Miranda Thomas ’17

by Anna Inghram ’24

Participating in an externship while she was a Grinnell student helped Miranda Thomas ’17 confirm her interest in veterinary medicine. Now a veterinarian herself, Thomas returned to the externship program as a mentor last spring to help a current Grinnell student explore the field of veterinary medicine.

During externships, students participate in short-term job shadowing with Grinnell alumni over spring break. Externship experiences help students gain firsthand experience with potential career paths and make professional connections.

Thomas had been interested in veterinary medicine since middle school, and as a second-year student in 2015, the Center for Careers, Life, and Service matched her with Sara Mathews ’82, who owned and operated a small animal hospital in Florida.

Eight years later, Thomas served as a host, welcoming Regan Reedy ’26 to extern with her at an exotic animal veterinarian office.

“When I registered to host an externship student, it felt a bit ‘full circle’,” Thomas says. “I was able to explore this field during my time at Grinnell and then share that opportunity with my visiting student now that I am into my career. We were super busy with patients, coordinating with veterinary technicians and other doctors in the hospital, but also chatted about how I use my learning from Grinnell to problem solve and communicate clearly with pet owners and my coworkers.”

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