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Unemployment as "challenge" in secondary essay?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by garbage1990, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. garbage1990

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    Hi there,

    I can't seem to find another thread on this, but I have heard that unemployment looks quite bad on a med school app. Can any adcoms comment on this?

    I am currently employed (have been working for 2.5 years), but straight out of undergrad, I apparently had no real world planning skills so I moved to a new state with my SO before having a job lined up. I had a very hard time finding a job (I'm not trying to make excuses, but I'm wondering if this could have been due to NOT applying for jobs before I graduated/right after graduating, and waiting until like Aug/Sept when many entry-level positions are filled by new grads...), and I had poor coping skills so I didn't fill my time with meaningful things to write on my app.

    I was always able to work hard to get good grades and worked as a research assistant during college. I didn't expect that finding a job would be hard because I thought I had a good resume for being straight out of college.

    I took the summer off to see family/travel after graduation. I moved 3 months after graduating. About 3 months after moving, I started volunteering at 2 different places to fill my time. After 3 months of volunteering (so 6 months after moving), I finally found a research position.

    This is all in the past now, and I really do believe that I have learned a lot from the experience: humility, better planning, better coping, and I know this sounds cheesy, but I do feel like I have become a more accepting/less judgmental person.

    In total, I have 9 months of not working, and 6 months of not working or volunteering. This makes me extremely nervous. I don't consider myself lazy, and I'm embarrassed about how I handled this period in my life. Other than this ~6 month period of unemployment, I think I am a *decent* applicant. Is this taboo to write about as a "challenge" in a secondary? I realize that this challenge was very well brought on by myself. But I suppose in life, sometimes you make poor, immature choices. I just don't know if this is needlessly highlighting my trouble finding a job.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!!
     
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  3. mikil100

    7+ Year Member

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    I don't think it's bad if you can spin it well. Also, you said you traveled in three of the unemployed months? Talk about that! There is nothing wrong with taking time to travel if you were able to afford it.
     
  4. NotASerialKiller

    2+ Year Member

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    I think you answered your own question when you said it was a poor, immature choice. Writing an essay about that challenge that was brought on by a poor and immature choice sounds like a lousy idea to me. I'm guessing you weren't looking for ANY job, but a research job you felt was good enough for you. I don't see a way of spinning that for a challenge essay that would make you look good.

    edit: Unemployment could be a good topic if your company was downsized and you had to support your family etc., but from your story it sounds like the financial side was even an issue. Someone not finding a research job for 6 months and travelling/volunteering to fill their time really doesn't sound like challenge essay material, more just something you wanted to do but couldn't for a little while. At least that's how I think it would come off, even if you spin it with things that you learned from the experience.
     
  5. gonnif

    gonnif Only 770 Days Until Next Presidential Election
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    Not necessarily, it really depends on how to write it up. What you learn from the comfortable/defined world of college to the harsh reality of unemployment; how expectations you assumed were quickly dashed; how college, in many ways, give you those lessons and how you had to learn it on your own.

    As I suggest to many people, write it up and see how "it feels" as an essay. It may not work, but what they want to see if how you face it, what you learn from it, what does it tell the adcom about you.
     
  6. ChrisMack390

    2+ Year Member

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    This may be exactly why. When people come to interview where I work, if they graduated in May and we didn't get their application until September, I invariably recommend against them unless they have an absolutely phenomenal reason why they waited so long to apply. This reeks of laziness, and in a couple of cases I have been overruled and later proven exactly right.
     

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