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2+ Year Member
Dec 10, 2019
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Hi there! My name is Maggie and I’m applying for the first time this cycle! I’m not really sure how competitive an applicant I am in the grand scheme of things and I’m in desperate need of some brutally honest advice. I’m about to be a junior at the University of Alabama and I’m looking to apply to Mississippi State (in state for me), Georgia, Auburn, and Tennessee. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if I end up taking a gap year, but I’d love to get in on my first try. Let me know what y’all think.

Majors: Biology and Psychology

Cumulative GPA: 3.79 – I can easily get this up to a 3.8 by the end of this fall semester

Science GPA: 3.73

Last 45 credits GPA: 4.0

Research experience:
I’m currently in a lab studying behavioral plasticity and aggression in the mangrove rivulus. It’s the only simultaneous hermaphroditic vertebrate in existence, so super cool stuff. Involves a lot of behavior watching, measurements, fish egg maintenance, and general care for our entire fish population. I’ve been consistently working in this lab for about a year and a half. I’m also supposed to co-author a research paper alongside 2 other grad students this upcoming year.

Veterinary experience:
  • 142 hours shadowing an equine vet
    • Got to shadow a doctor specializing in equine Chinese herbal medicine, chiropractics, and podiatry – potentially unique experience?
  • 500+ hours working as a kennel technician in a small animal clinic
    • Includes lots of tech work – reading fecals, giving vaccines, nail trims, surgery pack making, restraining animals for the vet/techs, communicating with clients, etc.
  • …and that’s it. I know I’m kind of low on hours in this area, but I’m currently working full time as a kennel technician (36-46 hours a week at least). Hopefully, by the end of this summer, I’ll have at least 1000 hours total working as a kennel tech.
Animal Experience:
  • 100 hours volunteering at the humane society
  • 100 hours working as a kennel tech for another small animal vet clinic in high school and mid-college
    • Only worked weekends with no vet present
  • 100 hours volunteering at the humane society
  • Random volunteer opportunities thru my sorority, but not enough to make a big difference (maybe 10 hours total)
  • Served as the Public Relations Chair for UA’s Pre-Veterinary Medical Association in 2019
  • Currently serving as the Alumni Chair for the same club
  • Chi Omega Sorority
  • Society of Women in Medicine (SWIM)
  • Geriatric Organization for Animal Therapy (GOAT)
  • Pre-Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA)
  • Psychology Club
  • Golden Key Honor Society
  • Cardinal Key Honor Society
  • Psi Chi Honor Society
  • Dean’s List (Fall 2019)
  • President’s List x3 (Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021)
I had a super rough freshman year and struggled with my mental health a lot, but I’ve been working super hard to make up for it grades-wise. I made a couple C’s in my intro bio and chemistry courses, but otherwise nothing too serious. I had to drop intro chem II with a W, but I retook it over the summer at a community college and made an A.

Reading everyone else’s posts on this subforum is always super intimidating. I feel like everyone else has 3,000+ hours of varied experience (don’t get me wrong – I’m definitely amazed and impressed by their dedication and work ethic, but I got a bad case of imposter syndrome). I’ve been telling myself I’m a competitive enough applicant, but it’s getting close to crunch time and I’m starting to panic. Keep in mind, my dream school is MS State (which is in-state for me). If y’all think I’m at least able to get in there, I’m set. Otherwise, any advice is appreciated! Thanks a million!


UC Davis C/O 2025
2+ Year Member
May 30, 2020
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One of the doctors I worked for in the ER only had 2 weeks shadowing a GP when he applied to vet schools (that was around 2010 I think), he had a 4.0 GPA and substantial research experience, and got accepted 2 out of 3 schools he applied to. I honestly don't know how schools make their selection past a certain threshold for both GPA and experience (which I do believe you satisfy), but try to come up with a convincing narrative of how your past experience (academically, emotionally, physically, financially, etc.) has shaped you into a person that can thrive in veterinary medicine, it's more about the quality than the quantity especially when it comes to vet experience.