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What are my chances?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by jtom, 05.12.11.

  1. jtom

    jtom

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    Hey guys I was wondering if you could give me any advice on how to improve my application for this cycle. I am a non traditional student and had to take a few pre-reqs to be considered last year. I applied last year and got interviewed and waitlisted at tennessee and also waitlisted at UF.

    25 years old, male, Florida resident

    Degrees:
    B.S. in Biology, University of South Florida

    Cum GPA: 3.69
    Science GPA:3.5
    (I took microbiology in the fall and biochemistry this spring, received A's.


    Veterinary Experience:
    - 717 hours experience SA
    - 1183 hours experience LA

    I work at a mixed animal practice and am classified as a large animal technician but obviously do small animal when we are not out in the field.

    Animal Experience:
    - 1570 hours volunteering at a theraputic riding facility for disabled children and the elderly.

    Letters of Recommendation
    -University of South Florida Professor
    -Jacksonville University professor
    -Veternarian I work for
    -Owner of the riding facility

    GRE: 1110: 540 verbal; 570 quant. I am currently enrolled in a kaplan course and will be retaking it just before the deadline this summer.

    My concerns:

    -Basically all of the vet experience is from one clinic. I shadowed at a few clinics but only accumulated maybe 100 hours from them before working at this clinic. I have tried to find other vets but I really enjoy working here because we see all species. I have looked for strictly LA vets but my mixed animal vet pretty much has a monopoly on the region.

    -All of my animal experience if from this riding facility. I love working there, it is really rewarding and it combines animal experience with community service/extracurriculars.

    -I have no other extracurriculars other than the community related service I perform at the riding facility. I basically spend all my time between the clinic and at the riding facility.

    I think I have strengthened my application since last year, I had about 900 hours vet experience and applied with no animal experience whatsoever. I am hoping to have significantly more hours once I apply again in october.

    I am applying this year to: UF, Tenn, Tufts, UPENN, Cornell and definetly a few other schools. My obvious number one is my IS (UF) but I really like Tufts and it is my top OOS school.

    Im sure I have left some things out so please ask me anything.

    Thank you so much!
  2. heylodeb

    heylodeb UC Davis c/o 2015 :)

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    sounds like you've already found some weaknesses and strengthened quite a few of them?

    Now develop a plan to change the ones you haven't. (vary experience - perhaps go on an international trip?)
    drbd likes this.
  3. juno10

    juno10

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    GPA CUM 3.08
    REQ 2.48:thumbdown:thumbdown
    LAST 45- 3.34

    Experience- 2500 hrs as veterinary assistant
    300 hrs as Penguin Colony Intern at NEAQ
    35-40 hrs at a therapeutic riding center

    GRE- Powerprep Test 1 V690 Q690
    Average of 7 practice tests: V 660 Q 690

    I will be taking the GRE in a couple days, hence my freak-out attack. I know that my GRE scores will have to be superb to make up for my terrible GPA. My GPA does not reflect my intelligence, in fact, I was diagnosed with ADD after I graduated from college and proceeded to get a 3.6 (all in required science courses) from Harvard Ext. School. I sincerely wish I could go back and attack undergrad all over again...

    Anyway, can someone please be honest with me? Do I stand a chance?
  4. 2short4life

    2short4life

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    I'd like to think if a person is motivated enough then there is always a chance. Your GPA is on the lower end of the spectrum but a person getting into a vet school with a low GPA is not unheard of. You should definitely try to improve it as much as possible though.

    It won't exactly balance out but you should try to improve other areas to stand out (GRE, experience, etc.).

    Also, have you thought about going overseas? It'll probably be more expensive but I've heard good things about some schools.
  5. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    Any way we could consolidate all the "what are my chances" threads?
  6. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers Throw the ball throw the ball THROW THE BALL Gold Donor

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    It's a general side product of this time of year. They die down after a while.

    OP, you can't have any lower than a C- in required courses for most schools. With a GPA like that, have you met that requirement?
  7. juno10

    juno10

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    One semester of inorganic chem is lower then C- so I will probably have to retake it.
  8. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers Throw the ball throw the ball THROW THE BALL Gold Donor

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    You will. And I kinda meant anything a C- or lower... some schools will take a C- but most want a C or above.

