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Penn c/o 2016 applicants

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by StartingoverVet, Jul 23, 2011.

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  1. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    It's that time of year again.... so I will start off the Penn application thread for this cycle. This is a good place for you to ask questions of current Penn students as well as to share questions, problems, anxieties, etc with your fellow applicants.

    I highly recommend you look through the past cycles, because you will see that a lot of your issues and concerns tend to repeat.

    2015 applicant thread:
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=752640&highlight=penn c/o

    2014 applicant thread:
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=677647&highlight=penn c/o 2014
  2. Bisbee

    Bisbee

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    I'm thinking of applying to Penn because I think they take a lot of OOSers and I want to stay in the Northeast if possible. How do you like the program, the professors, the atmosphere? Are they non-traditional student friendly or do they assume you're an "old idiot" and patronize you until you prove them wrong? Very blunt questions, but it's good to know before you go, right?
  3. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    Penn has a very large non-traditional segment. I am the oldest in my class and can't say I have noticed any different treatment. I probably bring up my age more than anyone else.

    I also think the students here are pretty amazing. I think the adcom has done a good job of getting a good mix of students and really good people at that. Seems to be a lot less drama here (compared to some programs), and a supportive one at that.

    Penn is a bit of a traditional program and perhaps more resistant to change than some other schools. The faculty themselves complain about the difficulty of making any changes. They have slowly been adding more clinical time to 1st and 2nd years and doubt that trend will change whilst keeping a traditional lecture style. Attendance at lectures is (mostly) optional and lectures are all recorded(that is not the case at every school) which is a big plus for me.

    I have mixed thoughts on the instructors.... it seems I pretty much like all of the instructors from the clinical side and have mixed feelings on the professors on the research side. Still, I doubt it is much different than any other place.
  4. Bismarck

    Bismarck Cornell c/o 2016

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    SOV, I am applying for the combined program (VMD/PhD) this fall. How have your interactions with students in that program been? How about the research side of things in general?
  5. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    I am not too knowledgeable about the combined program. I know of 3 people (1 1st year, 1 2nd year, and 1 3rd year) in the program, but don't have much specific to say. I do know it is pretty competitive, but I am sure you know that! They all seem to be pretty comfortable with the program so far.

    Penn is a research institution first and foremost (not just the vet school), and really first class across the board. There are a ton of research opportunities here, you just need to do a minimum of effort to get involved. A lot of my classmates are doing research at Penn over the summer (and elsewhere of course).
    A majority of the faculty is research-oriented so it is not hard to find someone in your area of interest. They usually love even to just talk about what they are doing.

    Personally, if research is your thing, I couldn't imagine a much better place. Penn has lots of resources, has a great medical facility literally a block away (that just got a ton of new $$$$), and other top schools as well if you have some niche interest.

    Wish I could be of more help. Hopefully some research-oriented classmates can add something else.
  6. Bismarck

    Bismarck Cornell c/o 2016

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    Thanks for the reply. From the three programs I'm eyeing, (Cornell, and NC State being the other two), Penn seemed like they had the most invested toward student success, resources in the research area. They also are looking to take on a greater number of students in the upcoming years it seems.
  7. CurrySpice

    CurrySpice

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    Thanks for the links! I will check out those if I get an interview at Penn...may be a little too painful otherwise. I also found the thread on interview invites to be useful for getting an idea of when I may hear back from my schools. I spent a few weeks interning at New Bolton and those facilities are AMAZING! The equine surgery unit had a huge caseload. Now if only we could transport the UPenn campus from west philly it would be perfect...
  8. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    You mean if only we could transport New Bolton to West Philly it would be perfect :p

    I'll try to help you guys out with questions too (I'm in SOV's class).
  9. CurrySpice

    CurrySpice

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    NOOOOO!!!!!!! People don't get shot in Kennett Square :(
  10. Bisbee

    Bisbee

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    SOV...thanks for the info. You are great to start the thread and offer your help!
  11. ontarioprevet

    ontarioprevet

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    Thanks! The links are really helpful!
  12. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    For one thing, Penn Vet is not in West Philly per se. It is considered University City. Even where I live, 8 blocks west of the vet school, is barely considered West Philly. For another thing, the Fresh Prince song isn't really accurate - if you're going to live in Philly it's better West than South or North. And lastly, most of the violence is not random and if you're not owing people money for drugs it's very unlikely that someone's going to be chasing you around with a gun.

    Also, I bet Kennet Square doesn't have a spicy tofu hoagie for $3.80 just down the street. I'm willing to risk it :D
  13. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    :thumbup:
  14. Niri

    Niri

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    Well Kennett Square has more cows. And I'd be willing to be that a lot of suburbanities would still be willing to bring small animals to Kennett Square so that caseload would not necessarily suffer.

