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University of Minnesota- Twin Cities

nona1

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    What are your thoughts on this school? For those who have interviewed, any personal anecdotes, recommendations, things you wish you had known/done etc.? Ideas on strengths/weaknesses?

    Or to anyone who is there now, your thoughts on how it compares to your pre-med expectations?

    Any feedback is much appreciated.
     

    towens5

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      nona1 said:
      What are your thoughts on this school? For those who have interviewed, any personal anecdotes, recommendations, things you wish you had known/done etc.? Ideas on strengths/weaknesses?

      Or to anyone who is there now, your thoughts on how it compares to your pre-med expectations?

      Any feedback is much appreciated.


      I interviewed in november. Things about the school I liked was p/f cirriculum and that you get to plan your rotations in 3 and 4th years. It seems like they have opportunities to do just about anything you want. The people were nice and I thought minneapolis would be a nice place to live if you dont mind the cold winters. As far as the interview, it was conversational and relaxed. Don't be afraid to ask your interviewer questions.
       

      nona1

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        towens5 said:
        I interviewed in november. Things about the school I liked was p/f cirriculum and that you get to plan your rotations in 3 and 4th years. It seems like they have opportunities to do just about anything you want. The people were nice and I thought minneapolis would be a nice place to live if you dont mind the cold winters. As far as the interview, it was conversational and relaxed. Don't be afraid to ask your interviewer questions.

        Winters- argh... Anyone else?
         
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        AxeOn

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          nona1 said:
          Winters- argh... Anyone else?


          I visited in December, and while Minnesota is not quite as "prestigious" as some of the other schools I have visited, there were some things that I was very impressed by. For one, research is generally very strong, especially in my area of interest (behavioral neuroscience). Plus, I thought the Twin Cities area would be a great place to live and learn. If you do opt to go to Minnesota, buy a WARM winter coat!

          In the end, you gotta go with your gut...
           

          kmnfive

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            I'm from California, and I’ve been to MN, even went to UMN TC for a semester and it it was freezing. Being from California it was quite a change.

            But the people above are correct, while it’s not the BEST school, it’s a great school. A lot of people donate a lot of moneyh to that school: alumnus, and other people willing to donate for research, and others who are just proud to part of MN, and They ARE research heavy, due to the nature of the environment, there’s nothing else to do when you’re snowed in for months at a time, and your car wont start because the coolant is frozen solid and the valves on your water pump cant move.

            It is without a doubt beautiful; during the spring everything is green. It’s why I went there. The air is crisp—and again I'm from CA so there’s a lot of brown air here.

            If you want to consider MN think of the weather, and whether or not you’ll be comfortable with the climate situations.
             

            jmeyers52

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              i dont know, i think the whole frigid tundra thing gets a little blown out of proportion. i came here for grad school from maryland and was terrified. but its really only very cold for a couple of weeks in the winter (very cold being below 0 in my opinion). the rest of the time it pretty much hovers in the 20's or even 30's (it's 41 right now). that's certainly not warm, but not significantly colder than new england/upper mid-atlantic. if you're from southern CA or florida and hate the cold, then it may be a factor, but otherwise i think it's pretty easy to deal with. especially in light of the sophisticated clinical skills lab, p/f grading, extremely flexible curriculum, nice/laid back student body and staff, and proximity to huge players in the biomed industry (only a plus if you're into research, although, these people also donate to the med school). anyway, i think the positives make it at least a wash with the climate and make the school just as appealing (in my opinion) to those of a similar caliber in other climate zones.

              --disclaimer-- i've heard that the past few winters have been particularly mild compared to years past. also, this post represents a biased opinion, as i've already decided to attend this school.
               

              vhawk

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                Well, the past few winters have certainly been very mild, but even with that, the "cold winter" thing does get exaggerated. Its something you get used to in a few months, one season at worst. However, its the really short days and endlessness of the winter that tends to get you down, as you will see a huge spike in suicide rates in late february, early march. That being said, if you are relatively stable and own/will purchase a snowmobile, MN is a great place to be, minneapolis specifically.
                 

                dnelsen

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                  Minnesota is one of the top public universities. The reasons you don't hear much about it (especially on this board):

                  -it is one of the most expensive public universities
                  -it is difficult to get into if you're from out-of-state
                  -there aren't many people from MN on this web site
                  -the weather does indeed suck (but it is often exaggerated)


                  As others mentioned, the U of MN is great because:

