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*~*~*~* Official AMCAS "Work/Activities" Tips Thread 2021-2023 *~*~*~*

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bleiken

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For the "Shadowing" activity, I didn't get too many actual shadowing hours because I spent a lot of paid or volunteering hours around doctors in other capacities. I have around 50 hours of dedicated shadowing time with two different family medicine D.Os. So my current idea is under the Physician Shadowing activity description to put something along the line of "I had spent thousands of hours working with medical doctors while scribing, worked alongside ER doctors at X, and I knew I would get to observe intensive care physicians while volunteering at X. In order to further broaden my perspective on the variety of ways different physicians practice medicine, I reached out to two Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine" and then list the titles, hours, and contact information of these two doctors.

Is talking about my non-shadowing activity in the shadowing activity section a bad idea? Should I just list the names and info of the doctors with no preamble? I guess I'm just a little worried both about how it would look that I only shadowed DO doctors and wanted to contextualize this. I don't want it to look like I'm primarily interested in D.O to AMCAS.
 
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For the "Shadowing" activity, I didn't get too many actual shadowing hours because I spent a lot of paid or volunteering hours around doctors in other capacities. I have around 50 hours of dedicated shadowing time with two different family medicine D.Os. So my current idea is under the Physician Shadowing activity description to put something along the line of "I had spent thousands of hours working with medical doctors while scribing, worked alongside ER doctors at X, and I knew I would get to observe intensive care physicians while volunteering at X. In order to further broaden my perspective on the variety of ways different physicians practice medicine, I reached out to two Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine" and then list the titles, hours, and contact information of these two doctors.

1) Is talking about my non-shadowing activity in the shadowing activity section a bad idea? 2) Should I just list the names and info of the doctors with no preamble? 3) I guess I'm just a little worried both about how it would look that I only shadowed DO doctors and wanted to contextualize this. I don't want it to look like I'm primarily interested in D.O to AMCAS.
1) Since you have 50 dedicated shadowing hours (exactly the right number of hours), there's no need to refer to other physician observation time you've experienced in the same space. If you'd had less than 40 hours, I'd have supported mention of some of the scribing activity in the space (but not double counting the hours). It would still be fine for you to make brief mention of the scribing at the end of the narrative, eg, "While scribing for (?specialty) docs, I had further opportunity to observe physicians interacting with their patients in a _______ setting. This activity is described elsewhere."

2) List the name and Contact info of one of the docs in the header, and the other in the narrative.

3) MD schools don't care. If you are sensitive about it, enter Dr Maria Sebastian, Family Physician (rather than including the "DO" designation).
 

bleiken

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1) Since you have 50 dedicated shadowing hours (exactly the right number of hours), there's no need to refer to other physician observation time you've experienced in the same space. If you'd had less than 40 hours, I'd have supported mention of some of the scribing activity in the space (but not double counting the hours). It would still be fine for you to make brief mention of the scribing at the end of the narrative, eg, "While scribing for (?specialty) docs, I had further opportunity to observe physicians interacting with their patients in a _______ setting. This activity is described elsewhere."

2) List the name and Contact info of one of the docs in the header, and the other in the narrative.

3) MD schools don't care. If you are sensitive about it, enter Dr Maria Sebastian, Family Physician (rather than including the "DO" designation).
Thank you, that was very helpful. I think I will just remove the degree.
 
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Boxerdog

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Is anyone willing to read my work/activities section? It is pretty heavy in leadership and research, and the general theme of my application is based on my interests in therapeutics. Let me know! Thanks :)
 
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Is anyone willing to read my work/activities section? It is pretty heavy in leadership and research, and the general theme of my application is based on my interests in therapeutics. Let me know! Thanks :)
Activities review lies outside the scope of this thread. There is a post on the main forum looking for someone with whom to trade reviews, here: Feedback On My Work/Activities List
 
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@Catalystik For someone with significant nonclinical paid employment as well as certified teaching experience, do you still recommend categorizing teaching as paid employment over teaching/tutoring/ta?
Ideally, you would balance your application and have something in each of the two categories, so in your case, not necessarily unless you already have something else tagged as Teaching.
 

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Question -
1. I worked as a research assistant full time for 1.5 years. I got 1 publication out of it. Would you recommend entering separate entries? Or 1 for publication and have it titled - Research assistant?
2. If I entered separately for the paper, what do you call the experience?
 
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Question -
1. I worked as a research assistant full time for 1.5 years. I got 1 publication out of it. Would you recommend entering separate entries? Or 1 for publication and have it titled - Research assistant?
2. If I entered separately for the paper, what do you call the experience?
1) I recommend using both a Research and a Publications space.

