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TheDataKing

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Please tag a pre-allo moderator when the secondary prompt is posted.

Good luck to everyone applying!

Interview Feedback: UCLA Geffen

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For the second prompt (based on last year's prompts), what counts as a leadership experience? Does TAing count?
 
For the second prompt (based on last year's prompts), what counts as a leadership experience? Does TAing count?
I think they might've been looking for something that's less common from the examples that i've seen online (also if i recall specifically they wanted something "unique"):

While volunteering at the Arts Academy, a society serving those with disabilities, I noticed the boys participated in activities not otherwise available to girls. Many girls had issues making friends, while the boys seemed comfortable with each other. To improve the girl's situation, I started the first girls’ basketball team. Many families were against the girl's participation as they believed sports were for boys. By explaining the mental and physical health benefits of participating, I successfully convinced half of the families. The girls became more confident and self-sufficient. I felt accomplished, not just because I taught them basketball, but because they'd become friends. This experience taught me compassion, commitment, and how to work with people from different backgrounds.

While I was in college, my favorite course was an advanced music production course. I was classically trained in piano but I wanted to learn how to produce my own tracks. Our cornerstone project was to create a 5 song album. I was paired up with Dan and Jon. We all shared a love for hip-hop and jazz. We called ourselves Chord Concepts and started creating tracks that fused both music genres. Each of us had a special skill (like song writing, voice, mixing tracks) and used our strengths to create unique blends of sound. We would spend our weekends together in the studio figuring out creative remixes out of popular songs. Being part of Chord Concepts showed me the power of teamwork and drove home the saying that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Although i think that it really depends on how you spin it and if there is something that's a little different about this experience than a typical TA expereince?
 
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For the second prompt (based on last year's prompts), what counts as a leadership experience? Does TAing count?
When I applied and interviewed years ago, I used that in addition to leading other TAs as the head TA.
 
When I applied and interviewed years ago, I used that in addition to leading other TAs as the head TA.
Hi, mind if i ask you a question? Seems that I was looking at the question in a rather narrow way when i commented before. I was wondering if you think that it'd be fine for me to write about my experience in setting up a club (although a rather typical science club)? Appreciate any advice you might have!
 
Hi, mind if i ask you a question? Seems that I was looking at the question in a rather narrow way when i commented before. I was wondering if you think that it'd be fine for me to write about my experience in setting up a club (although a rather typical science club)? Appreciate any advice you might have!
It doesn’t matter if it was a “typical” club. The focus in your writing should be less on the club and more on your experiences. An atypical club may or may not have led to more unique experiences, but that’s about it. Finally, don’t embellish; clear and compelling prose goes a long way (applicable to everything you write).
 
Looking into my old secondary app from last cycle, I notice a new prompt is in there: "Describe how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your pathway to medical school. Include any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers, as well as any other relevant information. 500 char"
What do we write about if there was no impact on our pathway to medical school lol
 
Looking into my old secondary app from last cycle, I notice a new prompt is in there: "Describe how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your pathway to medical school. Include any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers, as well as any other relevant information. 500 char"
What do we write about if there was no impact on our pathway to medical school lol
How did you find the secondary prompts for this year already?
 
Brilliant, would you mind posting the secondary prompts that are now posted?

MD:
1. Describe your involvement in the one most important non-academic activity in your life. (800 char)
2. What has been the one most unique leadership, entrepreneurial or creative activity in which you participated? (800 char)
3. What has been the one most important volunteer work you have done and why was it meaningful? (800 char)
4. Has there been or will there be a gap between achieving your last degree (baccalaureate or other degrees post baccalaureate) and the expected time of medical school matriculation? (300 char to explain if yes)
5. What is the one most important honor you have received? Why do you view this as important? (300 char)
6. What has been your most scholarly project (thesis, research or field of study in basic or clinical science or in the humanities)? Describe one and give number of hours, dates and advisor. (300 char)
7. Describe a problem in your life. Include how you dealt with it and how it influenced your growth. (500 char)
8. Please list any major paid work experience during or since college. (4000 characrers per work experience)
9. Is there any hardship to which you would like the committee to give special attention in evaluating your application? (500 char)
10. Where do you see yourself post-graduate education? What experiences have led you to this goal? (500 char)
11. Describe how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your pathway to medical school. Include any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers, as well as any other relevant information. (500 char)

