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Lorraine Tompkins

Lorraine Tompkins


"Once you accept that the only real failure is not trying in the first place, you can find the motivation to do what you've always wanted."

Career Roadmap

Lorraine's work combines: Medicine, Education, and Learning / Being Challenged

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Day In The Life

Veterinary Technician Student

Veterinary assistant

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Physics & Astrophysics

    Leeds University

  • Graduate Degree


    Kingston University

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Veterinary Technician

    Penn Foster

Here's the path I recommend for someone who wants to be a Veterinary Assistants & Laboratory Animal Caretakers:

Bachelor's Degree: Physics & Astrophysics

Graduate Degree: MBA

Bachelor's Degree: Veterinary Technician

Learn more about different paths to this career

Life & Career Milestones

I've taken a lot of twists and turns

  • 1.

    Got my first degree simply because it was a subject I was interested in.

  • 2.

    My first real job came about because of my degree, although it wasn't completely related to it. Worked as a systems engineer for a defense company in the UK.

  • 3.

    Got my MBA through work because I thought it would help my career path.

  • 4.

    Also became interested in group fitness classes and qualified to become an instructor.

  • 5.

    Major life changes happened and I ended up moving from the UK to the US. Couldn't continue working in defense, so worked as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer.

  • 6.

    Moved to various locations within the US and started getting more involved in animal rescue.

  • 7.

    Eventually worked out that what I'd really wanted to do all along was work with animals, so enrolled in Penn Foster's vet tech program to enable me to do that.

  • 8.

    Currently doing my externship and loving it, despite the many and varied challenges that it provides.

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Family:

    You won't be any good at that because you'll get too upset about neglected or mistreated animals and you don't deal with negative emotions very well.

  • How I responded:

    I believed what was said to me and it held me back for a long time. That, and the fact that I wasn't convinced I wouldn't be able to remember the vast amounts of knowledge that I'd be required to know in order to do the job. But then I realized that all of those negative comments *might* not be true and that I'd be much more disappointed if I didn't at least try to accomplish my goals. I realized that "failure" wasn't as scary as it sounded because at least I'd know.

Experiences and challenges that shaped me

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  • It can be crippling, but once you accept that the only real failure is not trying in the first place, you can find the motivation to do what you've always wanted. Learning to ignore those negative voices is challenging, but worth it in the end.