The Veterinary Business Management Association, a growing student group, recently launched a new Web site at www.vbma.biz.
The Web site includes information about the national VBMA, meetings, board, sponsors, programs, scholarships, job opportunities, and college chapters.
The VBMA began at the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. The group's mission is to provide more business education than most veterinary colleges conventionally offer. Members seek to develop skills in communication, leadership, client service, negotiation, management, and finance.
As of early 2007, the VBMA had 22 active chapters at colleges across the country and about 2,000 student members. The group also has attracted a number of sponsors.
Hill's Pet Nutrition is the founding sponsor. The company sponsors the annual VBMA National Meeting at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Fla. Every semester, Hill's also provides each chapter with the opportunity to secure funding to create a business education program.
Novartis Animal Health is the sponsor of the annual Regional Education Program, which sends a top speaker on veterinary business to VBMA chapters that differentiate themselves by past performance and a formal application.
Through an annual contest, Veterinary Pet Insurance donates a trip to NAVC plus $600 in spending money to one student member from each chapter.
The Simmons Educational Fund Business Aptitude Award, an essay competition from Simmons & Associates practice brokers, offers scholarships to third-year students. One winner from each college receives a $1,500 scholarship. The winners enter a national competition, which awards one $10,000 scholarship as well as a trip to the Western Veterinary Conference.