Nearly a year down the track and Melanie Thompson's job is everything she hoped for and more.
Thompson was always destined to work with animals and she found her niche earlier this year as tutor for AGC Training in her first term delivering the Level 5 Veterinary Nurse Assistant (Companion Animal) course.
She is a graduate of this very course through what was then Ag Challenge, graduating in 2015, and now the student is the teacher.
"I just love it, I really love it," Thompson said.
"I love seeing the students' joy as they discover and understand the job they too are destined to enjoy. I love seeing how they progress and how their confidence grows when handling animals."
Thompson is also certain she too has grown because of the job and her confidence levels have increased.
"I was never really good at talking to groups in public, but the job teaching something I am so passionate about has allowed me to grow. I didn't think I was ready to try and keep a group of young people under control and engaged, but I can and do, probably because they are as passionate about it as me," Thompson said.
The course is for those who want to make animals like dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and other small companion animals their specialty.
It covers small animal anatomy and physiology, breeding and feeding, health and well-being, clinical, and surgical diagnostic skills along with many other tasks that will allow the graduate to work in a veterinary clinic or other animal-related facility.
The course is also delivered within the confines of a working veterinary practice at Wanganui Veterinary Services on Somme Parade.
The course is fulltime, five days a week over 40 weeks and while it begins again in February, AGC Training's rolling intake policy allows students to enrol at any time throughout the year.
"We are actively encouraging people to enrol for next year's course while there are still spaces available," Thompson said.