MSTP:
1. What are your specific areas of interest at UCLA (List names of faculty at UCLA whose work is of interest) (4000 char)
2. What are your specific areas of interest at Caltech (List names of faculty at Caltech whose work is of interest) (4000 char)
3. Research experience: For each experience, please list the following:
  • PI of Lab
  • Name of direct supervisor
  • Institution
  • Start Date
  • End Date
  • Role in Lab (e.g. paid/volunteer research position. Please include the total number of hours for each project after each description) (4000 characters each)
4. References (Please list the names of people who submitted a letter of recommendation in support of your MSTP application to AMCAS. For this section, please list ONLY those whose letter is relevant to your research experience/s):
5. Please list all of your publications and manuscripts in press (please do not include submitted manuscripts), with a full list of authors, title, journal, issue, and page number, and provide a PubMed ID number. Please describe in one sentence your role in that publication (e.g., "I designed and performed the experiments described in Figure X and Y, I analyzed data for Figure Z, and I wrote portions of the manuscript.". If you do not have publications please write "None" (do not list Abstracts or any presentations at research conferences).
6. Statement of Purpose (Please discuss your motivation for pursuing an MD PhD) (4000 char)
7. Personal Comments (Is there anything that you would like for us to considered when reviewing your MSTP application) (4000 char)
 
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MD:
1. Describe your involvement in the one most important non-academic activity in your life. (800 char)
2. What has been the one most unique leadership, entrepreneurial or creative activity in which you participated? (800 char)
3. What has been the one most important volunteer work you have done and why was it meaningful? (800 char)
4. Has there been or will there be a gap between achieving your last degree (baccalaureate or other degrees post baccalaureate) and the expected time of medical school matriculation? (300 char to explain if yes)
5. What is the one most important honor you have received? Why do you view this as important? (300 char)
6. What has been your most scholarly project (thesis, research or field of study in basic or clinical science or in the humanities)? Describe one and give number of hours, dates and advisor. (300 char)
7. Describe a problem in your life. Include how you dealt with it and how it influenced your growth. (500 char)
8. Please list any major paid work experience during or since college. (4000 characrers per work experience)
9. Is there any hardship to which you would like the committee to give special attention in evaluating your application? (500 char)
10. Where do you see yourself post-graduate education? What experiences have led you to this goal? (500 char)
11. Describe how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your pathway to medical school. Include any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers, as well as any other relevant information. (500 char)

Thanks for posting! Do these character counts include spaces or not?
 
Looking into my old secondary app from last cycle, I notice a new prompt is in there: "Describe how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your pathway to medical school. Include any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers, as well as any other relevant information. 500 char"
What do we write about if there was no impact on our pathway to medical school lol


This is a good question. Was there a volunteer position that halted, classes going online, or did you have to work through the pandemic? I know many of these are not really a barrier to applying, but you could describe how they could be challenging. Honestly, this should probably be an optional essay though based on the way it is phrased.
 
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This is a good question. Was there a volunteer position that halted, classes going online, or did you have to work through the pandemic? I know many of these are not really a barrier to applying, but you could describe how they could be challenging. Honestly, this should probably be an optional essay though based on the way it is phrased.
Gotcha, yeah it is only 500 characters so I'll just mention a couple things were paused and such. Thanks!
 