2) Maybe: Co-authored paper in the field of _________?_________
or
Accepted manuscript from an Independent Project on ?
or
Xth Author in (name of journal, if well known) on (specific topic)

In other words: Try to give some added info to draw attention.
 
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Analog_Emeritus

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I have volunteered for an organization for some time now, and am now being brought one as a full-time employee to do much the same work. Should I create a new activity for this job with projected hours, or add projected hours to the original entry? I'm a bit worried that projecting more hours would be incorrect, as it's a different category (paid not volunteer) but also another entry would be relatively redundant.
Thanks!
 
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I have volunteered for an organization for some time now, and am now being brought one as a full-time employee to do much the same work. Should I create a new activity for this job with projected hours, or add projected hours to the original entry? I'm a bit worried that projecting more hours would be incorrect, as it's a different category (paid not volunteer) but also another entry would be relatively redundant.
Thanks!
Since it is much the same role, I suggest listing the volunteer portion of the activity under Volunteer-Not Medical/Clinical, and then adding a comment at the end about being hired as of X date to continue the same work as an employee, with a plan to work 40 hours per week through Y date, but not adding up the expected hours.

While you could use two spaces, with the second being an Employment-Not Medical/Clinical, since the position is barely started, I don't think it will add substantially to your application. Later in the application cycle, for those programs allowing updates, you can include the hours you've worked since applying along with any other Activity details you feel might add to your candidacy.
 
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ineedcoffee98

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Hi! I have a few questions about my activities section:

1. If I have a publication that was sent back with comments for resubmission, can I list it as "pending" under my publications and cite it in AMA style with my other publications? Or, should I just write a sentence that it is still under review by whatever journal? Thanks!

2. Is it acceptable to use the abbreviation CNS (central nervous system) instead of typing it out?

Thanks!
 
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1. If I have a publication that was sent back with comments for resubmission, can I list it as "pending" under my publications and cite it in AMA style with my other publications? Or, should I just write a sentence that it is still under review by whatever journal? Thanks!

2. Is it acceptable to use the abbreviation CNS (central nervous system) instead of typing it out?
1) If it was accepted pending minor revisions, you can list it under Publications. If it requires major revisions to be reconsidered at some future date, you should not. Read item #20 of Post 2 of this thread to answer your second question.

2) If it is in a context that makes the meaning clear, you can use the abbreviation. See if a non-science relative reading it understands what it means. All reviewers are not science-based faculty.
 
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LeeSin

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Probably a stupid question here but it’s ok to use numbers and not spell them out right? Does it matter if I spell out “two” but leave 1,200 as a number
 

Boxerdog

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Does AMCAS chronologically list activities according to start date or end date when they initially display it to adcoms?
 

ineedcoffee98

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1) If it was accepted pending minor revisions, you can list it under Publications. If it requires major revisions to be reconsidered at some future date, you should not. Read item #20 of Post 2 of this thread to answer your second question.

2) If it is in a context that makes the meaning clear, you can use the abbreviation. See if a non-science relative reading it understands what it means. All reviewers are not science-based faculty.
Thank you so much! I read item #20, and have two follow-up questions:

1. I mentioned all research relating to publications in separate research activities and cited the publications in a publications activity section. Is it necessary to name the abstracts/publications in each activity? I said something along the lines of this resulted in a publication or abstract at the end of each separate research blurb, but didn't write the title due to the character limit. Should I reword to fit the title?

2. I was under the impression that publications should be listed in chronological order, but saw on that post they should be listed in order of prestige. Which is correct?
 
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I read item #20, and have two follow-up questions:

1. I mentioned all research relating to publications in separate research activities and cited the publications in a publications activity section. Is it necessary to name the abstracts/publications in each activity? I said something along the lines of this resulted in a publication or abstract at the end of each separate research blurb, but didn't write the title due to the character limit. Should I reword to fit the title?

2. I was under the impression that publications should be listed in chronological order, but saw on that post they should be listed in order of prestige. Which is correct?
1) No. What you've said already is fine. No need to be repetitive.
2) You can organize them any way you wish, but most would probably want the first & second authored papers or the more prestigious journals to be seen first.
 

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Should we aim to include our gap positions in the W/A or is it okay to save these for secondaries?
If we have pubs and one is a review, do we have to specify this? It's not clear by the citation.
 
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1) Should we aim to include our gap positions in the W/A or is it okay to save these for secondaries?
2) If we have pubs and one is a review, do we have to specify this? It's not clear by the citation.
1) If they haven't started yet, or just started, you might mention them at the end of a similar activity. Or use the new Anticipated Experiences feature. Or they can be saved for Secondaries.