    It sounds to me like you're more of a city person than I am, but big city living is a mega concern for me, especially having grown up in a Philly suburb, and as currently attending a land grant school. How do you keep cost of living down with being in Philly? Also do you have classmates that don't keep cars? And would they recommend it, or do they hate depending on others or zipcars?
  15. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    I would say the majority of classmates do not have cars. Really, you are going to spend most of your time going back and forth to class and doing stuff in the area. There is the occasional trip to center city which is really convenient from Penn. People car pool when we need to go out to New Bolton.

    Personally, I can't see how my life would be that different wherever I lived in school. Classes/studying just dominate your time. Depending on what you do for fun, it just doesn't matter that much.

    Crime is really not a concern if you live near campus. There is security everywhere, and other than a break in or stolen bicycle it doesn't impact students much. I went here as an undergrad, and in all my years in the area, the crime issue is way overblown here (mostly by over-protective parents).

    Cost of living? I am probably the wrong one to ask as I came from Los Angeles which is much more expensive. Most students share houses/apartments, eat a lot of free lunches at school lunch talks, and many end up with part time jobs to supplement income. Other than that, it is not much different than any other vet student scraping by on student loans. Penn is expensive, there is no getting around it!
  16. CurrySpice

    CurrySpice

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    Haha, yum!!!

    I was mostly kidding. I grew up in Philly suburbs, taking the R5 to hang out in university city. It's a fun area, but I loved my little college town where I could go take a walk at 2 am with my iPod blaring and not worrying about anything. If you're sensible it's as safe as cities get. I get really turned around in cities so my mom drew me a map when I was a teen with all the "bad" parts of Philly circled in red. It's pretty hilarious! I think Penn area was designated "safe" by her as long as I stayed below 40th street.

    Do you know anyone who does Philly car share? I've heard great things about it from adults, but it seems rather cost-prohibitive to take all the way to Kennett Square.
  17. NStarz

    NStarz Ohio State c/o 2016

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    I'm actually going to visit Penn tomorrow to get a tour and hang out with Roseann to chat about admissions! Wish me luck <3
  18. GellaBella

    GellaBella Penn Vet V'14

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    Research at Penn is amazing. The research was the aspect of the school that made Penn my first choice, and I'm so glad that I'm here. What is really great is that there is just so much research to choose from. As SOV mentioned, you have the potential to get involved in research in any of the labs on campus...whether they're in the vet school, or in the medical/dental/undergraduate school/Wistar Institute/Children's Hospital of Philadelphia etc.

    Right now I'm doing summer research studying genetic diseases in dogs, but I've also worked for a lab in the radiology dept in the medical school. Really the opportunities here are amazing. It's just so wonderful to have so many great opportunities in such a small area.
  19. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    luck
  20. laitmanvet

    laitmanvet RVC c/o 2015

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    I have Philly Car Share. It really wouldn't be great for day trips to Kennett Square. Its at least 50-80 for a whole day rental and around 5-8 an hour. Its great for trips to the food store/ikea/target/etc. which may only take a few hrs. Plus with every rental you only get like 70 miles with it, and then you pay per mile after that. (I don't know how far Kennett Square is round trip)

    A cheaper option for daily car rentals are enterprise or the usual rental places. Its like 40/day with no milage limit. And there are a few enterprise locations in center city. But from what I've heard, getting a carpool out to NBC isn't a problem when your whole class has to go out there.
  21. GellaBella

    GellaBella Penn Vet V'14

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    This is correct. When we are required to go out to NBC we have an online scheduling system (just Google spreadsheet) that has all the people with cars listed and how many people they can take and students can then sign up to ride with whoever they want.

    There are also emergency shadowing opportunities out at NBC during the week and weekend, and similarly, there is almost always someone with a car heading out there who is willing to drive.

    For a lot of the NBC rounds, that is telecast into the Philly campus, so you can "attend rounds" at NBC as a first or second year while sitting in a classroom in philly.
  22. BlacKAT33

    BlacKAT33 UPenn c/o 2014!! :)

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    Hello everyone! I don't have much more to add to SOV, gella, or bunnity.
    There are so many research opportunities, anyone who wants a job in research can find a lab easily. I'd say I like 90% of the professors. There were only a few profs I didn't like this year. I've enjoyed the amount of clinical experience I have gotten so far. Changes in curriculum are happening slowly. I don't think Penn will ever do a 100% change in one year like Illinois did recently. But each department is making changes every year. Next year neuroscience will be really different, the new course organizer is redoing the curriculum for it over the summer.
    I love living in university city. I walk to center city all the time. I don't have a car and I'm doing fine without one!
  23. ontarioprevet

    ontarioprevet

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    Studying genetic diseases in dogs sounds so interesting! It sounds like getting involved in research at Penn is quite easy- which is really great!