MD:
1. Describe your involvement in the one most important non-academic activity in your life. (800 char)
2. What has been the one most unique leadership, entrepreneurial or creative activity in which you participated? (800 char)
3. What has been the one most important volunteer work you have done and why was it meaningful? (800 char)
4. Has there been or will there be a gap between achieving your last degree (baccalaureate or other degrees post baccalaureate) and the expected time of medical school matriculation? (300 char to explain if yes)
5. What is the one most important honor you have received? Why do you view this as important? (300 char)
6. What has been your most scholarly project (thesis, research or field of study in basic or clinical science or in the humanities)? Describe one and give number of hours, dates and advisor. (300 char)
7. Describe a problem in your life. Include how you dealt with it and how it influenced your growth. (500 char)
8. Please list any major paid work experience during or since college. (4000 characrers per work experience)
9. Is there any hardship to which you would like the committee to give special attention in evaluating your application? (500 char)
10. Where do you see yourself post-graduate education? What experiences have led you to this goal? (500 char)
11. Describe how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your pathway to medical school. Include any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers, as well as any other relevant information. (500 char)

MSTP:
1. What are your specific areas of interest at UCLA (List names of faculty at UCLA whose work is of interest) (4000 char)
2. What are your specific areas of interest at Caltech (List names of faculty at Caltech whose work is of interest) (4000 char)
3. Research experience: For each experience, please list the following:
  • PI of Lab
  • Name of direct supervisor
  • Institution
  • Start Date
  • End Date
  • Role in Lab (e.g. paid/volunteer research position. Please include the total number of hours for each project after each description) (4000 characters each)
4. References (Please list the names of people who submitted a letter of recommendation in support of your MSTP application to AMCAS. For this section, please list ONLY those whose letter is relevant to your research experience/s):
5. Please list all of your publications and manuscripts in press (please do not include submitted manuscripts), with a full list of authors, title, journal, issue, and page number, and provide a PubMed ID number. Please describe in one sentence your role in that publication (e.g., "I designed and performed the experiments described in Figure X and Y, I analyzed data for Figure Z, and I wrote portions of the manuscript.". If you do not have publications please write "None" (do not list Abstracts or any presentations at research conferences).
6. Statement of Purpose (Please discuss your motivation for pursuing an MD PhD) (4000 char)
7. Personal Comments (Is there anything that you would like for us to considered when reviewing your MSTP application) (4000 char)

The secondary is basically the works/activities section from primary application lmao
 
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I can't seem to find the types of letters that UCLA wants. Does anyone know?
My understanding was 3-5 letters, with the letter writers decided at your discretion. No hard requirements. I would just pick your strongest letters (I'm submitting four).
 
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Hey, for the first question, when they mention "non-academic" do they mean school related? As in would they consider a research experience non-academic? What about being part of a specific organization? Thanks in advance!
 
My understanding was 3-5 letters, with the letter writers decided at your discretion. No hard requirements. I would just pick your strongest letters (I'm submitting four).
I went to their virtual office hours and asked about this and I can't remember what exactly they said but I ended up deciding to send a letter packet containing 10 individual letters, which counted as 1 AMCAS letter entry. My undergrad institution offers to compile letter packets but doesn't include a committee eval letter, just for reference. Hope this helps!
 
For the work experience question - Are people using the full 4000 characters? Or just a few sentences of a description? Not sure how in-depth to go...
 
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For the work experience question - Are people using the full 4000 characters? Or just a few sentences of a description? Not sure how in-depth to go...
I definitely didn't use even close to 4000 characters, but in the description, I did put basically all of the bullet points I have on my resume. I figured there's no harm in mentioning all of my responsibilities if I have the space?
 
For the work experience question - Are people using the full 4000 characters? Or just a few sentences of a description? Not sure how in-depth to go...
I think they give you 4,000 if you have many experiences you would like to expand upon. For example, if you are a non-trad with several years of experience since graduating. Unless you feel it is necessary, I wouldn't feel obligated to use up the entire 4,000. I used maybe about 1,000 myself.
 
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I definitely didn't use even close to 4000 characters, but in the description, I did put basically all of the bullet points I have on my resume. I figured there's no harm in mentioning all of my responsibilities if I have the space?

Okay, thanks! Won't be using all 4,000 characters either. Are you listing it out like a resume? I had mine in an essay format, but I don't exactly know what they are looking for..
 
Okay, thanks! Won't be using all 4,000 characters either. Are you listing it out like a resume? I had mine in an essay format, but I don't exactly know what they are looking for..

I would suggest list like a resume, as UCLA asks you to list. Essays might add a flavor of creativity, but I suggest "list" to follow with the instructions better.
 
