The Vet Reflections concept was created by Lidiia Alaverdova DVM in May 2019 to spark positive incremental transformations in the veterinary profession by nurturing entrepreneurial mindset among broader vet community. She was on top of the gorgeous mountain in Swiss Alps, at the bottom of the burnout and took her first step towards her dream.
She craved a community to embrace the highs and the lows of entrepreneurship specific to vet med, practice reflective learning, design thinking, innovation frameworks, all things digital and above all kindness.
The basis of her idea is to run micro-community projects and challenges to address a variety of issues faced daily by vet professionals, as well as pursue great ideas together. Members get to learn about entrepreneurship and various frameworks while solving challenges they care for. A designated VetMarketSpace will serve as a platform to showcase the work, get side income and support other vet professionals by trading or selling skills, support and products. There are more sparks to come:)
Vet Med is full of brilliant minds and has a massive entrepreneurial potential. As a result of our work, we aim to create positive inspirational stories, actionable vet reflections and a sense of fulfillment.
Who the …. is Lidiia?
Lidiia Alaverdova DVM (also known as Li or Lidiya) is a generally happy human, although some people explicitly call her a unicorn. She is an energetic, purpose & people-driven leader with veterinary background & well over 12 years [but who is counting…] of awesome experiences in the large FMCG companies. She has done her time in professional affairs, traditional & digital marketing, innovation and e-commerce. She believes big things start from smallest steps and she is ready to take on new opportunities. If you want to know more – keep on reading.
Born and raised in Kiev, Ukraine [which is an achievement in itself, no?] by a family of super smart engineers [now you know where she gets it from…] and an amazing older sister.
She received her veterinary degree with honors [and some champagne] from the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine in 2007.
Lidiia has always been passionate about making a difference and so she does what she loves, when she loves it and how she loves it. She gives it all.
Her path is diverse & full of amazing experiences.
Volunteer. Interpreter. Merchandiser. Office manager. Marketing & Regulatory Associate (Pfizer Animal Health). Chief editor for a professional veterinary magazine in Ukraine . Practicing veterinarian (not long enough, but just enough to know how it feels). Veterinary Affairs Manager (Hill’s). Brand Manager in Global Marketing Innovation (Hill’s). DVMom once. DVMom twice. Senior Brand Manager Europe (Hill’s). And lately – career break, tons of learning, coaching and the Vet Reflections side hustle.
Lidiia worked in various roles, countries and continents over the years with stories and reflections enough to write a novel, which one day – she just might. It just may not be a book.
She fails all the time, but if you ask Lidiia she will focus on the learnings. Lots and lots of learnings. If she can’t convince you, she will definitely attempt to confuse you. You have been warned.
Lidiia has a strong passion for people, beautiful organisational cultures, bullshit-free communication, entrepreneurship, creative work, design thinking, innovation, leadership and anything digital.
Her 2 biggest achievements to date are her kids or the little human monsters, as she likes to call them.
She has been granted some awards over the years too, from ‘The Future of Veterinary Medicine Award’ by Ukrainian Veterinary Association 2007 to ‘Hill’s You Can Make A Difference Award’ for leading a company wide effort to understand and engage with Millennial Female Veterinarians. Well future is already here, it is just not evenly distributed [said by someone way smarter then Lidiia]. She has successfully completed a ton of projects, developed new products and programs online & offline and helped people & pets.
Lidiia is an engaging facilitator and speaker for big & small audiences, has entrepreneurial mindset and what many describe as ‘unlimited energy and positivism’. She speaks English, Ukrainian, Russian, a tiny bit of German & Czech. Sometimes she speaks too much (but she is working on that).
Her purpose is to connect, inspire and energise those around her to feel happy, fulfilled and safe, so that together we all can chase unlimited opportunities and create a better future for everyone.
In her free time (if such thing even exists) she loves travelling and hanging out with friends, as well as strangers:).
How it all happened in her own reflections?
Once upon a time, when I was a young exhausted first-time mother I had a special moment. The one that remains vivid in my memory despite years passing by. The moment that some will call THE ZERO MOMENT OF TRUTH. It was 8 something pm and I had almost won the sleep battle with my baby-girl. And there I was lying on the floor by her crib in the dark. It has been over 1 hour battle and finally she started to settle. I had to stay quiet for what felt as eternity. In this quiet, dark room my thoughts became louder and louder in my head, so suddenly I could not ignore them. And then the most amazing thing happened – a reflective conversation with myself. It felt freeing and empowering. And in that moment I truly discovered the power of reflections. I was awaken. Well, literally, by my husband who wanted me to empty the dishwasher. Ha-ha.
The process I used to refer to as a ‘crock-pot in my mind…with thoughts simmering until they were done’, actually has some solid neuroscience behind it. But for me it is simply a way of ‘processing my day’ and be at peace with myself. So I too can enjoy life more abundantly!
It has been years now. 5 years to be specific. The sleep battle goes on, now with the baby boy. And my reflective conversation with myself also sticked around. Occasionally I doze off too. Maybe it is my age or whatever. Maybe it is the weight of responsibilities I carry with me. Good solid doze is good. But that time to step back and think about my day in the context of a bigger picture is priceless. It gives me time to concentrate on those small wishes, that one day would result in big things.
As I would carefully lay each day to rest (alongside my human monsters) and once I’ve processed it, discovered what I need to learn, savored the joyful moments and making memories and massaged the things that need to change, then I felt free to let the things in the day go that need to be let go such as frustrations, and keep those that are worth keeping. Now, it doesn’t work 100%, some things are hidden too deep. But it is like closing the chapter on negative thinking and keeping the positive, but deliberately focusing on it.
As a result – all these magnificent (and not so much) ideas were popping in my head. One of those ideas was to elevate entrepreneurship among vet professionals.
So how did the Vet Reflections concept came up. For years I was both challenged and driven by the desire to address the multiple reflections of myself (the vet, the mom, the spouse, the friend, the marketeer, the innovator, the creator, the speaker, the facilitator, the teacher). I always looked for any opportunity to RE-VET the old ways of doing things in our profession and bring new angles, different perspectives. I wanted to experiment and make positive changes. At the end of the day, reflection is the change in direction if you consult Google:).
Some of my passions were realized through my professional carrier, but there are still many wishes in my books.
My own Vet Reflections helped me determine direction, perspective, and gain fulfillment by celebrating moments of value I otherwise tend to miss in going too fast.
Those Vet Reflections guided me in the moments of doubt (am I still a vet or did I give it up along the way?, do I have what it takes?, am I good enough?), difficulties (how do I better integrate family, me time and work?, how do I keep my head up and don’t loose my cool? how do I solve this puzzle? sh** – what now?).
My own Vet Reflections helped me see that the directions, angles and possibilities are unlimited. And I can follow my own path by getting better each and every day. By learning various concepts, frameworks and methodologies and layering them over many years of experiences.
Vet Reflections is what helped me shift from ‘I can’t do it’ to ‘I can’t do it yet, but I can learn or just try’. That was a truly freeing framework.
So one day, I decided to put my unpolished, unfiltered, full of typos, full of love and joy Vet Reflections out there for everyone in hopes that even if I can’t change the world yet, I sure did tried.
I have watched, followed, admired and learned from others who give back by doing some amazing things. I sure do hope you are part of many of those communities. I certainly am. There is a place for everyone under the sun and only by continuously working together, by partnering, encouraging each other and leveraging every angle there is we can move our profession forward to a happier place. The more of us think this way, the faster we will see those positive changes happening.
Alone I feel small, but together with like-minded & diverse people, like you, we can dream and make things happen together.
P.S. I really wish you join the Vet Reflections community.