Natalie Timmer loves animals, is a bit shy around people and grew up in a family that adopted retired greyhounds and other rescue animals, so becoming a veterinarian made perfect sense, until it didn’t.
“I was in pre-vet at Grand Valley State University when tonsillitis and pneumonia forced me to go home and rest,” says Timmer, who used that time to reconsider her major. “Vet techs spend more time with their patients than vets do – and helping animals is where my heart is. So I decided I wanted to be a vet tech instead.”
Once that difficult decision was made, choosing a college was the easy part for the Troy Athens High School grad.
“Macomb is very well known for putting out some of the best vet techs in the country,” says Timmer. “It’s a difficult program, but if you can stick it out, you will be an incredible vet tech.”
Timmer is now in her second year in the program and, following an internship, was hired by Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners in Auburn Hills. Recently she received a $1,000 scholarship from the Southeast Michigan Veterinary Medical Association (SMVMA) to continue her studies.
“I was ecstatic, I was so thrilled to be recognized,” says Timmer, who along with classmate Kelly Capwell received two of the three scholarships the SMVMA gives out annually.
“One thing that MCC taught me that I believe will make me a better technician is their policy of Outstanding Technical Skills – Outstanding People Skills,” wrote Timmer in the essay she submitted in the scholarship competition. “I learned very quickly that my patients will never come to me without being attached to a person.”
And the animals Timmer is most attached to are the three dogs, one cat and one hamster that she calls her own.
“This is such a great program for a student like me,” says Timmer. “We get first dibs on adopting the animals brought in by the Macomb Animal Shelter.” That’s how two of her dogs, Leopold and Hamilton, and cat, Piper, found their furever home.
“I give a lot of credit to my parents – we’ve always had animals at home and they encouraged me to follow my heart,” offers Timmer. And so, too, she says, have the faculty at Macomb. “They are the reason I will be a successful vet tech.”