WAMC - 1st time applicant, lots of experience/low undergrad gpa / strong grad gpa

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hcampo

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Hello everyone! This is my "ah **** it lets see what happens" cycle but I just want to go in with realistic expectations for this cycle. I had a rough gpa in undergrad due to undergoing trauma in high school that really shook my entire world. It really took until Fall 2023 for my medication, therapy, and service dog to all come together in order to succeed in school, which I have been doing in my grad program. I will be applying to the following schools:

Iowa (uses replaced GPA)
Colorado (no GPA req)
Ohio State (3.0 GPA req that I do not meet, submitting extenuating circumstances form)
Virgina-Maryland (no GPA req)
Washington (no GPA req)
St. George (no GPA req)
Minnesota (Prereq gpa: 3.389, Last 45: 3.65)
Michigan State (Prereq gpa: 3.066, Last 45: 3.65)
Lincoln Memorial (min 2.8 cum gpa, do not meet, will consider <2.8 if high last 40 gpa)
LSU (no GPA req)
Oregon State(no GPA req)
Royal (looks for at least 3.4 gpa but no GPA req)
U of Edinburgh (no GPA req)

VMCAS Cumulative GPA: 2.64
VMCAS science GPA: 2.62
VMCAS last 45:
3.65

Cumulative REPLACED GPA: 2.91
Science REPLACED GPA: 2.89
last 45 REPLACED GPA: 3.65

Any degrees achieved
BS Biochemistry from Loyola Marymount University
M. Agriculture Animal Science from Texas A&M (Spring 2025)

Casper: Have not taken, would love recommendations on how to get familiar with format
GRE results: Have not taken

Veterinary Experience:
- Veterinary Technician at 3 small animal hospitals, 1197 hrs at Marina Vet / 764 hrs at Pacific / 265 hrs at Southwood
- South African Vet internship, worked with vet in game capture/wildlife medicine, preventative care for local strays, and pregnancy diagnosing for local cattle farms. 8 hrs a day, 5 days a week for 5 weeks. 250 hrs total.
- Shadowed small and exotic vet Spring 2024, 30 hrs
Total: 2506 hours

Animal Experience:
- Pet Sitting every summer in high school, roughly 100 hours per summer, 300 hrs total
-Service Dog Training: trained my own service dog to help with my PTSD, 100 hrs
-Pet ownership: 5 dogs, 1 turtle, fish. 75 hrs
-Aquarium Education Specialist: rotated between managing touch pools & teaching guests about the animals and giving educational talks about tanks; answering guest questions about animals, 262 hrs
- Volunteered at Polo barn for polo team at TAMU, feeding horses, 5.5 hrs
- Volunteer at Bryan Stock Horses of TX Show, arranging horses for ranch riding event, 6.5 hrs
-PreVet Society Handling Clinics: Equine, Small Mammal. Alpacas, Canine Catheter Placement, 23 hrs
- (This summer) Equine show fitting internship, helping with stallion collection, foaling, grooming, and yearling training. approx 360 hrs by summer's end

Research Experience:
Microplastic pilot research under Dr. Jim Landry, studied Santa Monica Beach Sediment, Great Lakes Beach Sediment, and microplastics in beach invertebrates using FTIR method that the lab developed. Presented at SoCal Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry Annual Meeting (2018), Southern California Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting (2019), LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium (2018, 2019)
Spring 2018 - Spring 2020, total 606 hrs

Awards/scholarships:
- Total of $104,000 of merit scholarships at Loyola Marymount over 6 years (LMU Achievement Award, Seaver Annual Scholarship, Leavey Foundation Endowed Scholarship)

Extracurriculars:
- Texas A&M Pre Vet Society: Distinguished Member (Fall 2023, Spring 2024), 7th highest points collected out of 450 members in Spring 2024
- American Pre Vet Medical Associaltion at LMU: Founding chapter president Spring 2020-Spring 2023. Organized shadowing opportunities for club members, planned weekly meetings, planned events (virtual suture lab, alumni panel, guest vet speakers, trip to yearly symposium)
-Marians Service Organization: Member Spring 2018-Spring 2021, 2019 President,Service placements included: Itutors: Virtual tutoring for children in LAUSD (Spring 2021), Midnight Mission: Safe home for families escaping abuse (2018-2019), El Espejo: Middle school mentoring program (2019), 250 total service hours
- Division 1 Varsity Water Polo: Loyola Marymount, Varsity letters for 2018, 2019 seasons