    Do you find that there are opportunities to get involved with shelter/low income clinics? I am quite interested in shelter medicine and I figured living in a metropolitan area you would likely be in closer proximity to such organizations.
  24. GellaBella

    GellaBella Penn Vet V'14

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    YES!

    So we have lots of great shelter opportunities here and I don't even know most of them because I haven't gotten super involved yet. I know that there is a no kill shelter called PAWS that lets Penn Vet students come in throughout the week. On saturdays (the only days I've been so far) it's their low cost spay/neuter clinic for cats. Students in their first two years do the PEs and prep the cats and then upperclassmen who have passed surgery can spay cats (first and second years can neuter cats if they show they can tie the proper knots etc). It's a really great opportunity and you get lots of surgical skills practice. A similar set up apparently happens at ACCT but there there are dogs and cats that you're allowed to neuter or spay (not sure, I haven't been there yet). There are also opportunities at the PSPCA.

    So yeah, there are lots of shelter med opportunities and its mutually beneficial because you get to help the animals but you are also getting tons of experience with PEs, and surgical skills.
  25. sunnex3

    sunnex3 PennWe c/o 2016!

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    yeah there are definitely tons of shelter opportunities! one of the things i love most about Penn Vet. I did my undergrad here and there were even opportunities for us to get involved at PAWS and PSPCS as volunteers. I've been blessed with the opportunity to volunteer/work at an amazing no-kill shelter in DC which has really helped me develop my love for shelter medicine and one of my long terms goals is to establish my own no-kill shelter/low cost clinic in South Korea where there is a huge stray problem, so i'm really loving Penn as my top choice for vet school right now...the $$ on the other hand is going to be an issue...:eek:
  26. ontarioprevet

    ontarioprevet

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    I have a similar dream- except mine is to do low cost/shelter work in the Caribbean!
  27. sooprnova

    sooprnova Penn c/o 2016!

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    Just wanted to bump this to say good luck to my fellow UPenn c/o 2016 applicants!
  28. orca2011

    orca2011 PennWe c/o 2016!!! Gold Donor

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    Hey everyone!

    Just wanted to say hi and meet some potential classmates. I'm a second round applicant and was #2 on their instate wait list which was a little frustrating finding out I was that close. Haha. I really enjoyed Penn when I visited so I'm hoping it will work out this time. Good luck everyone!
  29. coatofmanycolor

    coatofmanycolor

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    Hi.
    I've applied to Penn too (my instate). This is my first time applying.
    Good luck.
  30. sooprnova

    sooprnova Penn c/o 2016!

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    I just wanted to say that I really appreciated you posting your stats in the "What Are My Chances?" thread. I really hope the second time is a charm for you!
  31. sunnex3

    sunnex3 PennWe c/o 2016!

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    this might sound like a weird question, but for the interview do you know beforehand who the student leader of your interview group is going to be?
  32. BlacKAT33

    BlacKAT33 UPenn c/o 2014!! :)

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    Nope. You get the paper when you arrive and that tells you which group you're in, but even that doesn't say the student leader who takes the group. I'm honestly not even sure if they assign the student leaders to a particular group or if they just split up that day and randomly take groups out. But they do know which groups have the tour first or second.

    If you're asking so that you can look up the student leaders name/interests to have questions prepared that isnt really a problem. Usually any of the leaders will be able to answer your questions and they all wear name tags so you can address them by name.
  33. sunnex3

    sunnex3 PennWe c/o 2016!

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    this is more of a personal issue for me, as one of the students (who is a first year right now) has some "bad blood" with me and i do not want someone to be unprofessional and say bad stuff about me to the admissions committee -- i can put it behind me but not sure if this certain person can...
  34. pooter

    pooter PennWe, 2015!

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    IIRC, there were two or three students to a group, so if you're not on the best terms with one, chat it up with the other. Also, they mingle before, during, and after interviews/tours (I think I talked to at least six students), so you have lots of opportunities to make good impressions. I think talking to the students was part of what pushed me over in the Penn vs. VMRCVM debate.
  35. Bisbee

    Bisbee

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    If you do run into the person you had an issue with, why not just say, "Hello", not in an overly fake friendly way, but just to be polite and professional and acknowledge her. You can be the bigger person by being the first to say hi. Who knows...maybe in time she will see that you're willing to put the past behind and you can shake hands and go forward with no further animosities. I know how hard this can be. But I also know how good it feels to be your best self no matter how the other person is acting. It can be very liberating. Best of luck.
  36. BlacKAT33

    BlacKAT33 UPenn c/o 2014!! :)

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    I'm sure one of the first things the admissions committee is taught is to not have personal issues reflect their opinion of a student during interviews.