    I think you might need to try and re-take some classes you did poorly in and ace them, or take some classes that will replace them as requirements (and ace them).

    Here's a sample from Ohio's website:

    You may run into different versions of this in several places. And if you don't make the cutoff, you are out. Like, no consideration, just... out. And if I sound mean at all (I'm not trying to!) then please note, I had this happen to me a couple times during this last application cycle, so that why I'm making it so clear. There are no exceptions (unless a program is in place for that).
  9. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    Only if we can consolidate the "debt", "experience classification" and "file review aftermath" ones also.
  10. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    all for it :D
  11. HopefulAg

    HopefulAg Texas A&M CVM c/o 2014! Gold Donor

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    Only thing I was going to say was re-take the GRE, but you got that underway.

    But good GPA and hours and all that good stuff. You may try to get a job at a different clinic if possible since they like to see that, but if you've got a good thing going don't drop it just for that. It's certainly not going to disqualify you and may not even count against you, just depends on who looks at your application.
  12. jtom

    jtom

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    I could look again for shadowing/job at another clinic. Last year I handed out my resume to 78 clinics (yes, 78) and this was the only one that took me. Now I do have more experience and have a better chance at getting a job somewhere else this year. However, I want to be a mixed animal vet (or strictly LA) so I feel a little funny getting a part time job at a SA clinic just for application purposes but I will do it obviously if you guys feel I need to. I can definetly fit another clinic in there I would just have to cut back on my volunteer work at the riding facility.

    I think it could go either way with schools: some schools will say why did you get a job at this exclusively SA clinic when you want to do mixed/LA and some will ask me why I didnt get a job at a SA clinic to expose myself to another clinic. I guess I feel since we are also a small animal clinic that also treats all other species that I got that covered but it is up to you guys on that one.
  13. EllieGirl89

    EllieGirl89 Ohio State CVM c/o 2015!

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    The funny thing is, the more experience you have in one area on your application, the more they DON'T want to hear about it, in my experience. In my interview they were like "Okay, we KNOW you have a lot of experience with horses. Tell us about small animals." And most of the questions they asked were about my SA experience. I want to be an equine vet. But the only way I got to talk about horses was through anecdotes I used to answer some of the behavioral questions. So sometimes it works out a little strangely like that. Also, I'm not so sure that your experience just being at one clinic is that big of an issue...The majority of my experience was at just one clinic (with just over 100 hours at two other clinics combined), and both of my letters that were required to be from veterinarians were from the same clinic.

    I would say maybe take the GRE again. Your score isn't bad, but it's pretty average. I would at least try and hit the 1200 mark. Other than that, your stats look relatively competitive to me. Rethink your PS, have LOTS of people read it, and have someone proofread your supplemental essays. If it's not a financial strain (both to apply and to travel) I would consider trying for Ohio State this time around, if you can get that GRE score up. They accept up to 80 OOS students and I think you'd have a decent shot. Good luck and keep us updated!
  14. psilovethomas

    psilovethomas scoobaru

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    Right now? No, you do not stand a chance. How many credits do you have? If you have less that 80 or so, you can still raise your gpa. Retake the prereqs you got a < C in. You may even want to retake prereqs you got a C in. Do REALLY well on the GRE. Try to amp up your experience. Write a killer PS and rock your interviews. Then, you might stand a chance.
  15. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    Meh.

    You have a pretty good idea of what your chances are, or I doubt you'd be freaking out about the GRE.

    Bad grades are bad.

    Fix them, or compensate for them in another way, or you'll be wasting a years worth of money and application anxiety.

    If you look in the 'accepted stats' thread, there are several people with low GPAs, but they have balanced out that deficiency with thousands of hours of specific experience, advanced degrees or success in other fields.
  16. dyachei

    dyachei vet pirate zombie Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    This thread is a place for new or re-applicants to ask what their chances are to get into vet school. All questions regarding this topic should be asked in thread.
  17. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    wow my wish has been granted :eek::D

    @juno10: I would say keep taking classes and do well in them. I think their big question is going to be: can you handle a vet school curriculum (ie 30 science credits a semester). Right now they will not think you can handle it. So you need to take upper level classes in those subjects you had a hard time with, and do amazingly in them. So if you did badly in bio classes, take upper level bio classes to show you can handle them. You should probably at some point take a full semester and do well in that so they know you can handle more than just one class at a time.