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Okay, thanks! Won't be using all 4,000 characters either. Are you listing it out like a resume? I had mine in an essay format, but I don't exactly know what they are looking for..
I'm using bullet points, as I just feel it gets the point across more concisely. But I'm sure either would be fine.
 
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any current students available to answer questions abt experiences?
 
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Does anyone know if paid summer research internships count as "paid work experiences?" I wasn't paid hourly or anything, it was a stipend - but I recieved money for it regardless.
 
One person on Reddit said they received a secondary, same prompts as last year plus an additional COVID-19 prompt.
I believe that person logged into the portal from last year to get those prompts. I haven't heard of anyone getting this secondary officially yet.
 
Does anyone know if paid summer research internships count as "paid work experiences?" I wasn't paid hourly or anything, it was a stipend - but I recieved money for it regardless.
I would think that counts! I'm in the same boat, did a paid REU last summer
 
any current students available to answer questions abt experiences?
I pretty much copy and pasted what I wrote from my activities section descriptions on my primary. I figured that if they were asking for the same info on the secondaries, they probably didn't really look at it on the primary lol I added a few additional experiences that I had during the summer that weren't present on my initial activities list, but other than that, it was pretty much the same as the primary for me!
 
Does anyone know if paid summer research internships count as "paid work experiences?" I wasn't paid hourly or anything, it was a stipend - but I recieved money for it regardless.
I also had paid summer research through a research internship program and logged it under Research rather than paid work. The things I put under paid work were outside jobs through other orgs/companies. I think I even put down RA in my dorm as leadership rather than paid work, even though I was paid. It didn't seem to matter too much! :)
 
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Also hi! I'm an incoming MS1 here and used SDN a ton during my app cycle. It was always helpful when other accepted or current students answered questions or gave updates so hopefully I can provide some insight this year. I know things are a bit crazy with Covid, but keep pushing! Let me know if there's anything I can help with :)
 
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Has ucla announced if they will be virtual for the semester?

As of right now, they will be doing a hybrid curriculum - lectures, PBL, and other larger group activities are virtual while anatomy lab & clinical skills will be in person small groups. They are mandating that all students get tested before we start, report their symptoms daily for clearance, and they’re providing face shields & masks for all in person activities! They are continuing to monitor the progression of things, but they’ve put some pretty solid measures in place in my opinion. They said we will be in person 1-2x per week basically!
 
I also had paid summer research through a research internship program and logged it under Research rather than paid work. The things I put under paid work were outside jobs through other orgs/companies. I think I even put down RA in my dorm as leadership rather than paid work, even though I was paid. It didn't seem to matter too much! :)

You did that for #8? Or for your primary?
 
Do they have the same prompts as last year?

Yup plus COVID (Describe how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your pathway to medical school. Include any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers, as well as any other relevant information.)
 
I'm an international student (Canada; ORM; non trad). Do you think I get processed later in terms of screening, as they likely prioritize IS first?
 
For #8, should I include a 3 month retail job experience? The prompt asks for *MAJOR* work experiences, but I don't consider this major for my journey to medical school or anything. I did include it in my primary app though, so would it look weird if I didn't include it on my secondary.

Do we have to talk about lessons/skills learned? Or is it really as simple as repeating my resume?
 
For a current position under work experiences, are you all putting hours so far or estimated hours until next year?
 
For #8, should I include a 3 month retail job experience? The prompt asks for *MAJOR* work experiences, but I don't consider this major for my journey to medical school or anything. I did include it in my primary app though, so would it look weird if I didn't include it on my secondary.

Do we have to talk about lessons/skills learned? Or is it really as simple as repeating my resume?

For your first question, Idk... I guess I would since 3 months could be considered a long time for some. Some people are listing , as it says to list work experiences, but it also says to "describe" the experience so I am conflicted on whether or not I want to write it in essay format or not.
 
For a current position under work experiences, are you all putting hours so far or estimated hours until next year?

I put through next year- they didn't clarify but I just wanted it to match my AMCAS
 
Don't have the secondary yet, but are we supposed to list gap year jobs that we haven't started yet but are going to start soon? For question #8?
 
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