Application Advice

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by DoctorFunk, Apr 25, 2005.

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  1. DoctorFunk

    DoctorFunk Get down with the boogie 7+ Year Member

    May 17, 2004
    The Good Land
    My fiance is interested in reapplying to veterinary school in a year, and I am hoping that some successful recent applicants might have some ideas on how to improve her application.

    She finished undergrad with a B.S in Ecology, Evolution and Animal Behavior with a 3.3 GPA. She worked for four years in a veterinary clinic (small animal and exotics) as an animal care assistant (averaging probably 20 hours/week), completed a large research project on bovine ovulation, and volunteered for approx. six months at the Minnesota State Zoo, working at several stations there.

    She applied for entrance following her senior year with a GRE score that probably placed her in the 70th percentile or so. She applied fairly late in the cycle from what I can understand...turning in her apps in September or October, as she was taking the GRE around that time. She only applied to 3-4 schools, including Wisconsin, in which she is a resident.

    She then completed a 2 year accredited vet tech program, earning a 3.98 GPA there and finishing in the top of her class. She is currently working on getting certified in this field, and will work as a tech full-time for the next two years before (hopefully) attending vet school.

    What steps could she take to increase her chances next year? We've already decided that her first priority should be to raise her GRE score by studying extensively for the next several months. She's also interested in being a large animal vet, so we thought shadowing such a vet would be a good idea. She also hopes to do some more volunteer work over the next year, but she is unsure if she will do more animal volunteering. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated--she has so much desire and ability for this field, the thought of her not fulfilling this dream just sickens me! :barf:
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  3. Beauty2597

    Beauty2597 Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2005
    I wish your fiance much sucsess in getting her wish, it is a tough road but I am sure she could do it.

    I am trying to think of what she can do. I would say she definetly has enough small animal experience. If she is truly interested in pursuing large animal medicine and has no hours in that it does not look very convincing. I say she should totally work on garnering as many hours as she can in that area. Her boving ovulation project sounds very professional.

    Also- there is no way she could have applied "late" becuase all vet schools have the same deadline (Oct 1st). So dont worry about that. :p

    Wisconsin is a VERY hard school to get into, even if you are from in state. I think another problem was that she did not apply to "the right" schools. She should definetly apply to places like Illinois and Western that seem to take a lot of non traditional applicants.

    Additoinally, her GRE scores (70 percentile) is not bad at all!! In fact those are good (except you want at least a 5 or 5.5 on writing but I know people who got in with less since its not the most important. But it wont hurt her to take them again.

    The only thing I can also think of is that her grades are on the low side....Did she get alot of C's in her prereqs?

    Also, maybe her essays/letters of rec werent the best. If she decides to gain more large animal experience she should def get a letter from that vet.

    Its hard for me to talk because I was not the perfect applicant either, my grades were not amazing, my GRE scores werent that great-- but my animal experience and my essays REALLY showed how much I yearned to be a part of the veterinary profession, so I got into school on my first try.

    I think if your finace gets an interview she will do great. However the key to the interview is your application.

    :luck: My last and most important piece of advice for your fiance is that maybe since she has worked SO extensively at a small animal hospital she should insert an extra 1-2 page description (detailed) of her duties and send it in with her transcripts to all schools. The VMCAS application has NO room to describe anything.

    All you can do is pour your heart out in your essays and make a 2 dimensional peice of paper turn into a 3-d person.

    Best of luck,
    If she has any more questions I can try to help.

    _Beauty :laugh:
  4. indiegirl

    indiegirl Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 8, 2005
    Can I ask what was your GRE score,GPA, and animal experience? What school did you end up attending? What did you stress in your essay? Thanks!

  5. Beauty2597

    Beauty2597 Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2005
    My GPA is a 3.45, I remember getting a 5.5 on my writing gre but I did not do that well on the other parts. My animal experience is quite diverse, I worked over 300 hours at a regular small animal clinic, 500 hours with cows on a research project in ruminant nutrition, over 140 hours with a vet delivering pigs and cattle at a state fair, 30 hours on a farm, 120 hours as an anatomy teaching assistant, 100 hours doing chicken immunology research etc etc etc i also did volunterring teaching english to speakers of other languages, and im sure there are other animal things im forgetting at the moment. it was a while ago that i filled out my vmcas lol.

    While I did not have 120000 hours in ONE aspect )i.e. small animal), I garnered over 2000 or so in many aspects.

    I am from Connecticut and with no contracts etc I had to pick and choose where I thought I had the best chance. I ended up applying to a decent number of schools, and I got 3 interviews (Illinois, Western, and Tuskegee). I did not go to the Tuskegee interview becaue I knew I would not be happy in Alabama.

    Illinois and Western both had separate essays where you can be creative and show your personality. I think that really helped. Additionally, Illinois' essay topic just really clicked with me and I was able to write a great essay (I seriously think thats what got me the interview, along with my animal experience and recs because my grades are not like a 4.0 or anything!).

    My VMCAS personal statement really just was WHY i love veterinary medicine and WHAT drew me to this profession- as well as a detailed story like description of my cow project that highlighted my love for this profession.

    I also rocked out on my interviews (I really prepped myself not to get nervous and studied the schools SO much before I went) because I love talking to people and I knew an amazing interview could push me over the edge and get me that coveted acceptance.

    I got into both Illinois and Western and ultimately chose Illinois because it was my first choice from the get-go, its closer to home (im on the east coast) and i really just LOVED their facilities, and people are A+!

    I am starting in the fall.

    If you have any more questions, let me know. Where are you from?

    Beauty :laugh:
  6. Cygnet

    Cygnet New Member

    Jan 10, 2005

    This must be so frustrating for the both of you.

    I agree with what Beauty said - additionally, I would suggest she really play up her desire to work with large animals. The vast majority of applicants have small animal experience and go into vet school intending to continue that. SO shadowing or even working as a tech for a LA vet would really help. Also, there are probably several wildlife rehabilitation centers in her area - volunteering there would be a big boost. You really see a lot of diverse animals there and can be very hands-on in their care, especially if she's a registered tech!

    Another suggestion I have would be for her to look into any animal therapy organizations around. Most places use horses to provide therapy for physically disabled kids and adults. That might interest her, both to provide a little diversity from the SA and animal care route as well as getting more hands-on experience with LAs.

    I also did not have stellar grades or stellar GRE scores and got in my first try at Oregon State.

    Good luck!
  7. CoffeeCrazy

    CoffeeCrazy Wide awake and jittery 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2004
    Champaign, IL
    Why wait to apply? It's really luck of the draw if you get accepted half the time. Many qualified people apply 2, 3, or more times...

    She ought to apply to more schools, 3 is not giving yourself as good of a chance. And she should get some outstanding recommendations from vets... especially because she went through a vet tech program and vet schools will want to know if she has what it takes to be a vet, not a tech. Shadowing a vet will give her the chance to see how vets think and what they have to do.
  8. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2005
    I agree with this. You fiancee's stats are fine, she might as well apply to more schools. Also find out what schools she applied to other than her state school. There are some schools which accept more out of state applicants (illinois, ohio, kansas, michigan) My school (western) has no residency requirement so all applicants have the same chance. She should try applying to these schools.
  9. DoctorFunk

    DoctorFunk Get down with the boogie 7+ Year Member

    May 17, 2004
    The Good Land
    Just wanted to thank everyone in this thread for the ideas offered up. It's definitely good news to hear that her interest in large animal medicine will benefit her in the process to some extent (as long as she backs it up with some volunteer/work experience of course). Thanks again, and please, if anyone has any other insight or advice, I'm still listening!!! ;)

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