VMCAS: Experience

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by rachroo, May 8, 2008.

  1. rachroo

    rachroo OSU CVM c/o 2013

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    Hi everyone!

    I was looking at a copy of the "pre-VMCAS" application online ...and had a few questions...

    1. Am I allowed to include volunteer work (some vet-med related and some not), awards and activities from high school in these sections?

    2. I think I remember reading somewhere that if you put information down under one category, it can't be put in another.

    So for example, my job at a SA practive... I was planning on splitting ~75% of my hours for experience and then ~25% of my time under vet expereince since I do both, and those are about how much time I typically spend in each category (I wish I would have recorded the specifics for the last 6 years, but that's the most honest and fair way I can come up with since I did not!) Is it possilbe to list them both under the vet AND animal sections if I split up the hours for each? Also, what do I do about the employment experience since this has been my only paid job during high school and college?

    3. For the extracurricular and community activities sections, I have several experiences that are non-vet related. Should I list these? I feel like they would add to my application, especially since they have taken up a lot of my time and show-case some of my talents besides just listing all my vet/animal experiences. Then again, I'm worried the ad-comms might think they are "fluff."

    Some things I'd like to add that are not vet related:
    -cooking classes
    -writing a novel (I expect it to be finished before summers end)
    -make and sell vintage-pop-art jewlery made with soda bottle caps
    -played Alto Saxophone in grades 5-11 and was a music chorister for church group during freshman year in college

    What do you all think? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks! :)
     
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  3. wi girl

    wi girl Wisconsin SVM c/o 2012

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    Ummm ...
    (1) Yes.
    (2) True -- regarding the experience stuff (my advice would be) -- if it was in a vet clinic, then its vet experience. And, unfortunately, you don't have any other employment experience then.

    (3) add the cool extras -- they give you diversity and set you apart! I included my scuba hobby, and other random stuff like cello, and swimming, and such, and was talked about at an interview, so they do read it. Its not fluff, it gives them a well rounded, accurate representation of who you are and your interests!! Plus the novel thing is pretty impressive!

    These are, of course, simply my opinion. Especially regarding number 2, you could always call the VMCAS help line (once the app opens!).
     
  4. rachroo

    rachroo OSU CVM c/o 2013

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    Thanks!

    Yeah, I'm a little worried about #2. I'll call once the applications are up.

    I'm just worried since technically I work in the kennels but I also sometimes help prep surgury and help the Dr's quite often. It's worth a lot of my expereince since I have worked there for 6 years... I hope I can at least put some of it under vet expereince and some under animal experience.:scared:
     
  5. CalpardNY

    CalpardNY UIUC CVM c/o 2012

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    What Wi girl said seems to make sense to me! I think if you can only put the job you had under one place, the most important place would be vet experience. But if you make sure to clearly explain that it was paid, and involved a variety of activities in the area it allows you to provide a detailed explanation of that activity, hopefully the adcoms will realize the depth of that experience.

    As far as the extra stuff - i would say include it all. Most of the stuff you listed seem meaningful and things you are passionate about - so its not like you are just filling up spots. I think its good to put that stuff down so adcoms see that you have other interests and are involved in other stuff. From a personal perspective, i didn't have a ton of vet experience but I made sure to list my extracurriculars and side activities which, as was discussed in one interview, showed that i carried a full plate and had leadership roles. (This, I speculate, may have helped my lower gpa...b/c they saw that i can be dedicated to things and take on responsibility). So my point - include it all!
     
  6. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012

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    I also agree that the vet experience area is the most important. Look at it this way, if it's vet experience, chances are it's also animal experience, so they'll know that. You really don't want to short-change your vet experience area!
     
  7. rachroo

    rachroo OSU CVM c/o 2013

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    Thanks for all the input everyone.

    The only problem is that for the 6 years I've worked there ~75% of my time is kennel/janitorial work. I know that even though these take place in a 'vet' hospital that they would count under animal experience. But ~25% of my time is spent under under a DVM, which would count as vet expereience.

    Ahh, life. :)
     
  8. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012

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    Honestly, I would only divide them up if you started out in the kennel for the first few years, then moved on to vet stuff. If it was me and I was doing a mix of them all along, I'd put it under vet. I mean, if you're working for a PhD in the lab and doing research, but half the time you don't see that PhD and are just cleaning glassware, you're still doing aspects of research. (Maybe that's a bad example...I'm quite tired.) Anyway, it's up to you, of course. I just think the vet school adcoms look primarily at the vet experience stuff, and whoever said it is right...there is room to explain varied duties under the description.