Employment:
- Lion Express Supervisor: Took reservations and answered questions for on campus shuttle service as Supervisor, Managed 20+ students by organizing employee schedules, inspecting, and maintaining shuttle mechanics, and directly oversaw efficiency of shuttle service as Manager. Fall 2018 - Spring 2022
- Resident Advisor: Fall 2021 - Spring 2022, Directly counseled, advised, & implemented school policies for 47 first year residents, assigned overnight on call shifts 6+ times a month for entire building of 350 residents.

Personal Statement (will be adding short paragraph about internship once completed)
My passion for veterinary medicine has been profoundly shaped by two pivotal experiences during my undergraduate years. The first was my time at Marina Veterinary Center, where I was introduced to the essential skills and qualities required of a veterinarian. Under the mentorship of Dr. Moss, I honed my observational and analytical skills, delved into complex cases, and embraced the ethos of lifelong learning. Dr. Moss's emphasis on continuous education fueled my curiosity to understand various diseases, treatment protocols, and preventive care strategies. Moreover, I learned firsthand the significance of compassionate communication in veterinary practice, from accommodating clients to navigating difficult conversations about euthanasia.
The second transformative experience occurred during my internship in South Africa, where I grappled with the profound difference between instinctual care and productive compassion. Faced with a challenging case involving a puppy in need of medical attention that couldn't be immediately provided due to financial constraints, I confronted the limitations of my ability to save every animal. This experience taught me the importance of discerning between impulsive actions driven by emotion and thoughtful, sustainable solutions that address systemic issues. By collaborating with fellow interns to secure medication for the puppy and educate the owner on its administration, I realized the power of collective effort in overcoming obstacles in veterinary care.
These experiences have instilled in me a deep sense of humility and a commitment to continual growth and self-reflection. As I embark on my journey towards becoming a veterinarian, I am dedicated to integrating the lessons of empathy, knowledge, and collaboration into my practice. My goal is to leverage my passion for animals and my thirst for knowledge to serve both the needs of my patients and the broader community, prioritizing compassion and effective problem-solving over personal gratification.

Explanation Statement
Throughout my high school years, I endured the trauma of being sexually molested. The fear of shattering my family kept me silent, but the impact of the abuse was profound. It led me to seek solace out of state for my undergraduate studies, hoping to distance myself from the haunting memories. The aftermath of the abuse manifested in various forms - physical ailments like insomnia, night terrors, and hypervigilance, mental struggles including anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, and academic challenges such as lack of focus, attendance issues, and difficulty processing information. It wasn't until Spring 2019, when I was diagnosed with PTSD after a severe crisis, that I began to confront my trauma through therapy. Despite my efforts, the road to recovery was tumultuous, exacerbated by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fast forward to today, after years of therapy, medication, and the support of my service dog, I can proudly say that my academic performance is no longer hindered by my past trauma. With a strategic selection of courses for my master's program, I am demonstrating my academic prowess and determination to succeed. I urge the committee to recognize the resilience I have cultivated through my struggles, viewing my graduate program grades as a true reflection of my potential in the field. My journey has equipped me with the strength and skills needed to thrive in the demanding environment of veterinary medicine. Despite the challenges that lie ahead, I am confident that my resilience and perseverance will guide me toward a successful career as a veterinarian.

Thank you all so much! Please be as brutally honest as you can be, I know my numbers are LOW and that's where the first cuts are always made.

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Couple things, but I'm not counting you out yet necessarily:

1. Just because there's not a published GPA cutoff, doesn't mean there isn't actually a used cut off. Email all those schools and double check.

2. Consider setting up application meetings with the schools'admissions departments. Get a solid sense of if they recommend you apply.

3. Whatever schools end up on your short list, prioritize those that favor your subjectives like letters and experience. You'll really need to play those up.
 
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