                  -the state legislature is increasingly supportive of the school and they are driving the state in the direction of becoming a national leader in biotechnology (see the new partnership between Mayo and the U of MN)
                  -to the above point there are several big biotech companies: Medtronic, Guidant (now part of J&J), etc.
                  -it is in a major metro area and is affiliated with several level-one trauma centers
                   

                  saki0005

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                    dnelsen said:
                    -the state legislature is increasingly supportive of the school and they are driving the state in the direction of becoming a national leader in biotechnology (see the new partnership between Mayo and the U of MN)

                    unfortunately the state legislature wasn't that supportive in controlling the rise of tuition. i had to work three jobs to pay for my undergraduate education.

                    you aren't a puppet for pawlenty, are you?
                     

                    dnelsen

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                      saki0005 said:
                      unfortunately the state legislature wasn't that supportive in controlling the rise of tuition. i had to work three jobs to pay for my undergraduate education.

                      you aren't a puppet for pawlenty, are you?

                      The legislature doesn't control tuition. The U of MN does.

                      Here is a blurb from an article on the 2006-2007 budget:

                      "His plan provides an increase of 11.2 percent for the University of Minnesota (or $1.22 billion)"

                      Does this mean the U of MN will lower tuition instead of doing double digit raises like they have in the past? I doubt it.
                       
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                      dnelsen

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                        saki0005 said:
                        2006-2007? I'm really pissed off at my mom right now for not popping me out until at least 1986 or 87.

                        Or you could have studied harder in high school and gotten some scholarships to pay for undergrad.

                        Damn new generation always wanting to blame someone besides themselves for their lot in life ;)
                         

                        saki0005

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                          i was getting paid over $800 a semester to go to school in Florida (2 overlapping scholarships). My mom was experiencing increased exacerbations of her MS due to the high temperatures, so my parents packed up the whole family and moved us to MN. obtaining a scholarship based on your high school merit is difficult when you are coming from out of state. nonetheless, i was awarded an academic scholarship through a private organization.
                          STILL needed to work my arse off to pay UofMN tuition.
                          You sound like Jesse Ventura...next thing you'll be saying is that we should all go into the military for a couple of years before uni.
                          my point is that i'm not asking for a hand out. i'm just saying that tuition increases are out of control and you cannot lay full blame on university administration.
                           

                          dnelsen

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                            I'm sorry to hear about your mother's condition and it was very noble of you to follow your family here to MN.

                            However, you cannot blame the 'evil' Pawlenty for the rise in tuition at the U of MN. We had a serious budget deficit and programs were cut across the board, not just higher education. I went to a private University and our tuition increases were right up there with the U of MN and private universities don't receive a lot of funding from the state.

                            My point was/is the school is taking steps to mitigate the rising tuition costs (freezing tuition, etc.) and the future is looking brighter considering the increase in the budget proposal.

                            Student loans, yes they suck, but I bet that most of your loans are subsidized (unless your parents are wealthy) and you can't get much better debt than that. They are deferred while you are in school and the interest rate is what, 3%?
                             

                            saki0005

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                              dnelsen said:
                              Student loans, yes they suck, but I bet that most of your loans are subsidized (unless your parents are wealthy) and you can't get much better debt than that. They are deferred while you are in school and the interest rate is what, 3%?

                              not familiar with loans...did not qualify based on my parents financial status.

                              and i never said pawlenty was evil (i mean - he is, but i never said that :laugh: ).

                              also, your point of view is a bit skewed. you chose to attend a private institution and pay an extortionate amount of money, where most people who attend a public instituition feel that they did not sign up for it.

                              i was especially shocked from the tuition hikes...MN tuition was already so expensive compared to FL. a community college in MN is twice as expensive as a 4 year public uni in FL!
                               

                              Hersey

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                                TexasSnow said:
                                Thanks for the insight on UMN!!! I am scheduled to interview there, but wasn't sure if it was a good school. Does anyone know what specialities students go into and where they match?

                                Thanks!
                                Match statistics for the graduating classes of 2002 through 2004 and the 2004 match list are available online.
                                http://www.meded.umn.edu/students/residency/match/index.htm
                                 

                                nona1

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                                  About the interview, did you get the name of your interviewer ahead of time?

                                  For anyone who hasn't posted their experience w/interview day on the site, what were you asked? Did any questions catch you off guard? Thanks.
                                   

                                  DrDarwin

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                                    nona1 said:
                                    About the interview, did you get the name of your interviewer ahead of time?

