"The practice is built on inclusivity and values diversity. It doesn't matter where you're from; what matters is the belief that everyone is making a difference to the animals in our care."

- Collins Anidebe, vet student at Gatehouse Vets
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Can you tell us about yourself and how you came to Gatehouse Vets?

In January 2023, I made the life-changing move to the United Kingdom, officially starting at Gatehouse Vets on the 30th of January. I am an international vet, having earned my qualifications in Nigeria a couple of years ago. My current focus is preparing for the licensing exam to practice as a vet in the UK.

Gatehouse Vets has been nothing short of a home away from home for me. When I arrived, it was a memorable night. I came with my wife and our little baby. We had just travelled from Nigeria to the UK, we were tired and a bit apprehensive about arriving in a new place. However, Gatehouse had prepared everything for us, from setting up the baby cot to having food in the fridge when we arrived. It was an incredibly warm welcome.

The support from Gatehouse didn't end there. They maintained contact with me until I officially started. They came to pick me up from our apartment and introduced me to my ‘buddy’ Deborah, who has been wonderful. Gatehouse embraced not only me but also my family.

How would you describe the team spirit at Gatehouse Vets?

When I joined the team, I was stepping into a totally new place, surrounded by people I'd never met. However, the team made me feel right at home. The practice is built on inclusivity and values diversity. It doesn't matter where you're from; what matters is the belief that everyone is making a difference to the animals in our care.

I have the privilege of learning from some of the best in the field. Even with their years of experience and many accomplishments, my colleagues are incredibly humble and willing to teach and learn from each other. They not only come down to my level but also appreciate my perspective.

It's been an amazing experience. While I've only been with Gatehouse for a relatively short time, it feels like I've been here much longer. It's a place where you're valued and supported.

What motivates you in your career, including to qualify as a vet in the UK?

I often tell my friends here and back home that I was quite comfortable in my previous role. I was even on track for a more senior role where I worked. However, there's a saying that a bird is safest in her nest, but that's not what her wings are meant for. A bird's wings are meant for exploration, to navigate the world. I needed a new challenge because I believed I could do more. My goal has always been to be the very best that I can be in my work as a vet. I know it's a long and challenging journey ahead of me, but the right environment and mentorship can make all the difference. My main motivation for coming to the UK was to work in a place that would expose me to a diverse range of cases and experiences.

The path and vision set by IVC and Gatehouse resonate with my goals. This is just the beginning, and I'm committed to learning as much as I can.

If you were speaking to someone who might be considering joining Gatehouse vets, what would you tell them about working here?

While I haven't worked in the UK for that long, my experiences in different practices back home have given me some valuable insights.

I would encourage anyone considering joining Gatehouse to understand that there's nothing quite like it. It's a place where diversity is celebrated, and where people respect each other's perspectives and opinions. It's a place where continuous learning is embraced, and you are supported.

What are your favourite things about working with the practice?

The key factor to look for in a workplace I feel, is a positive work culture, where people genuinely care about each other and prioritise well-being over everything else.

Strong leadership is one of the cornerstones that makes Gatehouse the fantastic place it is. So, to anyone thinking of joining Gatehouse, I would say you're coming to a place where your opinions matter, where your individuality is respected, and where you'll be genuinely valued.

It's not just about having a well-equipped hospital; it's also about working under the right mentorship. We have highly experienced vets and nurses here and working with them is a privilege.

What do you get up to outside of work?

My colleagues are always suggesting nice places to visit in the local area. However, I must admit that my preparation for the board exam keeps me quite busy! It's a challenging exam, and my life has been more about coming back from work, spending quality time with my family, and focusing my energy on exam preparation.

About a month ago, we had a team-building event which was a fantastic experience. We went to a camp in Yorkshire, where we worked on various team-building tasks. It was a great chance to build stronger bonds. We’re supported and encouraged to have a balanced life outside of work as well.