    Another option is to give it a few years and then re take everything and apply to the schools that do grade forgiveness that ignore all grades older than a certain amount of years. The downside is that you have to retake everything that's a pre-req but you get a fresh start on your GPA. Anyone remember which school this is?
  18. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers Throw the ball throw the ball THROW THE BALL Gold Donor

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    Ooo, fancy.

    Posters, make sure you direct your comments at someone since the thread is now shared.
  19. laitmanvet

    laitmanvet RVC c/o 2015

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    I think Minnesota told me this when I had a file review. They said I should retake the prereqs I got Cs in and they said the grades would be replaced when they look at my prereq science GPA.

    But honestly, they were the only school who told me this. In fact, most schools discouraged me from re-taking the prereq classes, mentioning that it would be more impressive if I took harder, new science classes and got As.
  20. that redhead

    that redhead MMXV

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    There are a handful of us here that got in with much lower than average GPAs (search for the successful applicants threads to see people's distribution). My numbers are similar to yours (cGPA a bit lower at the time of application) with higher vet and aniaml experience and I was rejected from all seven US schools I applied to but accepted at an accredited Canadian school (AVC) that looked at a different combination of courses and gave me something around a 3.5 GPA. So it's all about applying intelligently.

    I think that it's good that you've been able to take courses and succeed after your ADD diagnosis - were these upper level science courses/pre-reqs? If so you may be able to make a case for yourself that you are now able to handle the tough science courses. It may take your more than one try to get in, and you may want to consider a Carribean school that looks more hollistically at applicants.
  21. dyachei

    dyachei vet pirate zombie Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Welcome!:D
  22. MeowDr

    MeowDr

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    Michigan State may be the only one that does this, but you can go to their website and calculate your Scholastic Indicator Score that they use to rank applicants:

    http://cvm.msu.edu/student-information/dvm-program-admissions/scholastic-indicator-score-calculator

    They told me during my file review that they don't consider anyone who's score is less than an 800, and I'm pretty sure you're automatically accepted if your score is over 870. MSU's one of the tougher schools to get into, but hopefully this'll give you some idea of how your GPA and GRE scores will look to them!
  23. NStarz

    NStarz Ohio State c/o 2016

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    Thanks for your help, everyone!
    Last edited: 06.01.11
  24. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    Not much, really. Your stats are already good to excellent. You want to continue to accrue veterinary hours, which you plan to do. I would try to get some specifically in the area of medicine that interests you.

    I didn't see much about other 'stuff' in life except some "etc". Any opportunities to expand that this summer?

    Frankly, it's just going to come down to how well you write your application, what your LORs say, and how well you interview. You have the basic stats in place.
  25. NStarz

    NStarz Ohio State c/o 2016

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    Thanks for the input, LIS. I have done a lot during college, but I figured that wasn't as important to list in this post than all the animal/vet-related stuff. Peer mentor, chair of waterwatch for a year, fundraising for Kortney Rose foundation among others through honor societies, created sustainability council on campus to make the campus more eco-friendly, organized trip to sustainability conference freshman year for 12 students in DC, lab assistant for freshman biology lab, organized career event for science students, among others.

    I'm really peeved that NJ got rid of all of our contract seats this year. For being the most densely populated state in the country, you'd think that they would want/need some veterinarians! :rolleyes:
  26. that redhead

    that redhead MMXV

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    To be honest, I really don't see a lot of room for improvement. The weak point is veterinary experience but you'll be increasing that this summer. Your experience (vet and animal) seem to be heavier in SA but with the equine, LA job and some wildlife thrown in I think it's not an issue. Agreeing with LIS that it'll probably just come down to your letters and PS. I really wouldn't worry about that one class, especially since it's clearly not the norm for you.
  27. CarpeDiem89

    CarpeDiem89

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    Just a thought but since this is your first cycle have you thought about preparing for your interview? Many schools weigh the interview heavily and its not like a normal job interview. They can be pretty tough especially for OOS-ers

    You should try and do some mock interviews with teachers at your school or your career office. You have a strong application and you will have to communicate that you know what vet med is about. It will help you to rock the interviews and give you confidence about your application.
  28. NStarz

    NStarz Ohio State c/o 2016

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    Thanks for your input, everyone! I am probably being overly paranoid with everything, but I've jumped on the vet school bandwagon only a couple of years ago, so I've been playing catch-up.

