Jul 23, 2013
324
224
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Not trying to humble brag here, honestly just looking for some advice. Since completing my secondaries, I have been fortunate to have had a few accomplishments/experiences that may or may not be worth updating schools about. I have listed them below...

1. Got hired for a R&D position by one of the biggest/well known biotech companies. I will be doing molecular biology/cell culture with the goal of improving our ability to reprogram different cell types into iPSCs.
2. Submitted a manuscript to a well known journal (impact factor ~9) which is now in review. I am second author and I have been conducting this research at a top 20 department of medicine for the past year. In some of my secondaries I mentioned I submitted a manuscript to this journal, but I did not know if it was accepted for review or not at the time.
3. Got a 4.0 my past spring semester.
4. Began volunteering for another non-profit organization

In your opinion are any or all of these worth updating schools about? If I do decided to update, should I give some commentary on how meaningful these experiences have been and what I have learned? Or should I simply just tell them my updates.


Thanks!
 
Feb 25, 2015
41
26
Status
Medical Student
These do sound like great accomplishments, so congrats! However, in my opinion, they do not warrant an update letter. "got hired", "submitted manuscript", and "began "volunteering" does not change your app significantly especially because you had already mentioned to the schools that a manuscript was in the works. Wait until you have actual experiences with your new employment and volunteering activities and also until the manuscript is in press before notifying schools.
 

gonnif

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In many schools, the primary and secondaries are parsed out to faculty/readers via static methods (ie printed or pdf) and may not be updated to them.
 

Goro

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#3 is the only thing that merits an update, to schools that welcome them.

Do you really think that the Dean of Admissions will run out of his office screaming "@gonnif! We have to interview this kid! He just got a new job!".....?????


The only publications that count are "in press" or already published.


Not trying to humble brag here, honestly just looking for some advice. Since completing my secondaries, I have been fortunate to have had a few accomplishments/experiences that may or may not be worth updating schools about. I have listed them below...

1. Got hired for a R&D position by one of the biggest/well known biotech companies. I will be doing molecular biology/cell culture with the goal of improving our ability to reprogram different cell types into iPSCs.
2. Submitted a manuscript to a well known journal (impact factor ~9) which is now in review. I am second author and I have been conducting this research at a top 20 department of medicine for the past year. In some of my secondaries I mentioned I submitted a manuscript to this journal, but I did not know if it was accepted for review or not at the time.
3. Got a 4.0 my past spring semester.
4. Began volunteering for another non-profit organization

In your opinion are any or all of these worth updating schools about? If I do decided to update, should I give some commentary on how meaningful these experiences have been and what I have learned? Or should I simply just tell them my updates.


Thanks!
 

gonnif

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Do you really think that the Dean of Admissions will run out of his office screaming "@gonnif! We have to interview this kid! He just got a new job!".....?????
My response to the Dean would be


 
Jun 9, 2015
512
621
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Hi all,

Just wondering if i can unpack this a little bit more. Many schools encourage you to update them specifically with new experiences or activities. Based on what was written above, it seems that most new activities or experiences don't warrant an update to schools. I am wondering, then, if there may be a rule of thumb we can use to determine when it is appropriate?

I ask because i recently got involved in an organization that fits into my application of serving the undeserved. This non-profit i am now volunteering has me going into prisons to help teach inmates meditation and non violent communication. We also hold community events to help integrate prisoners who have been recently released. I am also participating on the organization's racial justice board and in their efforts to standardize their curriculum and do program evaluation research.

Is this something that they'd like to hear an update about or would they view it as an "okay, so what?" sort of update? It's hard for me to parse out my own excitement about this new position of mine from what admissions committees actually care about.

As always, thanks in advance for anyone's insight on this issue.
 

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
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Hi all,

Just wondering if i can unpack this a little bit more. Many schools encourage you to update them specifically with new experiences or activities. Based on what was written above, it seems that most new activities or experiences don't warrant an update to schools. I am wondering, then, if there may be a rule of thumb we can use to determine when it is appropriate?

I ask because i recently got involved in an organization that fits into my application of serving the undeserved. This non-profit i am now volunteering has me going into prisons to help teach inmates meditation and non violent communication. We also hold community events to help integrate prisoners who have been recently released. I am also participating on the organization's racial justice board and in their efforts to standardize their curriculum and do program evaluation research.

Is this something that they'd like to hear an update about or would they view it as an "okay, so what?" sort of update? It's hard for me to parse out my own excitement about this new position of mine from what admissions committees actually care about.

As always, thanks in advance for anyone's insight on this issue.
Not simply an new opportunity but an achievement.

Not a new involvement with a new organization but being named to supervisory or team lead (eg named crew chief on campus ambulance corps)
Not a new lab position but a paper recently accepted for publication or invitation to present at conference.
Being awarded an honor or grant, especially if highly selective or competitive.
If you had taken 2 or more worthwhile courses over the summer that would be "impressive" (eg received As in Genetics and Biochem).
If you had 2 or 3 "typical" events that to happened together (eg became a TA for Organic and started a new research lab).
 
Jun 9, 2015
512
621
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Medical Student (Accepted)
awesome, thanks for your input. I wish they were more clear on their portals as most simply say experience or activity. That ambiguity leaves a lot of opportunity for us to upload something that isn't worthy of an upload and then look bad because of it. I knew i could rely on SDN to (sometimes) prevent me from lookin a fool...!
 

gonnif

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3. Got a 4.0 my past spring semester.
#3 is the only thing that merits an update, to schools that welcome them.
I will have to respectfully disagree with my esteemed colleague from west of St. Louis. Why on this earth would anyone who may be heading for a semester 4.0 GPA submit prior to grades being in? Under the OCD and herd mentality that if dont submit on Day 1 your are dead in the water? And, if your application is verified, processed, and parsed out to adcom members for review via paper or static pdf, the updates may never get there?

Sorry I took this slight rant out on you OP. But I wanted to make sure if others read this thread in the future, they might see it.

Now Mr Speaker, I yield the floor.
 

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
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awesome, thanks for your input. I wish they were more clear on their portals as most simply say experience or activity. That ambiguity leaves a lot of opportunity for us to upload something that isn't worthy of an upload and then look bad because of it. I knew i could rely on SDN to (sometimes) prevent me from lookin a fool...!
Better to stay quiet and let people think you're a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt
Old Yiddish Proverb
 
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