                                    For anyone who hasn't posted their experience w/interview day on the site, what were you asked? Did any questions catch you off guard? Thanks.

                                    Yes, you should receive your interviewer's name beforehand. U of M was my least conversational interview. The questions were bang, bang, bang, and I just answered them as well as I could. I also made a couple of jokes, which I think my interviewer appreciated. I was actually most nervous before this interview because I did not really prepare for it. It was the "lowest stakes" interview I had, and I had just interviewed at a different school two days before, so I did not really feel like preparing, reading, etc. The most unanticipated question I was asked was: "Why should we accept you?" I figured such a question would be reserved for the more elitist east coast schools. Then again, the administration kept equating themselves to U of Michigan and U of Washington, so the school's sense of prestige is obviously slightly self-inflated. U of MN is a great school, but it is not on par with either of the aforementioned schools. Good luck with your interview.
                                     

                                    nona1

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                                      DrDarwin said:
                                      Yes, you should receive your interviewer's name beforehand. U of M was my least conversational interview. The questions were bang, bang, bang, and I just answered them as well as I could. I also made a couple of jokes, which I think my interviewer appreciated. I was actually most nervous before this interview because I did not really prepare for it. It was the "lowest stakes" interview I had, and I had just interviewed at a different school two days before, so I did not really feel like preparing, reading, etc. The most unanticipated question I was asked was: "Why should we accept you?" I figured such a question would be reserved for the more elitist east coast schools. Then again, the administration kept equating themselves to U of Michigan and U of Washington, so the school's sense of prestige is obviously slightly self-inflated. U of MN is a great school, but it is not on par with either of the aforementioned schools. Good luck with your interview.

                                      Thanks. Are you an in-stater or out? Also, how long did it take for them to get back to you with a decision?
                                       

                                      Paragozardelsol

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                                        nona1 said:
                                        Thanks. Are you an in-stater or out? Also, how long did it take for them to get back to you with a decision?

                                        On the other hand, my interview was incredibly conversation, so I think it depends on the interviewer. I heard they have about a hundred interviewers, and only a handful of them are involved in the adcom.

                                        I am an out-stater and it took me five weeks to hear back. I have heard this can vary quite a bit depending on the reviewers you are assigned (from the following wednesday after your interview on)

                                        I really love all about this school, except for the winter.
                                         

                                        liverotcod

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                                          I got a real stroke of fortune for my interview: the chief of Emergency Medicine. When he asked what kind of medicine I was interested in, I told him, "I want your job." That really broke the ice, and we spent most of the interview talking about academic EM.

                                          I also liked the school a lot. I have interviewed at 5 Big Ten schools and would put this second after Michigan.
                                           

                                          TexasSnow

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                                            My interview was really laid back and conversational. I was like Dr. Darwin (no time/energy to brush-up on the school) and went in uncertain (but not nervous). I also was asked "why should we accept you?" but flipped it around and asked what the ideal applicant is and how similar I am to said applicant.

                                            Winter in Minnesota is freezing but manageable. The city responds rapidly to accumulated snow, ploughing the roads in no time. For instance two hours after a snow advisory ended, the highways were dry (if only Houston's roads were the same after a downpour...). Also, if you fear venturing out into the bitter cold, take comfort in knowing you can watch the lectures online a few hours later.

                                            I think MN is a good 'second tier' school. If you are scheduled to interview at the school, bear in mind you have to try VERY hard to interact with students (unlike other schools where students come to the 'interviewing room' or make an effort to talk to anyone roaming the halls while in a suit). I wish I had known this before hand as I have no idea what the students are like.
                                             

                                            TexasSnow

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                                              jmeyers52 said:
                                              They, in fact, do. I just got an email about it the other day. April 1st or 15th. I signed up for the 15th, but hadn't heard anything about a second look until I got the email. Perhaps its a new thing. Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise.


                                              So why did the asst. dean tell me otherwise?????
                                              :confused:






                                              :mad:
                                               

                                              jmeyers52

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                                                TexasSnow said:
                                                So why did the asst. dean tell me otherwise?????
                                                :confused:



                                                :mad:
                                                yeah, i dont know. that's weird. i just got the email on the 18th and not a thing was mentioned about it at the interview. also, the email was signed by two MS1's and said to respond to Dr. Becker. Maybe they just very recently decided to do it and the asst. dean for some reason isnt aware yet?? Seems far fetched, but you never know, I would def call though.
                                                 
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