Chance meeting with Blinn Veterinary Technology Program Director led to a new career path for recent graduate

'They went above and beyond what they needed to do to make sure we were the best techs that we could be,' said Brian Okosun

'They went above and beyond what they needed to do to make sure we were the best techs that we could be,' said Brian Okosun

June 21, 2021

The moment Dr. Catherine Pfent stepped into Aggieland Humane Society, Brian Okosun’s career path changed.

A graduate of Spring High School in Spring, Texas, Okosun had earned his Bachelor of Science in poultry science at Texas A&M University and entered the field following graduation. After a year in the industry, however, Okosun realized that his heart wasn’t in it.

“I needed something new for myself,” he said. “I spent a lot of time at work and I didn’t have time for other people, I didn’t have time for myself. I didn’t even have time for a pet.”

After turning in his two weeks’ notice, Okosun stopped by the Aggieland Humane Society. He applied to adopt a dog, and a week later he brought home Diesel, a husky. Inspired by the experience, he applied for a job with the Humane Society. Six months later, he adopted another dog named Oxford.

Okosun had been working at Aggieland Humane Society for a year when Pfent, the Director of the Blinn College District Veterinary Technology Program, stopped by the shelter. They spoke briefly about the program, and after researching Blinn and the veterinary technology profession, Okosun submitted his application.

“It was just such a rewarding decision and such a rewarding program,” he said. “It opened a lot of doors for me. I know so much more than I ever thought I would know just two years later. Looking back, I’m so glad that Dr. Pfent walked up to the shelter that day and changed my entire life.”

In researching the program, Okosun was excited to see that Blinn is the only community college with an agreement with Texas A&M to complete laboratories and clinical experiences at its Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Through a collaborative partnership with the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and other clinical affiliates, students in the Veterinary Technology Program receive hands-on training in every aspect of the wide-ranging animal health field.

“I really liked the fact that it was so intertwined with Texas A&M,” Okosun said. “We were getting hands-on experiences with staff that came from all over the country. We got the chance to work one-on-one with veterinarians at the vet school and had the chance to work alongside Texas A&M veterinary students. All of that was an amazing opportunity.”

Once accepted, Okosun found that Blinn’s faculty were equally amazing. Pfent brings 18 years of experience as an educator and researcher and Clinical Coordinator Leigha Wright recently was named the Texas Veterinary Medical Association Licensed Veterinary Technician of the Year.

“Dr. Pfent still sends us emails even though we have graduated, just making sure that we know about job opportunities that are out there,” Okosun said. “She has all sorts of connections and she always finds a way to make sure her students are succeeding.”

Due to Blinn's reputation for excellence and a state-wide shortage of veterinary technicians, program graduates often accept jobs prior to graduation and many have multiple job opportunities to choose from. Students go on to a variety of career paths, including working in animal shelters, educational institutions, equine training facilities, Homeland Security, laboratory facilities, the military, pharmaceutical sales, reproductive facilities, research, veterinary clinics (large and small animal, exotics, and mixed), wildlife preserves, and zoological facilities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterinary technicians earn a median salary of $35,320 per year and the demand for veterinary technicians is expected to grow 16% between 2019 and 2029, creating an estimated 18,300 new jobs nationwide.

Through Blinn’s Veterinary Technology Program, Okosun gained experience with large, small, and exotic animals while working clinical rotations at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

“They really made sure everybody in the program had the skills necessary to work in this field, and I really appreciate that,” he said. “They went above and beyond what they needed to do to make sure we were the best techs that we could be.”

Okosun graduated from Blinn in May with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Veterinary Technology and now works as a full-time fluid ward technician in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

“He brings the best from Blinn and the best from Texas A&M into the small animal hospital,” Pfent said. “He is very compassionate about helping animals and helping the owners attached to those animals. He really invests himself into understanding the reasons behind our techniques and procedures so that he can be the best veterinary technician he can be.”

Okosun isn’t the only Blinn graduate working at the teaching hospital. One of his former Blinn classmates works in the ICU alongside him. Another works in the emergency room and yet another works in the diagnostic lab.

“It has just been a dream come true to work here,” Okosun said. “There are a lot of us that ended up staying here at A&M and we all have great careers. I feel that the Vet Tech Program prepared me very well for the job that I’m doing now.”

The next Blinn Veterinary Technology Program information session will be livestreamed at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29. To register, visit www.blinn.edu/veterinary-technology/information-session.html.

“If you are looking to get involved working with animals in some fashion, I highly recommend Blinn’s Vet Tech Program,” Okosun said. “They make sure that you know your stuff before you get into the field. I just couldn’t say more about this program and how valuable the education is.”

For more information, visit www.blinn.edu/veterinary-technology.

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