Pierry McLean, RVT
Where did you go to school and what made you decide to take a Veterinary Technology program?
Seneca College, King City – 1988 Graduate. After I graduated high school, I really wasn’t sure what career path I would take. I was working for a top show kennel at the time and that’s when I met some friends who were Animal Health Technicians. One graduated from Centralia and the other from St. Clair. I had never heard of the animal health technician occupation prior to this. I decided to volunteer at a mixed animal practice and well, the rest is history.
What is your current job(s)? When did you start it?
I’m currently the Marketing Manager in the Professional Division at Royal Canin Canada. I’ve been in this position for over a year now. Prior to this I was a Sales Representative in the Professional Division for 9 years. Before I joined Royal Canin, I worked in many facets of the veterinary industry, small and large animal practice, emergency medicine, pet insurance as the national breeder manager and the Ontario Veterinary College, Veterinary Teaching Hospital in diagnostic imaging specializing in ultrasound. In my spare time, which is rare, I breed and show Labrador Retrievers. I’m doing less of it now that I’m a licensed Canadian Kennel Club judge as it requires a lot of traveling. I’ve traveled to South Korea, Pakistan, Brazil and the UK. This year I’ve been invited to judge the National Dog Show in Philadelphia, PA which is a real honour. Hopefully, I’ll be able to cross the border.
What made you want to pursue this position?
I was a sales representative for 9 years so it was a natural progression to a marketing role. I was fortunate to have a line manager who gave me the opportunity to learn and grow so I could gain experience for a marketing role.
What is a typical day like for you at work?
I usually connect with all the sales reps throughout the day on where I can support them in their territories. I manage the budget, forecasting, prepare for product launches, work with supply & planning and quality management. I also support and consult with the other marketers on campaigns throughout the year.
What is your favourite part about your job?
I thrive on being busy which I believe goes back to my clinic days. I’m usually in meetings all day or on the phone with the sales reps. There’s always something new and exciting happening every day which is what I love the most. I’m always look innovation and creative ideas to support our partners.
What is the hardest part about your job?
I wish I had more time in the day to get things done. I feel like I have a lot to do with so little time. While most of my friends are discussing retirement, I feel like I’ve just begun.
How has being an RVT helped you in your role? Do you feel like you are using a lot of your RVT skills and training?
Honestly, I feel my RVT background has given me a huge advantage. Although, I don’t use my technical skills anymore (except on my own pets), my knowledge has been beneficial when developing marketing assets, working cross-business or supporting the sales reps. We ensure education is a priority for our prescribers and consumers, therefore I’m always involved in the development of these tools.
COVID-19 has amplified stress in everyone’s lives. How has this impacted your role? And if so – what specific tools are you focusing on when helping individuals or teams through the stress of COVID-19?
Covid-19, has definitely impacted my role. Instead of meetings in the office, everything is virtual. In the beginning it was new and fun, but I find as the days in lockdown continue, it gets a lot harder to concentrate while you’re in virtual meetings all day long. I’m aware some of my co-workers are struggling, so I make a habit of checking in on them while others do for me in return.
RVTs are passionate people, and every RVT has an area they are most passionate about (nutrition, research, spay/neuter, dog bite prevention, education, etc.). What is YOUR passion?
I have passion for many things and some have changed over the years. Reproduction has always been my interest, large animal medicine and small animal nutrition. Overall, education has been significant in all my roles so I would have to rate it as #1. I wholeheartedly support mentorship and I’m always open to assisting anyone who asks. My advice to others – if you feel you need a role change, go for it. The Veterinary Technician career is full of amazing opportunities. Change is scary but challenge is interesting and rewarding.