Whilst reading the West Sussex County Times recently you may have seen a rather familiar face. Gracing the business pages was Arun Veterinary Group and South Downs Emergency Vets owner Matt.
Those of you who may be new to the practice or new to the local area may not know that Matt and family live locally in the village in Storrington. With very few independent veterinary practices about these days, we were delighted to be approached for this interview.
If you didn’t see the article then please read below for Matt’s interview with Content Editor and Journalist, Gina.
How did you decide on this career?
It’s fair to say that I was from the generation that was inspired by James Herriott’s books which ignited my passion for a career in veterinary medicine. That said, as a young lad I was also offered the opportunity to attend Manchester United’s football academy during the same era as David Beckham – life could have been very different but I chose to focus on my studies and become a vet!
How does a normal day go?
I’m usually up at around 5.30am, either getting out in the fresh air for an early morning run or catching up on emails. My role as vet and business owner typically leads to a very varied day and it’s not unusual for me to wear the hat of a marketing executive, HR manager, and finance director and be on the phone or in a series of meetings. I love the entrepreneurial element of my role but my passion for being a vet has remained strong and despite the business responsibilities I have, I remain committed to my clinical role and the passion I have as a vet. A typical day usually finishes at around 7pm, in time for me to get home and read a bedtime story to one of my 4 daughters.
What gives you most job satisfaction?
I love watching our teams thrive within an inspiring environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. We believe in being ‘more than a vets’ and it’s hugely rewarding to see the clinics grow, providing opportunities for the team to fulfil their career ambitions while making personal connections with our clients and delivering an exceptional veterinary service. Despite the intense long hours (and never ending graft!), there is no better feeling than seeing your vision come to reality.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
As corporate buy outs accelerate, so has the demise of the traditionally family owned vet practice. As one of the few remaining local independently owned practices we have a social responsibility to showcase our culture, values and service to an increasing reach of pet owners whilst delivering on a promise to the wider veterinary community, providing them with a working environment they can be proud of and feel part of something amazing. Our challenge will be to ‘stay small while growing big’ but provided we uphold our values, our culture will remain strong. I hope to still be leading such a great team well into the future and further growing AVG!