Lakeland College’s new Animal Health Clinic is home to the latest student-led initiative that will give students the essential skills to excel in industry and beyond.
Second-year animal health technology
(AHT) students on the Student-Led Clinic retail marketing team held a grand opening for the student-led retail store on Oct. 22 at the Vermilion campus. The store was stocked with a variety of food and treats, toys and pet apparel for Lakeland staff and students to purchase.
“We’re so excited to show off the products we were able to bring in and provide this service to Lakeland staff and students. Our biggest inventory is the Purina Essentials cat and dog food line as well as grooming products for horses. We also have some other interesting products that other local stores don't sell so we aren't competing against them,” says team leader Taylor Leaney, a second-year AHT student.
Within the retail marketing team are three committees and each is in charge of an aspect of the retail store: labeling products on the shelves and ordering; new initiatives and products; and animal health promotions which advocates for the store as well as the industry.
Elaine Suddaby, the AHT program head, says the grand opening was a success and the students’ hard work really showed in the products they ordered, and how they were displayed. The students learned how to research and order products through the Western Drug Distribution Center Ltd.
“I’m so excited for our students and the instructive opportunity the Student-Led Clinic will have on their education. Lakeland students will learn to become an essential member of a veterinary health care team before they graduate into industry," says Suddaby.
Leaney added the retail store is a great opportunity for students to gain retail experience in an environment that accepts failure as a path to success. “We have a lot of room to grow in the Student-Led Clinic. For our team, we are learning how to order and market products, and how to interact with customers.”
The Student-Led Clinic is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and on Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Animal Health Clinic
on the Vermilion campus.
The student-led retail team is one of three teams that gain practical experiences beyond the classroom in the Student-Led Clinic. The other two teams are clinic organization, which is currently working on biosecurity and inventory in the clinic as well as following up with surgical patients, and public relations which is busy with a reading buddy program at St. Jerome's Catholic School in Vermilion, as well as planning an industry night and career fair.
While students are working with both large and small animals and handling clinic operations, they’re developing soft skills such as client interaction, critical thinking, communication and problem-solving.
Photos: (Top-Bottom) Student-Led Clinic retail marketing team at the clinic's retail store grand opening. Second-year AHT student Haylie-Ann LaFrance helps a customer during the retail store's first day of operation.