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Question for Accepted Non-Trads from Business World

BullBearMan

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Congrats on the A! I'm one of the aforementioned Non-Trads with 5 years strategy consulting experience applying this cycle. I am trying to finalize my personal statement, which does not discuss my business experience at all (aside from a short digression stating that I strayed from medicine for a short while) as I don't think I helps answer the question "Why medicine?" Wondering if you all included your business experience in you PS? If so, how did you frame it?
 

JanetSnakehole

I’m a very rich widow with a terrible secret.
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Congrats on the A! I'm one of the aforementioned Non-Trads with 5 years strategy consulting experience applying this cycle. I am trying to finalize my personal statement, which does not discuss my business experience at all (aside from a short digression stating that I strayed from medicine for a short while) as I don't think I helps answer the question "Why medicine?" Wondering if you all included your business experience in you PS? If so, how did you frame it?

Like you, I also spent several years in the corporate world before I chose to pursue medicine. Reflecting on those years was a significant part of my personal statement, but only because my story wasn’t really cohesive without it. Early drafts of my PS glossed over this part of my history, but my essay editors (including a former admissions staffer) encouraged me to discuss it in greater detail. I’m happy I did, as I think it added an interesting, unique angle to my statement.

Several schools had secondary prompts where I was able to really elaborate on what those experiences taught me, how they changed me as a person, and how they ultimately helped me prepare for a life in medicine. Even if you don’t discuss your former career in your PS, you will probably want to talk about it in your secondaries. Five years is a long time, and you likely honed skills through your consulting work (professionalism, organization, communication, diplomacy, etc.) that will be quite relevant to your future as a physician. Find a way to show this to the reader through your reflections, where appropriate.

You should be aware that your former career WILL come up in your interviews. I was asked about my professional background in every single interview I attended - the interviewers and I discussed it extensively in some. I had no idea people would be so interested, but they were. One physician was like, “I’ve reviewed 600 personal statements, but I actually remembered yours out of all of them. We don’t often see applicants with this type of background. How on Earth did you end up here?” Make sure you’re prepared to field lots of questions - your interviewers will be curious.

Best of luck to you this cycle.
 
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BullBearMan

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Like you, I also spent several years in the corporate world before I chose to pursue medicine. Reflecting on those years was a significant part of my personal statement, but only because my story wasn’t really cohesive without it. Early drafts of my PS glossed over this part of my history, but my essay editors (including a former admissions staffer) encouraged me to discuss it in greater detail. I’m happy I did, as I think it added an interesting, unique angle to my statement.

Several schools had secondary prompts where I was able to really elaborate on what those experiences taught me, how they changed me as a person, and how they ultimately helped me prepare for a life in medicine. Even if you don’t discuss your former career in your PS, you will probably want to talk about it in your secondaries. Five years is a long time, and you likely honed skills through your consulting work (professionalism, organization, communication, diplomacy, etc.) that will be quite relevant to your future as a physician. Find a way to show this to the reader through your reflections, where appropriate.

You should be aware that your former career WILL come up in your interviews. I was asked about my professional background in every single interview I attended - the interviewers and I discussed it extensively in some. I had no idea people would be so interested, but they were. One physician was like, “I’ve reviewed 600 personal statements, but I actually remembered yours out of all of them. We don’t often see applicants with this type of background. How on Earth did you end up here?” Make sure you’re prepared to field lots of questions - your interviewers will be curious.

Best of luck to you this cycle.
Thanks, I appreciate the advice Ms. Snakehole! During interviews what did your interviewer typically ask about your previous profession? Is would expect "Please tell me about your current profession and why are you making the switch?"
 
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JanetSnakehole

I’m a very rich widow with a terrible secret.
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Jun 18, 2018
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  1. Medical Student
Thanks, I appreciate the advice Ms. Snakehole! During interviews what did your interviewer typically ask about your previous profession? Is would expect "Please tell me about your current profession and why are you making the switch?"

Exactly. Other questions I was asked:

- “What relevant skills did you learn from your former career that will help you in medicine?”
- [I was in a management role] “It sounds like you were making good money. Why are you giving all that up to start over again?”
- “How will you adjust moving from a leadership role to a learner role? Will you be OK being on the bottom of the pecking order for the next several years?”

We also just kind of shot the breeze about my work - very getting-to-know-you/casual conversation. I think some of the doctors were just genuinely curious about what would make someone give up a well-paid position at a famous company to become a physician in their 30s. Maybe they thought I was crazy, who knows :)
 
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BullBearMan

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Exactly. Other questions I was asked:

- “What relevant skills did you learn from your former career that will help you in medicine?”
- [I was in a management role] “It sounds like you were making good money. Why are you giving all that up to start over again?”
- “How will you adjust moving from a leadership role to a learner role? Will you be OK being on the bottom of the pecking order for the next several years?”

We also just kind of shot the breeze about my work - very getting-to-know-you/casual conversation. I think some of the doctors were just genuinely curious about what would make someone give up a well-paid position at a famous company to become a physician in their 30s. Maybe they thought I was crazy, who knows :)

Thanks JS, definitely some questions to think through responses for.
 
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