Erin Ulery, 26, is no stranger to moving. Growing up, her family relocated several times, from Texas to Pennsylvania and then southern California, before finally settling in Michigan when she was in seventh grade. Having not firmly planted roots in any one location has given her a sense of adventure.
“It comes with the territory,” explains Ulery. “You’re more apt to go wherever, because there’s so much to see.”
With extended family living on both coasts, Ulery, the oldest of three, had the fortune of frequently traveling throughout her childhood. Those trips, however, were not confined to the United States. When Ulery was 14, her family visited her uncle and aunt in Australia. Two years ago, she took a solo journey to Iceland for her birthday.
“That was what really kick-started me to be recommitted to being a full-time student and really starting my vet tech program journey,” says Ulery, “It was probably the most significant trip I’ve taken.”
Ulery always knew she wanted to work with animals, and her mind initially jumped to becoming a veterinarian. She discovered her true calling, veterinary technician, during a job shadow opportunity in high school.
“What the technicians were doing is what I really want to do,” relates Ulery. “They were the ones who were really handling the patients. They were the ones nursing them when they were recovering from surgery. They were the ones that were helping to educate the clients when the doctor walked out of the room.”
After working in the field for several years and attending Albion College, as well as two other community colleges, Macomb was at the top of Ulery’s list to achieve her career goals.
“This is one of the best vet tech programs in the country, let alone the area,” says Ulery, “and I wanted to be the best vet tech I could be.”
Contributing to Ulery’s positive experience are the helpful and approachable faculty members teaching the coursework.
“They want all of us to succeed,” says Ulery. “If we ever have any questions, any concerns, their door is always open.”
When Ulery isn’t in class, she’s serving as a work-study for the Admissions & Outreach office on Center Campus. The flexible schedule they offer makes it easy for her to stay on top of her studies. “As soon as I’m done with class,” says Ulery, “I just walk across campus, and then I’m at work.” Her work-study responsibilities include assisting with high school campus tours.
“I’ve been able to share my story of how I’ve been to four colleges, total, and tell them how great it is to come here,” relates Ulery. “There really is just everything you could ever need available here.”