shelby and cat in living room

We're putting our student ambassadors in the limelight. Students from all four years of veterinary classes bring their expertise and experience to bear in helping you learn more about the DVM program and the student experience here at the Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Shelby Matsuoka | About Me

Hello, everyone! My name is Shelby, and I’m a part of the Class of 2024. I moved to Oregon several years ago after completing my undergraduate degree (B.S. in geology with an emphasis in paleontology) at San Diego State University in California. So if you are worried about not having a “pre-vet med” degree, I am here to tell you that is OK!

The small class sizes at the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine made it easy for me to reach out to professors and form a connection. I worked in veterinary clinics for the five years prior to vet school and loved every second of it.  

After graduating I will be pursuing a career in veterinary pathology, mostly focusing on forensics, which means … more school!

Outside of classes I enjoy the nerd life playing "Dungeons & Dragons," and finding things to do that will make me a better PC (I like to hike, rock climb and need to brush up on archery). Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have! 



Why did you want to become a student ambassador?

For me, the decision to go into vet med was slightly delayed. Where I grew up, we did not have veterinarians that looked like me. I was not represented in the field that I had wanted to be a part of since my childhood. It finally dawned on me that if I was feeling like this, others probably were too. So once I had been accepted, I wanted to make sure that other people who were interested in pursuing this incredibly fulfilling career felt supported and represented. Representation matters, and together we can make vet med as wonderfully diverse as other occupations.

What tip/advice would you offer to future students?

My biggest tip is to do your best to get eight hours of sleep every night! Aside from that, get eight hours of sleep every night. It's that important to me. Getting a full night of sleep sets me up for success the next day. I can pay attention in class and take thoughtful notes as I engage with the material. Rarely do I need to re-watch a lecture because I zoned out at the time. It's really easy to decide to sacrifice sleep for more study time, but there will always be some piece of information that you do not know. Be kind to yourself and let your mind and body rest.

What’s your favorite experience/memory of vet school?

I will cherish the friendships I made during my time in this program. The cram sessions right before exams, the dinners out, the movie nights.  All of these bright points made the fun of developing new skills even more rewarding when they were shared with people who knew exactly how you felt.