AETA 2018 Scholarship Winner Report: Rachel O’Leary

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Published on: December 27, 2018

I want to take the time to first thank the AETA Scholarship committee for choosing me, along with nine other well-deserving students, to attend the 2018 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Convention in Montreal. I am honored to have had the opportunity to attend the convention and learn from experts across the nation and throughout the world. At the meeting, I met many practitioners and gained mentorship through them. I also became friends with fellow scholarship winners and am glad to call them colleagues whom I can call upon in the future.

My objective for attending the joint annual convention was to learn more about the advanced reproduction industry and the challenges it faces so that I could be more prepared once I graduate and go into the working field. My time in Montreal started with the Preconference Seminar II. At this preconference seminar, I gained invaluable information about the effects of nutrition on oocyte quality, mycotoxins on cow performance, and sexed semen fertility. I appreciated the amount of information we were given, and especially liked how it is still applicable to clients I may have that will not be utilizing embryo transfer, in vitro fertilization, or any advanced reproductive techniques.

Throughout the rest of my time at the convention I attended the various general and student/technician sessions. I gained information regarding damage prevention of frozen embryos, sanitary considerations, starting collection laboratories, incorporating in vitro fertilization, and much more. Attending the meeting opened my eyes to the many different techniques and niches each practice has and utilizes to best fit them and their clients. It also showed me the multitude of resources available for me, my fellow students, and my colleagues to ensure our success, and our clients’, within the industry. In addition to attending the sessions, I walked around the exhibit hall and communicated with industry professionals. By doing this, I networked for future externships, saw the newest equipment, and learned more about our current technology.

Overall, I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the 2018 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Convention in Montreal. I can safely say I walked away from this convention with more confidence about the work done within the embryo transfer profession and a fueled excitement for the future of it. The mentorship I gained and people I met will be something I remember throughout the rest of my career. I look forward to future meetings of AETA and hope that I can be as much help to students one day as the practitioners I met were to me at this meeting.

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