EquipedeFrance

C'est une grosse déception.
2+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2017
7
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi, I hope you're all doing well. I would love your insight on the SR essay. I know this is kind of late but either way my MCAT won't be in until the end of September so I also sort of idiotically put off the PS and essay as well.

Anyway, I've had a bunch of research experiences at roughly 6 different labs. 4 were during/right after high school. The first three were short term-ish, even though for one I worked with someone who is reasonably famous. The fourth, I was involved in from 2012 to August 2014, so the summer before college and it was by far my most significant and meaningful research experience. I spent a crazy amount of time at the lab and barely went to school, I basically worked as an inept postdoc (made plenty of mistakes and learned a lot), had a ridiculous amount of freedom considering the equipment that we were using and this experience is what made me really want to be a scientist and that I could happily spent 10 hours in the lab. I obviously am very close to this PI still and he wrote me a reference letter.

In college, despite being at a top school, the research experiences haven't been as fulfilling or fruitful for me. Maybe the first year and a half I worked in a lab that was really focused on a technique that effectively mass collected data and doing analysis. I had really minimal freedom. The project that I was working on got pretty badly delayed in the school year, and then I switched to a really technical engineering based project that moved slowly, and then for the second summer, I went back to the more biological project but basically the group I was with promised me I could do more histology et al but literally nothing came of it, so I was stuck trying to analyze data...which I sucked at. The second lab I went to does more biological work but basically I have been collecting and analyzing data for a paper that I will be on. I made one interesting finding but the PI doesn't really want to go too deep, so, eh.

Anyway, I would really like to detail my experience with the fourth lab since it was so important for me but much of the time doesn't fall within the typical window. I obviously intend on writing detailed stuff on the latter two, but will it be okay to include some stuff that happened before the summer before college? Second - can I list the earlier HS dates?

Thanks a lot!
 
OP
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EquipedeFrance

C'est une grosse déception.
2+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2017
7
0
Status
Pre-Medical
^ I was not planning on writing about those, only the 4th lab experience and was mostly wondering if that was ok.
The first three were like 1 summer long, 1 summer long, and 1 semester?

For the fourth it was 2 summers and 2 academic years.

I don't want to be annoying haha, I already know that I'm in a rough spot with my late app :-/
 

Microbug

2+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2016
663
904
The (not)-Greater NYC Area
Status
MD/PhD Student
^ I was not planning on writing about those, only the 4th lab experience and was mostly wondering if that was ok.
The first three were like 1 summer long, 1 summer long, and 1 semester?

For the fourth it was 2 summers and 2 academic years.

I don't want to be annoying haha, I already know that I'm in a rough spot with my late app :-/
Personally I would still write about that 4th experience because it seems like a very important experience to you. (I wouldn't mention the part about how you barely went to school though...) I would also emphasize the college experiences and highlight the positives aspects. My significant research essay was very technical and abstracts mode (project goal, method, results and etc), so IMO it doesn't really matter how you feel about the project, you just have show that you have in depth understanding of the project.

Regarding the 3 research experiences, you can not mention them at all, or just start off with a sentence just saying how you've been exposed to research very early on. I wouldn't dwell on it.

I am just a fellow applicant this cycle so inputs from some more senior people would probably be better.
 
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