    I think my pre-health committee offers mock interviews, so I'll definitely take advantage of that.

    I'm going to see if I can get over to Tufts and Penn before I apply to see if they can give me some pointers on how to frame my application (application review of sorts). Those are both within driving distance for me, whereas other schools aren't so close.

    I think I need some duct tape so I stop freaking out about applying. Stupid Type A personality :rolleyes: Thanks again guys :)
  29. psilovethomas

    psilovethomas scoobaru

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    I think 870 is too low for automatic acceptance. Maybe 900+
  30. antrl

    antrl

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    Hi, sorry if I'm not doing this in the right place (if it's not I won't be offended if someone corrects my error), this is my first post ever. I just finished my second semester of my freshman year at Seton Hall University (transferring to Rutgers Newark for Zoology). I have wanted to be a veterinarian for some time, but have only started to actually work hard. My GPA is pretty good so far, 3.96 (rounded from 3.957). I have not taken any GRE's but plan to begin studying this summer. I also work about 40-60 hrs a week at a restaurant to pay for college books and supplies, gas, and utility bills around the house whenever money is too tight. The only problem i'm facing is that I have literally ZERO hours of experience at a vet or animal shelter. So even if I started doing volunteer work at an animal shelter and a few vet offices I would have about 800 hrs Vet Experience and 800 hrs Shelter experience. Is that going to have a great impact on my chances of being admitted or is it still too early to tell? Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question :thumbup:.
    Last edited: 05.17.11
  31. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers Throw the ball throw the ball THROW THE BALL Gold Donor

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    800 would be plenty, especially if you keep the GPA 3.75+.
  32. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    I think nobody is going to yell at you about whether this is the right thread or not, so don't sweat it.

    Your GPA is obviously fine. Having zero hours of vet and animal experience is a big problem. Getting 800 each is sufficient - you will find people (like me) with far less and other people with far, far less.

    Unless you're not planning to finish your B.A./B.S. I'd consider putting off the GRE for another year. One more year for things to shake out from the change to the new format.

    Spend your summers doing something interesting, community-oriented, and worth putting on your application.

    G'luck. :)
  33. pooter

    pooter PennWe, 2015!

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    The best thing you can do right now is relax. Your grades are good, and you still have plenty of time to get that experience. Thumb through the accepted students thread and you'll see that plenty of students got in with much less than 800 hours of vet experience. I was one of them, actually. Try to find a vet office that will let you volunteer, try the shelter thing, and especially keep your ears open for any unique and different animal opportunities. Something like "200 hours shelter experience, 200 hours raptor rescue, and 200 hours equine research" trumps just "800 hours shelter experience" because they're also looking for breadth and variety of experience. Have fun with it and see which areas interest you.

    Just be aware that the worst thing you can do right now is to overload yourself. You'll need time to focus on your classes and keep those grades up, because it does get harder. You're on the right track, but this is a marathon, not a sprint.
  34. teatime

    teatime UC Davis c/o 2015

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    Well said. :thumbup: When I started my pre-reqs I thought I could "bust them out" in about a year. (already had my BA in a different field) It ended up taking me 3 before I could apply. Makes it all worth it when you get accepted though. :)
  35. Fireflysushi

    Fireflysushi CSU c/o 2016!

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    Ok, I have been waiting to post until grades were in.
    CO resdident applied and was denied CSU and Washington this cycle so I plan to reapply this coming round. CSU (in the exit e-mail) said that getting large animal experience was the only thing I really should improve on.

