How to improve my application? Need your expertise...

tijames

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3.4 sci gpa (almost all my bad grades were when I was fresh/soph and I tranferred out to a different school, and have done real well). 3.6 overall, biochemistry major.

Limited research experience (signed up with a prof, he had some sort of family issue happen so we only discussed stuff, never did lab time. I did however take a class that was all research based...very writing intensive and all our data was used by the teacher in her lab.)

EC:
-Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity- I (>1 yr)
-Shadowing a FP doc once a week- starting next semester
-Volunteering in er ~4-5 hrs a week- starting next semester
-gen chem tutor- 1 semester
-biochemistry tutor/biochemistry TA-2 semesters
-physics tutor- 1 semester
-Researching and writing for a health education company~1 hr a week
-chess club
- I help at Soup kitchen (~5 hours a month)

MCAT- Have not taken it yet, but with diligence and study I think I can do fine.

LORS: My adviser asked me if he could write me a letter of rec. I will have tutored two semesters for his biochemistry classes, and been in two of his classes. It should be a very good letter. For my second one, I'm considering having a doc I volunteer with do it or my future employer. Thoughts on that?

I am graduating this may. I am planning on applying in june of 2012, so I have 18 months to improve my application. I'll be working in biotech or pharm, still planning on volunteering at an ER/peds at the local hospital.

Lastly, what schools should I think about applying to, keeping in mind the next 18 months of improvements. Thanks.

ANY advice would be GREAT as to how I can better my application, suggestions for my time off, etc. Thanks!
 

loveoforganic

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I think getting an mcat that offsets your gpa and reinforces your upward trend is the best thing you can do, so really invest yourself in prepping for that. I'd also continue with any clinical volunteering you'dbe able to do. As far as schools, depends on your state
 

NickNaylor

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As far as LORs go, most people seem to think that a letter from a doc isn't very useful. Whether or not that's actually the case, I don't know.

Considering that you still have a year and a half left until you apply, I think you're in great shape. If possible, maybe try and line up a lab tech position if you like research - that would beef up your research experience and perhaps get you a solid contact for another LOR (your PI). The strength of your ECs will be reflected in how you talk about them in your application and interviews, so I don't think there's too much people can say about that.
 

Catalystik

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See my response to your near-duplicate post in WAMC. As far as what other schools to apply to besides UI, it's best to wait until you know all your application stats before answering that, as the response would be very different if you got a 28 vs a 38.
 
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tijames

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See my response to your near-duplicate post in WAMC. As far as what other schools to apply to besides UI, it's best to wait until you know all your application stats before answering that, as the response would be very different if you got a 28 vs a 38.
Awesome, thanks!