    However, FIRST this person would need to run and be elected as part of the committee. Each class only gets about 3 people for this job. 3/125ish means the chances are low lol

    Second, you will be able to talk to all of the people on the admission committee. If you make a good impression with everyone else I dont think this person would feel comfortable bringing up something negative. They'd have to give a reason related directly to the interview day. If you're polite and friendly during the interview then you'll give them nothing negative to say. I think it would be pretty obvious it was a personal issue if all the students said positive things about you and one student only said negative things.
  37. sooprnova

    sooprnova Penn c/o 2016!

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  38. orca2011

    orca2011 PennWe c/o 2016!!! Gold Donor

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    No problem! I kind of just wanted to give people an idea of where I ended up based on my stats. Of course it isn't a guarantee since there a lot of other factors that go into the whole application process
  39. ponio

    ponio

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    I actually had a quick question about the Penn application process. On the supplemental they asked for the cumulative and last 45 hour GPAs. When I asked the admissions office they said to include graduate and undergraduate coursework. Are these the GPAs on the supplemental they care about most when evaluating an application? If so :D!! since my undergrad GPA is so sad when it stands alone.
  40. gracietiger

    gracietiger

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    SOV, I have a few questions based on the fact that you were debating between Penn and Davis.

    I have recently read one of your posts in which you discussed how much you like what Davis is doing with the new curriculum, and you suggested that Penn make similar changes. Given Davis' overhaul of the curriculum, do you believe Davis would have been a better academic fit for you? Do you ever second-guess your decision to attend Penn, being about one year into your studies? There is no doubt that you are receiving a phenomenal education at Penn, and would have also at Davis, but I am wondering if you ever feel that Davis would have offered you a more suitable learning environment with its very different curriculum? In other words, would you still have selected to attend Penn? If not, what is it about Penn that makes you really happy with your decision?
  41. phaedraeos

    phaedraeos Penn c/o 2015!

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    I think they really give it merit. My undergrad GPA was pretty puny but my graduate GPA (24 credits worth) brought it up to something competitive :)
  42. ponio

    ponio

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    Awesome! I am in the same situation so I am really happy to hear that. Also, re-reading my question I realize that it barely sounds like English. Sorry... I'm a bit frazzled these days.
  43. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    Really good question.... and I am not sure I have a satisfying answer. In the end, personal (non-academic) factors played a very large role in my final decision, although I did also feel like Penn had the "best fit" for me.

    I don't think I would still say Penn had the "best fit", but I may still may have thought it had a better fit. Really hard for me to say. It was a hard decision then, and I guess it would be harder now.

    I also thought Davis' tuition would continue rising at a very high rate and that has not been the case (as much as I thought). Neither school is cheap. Obviously if you are in-state at one, you may be better served to stay there.

    In the end, I am not sure my decision is all that relevant. The schools have different strengths and weaknesses and you have to see which plays best to your needs. Some of which are:

    Penn has probably the highest caseload in the country which opens a lot of possibilities but that caseload is decreasing (I assume as it is elsewhere)..... Probably that is more important for internships and residencies though.

    Both schools have great research ops, but I would give Penn the advantage simply because of some opportunities at the Med School which is indisputably the best at a school with a vet school.

    I think Davis' new curriculum is a much better approach than Penn's.

    I think Penn's New Bolton Center is really a better choice for Equine people (if a bit of a pain to get to).

    I think they are both great schools with great students from what I have seen. These are just my impressions and all points are potentially debatable.

    Lastly, if I knew it was going to snow so much in the winter, and rain every other time of the year so much I may have had second thoughts. Honestly. My dogs don't get out too much, even when I have the time!

    Oh by the way, having some medical issues now, I have to say it is pretty nice to use Penn's medical facilities. They have to be the nicest ones I have ever seen. If only the vet school had a drop of that money!
  44. Bisbee

    Bisbee

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    Hi Everyone,
    I just wanted to mention that I recently contacted Penn's admissions office about tracking our documents to know if they've arrived. Roseanne said that they are bombarded with transcripts right now, so when they catch up they will send us all an update in November to let us know if everything has arrived. If anything is missing, they will give us a chance to have them resent without penalty. It was a concern of mine, so I'm sure others will be glad to hear this, too.
  45. sooprnova

    sooprnova Penn c/o 2016!

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    Thanks for the update! November...gosh, that seems so far away. I'm hoping to keep busy enough that the waiting game doesn't kill me!
  46. SpartanScience

    SpartanScience

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    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I am a little nervous now as I just read that the supplemental and fee should be there by Oct 3rd, but I originally took it as postmarked. Ohhh no, what have I done?! I mailed it yesterday (Friday). -.-
  47. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,959
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    where did you mail it from?
  48. SpartanScience

    SpartanScience

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    16
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
  49. Bisbee

    Bisbee

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Messages:
    947
    Location:
    Finger Lakes
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Maybe since the admission office is so backed up with all the mail coming in, they won't worry too much or even notice if it gets there a day late.
  50. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,472
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    yeah true that. vet schools tend to be pretty laid back about these things anyway in general.

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