    In fact, I'm fairly sure I listed my kennel experience under vet med now that I think about it. Because it was at a vet hosp and the overall supervisor was a vet. That was good enough for me.
     
  9. CalpardNY

    CalpardNY UIUC CVM c/o 2012

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    Actually I think there is a box you can click on somewhere on the application (when it opens) that has a grid to help you determine what each of your experiences count as. And if i remember correctly it has to do with who supervised it, rather than the nature of the work. i.e. if a vet "supervised" the work, or it was in a vet clinic...it would be considered vet stuff...regardless of what work you were doing. (I guess they figure if you are cleaning cages in a vets office versus in a pet store you see/are closer to more vet activities?!) Which is probably why most of us are telling you not to split it up!

    We all know the apps are far from perfect (not that any of us have an easy/simple solution)...so do the best you can!
     
  10. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012

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    Ah yes, I recall that chart. I actually found that little thing rather helpful. And that's probably why I put the kennel experience where I did. Somehow, though, I missed the idea that experience under a PhD researcher also belongs under the vet experience. Stupid me. I totally left two different experiences off of VMCAS because of that. (Um, not that it matters any more, I suppose. :p)
     
  11. CalpardNY

    CalpardNY UIUC CVM c/o 2012

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    Did the same thing too. I put it on but under animal experience. Like you said - not that it matters at this point :cool:! See Rachroo...you don't have to be perfect on the application - just get the info on there somewhere! :luck:
     
  12. wi girl

    wi girl Wisconsin SVM c/o 2012

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    Ditto. Put all my research under animal experience. Meh, whatever. I'm going where I want. I really do think they look at the descriptions and not just the cumulative number of hours.
     
  13. CanadianGolden

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    Doesn't matter. It goes under vet experience (unless you want your vet experience section to look weak). I worked part time as a kennel tech/tech assistant for one summer--that was it--and put that down as vet experience. I think I listed my research as vet experience as well, as I worked under two DVM/PhDs. That was a few thousand hours. Everything else (dog showing/training, riding horses, Pony Club, etc) went under animal experience.

    Whatever you can reasonably list as vet experience, do.
     
  14. mdnghtdnc

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    I agree with what has been said. The adcoms are looking for a great variety of vet experience. That is one of the main parts of the application they look at. I have read a lot of post mortums and some of them were told they needed to focus in their vet experience that it was all over the place. My next suggestion is to volunteer or shadow to gain additional experience, whether with a vet or shelter to help improve you application. The rumor is that they are looking this time around at well rounded students with experience in as many areas as possible. (This is just a side note, that you may want to consider).... Hope this helps you make a decision.
     
  15. rachroo

    rachroo OSU CVM c/o 2013

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    I am a little confused.

    It sounds like I need to have varied experiences in different fields, but not not many for fear of not looking focused? I have tried to get as much experience in various fields of both vet and animal expereince. The problem now is that I enjoy every single one and it has made me unsure of what exact area I want to pursue in vet medicine!

    I have so far for my 1st application cycle (or am in the process of getting):
    Vet Expereince: SA, Mixed Practice, Emergency, Zoo
    Animal Experience: SA, LA (Farm), Exotics (Baboons and Wildlife Reserve both located in South Africa), Raptor Rehab, Aquarium Internship (applying for this position), pet sitting...
     
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  17. wi girl

    wi girl Wisconsin SVM c/o 2012

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    rachroo, based on what you just typed, you have more experience than I did. just keep doing whatever interests you (if thats small or large or mixed or .... :D)

    also, i think they meant focus as in make sure that all vet experience goes into vet experience on VMCAS, not under paid and animal and such. But that's my interpretation.
     
  18. bunnyslippers

    bunnyslippers Purdue SVM Class of 2013

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    Wow, working with a PhD counts as vet experience? I would have never thought that! That will only add about 20 hours to my vet experience, but every little bit helps! :)
     
  19. bunnyslippers

    bunnyslippers Purdue SVM Class of 2013

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    I'm so jealous of your tons of varied experience. It all sounds like so much fun!
     
  20. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012

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    I put one under animal experience and the other one I actually left it off VMCAS entirely.:oops: How ridiculous am I?

    They definitely meant that you need to gather all your vet experience under the vet experience section on VMCAS, not have it spread out under animal experience or paid employment.
     

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