    Just graduated with a degree in Biomedical Science and my final Gpa is a 3.595 :(. I had a 3.6 and above until this semester and recieved a C+ (my first and only C) in my capstone class. I realize having a C senior year probably doen't look the best, but I know CSU has a holistic approach to grades and I was deathly ill for six weeks at the begining of class.

    cum Gpa: 3.595 (worked all though undergrad 10-35hrs)
    GRE
    V: 590
    Q: 580
    CSU said this was fine, but I'm wondering if I should get my math up a bit

    Veterinary Experience
    350 spay and neuter clinic
    6 Zoo in France
    650 small/ exotic vet
    40 small animal rehabilitation
    20 large animal

    Animal Experience
    3000 working at animal shelters
    300 volunteering for an animal shelter
    50 Costa Rican ecology project with dolphins and tree frogs
    20 rescuing baby sea turtles in Mexico :)
    80 camp counselor at animal shelter

    Work Experience
    Research lab associate under a pHD (resulted in a publication) 3+ years
    Barista
    Leadership position welcoming new students to my college

    Volunteer
    Winter Special Olympics
    Bike Race to raise money for Children's Hospital
    helped disabled woman clean yard
    various animal shelter fundraisers

    Activities
    Pre-vet Club 3 years
    Craft Club

    I know large animal experience is my biggest weakness and I have a job doing large animal research this summer under a vet.

    My biggest concern is my C this semester. It is in an upper division science Physiology course. However I did take a graduate level physiology course last semester and received a B. Wondering if you think I need to do a Masters/ retake this class?

    Plan to apply to CSU, Royal (Dick), Royal, Washington, Western, maybe Canada. Would love to apply to Oregon but seems impossible.

    Let me know what you think!
    Thanks ya'll
  36. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers Throw the ball throw the ball THROW THE BALL Gold Donor

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    I will say this once, for everyone:

    If you have taken the old GRE and are considering a retake:

    I would suggest taking it again BEFORE it changes to a new test type in August. They way you don't have to 're-learn' anything, you can just sharpen what you studied last time, if that makes sense. However, double check that the school is okay with this - most are. If you are applying this cycle, I think you *must* take the old GRE for most schools.

    If you haven't taken the GRE yet and are not applying until next year's cycle:

    Wait to take it. Give it some time until after the new one has been going a while and the kinks are all out, unless you want to take advantage of the reduced cost during the first month or so (which is understandable).

    Just sayin'.

    To the poster above - you have some neat experience. Your GPA isn't terrible by any means. Is your required/science GPA similar? I wouldn't worry about the C - sh*t happens. It won't really raise red flags.

    Any reason you're avoiding schools not on the West coast? Just don't like the idea of going to the midwest/south or east coast? And why is Oregon impossible? And have you looked into Western's curriculum to make sure you would do well with PBL?
  37. CarpeDiem89

    CarpeDiem89

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    It is great you found some large animal experience!! This will make your application way stronger. I am honestly surprised that they didn't accept you this cycle.

    Your equine looks kinda weak in my opinion too. Since you have a whole year to work on it you should try to get a few hundred horse hours with a vet.

    Maybe you did not get in this year because of your interview? Try doing some mock interviews with your school and if you can remember any of the questions last time write them down and make sure you have a strong answer for all of them. Also, look at the SDN interview feedback part of the forum and make sure you have an answer to all the interview questions on there as well.

    I would not worry about one C. Many people get into vet school with multiple Cs. And since yours is easily explainable I would not worry. It is not like you got a C in biochem or anything.

    I agree with what TT said. Why don't you look at some other schools in the US? many of them accept an equal number of OOS as in state- like MIZZOU. Keep your options open and I am sure you will get in next cycle.
  38. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    I think there's nothing outwardly wrong with the stats you posted. Your GPA is fine; I wouldn't retake that class unless schools are telling you too. Your GRE might barely be on the low side - seems like most successful candidates are 1200+, but it doesn't seem bad (and there's at least one person that posted in the successful applicants thread with a 990).

    Have you talked to the schools that rejected you? What did they point out as weaknesses? Your base numbers seem like they ought to have been strong enough. You have far more hours of vet experience than I did, although I did have some animal experience in LA from working on a farm in the summers when I was growing up. Between SA/exotics, and those 20 LA hours, you've got some variety, though getting more LA and some equine would help.

