PapaGuava

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Secondary prompt:
If you have already graduated, briefly (4000 characters max) summarize your activities since graduation.
If there is an important aspect of your personal background or identity, not addressed elsewhere in the application, that you would like to share with the Committee, we invite you to do so here. Many applicants will not need to answer this question. Examples might include significant challenges in access to education, unusual socioeconomic factors, identification with a minority culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Briefly explain how such factors have influenced your motivation for a career in medicine.(4000 character maximum)
Our interview season runs from mid-September through January. Please indicate any significant (three or more weeks) restriction on your availability for interviews during this period. If none, leave blank.
Good luck to everyone applying!

Interview Feedback: Harvard
 
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zinrath

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If the prompts are the same as last year, does anyone know if it is better to keep the essays short or to utilize the character count? I know different admissions committees have different preferences.
 
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If the prompts are the same as last year, does anyone know if it is better to keep the essays short or to utilize the character count? I know different admissions committees have different preferences.
Doesn't really matter, but better to not fluff it up though if what you are saying isn't significant and is just for character count
 
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Mr. Dr. Prof. Patrick

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If the prompts are the same as last year, does anyone know if it is better to keep the essays short or to utilize the character count? I know different admissions committees have different preferences.
My strategy has been to type out as much as I can, then condense it to math the character count. This maximizes information conveyed and minimizes fluff.
 
Jun 4, 2019
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Last year essay was this...for MD (not for HST or MD/PHD)

1. If you have already graduated, briefly (4000 characters max) summarize your activities since graduation.
2. If there is an important aspect of your personal background or identity, not addressed elsewhere in the application, that you would like to share with the Committee, we invite you to do so here. Many applicants will not need to answer this question. Examples might include significant challenges in access to education, unusual socioeconomic factors, identification with a minority culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Briefly explain how such factors have influenced your motivation for a career in medicine.(4000 character maximum)
3. Our interview season runs from mid-September through January. Please indicate any significant (three or more weeks) restriction on your availability for interviews during this period. If none, leave blank.


If you are not graduated yet -- Nothing for #1
Covered that in personal statement - Nothing for #2
If flexible - Nothing for #3

I am confused.. what do I say for secondary essay? Isn't this a case for many students?
 

texasvandy

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Last year essay was this...for MD (not for HST or MD/PHD)

1. If you have already graduated, briefly (4000 characters max) summarize your activities since graduation.
2. If there is an important aspect of your personal background or identity, not addressed elsewhere in the application, that you would like to share with the Committee, we invite you to do so here. Many applicants will not need to answer this question. Examples might include significant challenges in access to education, unusual socioeconomic factors, identification with a minority culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Briefly explain how such factors have influenced your motivation for a career in medicine.(4000 character maximum)
3. Our interview season runs from mid-September through January. Please indicate any significant (three or more weeks) restriction on your availability for interviews during this period. If none, leave blank.


If you are not graduated yet -- Nothing for #1
Covered that in personal statement - Nothing for #2
If flexible - Nothing for #3

I am confused.. what do I say for secondary essay? Isn't this a case for many students?
Possibly 60% of people. The 1st essay is primarily people tagged as non-traditional. AAMC states that 62% are taking gap year which seems too high.

 
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pBar

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Jul 23, 2018
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Last year essay was this...for MD (not for HST or MD/PHD)

1. If you have already graduated, briefly (4000 characters max) summarize your activities since graduation.
2. If there is an important aspect of your personal background or identity, not addressed elsewhere in the application, that you would like to share with the Committee, we invite you to do so here. Many applicants will not need to answer this question. Examples might include significant challenges in access to education, unusual socioeconomic factors, identification with a minority culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Briefly explain how such factors have influenced your motivation for a career in medicine.(4000 character maximum)
3. Our interview season runs from mid-September through January. Please indicate any significant (three or more weeks) restriction on your availability for interviews during this period. If none, leave blank.


If you are not graduated yet -- Nothing for #1
Covered that in personal statement - Nothing for #2
If flexible - Nothing for #3

I am confused.. what do I say for secondary essay? Isn't this a case for many students?
I'm an MD/PhD applicant in the same boat, I ended up leaving these three blank and will just complete the PhD portion of the secondary.
 

Wahkoon

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AAMC states that 62% are taking gap year which seems too high.
62% is not too high. It seems consistent with what I've seen at other schools, and is definitely reflective of HMS class of 2023.

does anyone know if it is better to keep the essays short or to utilize the character count?
It don't believe it matters, but make sure you aren't needlessly rambling. For prompt 1, I was at 1000 characters. For 2, I was at 3000 (which was basically an expanded version of my diversity essay).
 