2) I suggest it would be in your best interests to be transparent.
 
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ineedcoffee98

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Thank you so much! I read item #20, and have two follow-up questions:

1. I mentioned all research relating to publications in separate research activities and cited the publications in a publications activity section. Is it necessary to name the abstracts/publications in each activity? I said something along the lines of this resulted in a publication or abstract at the end of each separate research blurb, but didn't write the title due to the character limit. Should I reword to fit the title?

2. I was under the impression that publications should be listed in chronological order, but saw on that post they should be listed in order of prestige. Which is correct?
 

ineedcoffee98

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A few more questions regarding publications:

1. Is there a proper way to shorten citations? Also, if you have an abstract which has a website link in AMA style instead of a DOI, is it necessary to include?

2. Can you group journal publications and abstracts together under one publications entry?
 

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For the MME descriptions, I have 2 paragraphs but it looks like one big paragraph on the PDF because of where the line ends on the first paragraph. Should I use a double break to leave an extra line in between the paragraphs?
 
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A few more questions regarding publications:

1. Is there a proper way to shorten citations? Also, if you have an abstract which has a website link in AMA style instead of a DOI, is it necessary to include?

2. Can you group journal publications and abstracts together under one publications entry?
1) There is no "proper" way, but it's perfectly fine to shorten the author list, shorten the title or journal name, or just list the PMID#. It is preferred that you not include an active website link.

Here is an example of a super-condensed bibliography you might consider:

Abridged bibliography in the following format:
Shortened Title; Shortened Journal/Book; Pubmed ID/Location/Status.

1st Author:
TSUP; BBA; PMID 22192777
Efflux Proteins: Microbial Efflux Pumps; Horizon Scientific Press; Accepted (date)
Lead and Mercury Transporters (2 articles); Encycl. of Metalloproteins; ISBN 978-1-4614-1532-9 Jan. '13
MFS; FEBS J; PMID 22458847

2nd Author:
PTS; ELS; Search PTS on www.els.net

Co-author:
Phylogenetic char.; JMMB; PMID 22286036
APC; JMMB; PMID 22627175

2) Best not to include an abstract in a Publications space unless they are related (ie, output from the same project). Instead, mention the abstract in the affiliated Research space if you don't have room for a Presentations/Posters space.
 
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For the MME descriptions, I have 2 paragraphs but it looks like one big paragraph on the PDF because of where the line ends on the first paragraph. Should I use a double break to leave an extra line in between the paragraphs?
Try two hard returns and see how that looks. But keep in mind that some med schools will set the program so that all paragraph breaks are removed.
 
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JAK2-STAT3

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Question: I shadowed 6 physicians at multiple hospitals. I arranged my own shadowing and was not part of a program with a single contact. Who should I list as a contact? I currently list a physician who I shadowed recently and who knows some (but not all) of the other physicians I shadowed. Should I include everybody's contact info in the descriptions or just list the one contact?
 
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Question: I shadowed 6 physicians at multiple hospitals. I arranged my own shadowing and was not part of a program with a single contact. Who should I list as a contact? I currently list a physician who I shadowed recently and who knows some (but not all) of the other physicians I shadowed. Should I include everybody's contact info in the descriptions or just list the one contact?
In the header, I suggest listing the most recent Contact (who is most likely to recall you) or the one whom you shadowed the most hours. In the narrative area, list some of the others. If you run out of space, just summarize the last few docs in generic terms. See my example in post 2, item #10 of this thread.
 

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1) I recommend using both a Research and a Publications space.

2) Maybe: Co-authored paper in the field of _________?_________
or
Accepted manuscript from an Independent Project on ?
or
Xth Author in (name of journal, if well known) on (specific topic)

In other words: Try to give some added info to draw attention.
Thank you!
 
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futuredoc2515

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I have several awards from running college xc/track, as well as athletic honors. Would you recommend just 1 entry for intercollegiate athletics and mention awards at the end, or two separate entries (1. awards 2. intercollegiate athletics)? If I make 1 entry for awards, it would take out either a summer coaching job or a recent volunteering opportunity I just started (only 15 hours to report, but many more anticipated hours)
 
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I have several awards from running college xc/track, as well as athletic honors. Would you recommend just 1 entry for intercollegiate athletics and mention awards at the end, or two separate entries (1. awards 2. intercollegiate athletics)? If I make 1 entry for awards, it would take out either a summer coaching job or a recent volunteering opportunity I just started (only 15 hours to report, but many more anticipated hours)
Try to get all the Intercollegiate Sport activities into one space. I’d pick the Coaching for the remaining space and save the new volunteer gig for Secondaries or update letters or alternatively tack brief mention of it onto the end of another Community Service activity.
 