    I'm wondering if your LORs and/or personal statement were not as strong as they should have been?
  39. Fireflysushi

    Fireflysushi CSU c/o 2016!

    Joined:
    10.06.10
    Messages:
    826
    Location:
    Fort, Collins
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Thanks for all the positive feedback.

    CSU gave me a pretty lengthy review of my application. Nothing from Washington, but I didn't ask. They said:

    Of my elORs two were excellent (sm animal vet and PI from research lab). The last (a proffesor from a class I TA'd) was good and my personal statement was good. They said I had average amount of veterinary experience.

    Overall I was a good candidate but not excellent in a year with excellent applicants blah blah blah...

    I really want to stick to schools in the US that are close to skiing as my longterm bf races proffesionaly for snowbording. Any recommendations on the east coast would be appreciated. And the European schools are just for something different. I think it would be nice to be acredited in Europe as I really want to travel.

    I have heard some pretty bad things about Western (i.e. they don't have their own hospital and experience is hard to come by). What do ya'll think?

    Thanks for all the input!
  40. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers Throw the ball throw the ball THROW THE BALL Gold Donor

    Joined:
    03.12.08
    Messages:
    14,615
    Location:
    StillH2O
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Western isn't bad. You'll get experience, hospital or not. You need to look into problem based learning - THAT will be the make-or-break factor for you. Oh, and the cost. Lol. It's 'spensive. But yeah, do your research! There are current students here to answer any questions you have once you've looked into things. Definitely do a search on the forums as well.
  41. Ben and Me

    Ben and Me

    Joined:
    03.31.08
    Messages:
    691
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    I can't recommend this enough. Treat it like an interview and make a great impression -- I'm convinced it is a big part of the reason that I'm at Penn right now.
  42. eventualeventer

    eventualeventer Bird Nerd C/O 2015

    Joined:
    03.10.07
    Messages:
    1,045
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Agreed. I still didn't get into Penn, :( but I still think it helped a lot.
  43. NStarz

    NStarz Ohio State c/o 2016

    Joined:
    09.25.09
    Messages:
    3,321
    Location:
    Ohio
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Thanks ben and me and eventualeater! This confirmed my plans :) Do you recommend calling to set up an appointment or emailing?
  44. Ben and Me

    Ben and Me

    Joined:
    03.31.08
    Messages:
    691
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    I'm pretty sure that I emailed, but I can't imagine that it matters much.

    One tip: bring a copy of your resume. I didn't. It was embarrassing. :p
  45. NStarz

    NStarz Ohio State c/o 2016

    Joined:
    09.25.09
    Messages:
    3,321
    Location:
    Ohio
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Haha okay! Thanks for the tip.
  46. kermit123

    kermit123 Cornell c/o 2018

    Joined:
    05.22.11
    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    Vancouuuuva
    Status:
    Pre-Veterinary
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    These will be my stats come September.

    Cum: 81.5%
    Science: 81.3%
    Last 60: 84%
    Last 45: 83.3%
    (School doesn't give GPAs)


    GRE: Haven't taken, top school I want doesn't require it, taking in August

    Veterinary Experience
    Will be ~200 hours in an emergency clinic

    Animal Experience
    1040 hours working at a university animal centre caring for various colonies of research animals including sheep, pigs, lizards, turtles, mice, rats and rabbits.
    300+ hours working at a university rederivation centre helping to care for the mice and operate the equipment (cage wash, autoclave)

    Work Experience
    PNE
    Sales at a gym
    Residence advisor at my university
    Front desk at a campsite
    Future Shop - Computer Sales
    Worked at least 10 hours a week throughout undergrad except in first year, full time in summers

    Volunteer
    University Museum educator

    Activities
    Recreational soccer and volleyball throughout undergrad
    Women's fraternity
    Order of Omega, Greek Honour society admitting top 3% of Greeks evaluated on leadership, scholarship and involvement


    I know my hours aren't amazing, but I have seen a lot of interesting things at the emergency clinic including endoscopy, chest tube placement, and a variety of wild and stray animals be treated. I'm hoping to be able to take time off when I finish my job term in September to either volunteer close to full time at a clinic or maybe even get a job working front desk at one.

