Celebrations at VetPartners after team members go back to school

TWO years of hard work have paid off for four colleagues at a UK Veterinary group after they successfully completed their Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

Suzanne Johnstone, Rob Williams, Vicki Pearce and Sarah Reeves, who all work for VetPartners, studied on a part-time basis for the prestigious qualification from York St John University business school.

Twelve other team members, who work at VetPartners’ practices across the UK or at the veterinary group’s headquarters in York, are also studying for an MBA, an academically challenging qualification that provides an overview of key business practices and is highly valued by top employers.

Most of the employees studying for their MBA are from a clinical background and are adding business knowledge to their leadership role within practices as VetPartners aims to support employees to have thriving careers.

Suzanne is a former veterinary nurse, who is now a Business Development Director at VetPartners, overseeing practices in the Midlands. Rob was a small animal vet at The Minster Veterinary Practice in York, who is now Head of Organisational Development at VetPartners. Vicki worked in banking, before becoming practice manager at Chantry Vets in Wakefield. Sarah is clinical director at Shearbridge Vets in Bradford and Halifax, where she leads a team of 20 vets, nurses and receptionists.

VetPartners CEO Jo Malone believes that supporting employees to enjoy thriving careers will help to keep them within the veterinary profession and equip them with skills and knowledge for leadership roles.

Mrs Malone said: “We want to encourage all of our team members to reach their potential, whether with a clinical or management focus, and we will support them to do that. We want to give our team members the opportunity to continue to learn and grow their skill sets.

“The more skills we develop across the veterinary industry, the better. Keeping great people in our profession should be a key aim for all, and if facilitating a broader education and experience helps that, then I am all for it.

“The MBA is a well-recognised and valued qualification and I know how much hard work each of them has put into achieving it. Achieving a higher level qualification while working is really tough, especially at a time when we have had to cope with the mayhem of Covid-19, so all credit to them.”

Rob, who swapped life as a vet in practice to become Head of Organisational Development at VetPartners, is among a number of vets in senior positions at VetPartners, which has more than 130 veterinary practices, with 5,522 employees working in nearly 500 sites across the UK and from its headquarters in York.

He said: “VetPartners is unusual in that a lot of senior managers across the business are vets, which is a good thing for a veterinary business. Their knowledge and experience is extremely valuable to us and we are now supporting them to enhance their skills by providing a deeper understanding of business and business leadership.

“Not everyone with a clinical background wants to stay in a clinical role and we don’t want them to feel trapped or lose them as we can use their experience and knowledge elsewhere in the business. It is also about succession planning to identify team members who can help us to develop the business.”

For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners Senior PR and Communications Manager, on 07970 198 492 or email amanda.little@vetpartners.co.uk

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