Mereafterthough

Cornell DVM c/o 2014!
Jul 5, 2009
194
0
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Veterinary Student
Hello,

Okay so let me break it down for you the way Jennifer Mailey broke it down for me, I was confused about this for quite awhile too:

First, a recommendation and an evaluation are the same thing. Cornell just decides to call them evaluations for some unknown reason (probably to make life more difficult in the true Cornell tradition).

Basically for every veterinary, research, or animal related experience that you list on the CORNELL supp application you MUST supply a recommendation/evaluation letter to back it up. Now these recommendation/evaluation letters can come in any form. They can be submitted via VMCAS (you're limited to 5 here). Through Cornell's electronic internet recommendation portal (on the supplemental), or by snail mail. They don't care how you get it to them as long as they get it.

As for what they're looking for in the evaluations, there's no strict requirement. However, Cornell does supply a evaluation guideline sheet that you can give to each person you will be asking for a recommendation to guide them in writing it. Hope this helps! :)
 

rileyroo

Auburn 2014
Jun 22, 2009
1,080
2
Status
Veterinary Student
i just thought it sounded like too much of a PITA. if i had only volunteered/worked at one place it would have been fine. but accounting for experience at various clinics, with different research profs, and in different areas, it just sounds like a nightmare to me. good luck to everyone applying to cornell, having to obtain all of those evals! :)
 

nyanko

total trash mammal
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Sep 8, 2006
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Hello,
Basically for every veterinary, research, or animal related experience that you list on the CORNELL supp application you MUST supply a recommendation/evaluation letter to back it up. Now these recommendation/evaluation letters can come in any form. They can be submitted via VMCAS (you're limited to 5 here). Through Cornell's electronic internet recommendation portal (on the supplemental), or by snail mail. They don't care how you get it to them as long as they get it.
Yeah, that's how I interpreted it as well. You can put all the experience that you may not have letters for on VMCAS, but all Cornell will count is what you put on your supp app, and you must have a letter to back up any of what you put there.
 

JustCats

UC Davis SVM c/o 2013!
10+ Year Member
May 21, 2008
401
1
California
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Veterinary Student
I ended up having to get 9 LORs for Cornell last year--maybe 8--and I went ahead and supplied them to Davis as well, since Davis doesn't say they'll ONLY look at three. Got into both schools, by the skin of my teeth, so it was worth it to do the leg work.
 

turnbackhelly

Cornell CVM c/o 2014
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Mar 3, 2009
361
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This may be something I need to contact Cornell directly to ask, but how "bad" does it look to have something listed on VMCAS but not on their supplemental because you couldn't get an evaluation for it? I did a 1 semester internship for college credit as an undergrad that I am listing as animal experience on VMCAS. It was only 6 hours a week for a total of 72 hours (over the course of a semester), and the place has SO many interns in and out of there for different periods of time (they also have several all at one time) that I'm not sure if my supervisor will remember me well enough to write an evaluation. I of course plan on e-mailing her anyway to see, but am fully prepared for the possibility that she might not feel like she can write a LOR. I would hate to not have this experience count for Cornell because it was relatively unique (I was an equine facilitated psychotherapy and hippotherapy intern at a special ed school that does all nature- and animal-assisted activities), but I have no intentions of removing it from my VMCAS. Thoughts?
 
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BurntFlower

BurntFlower

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rileyroo

Auburn 2014
Jun 22, 2009
1,080
2
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Veterinary Student
Thanks everybody for the responses! And yes, I do believe this is a big pain in the *** but I just asked the vet I shadow for a letter of recommendation/evaluation today. But.... I don't see how someone who has observed you shadowing them can write a strong letter about their observations of you in a clinical setting given that you have no duties as a shadow (at least, in my case)...
i guess it varies by situation b/c in my shadowing experience i have helped a lot and asked lots of questions which stimulated really interesting conversations. if you aren't allowed to help with anything maybe engage in conversation...that could help establish a relationship with the evaluator. :)
 

banditalfi

Cornell 2012
10+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2007
358
1
Ithaca, NY
Status
Veterinary Student
hang in there - the cornell application can be a bit of a pain, but i assure you it is well worth it :)

as for having things on VMCAS that you don't have on the cornell supplemental - don't sweat it. it's completely understandable that you gained experience before you realized you'd be applying to vet school and now you don't feel comfortable asking for an evaluation. i think i had two or three experiences listed on VMCAS that i didn't have on my cornell supplemental. that being said, i made sure the people writing letters for me could write really stellar letters.

along those lines, it's ok to just shadow and have that vet write a letter for you. you display more about yourself than you think just by shadowing a vet and i'm sure the vet can write about your enthusiasm and drive, among other things. when asking for a letter - from anyone - i have always found it best to ask something along the lines of, "will you be able to write me a good letter of reccomendation for vet school," which lets them know that a) you want a good letter (not as obvious as you might think) and b) gives them an out if they feel they could just write you an "ok" letter because they don't know you well enough.

if you have more questions about cornell's application process feel free to PM me or call up Jennifer - she is extremely helpful!
 

turnbackhelly

Cornell CVM c/o 2014
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2009
361
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as for having things on VMCAS that you don't have on the cornell supplemental - don't sweat it. it's completely understandable that you gained experience before you realized you'd be applying to vet school and now you don't feel comfortable asking for an evaluation.
Thank you!! This makes me feel a lot better... I was starting to lose all hope for Cornell. It's my in-state so I especially can't eff THIS one up. ;)
 

bunnity

Penn 2014
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Jan 26, 2009
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Yeah, I do talk to the vet and ask her plenty of questions about every case I see and the vet profession in general, but when I showed her the guideline questions that are useful for letters of recommendations, she was pretty confused and said many couldn't be applied to me because I only shadow... :(
She was probably confused because there are questions about your ability to handle animals, but she could just put N/A and then make a note that you were shadowing and not working in the clinic with her. Since it's the same form for any evaluator (including professors and non-vet employment) it's understandable that some people are not going to know anything about your animal handling skills... my boss at work (people hospital) came up to me after she'd submitted the letter and said, "I didn't put anything for the animal handling questions because I didn't know what to put, other than that you came into work crying when your rabbit was sick. Don't worry, I didn't put that."