect the welfare of our food animals.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
“What is going to change?” A family friend told me this after I had been rejected from an undergraduate school I wanted to attend. He was right. I was still going to be a driven student, I was still going to be able to pursue the career I wanted, and I was still surrounded by my friends and family. It was a simple but important reminder that rejection doesn’t change the opportunities you have – you will adapt and overcome.
What advice would you give to somebody who is considering going to college to pursue a career in veterinary medicine?
Don’t press pause on your life while you’re in school. Yes, grades are important and you are undertaking a very serious commitment to become an animal health practitioner, but nothing is more important than the relationships you have with your friends and family. Study hard but don’t neglect your relationships for the sake of school.
What does winning an MVMF Scholarship mean to you?
It means I will be able to forge through my last year of school knowing that my student loan debt is less than I was anticipating it to be. I’m sure many of my peers also feel immense anxiety associated with student loans; at times it’s all I can think about. It’s nice to be able to relax slightly and focus my mental capacity on school instead of on finances. It is also incredibly humbling to be recognized by the Arrowhead region, and I feel very proud to be representing my homeland with this scholarship.