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mdgal-23

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Hello, and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

I have 3 activities out of 15 designated as Community Service right now (volunteering for disaster relief and two for homeless shelters). I'm stuck between having one more experience where I volunteered for a different homeless day shelter (100 hours) or replacing it with a hobby (playing piano, 2000 hours, 12 years). I'm leaning towards adding piano as a hobby because I already have many volunteering experiences, but it's not particularly unique or meaningful besides personal fulfillment.

What do you think?
 
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Hello, and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

I have 3 activities out of 15 designated as Community Service right now (volunteering for disaster relief and two for homeless shelters). I'm stuck between having one more experience where I volunteered for a different homeless day shelter (100 hours) or replacing it with a hobby (playing piano, 2000 hours, 12 years). I'm leaning towards adding piano as a hobby because I already have many volunteering experiences, but it's not particularly unique or meaningful besides personal fulfillment.

What do you think?
Include the Hobby. Consider grouping two of the three homeless shelter experiences in one space, leaving the third on its own.
 
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Would it be strange to tag a teaching job at one school as teaching and at another as paid employment?

I have another paid employment - not medical clinical entry that I am considering changing to artistic endeavors. It‘s a considerable number of hours.

How much does any of this matter? Are the total hours for each category looked at out of context? It’s easy to see that these entries fit two categories.
 

jpr0719

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Since AMCAS allows for anticipated hours to be counted separately this year, should we include gap year activities that we're beginning soon in this section?
 
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Would it be strange to tag a teaching job at one school as teaching and at another as paid employment?

I have another paid employment - not medical clinical entry that I am considering changing to artistic endeavors. It‘s a considerable number of hours.

How much does any of this matter? Are the total hours for each category looked at out of context? It’s easy to see that these entries fit two categories.
Some feel it's best to create a balanced application that fills as many of the categories as possible, so using different tags for each of two teaching experiences is fine. When an experience could qualify for more than one tag, one can use the title of the space to indicate information about the second possibility, in case one school may give more value to one or the other of the categories.

For some categories, total hours are less important, like Hobbies.
 
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Since AMCAS allows for anticipated hours to be counted separately this year, should we include gap year activities that we're beginning soon in this section?
You "may" enter a new, not yet begun activity using the new Anticipated Experiences feature. Whether you "should" is yet to be determined. Adcomms are more used to seeing future plans listed on Secondaries (when asked for) or learning about them in update letters (where allowed). It is unlikely that their inclusion has much impact on decision-making, regardless.
 
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Premedstudent149

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Hello, I have a quick question before submitting my application. One of the conferences I presented at was held virtually due to COVID. When listing this experience, I was thinking of leaving country and city blank and stating it was virtual in the description. Is this the best way of going about this?
 
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Hello, I have a quick question before submitting my application. One of the conferences I presented at was held virtually due to COVID. When listing this experience, I was thinking of leaving country and city blank and stating it was virtual in the description. Is this the best way of going about this?
That would be fine.
 
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Does anyone know if the correct capitalization is (in press) or (In Press) when citing a work that has been accepted for publication but is not yet published?
 

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I have a full 15 activities as of now and was planning on combining 2 shadowing experiences at the same hospital to make room for a combined entry of 4 recent and future committed activities. What is your opinion on this strategy and what should I name the entry? I am including a draft of my description with identifying information removed. Square-bracketed text is placeholder or explanatory.

Experience Description:
Contributed to [Test Prep Company] MCAT (pending publication) as writer and editor with [External Organization]. [##] hours completed under Dr. [Name], MD/PhD candidate at [University]. [Contact info included in main entry]

Volunteered with local food bank, [Food Bank Name], delivering food to the elderly. [##] hours under [Name] (), Volunteer Coordinator.

Academic mentor for incoming STEM, first-generation students. Anticipated [##] hours under Dr. [Name] ([email]), [University] Head of Anatomy & Physiology.

Paid math tutor for [University] undergraduates. Anticipated [##] hours under Dr. [Name] ([email]), [University] Mathematics Co-Chair.
 
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I have a full 15 activities as of now and was planning on combining 2 shadowing experiences at the same hospital to make room for a combined entry of 4 recent and future committed activities. What is your opinion on this strategy and what should I name the entry? I am including a draft of my description with identifying information removed. Square-bracketed text is placeholder or explanatory.