Feb 20, 2019
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For their diversity prompt, I noticed that it is different from other schools since they don't count experiences as something that brings diversity. It seems to me they are looking more for people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. For my other schools' diversity prompts, I have been writing about some experiences I had working with underserved populations, since I don't come from a disadvantaged background myself. For this Harvard diversity essay, would it be better for me to just leave it blank in this case?
 
May 4, 2018
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For their diversity prompt, I noticed that it is different from other schools since they don't count experiences as something that brings diversity. It seems to me they are looking more for people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. For my other schools' diversity prompts, I have been writing about some experiences I had working with underserved populations, since I don't come from a disadvantaged background myself. For this Harvard diversity essay, would it be better for me to just leave it blank in this case?
Yeah I’m not thinking of this as a typical diversity essay. Especially with that last line, it seems like they want you to leave it blank unless you fit one of the listed examples, or if there’s something else very important.
 
Feb 20, 2019
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Yeah I’m not thinking of this as a typical diversity essay. Especially with that last line, it seems like they want you to leave it blank unless you fit one of the listed examples, or if there’s something else very important.
Ya that's sort of the vibe I'm getting too. This is the only school that I'm just leaving the secondary blank.
 
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pBar

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Ya that's sort of the vibe I'm getting too. This is the only school that I'm just leaving the secondary blank.
Agreed, I left it blank as well.
 
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Mr. Dr. Prof. Patrick

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Yeah I’m not thinking of this as a typical diversity essay. Especially with that last line, it seems like they want you to leave it blank unless you fit one of the listed examples, or if there’s something else very important.
Do y'all think first generation college (even though we were relatively well off) would be worthwhile? And potentially the unusual socioeconomic factor of having a child in school? Or is that an "unusual barrier to education"?
 
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Mr. Dr. Prof. Patrick

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It’s ok. I felt dumb because I thought what I have been through is considered “financial hardship.” It is not. Financial hardship means bankruptcy. Thankfully Moko helped me out.
I read a PS once where 'financial hardship' was their parents making them do chores in order to live rent free during college. Guy was woke AF.
 

Bioch3mistry

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I read a PS once where 'financial hardship' was their parents making them do chores in order to live rent free during college. Guy was woke AF.
.... any idea how far his application got with THAT PS? Yikes
 

texasvandy

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According to the IRS, your financial situation becomes a “hardship” if you’re unable to pay certain living expenses. These expenses must meet the “necessary expense test" which the IRS defines as the essential costs to provide for the health and welfare of you and your family as well as your production of income.
 

Mr. Dr. Prof. Patrick

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.... any idea how far his application got with THAT PS? Yikes
Read these. These are real PS from stanford students. If these guys can get in, you can too.
 

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joining in on the discussion for the second prompt..

Would it be appropriate to talk about growing up first-gen even though my app doesn't qualify as first gen? I never had anyone in my family (aunts/uncles/cousins/siblings) who went to college. But my parents went to night school and got their degrees at CC when I was finishing up high school and starting undergrad.
 
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joining in on the discussion for the second prompt..

Would it be appropriate to talk about growing up first-gen even though my app doesn't qualify as first gen? I never had anyone in my family (aunts/uncles/cousins/siblings) who went to college. But my parents went to night school and got their degrees at CC when I was finishing up high school and starting undergrad.
I’d consider you first-gen.
 
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joining in on the discussion for the second prompt..

Would it be appropriate to talk about growing up first-gen even though my app doesn't qualify as first gen? I never had anyone in my family (aunts/uncles/cousins/siblings) who went to college. But my parents went to night school and got their degrees at CC when I was finishing up high school and starting undergrad.
I'd say you are first gen. Your parents got their degrees after you already started. That is def atypical.
 
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joining in on the discussion for the second prompt..

Would it be appropriate to talk about growing up first-gen even though my app doesn't qualify as first gen? I never had anyone in my family (aunts/uncles/cousins/siblings) who went to college. But my parents went to night school and got their degrees at CC when I was finishing up high school and starting undergrad.
On a technical level, first-gen means that your parents do not have a bachelors degree. If they were taking night classes at a community college, you definitely are considered first-gen.
 
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On a technical level, first-gen means that your parents do not have a bachelors degree. If they were taking night classes at a community college, you definitely are considered first-gen.
Thanks for the reply! Sorry I should have been clearer. My parents were taking night classes at CC while I was in high school. They transferred 90 credits to a local Cal State school and earned a bachelors (my dad finished during my senior year and my mom during my soph year of college).

I guess I was just asking if it would rub anyone the wrong way to talk about my experiences being "first gen," if I'm technically not first gen according to AMCAS.
 