    I think that's everything ... looking at applying to WCVM (Saskatchewan), Ross, and maybe a couple schools in Aus/UK. I can't find any US schools that take Canadians and whose required courses I took/were offered at my school. Though I'm pretty sure I would only be able to afford WCVM.
  47. thaowey

    thaowey

    Joined:
    04.24.09
    Messages:
    131
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    here it goes...

    soon-to-be 1st time app.
    Major: Zoology
    Graduating in Fall 2011

    cum & sci GPA: 2.97
    GRE [1st take given 1 week to study]: V 390 Q 660 [i know...reallyyyy bad]

    experiences:
    -300 hrs and counting veterinary, total, which includes:

    • shadowing at various small animal hospitals
    • volunteering at the UF SAH ZooMed dept. [and a bit of Int. Med & ICU]
    • 3 months "internship"/volunteer at a SAH in South Africa
    - 3 weeks at Rondevlei Nature Reserve in S. Africa working on methods for re-introduction of mammals
    - animal experience was <100 hrs, just doing kennel work, but then stopped
    - helped a grad student with his research on mating patterns of horseshoe crabs [mostly changing waters in petri dishes and going out to the field]
    - planning on volunteering at a therapeutic horse riding later on this summer...

    Extracurriculars:
    - NaviGators Club: help international students feel welcome to the university and show them the ropes and all that jazz
    - pre-vet club during freshman & sophomore yr
    - Relay for Life [2004-2008]
    - Special Olympics volunteer
    - vacation bible school leader
    - and if we can include high school stuff....

    • sophomore class treasurer
    • NHS recording secretary
    • Beta Club secretary
    • Junior Civitans member
    • Tampa Tribune Scholar [top 10 in my class]
    i know...my GPA is uber sh!tty. i mostly get B's and B-'s, and have 3 C's [Bio 1, 2, & Microbio] but i'm taking 18 credits this summer [shoot me] to try to boost it any last way that i can.

    also, i'm re-taking GRE later in June, and possibly one last time in July. i'm counting on my GRE score to save me and so i know i have to be in like...the 100th percentile! gahhh

    and i honestly don't understand how ppl have thousandssss of hours of experience...i wasn't sure of this in the beginning of college or how early i should've started preparing, and so now i'm volunteering like 15 hrs/week, and hoping i'll be able to have a "good enough" number by the end of it all

    so i guess....if i get my GRE score to be sky high and have a super awesome PS with strong LORs to back me up, do you think i could make the cut?? :]

    oh and i'm planning on applying to UF (IS), RVC (where i really want to go), Edinburgh, Glasgow, UC Davis, Iowa, Tufts, Cornell, and Auburn so far...

    any thought/comments would be helpful :]
    Last edited: 05.26.11
  48. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

    Joined:
    01.13.11
    Messages:
    10,330
    Location:
    Plymouth, MN, USA
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    People have thousands of hours because many of them have worked in the field as assistants/techs, or because they've just been at it that long. I started with virtually no vet experience and scraped together maybe 400+ by the time I applied (I forget the exact number... maybe it was a bit higher). I think you can overcome 'low' hours by having 'valuable' hours, but that's just my instinct. My hours were half shadowing, and half hands-on rehab work at the school to which I applied (which meant one of my strongest LORs was in-house, as well).

    I think, honestly, you've got a tough row to hoe to get in this year. It's not impossible, but it will be a challenge. Typically, people with a weak area balance it somehow. On your app, your GPA, GRE, and experience are all on the low side; you'll have to find some way to shine.

    So. The question really is what to do. Taking 18 credits this summer sounds tough to me, but if you can do it and get A's, then it will help - especially with any 'recent gpa' calculations (not sure which schools do that and which don't on your list). At the very least, it will show a committee that you can push through and finish strong. The low grades you mention are in entry-level science classes; does that mean you did well with the upper level classes? If that's the case, it will help. Pulling A's in things like orgo, biochem, genetics, etc., are probably convincing.

