"Our application process is straightforward because our goal is always just to get to know the person and find out about what they’re looking for from us. "

- Christoper Long, talent business manager for the IVC Evidensia Graduate Academy

Find out more about our Graduate Academy

Could you share a bit about your journey to joining IVC and your current role?

My current position is Talent Business Manager for the Graduate Academy. I've been with the company for almost three years now.

Before this, I worked at Specsavers Optical Group as a regional graduate recruitment and retention manager. I was approached by the head of talent at IVC Evidensia to lead the graduate recruitment efforts.

IVC Evidensia’s goals in the graduate sector intrigued me, and I was passionate about working with graduates in this context. Although my background was a bit different, I felt it would be a good fit with the veterinary industry. I knew my values resonated with the IVC Evidensia’s vision and so I decided to take on the challenge.

What draws you to working with new graduates?

It’s an exciting time for them! When students pursue specific degrees, like optometry or veterinary medicine, they invest so much effort to fulfil their career aspirations. It's rewarding to assist them in their journey to the next opportunities after putting in the hard work to obtain the necessary grades and qualifications

With the Graduate Academy at IVC Evidensia, it goes beyond helping someone find a job; we’re offering a role with real added benefits for their career journey. We’re helping them to shape their future.

Can you tell us more about IVC Evidensia’s Graduate Academy?

In the UK the program spans two years and is designed to provide support to newly graduated vets beginning their career after university. Their in-practice learning is complemented by additional opportunities for learning, support, and CPD.

Our Graduate Academy vets can build peer-to-peer networks, form lasting friendships, and share skills and knowledge. Being part of a larger network of vet professionals like IVC Evidensia allows our more experienced vets to contribute to the next generation's growth, and the newer vets to learn and grow with us. We focus on continuous learning and development, and that support to grow.

Could you share some insights into the candidate experience, especially during the application process?

Our application process is straightforward because our goal is always just to get to know the person and find out about what they’re looking for from us.

We begin by requesting basic information to understand their preferences. Then, candidates are invited to a one-on-one meeting with one of our talent partners. They’ll have a conversation about what we offer, and what the new grad is looking for. It’s all about finding the best fit. Using this information, we then usually recommend a practice that aligns with their preferences.

The candidate can then spend some time at the practice they’re looking to join if they would like, including meeting the whole team and gaining insights into what it's like to work there.

For those unfamiliar, could you tell us about the talent partners and their role in the process?

Within my team there are three talent partners, each assigned to a specific region. They work closely with our practices and get to know the teams well, including things like different areas of specialisation, certificate holders, and the species mix for mixed practices. This level of knowledge means the talent team can comfortably discuss the features and benefits of working at a particular practice with candidates. Their role is to ensure a smooth and informed process for both the candidates and the practices.

What do you feel sets the IVC Evidensia Graduate Academy apart?

What sets us apart, is our unwavering commitment to support and development. We offer a fantastic comprehensive academy prospectus, with industry-leading content and sessions delivered by knowledgeable and passionate individuals.

IVC Evidensia’s commitment to these values goes beyond the academy too; we have our Care Fund which supports all our vets in providing care to animals in need who would otherwise not be able to access that care. We also have a real focus on non-accidental injury support for our clinical teams, and overall on the welfare of our people. We are also committed to sustainability and reducing our environmental impact.

What advice would you offer someone considering applying for the Graduate Academy?

For those considering applying, I would emphasise that our goal is to get to know them, genuinely.
I would also say to consider your options when deciding on a practice, sometimes relocating for the the right role can be a great option for your career journey. One of the benefits of joining IVC Evidensia is the size of our network and the different locations you can work at, while still being part of the network with all the benefits that entails.

When it comes it interview, just be yourself and be confident in your abilities. While interviews might seem nerve-wracking, we aim to make the process transparent, focusing on understanding how you align with our values and vice versa.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I have a deep passion for travel, rooted in my background with a degree in the field and a decade of experience in the travel industry. I enjoy skiing, and exploring new places, be it beach holidays or city breaks.

I also have a four-year-old Shih Tzu named Bobby, who's quite adorable but has a strong-willed and stubborn personality. He loves sitting somewhere high up and surveying his domain!