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Thanks for the reply! Sorry I should have been clearer. My parents were taking night classes at CC while I was in high school. They transferred 90 credits to a local Cal State school and earned a bachelors (my dad finished during my senior year and my mom during my soph year of college).

I guess I was just asking if it would rub anyone the wrong way to talk about my experiences being "first gen," if I'm technically not first gen according to AMCAS.
I definitely think it’s fine. The prompt doesn’t even specifically say “first gen.” It asks if there were any barriers to your education and I think your situation qualifies. Just my two cents.
 
Jul 12, 2018
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Thanks for the reply! Sorry I should have been clearer. My parents were taking night classes at CC while I was in high school. They transferred 90 credits to a local Cal State school and earned a bachelors (my dad finished during my senior year and my mom during my soph year of college).

I guess I was just asking if it would rub anyone the wrong way to talk about my experiences being "first gen," if I'm technically not first gen according to AMCAS.
I would personally go with what AMCAS says First-gen is...if it says your parents can't have a bachelors, and they both do, no matter when they got it you are not first-gen then. I wouldn't try to add this label just because you feel it may apply
 
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I would personally go with what AMCAS says First-gen is...if it says your parents can't have a bachelors, and they both do, no matter when they got it you are not first-gen then. I wouldn't try to add this label just because you feel it may apply
They already have access to what is on the primary, though. If they didn't want a more nuanced response, why would they ask for it in the prompt? The prompt does not specifically say first-gen.

I am answering the prompt for other reasons, but I am curious. Appreciate your input!
 

texasvandy

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would be interesting to discuss how they were going to night school while you were in high school and how it impacted you.
 
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I would personally go with what AMCAS says First-gen is...if it says your parents can't have a bachelors, and they both do, no matter when they got it you are not first-gen then. I wouldn't try to add this label just because you feel it may apply
Yea I'm not trying to apply a label, I'm just asking if it would be appropriate to discuss being raised in a family with no college degrees for this prompt. I know I'm technically not first generation for AMCAS purposes
 
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Desire1204

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Also joining the discussion for second prompt:

Do you think it's okay if I write about being an immigrant and doing middle school in a new country. My parents went to university in another country so technically I am first gen in my new Country (Canada). Is it okay if I explain this and talk about it? Or, you all think it can come off as wtf.
 
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Also joining the discussion for second prompt:

Do you think it's okay if I write about being an immigrant and doing middle school in a new country. My parents went to university in another country so technically I am first gen in my new Country (Canada). Is it okay if I explain this and talk about it? Or, you all think it can come off as wtf.
I am writing something similar; I am also an immigrant. Did you have to learn English? Because that's a good thing to mention. If you want we can exchange essays.
 
Mar 26, 2019
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Also joining the discussion for second prompt:

Do you think it's okay if I write about being an immigrant and doing middle school in a new country. My parents went to university in another country so technically I am first gen in my new Country (Canada). Is it okay if I explain this and talk about it? Or, you all think it can come off as wtf.
I think the immigrant experience is definitely something to write about
 
Jul 12, 2018
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Also joining the discussion for second prompt:

Do you think it's okay if I write about being an immigrant and doing middle school in a new country. My parents went to university in another country so technically I am first gen in my new Country (Canada). Is it okay if I explain this and talk about it? Or, you all think it can come off as wtf.
I think that's totally valid to talk about!
 
Jul 12, 2018
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Yea I'm not trying to apply a label, I'm just asking if it would be appropriate to discuss being raised in a family with no college degrees for this prompt. I know I'm technically not first generation for AMCAS purposes
Yeah you can talk about that for sure I would say, maybe just don't call yourself first gen
 
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They already have access to what is on the primary, though. If they didn't want a more nuanced response, why would they ask for it in the prompt? The prompt does not specifically say first-gen.

I am answering the prompt for other reasons, but I am curious. Appreciate your input!
I definitely don't think this prompt is just for first gen students, sorry if that's what it came off as! For that specific situation I just wanted to make sure @peanutbuttah didn't say something that is not technically true. If you have something else you are talking about that seems to fit into one of the categories in the prompt or one similar, then that's totally valid! I think if you have something to say that you want them to know that isn't on your PS or your activities, this is a good chance to state it.
 
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Desire1204

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I am writing something similar; I am also an immigrant. Did you have to learn English? Because that's a good thing to mention. If you want we can exchange essays.
I knew a little bit of English before I moved to Canada, though I had an accent and I was not great at vocabulary and grammar. Will definitely talk about it. And, yeah I am down to exchange the essay once we have it written. PM me when you ready :)
 
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Mr. Dr. Prof. Patrick

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