    Typically, retaking standardized tests doesn't net you a much higher score without some sort of dramatic intervention (lots of studying?). That said, I've seen posts on SDN from people who made large score jumps, so it's definitely possible. But, all things being equal, if you want your GRE score to go up, you should plan to study hard for it as opposed to just retaking and hoping for the best.

    To answer your last question: Sure. If you rock the GRE, have a great PS, get amazing LORs, do well in school this summer, and continue to acrue experience, you could make the cut.

    I don't want to sound discouraging. But I think you might need to realistically expect that it could take you another cycle while you build experience, and perhaps develop some good relationships with some vets that can write you outstanding LORs. You should apply this fall regardless; the application experience is worthwhile on its own.
  49. CarpeDiem89

    CarpeDiem89

    Joined:
    04.05.11
    Messages:
    68
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    Just a little something I noticed that may be a weak point as well. You only have 100 hours doing kennel work but then you stopped... you also have pre-vet club for only freshman and sophomore year.

    Why did you quit these things? Both of these things could have been great on an application but then you stopped doing them... I would say it looks worse to start something then stop soon after, and you have that with multiple important things. Is there anything that you have done for all four years so you can say that you stuck with a program or club or anything. Btw high school counts for very little to the admissions committee unless you did something really out of the ordinary or something that was just fantastical.

    Your grades are honestly very weak for some of the vet schools you plan on applying too. For example your in state UF is extremely hard to get into (I was looking to go there) the average gpa was around a 3.5. If you look at the stats from that school most people with below a 3.18 did not get an interview. It is extremely hard to raise your GRE score as letitsnow mentioned. Unless you can raise your gpa to around a 3.2ish then you would be in better shape. Re-take some classes, get all As in summer school, do whatever possible to raise your gpa.

    I did not start accumulating hours until I got to college and I ended up with a few thousand. It is do-able. I worked 40 hours a week every summer for different vets and I did around 10-20 hours a week while in school. You say you graduate in december? Can you take that last semester and 40-50 hours a week? That should put you in a lot better position for the next cycle. At least during the interview you can say yes I work 50 hours a week at paws and horses vet clinic. Its better then nothing :lame:

    I hope you get in but do not be too upset if you don't. Do file reviews and take the next year to work on all your weaknesses! You will get in if you are persistent and improve your application every year!

    Good luck!
  50. thaowey

    thaowey

    Joined:
    04.24.09
    Messages:
    131
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    1. i "stopped" pre-vet by not paying dues, so technically i'm not an "active" member. i still go to meetings & occasional events, but it doesn't count...oh wells.

    2. honestly, i didn't volunteer with the kennel place any more because i got bored. it's bad when you start to dread going to a place to do free work that you don't even enjoy doing. and i felt i wasn't learning anything anymore either. and so i knew i had to move on to something more challenging.

    the kennel place was my 2nd SAH volunteering at. i stopped volunteering at my 1st SAH because i did not appreciate the way the doctor treated others in the workplace, myself included. I mean, I understand you're a "doctor" and it's your business, but i don't think anyone has the right to talk to another person in a degrading mean way. so i left. and am glad i did so.

    after dealing with those instances of small animal, i realize that i couldn't do it. i guess i was just doing what us pre-vets are suppose to, get veterinary experience, and i did. i experienced SA, and figured out it wasn't for me. so i found out about the ZooMed program, and i've stuck with it for a little more than a year now, and i absolutely love it! i've also just started in the ICU to see what the diff is btwn just normal SAH, and so far, i'm really enjoying it! and so i've come to realize i have a problem: i need to do something where i feel a rush of excitement, pressure that is good, and have new challenges constantly [being new cases from diff wildlife or diff. emergencies].

    oh and haha no, i have not "stuck" with anything for 4 years. i know it's good to be consistent, but i like to try new things, so i just bounce around clubs to see what they have to offer. like, i'll go to a "Invisible Children" meeting a couple of times, or some wakeboard club meetings, but i'm not really IN it, i'm just interested in what they have to say for some meetings and events.

    thanks for the advice y'all! and haha yeah i know...i'm expecting rejection, so i'll be ok with it. but i still have a little hope for it though :]

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