Experience Description:
Contributed to [Test Prep Company] MCAT (pending publication) as writer and editor with [External Organization]. [##] hours completed under Dr. [Name], MD/PhD candidate at [University]. [Contact info included in main entry]

Volunteered with local food bank, [Food Bank Name], delivering food to the elderly. [##] hours under [Name] (), Volunteer Coordinator.

Academic mentor for incoming STEM, first-generation students. Anticipated [##] hours under Dr. [Name] (), [University] Head of Anatomy & Physiology.

Paid math tutor for [University] undergraduates. Anticipated [##] hours under Dr. [Name] ([email]), [University] Mathematics Co-Chair.
[/QUOTE]
Putting all shadowing in one entry I agree with. Including multiple activities that would fall under different tags, I find to be an unusual choice. What tag did you plan to use? Surely some of them might be grouped with other activities with a similar designation? (Teaching, paid employment, Volunteer or Leadership)
 
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Darcxia

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Thank you for your response! I was planning on assigning it under the Other tag. I would struggle associating any of these activities with other similar activities. I taught an MCAT seminar for my Pre-health club, but also helped organize a toy drive with the club. I could possibly add the math tutoring, STEM mentor, or MCAT test prep pending publication to that? Or add the MCAT publication to my clinical publications entry? The club entry was tagged as extracurricular, which might also conflict with teaching. Food bank would be non-clinical volunteering, but I have no other consistent (not one-off) entries to associate it with. The other issue is that I have more reflective writing for the existing entries. I had made an entry for awards received that I could replace with the food bank entry; however I do want to include an award in mythology and classics I received, but again would not know where to combine it. Sorry for the info dump! Thank you again for your time!
 
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Thank you for your response! I was planning on assigning it under the Other tag. I would struggle associating any of these activities with other similar activities. I taught an MCAT seminar for my Pre-health club, but also helped organize a toy drive with the club. I could possibly add the math tutoring, STEM mentor, or MCAT test prep pending publication to that? Or add the MCAT publication to my clinical publications entry? The club entry was tagged as extracurricular, which might also conflict with teaching. Food bank would be non-clinical volunteering, but I have no other consistent (not one-off) entries to associate it with. The other issue is that I have more reflective writing for the existing entries. I had made an entry for awards received that I could replace with the food bank entry; however I do want to include an award in mythology and classics I received, but again would not know where to combine it. Sorry for the info dump! Thank you again for your time!
Organizing one's activities efficiently can be a challenge. Using a catch-all "Other" space for miscellaneous collegiate activities is used by nontrads many years from their undergrad activities, so it should work for you as well.

I can also see that many of these activities fall under the Teaching tag, including the mentoring and test prep questions. But that wouldn't cover the food bank volunteering. If you could fit the awards received with the affiliated activity that earned them, that would work to open up another space.
 
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UnanimousUnity

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Hi SDN,

I am putting about 6-7 awards and scholarships in one activity section as a list and a brief description. I will expand on my research scholarship by using another activity section slot, but I was wondering for the rest of the awards, what should be my award date, contact title/name/phone#/email, and organization name?

Also is this something I should avoid?
I'm listing the following:
- 2 Scholarships + another research scholarship which will have its own section (maybe?)
- EMT award
- Latin honors from CC (Magna Cum laude) & Latin from 4yr school (Summa Cum Laude), and college honors, Dean's list for every quarter since the first year
- Membership in a greek honor society
- Research award for selected abstract in a conference (Should I write about this separately instead?)

Thanks for the help and your time!
 

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Hi SDN,

I am putting about 6-7 awards and scholarships in one activity section as a list and a brief description. I will expand on my research scholarship by using another activity section slot, but I was wondering for the rest of the awards, what should be my award date, contact title/name/phone#/email, and organization name?

Also is this something I should avoid?
I'm listing the following:
- 2 Scholarships + another research scholarship which will have its own section (maybe?)
- EMT award
- Latin honors from CC (Magna Cum laude) & Latin from 4yr school (Summa Cum Laude), and college honors, Dean's list for every quarter since the first year
- Membership in a greek honor society
- Research award for selected abstract in a conference (Should I write about this separately instead?)

Thanks for the help and your time!
I moved your question to this main thread as it seemed more appropriate.
 

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Hello SDN,
I was told today that a paper I'm a co-author on has been accepted "in principle" according to my PI. I wanted to check whether it would be appropriate to list this paper as its own slot in Publications and write that it has been accepted in principle, or whether I should just incorporate it into the activity description of my research slot. I'm not sure how "accepted in principle" compares to "accepted with minor revisions", so any feedback is helpful! Thanks so much.
 
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