A Letter from the Co-Presidents
January 12, 2022
By Tula Sifling and Noam Einy
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as one of your Co-Presidents this past year and a half alongside my wonderful Co-President, Noam Einy. It was amazing to work with the rest of the Future Vets Club executive to plan events, provide veterinary opportunities, and start various social media initiatives.
However, the transition last year was definitely not easy, as Noam and I had a unique experience for a variety of reasons. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide my perspective on this transition along with some of the insights I developed throughout this time.
I am currently a third-year Arts and Sciences student, and I began my role as a Co-President in March of 2020. My situation was unusual as I came into this role having never been on the FVC executive team before. As a first-year, I did not discover the FVC until a couple weeks into the school year, which meant I had missed the opportunity to join the executive team in the fall. I was disappointed that I was unable to get more involved, but I also really enjoyed attending FVC events as a member.
In February of 2020, open executive positions were released on the listserv. Three positions were open, including two Co-Presidents. After reading the descriptions, the only one that really matched my experience and skillset was the Co-President role. It seemed unlikely that I would get the position, but I ended up applying anyway because I wanted to stay true to what I felt confident doing. It was not long before I had my interview and secured a spot on the team as a Co-President. Based on this experience, I strongly encourage you all to stay true to your strengths. I have found this applicable to a variety of situations, including course selection. I have never been as successful in “easy courses” that I was not interested in compared to courses that I was truly passionate about. One piece of advice that I took from these experiences is to do what excites you the most, regardless of preconceived notions from others. I am so glad that I did not cater to my fear of failure, or the general perspective that first years do not succeed in leadership positions. If I had, I never would have served in a role that I am so passionate about, nor would I have met so many new friends.
Almost immediately after I joined the FVC executive, everything went virtual because of the pandemic. This was a shock for everyone, and the executive spent most of the summer not knowing whether to prepare for club activities online or in person. We ended up being online all year, which presented several challenges and required immense adaptation. I was extremely impressed by the ability of my fellow executives to find creative solutions to adapting online. I felt that some events, such as the Networking Brunch, were even enhanced by the online environment because we were able to invite veterinarians from all over Canada instead of just Ontario. This connectivity is the silver lining that we intend to maintain in coming years, regardless of the format.
This past year and a half was difficult in a lot of ways, and I found myself leaning on my Co-President, fellow executives, and advisor throughout it. Noam always kept my spirits high, and I am very thankful for how much he encouraged me throughout the year. Our friendship was truly a crucial factor in helping us take on this new challenge. Additionally, the rest of the executive team was supportive of any mistakes that Noam and I made in our transition and carried out their own roles with competency and zest. Our club advisor Elizabeth Lowenger was amazing in helping us understand what it means to be a leader, giving general guidance, and providing a sense of humor when it was thoroughly needed. Overall, I am so proud of us as future vets for never failing to maintain our passion for the field, ability to stay engaged, and drive to keep pushing towards our goals. I would like to thank all of you for inspiring me and for making this year as good as it could be. I cannot wait to finish this semester as one of your Co-Presidents once again. Keep up the great work!
It has been an honour and a pleasure to have served as the FVC Co-President this past year and a half, alongside my other Co-President Tula Sifling. I am finishing my fourth year of my BSc in Zoology this winter and am excited to continue my role as one of the FVC Co-Presidents for this semester.
When I became the Co-President back in March 2020, I did not anticipate how different the upcoming year would be from anything I had ever experienced. COVID-19 has been a persistent problem since the initial outbreak in March 2020 and it has presented some unique challenges to leading and organizing the FVC this year.
One of the first challenges I faced was learning how to effectively work together with the executive team and Tula in an online setting. Honestly, it initially seemed like a daunting task to lead a group of executives whom I did not know, and to do so working alongside Tula, with whom I was also unfamiliar – all in a completely online environment. To overcome this, I knew that I first had to get to know Tula well.
Getting to know Tula was not only enjoyable, but very beneficial for working together in the FVC. Being friends made many aspects of our partnership simpler. For example, we became better at delegating tasks since we knew each other's strengths and weaknesses. As a result, we could cover for each other when one of us had a busy or important school week. While this improved our partnership, it also taught us is the importance of communication between us and the executives.
The 2020-2021 executive team was full of individuals who were amazing to work with. Each executive was patient and understanding of Tula’s and my own transition to Co-Presidency. They let us know when we made mistakes, how we could improve, and supported our leadership. The incredible people on this team helped transform Tula and I into the leaders we are now, and it would have been much more difficult working together if it weren’t for this awesome group of people!
Another challenge I faced in my first year of Co-Presidency was learning which events worked best in the online format and which events our members needed most during the pandemic. We had to change a lot of our past events to fit into an online format, while ensuring that the events were still beneficial for our members. Using polls and feedback was very valuable this year, since it helped us realize that our members needed volunteer and work opportunities now more than ever! If you are interested, make sure to check the postings on our website: https://www.futurevetsclub.com/opportunities.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, we also tried new types of events such as the Virtual Ripley’s Aquarium Tour, which ended up being my favourite event! While the online environment prevented us from hosting the interactive events we used to be known for, it also opened the door for trying new events that we would like to introduce in person when possible!
I can’t wait to continue working with the FVC to provide meaningful events to our members for the rest of Winter 2022. We have all had to adapt to living through the pandemic and things are only looking up from here. 😊