Stephanie Hall
Stephanie Hall

Stephanie has been at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMCVM) for seven years, supporting the large animal department as a member of the patient services team. After working her way up from the literal bottom, Stephanie's first job growing up was cleaning small animal cages at a local veterinary practice; today, she transitions into a new leadership position as the Patient Services Manager. With big things on the horizon, both professionally and personally - Stephanie is getting married this spring! - we couldn't miss an opportunity to get to know her better.

Q: Stephanie, can you tell us about your new position?

A: The Patient Services Manager is the head of all the patient services coordinators. The role involves a lot of face-to-face contact with clients: scheduling appointments, ensuring they have the correct paperwork and taking payments. We're the first face people will see when they come in and the last face they see when they leave.

Q: What drew you to this new challenge?

A: Honestly, I just felt like I was ready for more. When my previous supervisor announced her retirement, I hadn't thought of taking on the role, but a few weeks later, I sat down with members of the administration team and they were like, "You should really think about this position ." So, I did and here we are.

Q: How did you find your way into this field?

A: My first job growing up was in a veterinary office cleaning small animal cages. I literally started at the bottom and then worked my way up.

Q: What motivated you to stay in the field?

A: One of the veterinarians I worked with was very much a "people person" who truly loved her job. She would drive her huge white Suburban to animal shelters nearby, pick up every stray cat, dog and puppy, and then bring them back to her hospital. She gave them all their vaccines on her own dime and then helped adopt them out as quickly as possible. I think that lit a fire under me because she made a difference for animals and helped people.

Q: You've been at VMCVM for seven years now in a large animal. How did you get here?

A: I've always worked in veterinary practices, but I'd never really been around horses, cattle or that sort of thing, until seven years ago. At first, I was intimidated because I didn't know anything about large animal, but they said, "It's OK, we can teach you. Just do it." So I took the plunge and I'm still here, and I'm still learning every day.

Q: What are you most excited about in this new role?

A: I think the coordinators are a very undervalued group here, and I can't wait to help bring them to the level they should be at. They work really hard connecting with clients, and they're just a fantastic group of people, so I'm looking forward to getting to know more of them and seeing their strengths. I saw many emails/calls come through in my previous role, but I never got to meet people face-to-face. It'll be nice to mingle with other supervisors and tackle some issues. I'm also excited to work on the small animal side of things again.

Q: Now, the most crucial question: What's your favorite animal?

A: To be honest, I like them all, but I've always had a love for big dogs. My first dog growing up was a lab and he was massive, but he was such a cuddly teddy bear. Thirty-three years later, I now have a big fat German Shepherd that is like my child. There are not a lot of animals that I can say I don't like….except snakes; I don't like snakes.

Q: How about your favorite food?

A: It's very southern of me, but anything that my mom makes is always my favorite. She makes delicious meatballs and macaroni and cheese, and she always amazes me because she never has any recipes, but it works out perfectly every time.

Q: What's one thing someone would be surprised to learn about you?

A: I have a secret obsession with that show Battle Bots. People build these vast, 250-pound robots, and they just battle it out like a UFC fight to see who's the fastest and who can cause the most damage. It's literally just blades and stuff, but my fiancé and I are obsessed with it.

Q: Will you tell us about your upcoming wedding?

A: We set a date for May. We've always wanted to do something small and we've never been large-group-type-of-people, so we're looking forward to having a very intimate ceremony with just family.

Q: What is it about veterinary medicine that excites you and makes you want to stay on for another seven years?

A: The people. All across the board, whether my co-workers or the clinicians, I'm amazed daily. It's the clients too. After seven years, some of them have turned into family. They check upon us, they call us, they bring us goodies. Being from a small town and coming from a very close-knit family that's huge.

Thank you and congratulations on your wedding in May!