Nicola has been Veterinary Director at The Horse Trust since 2019. She and her team provide care for more than 150 horses, ponies and donkeys. Due to the nature of the charity, the herd is largely made up of geriatric equines, or those with illnesses making them unfit for work.
On leaving Dauntsey’s, Nicola went to The Royal Veterinary College (University of London), graduating in 2007. She then spent ten years in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC) with military dogs and as an equine vet in the Household Cavalry and the Kings Troop RHA. This was followed by two years in private equine practice. She completed her Certificate of Advance Veterinary Practice (Equine Orthopaedic Surgery) at the University of Liverpool in 2020.
What was your favourite subject at school? Is there a particular teacher who brought the subject to life for you?
My favourite subject was probably Biology but my Chemistry teacher Mr Lees is the one I remember especially for giving me the confidence to pursue my career in veterinary medicine.
Looking back on your time at Dauntsey’s, how did you find the experience?
Joining in Lower Sixth, I found the first term pretty overwhelming - there was a lot to do! We were pushed in lessons and I wanted to do lots of extra-curricular activities. Once I settled into the pace, I absolutely loved it and it really built my confidence.
What’s your best memory of Dauntsey’s?
The friends I made. I definitely have fond memories of the lessons and the sports and the plays, but my really fond memories are of the time I spent with my friends - a lot of whom I’m still very close to.
Did everything go according to plan once you left Dauntsey’s?
Pretty much - I was very lucky. I got into the university of my choice to study veterinary medicine and qualified as planned. I hadn’t planned to join the Army prior to university but it’s what I ended up wanting by the time I left… I definitely didn’t plan to stay there for 10 years either!
In what ways do you think your time at Dauntsey’s helped you prepare for life after school?
I think Dauntsey’s gave me a lot of confidence in myself that I could achieve the things I wanted. I was pushed academically which I wanted and needed at the time. I was also encouraged to take part in sports and other extra-curricular activities - maintaining this through adult life has helped me relax, de-stress and have a more rounded approach to life.
Do you have any advice for Sixth Formers as they prepare to leave Dauntsey’s?
Take every opportunity offered - you never know who you might meet or where it might take you!