subzero0174

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Hey guys, quick question. I am a Junior Bio major, taking the MCAT in april 06, and have a 3.9gpa. I have plenty of volunteer hours in the operating room, and lots of extracur. activities. I am just wondering if the fact that I have never had a "real" job, other than tutoring engineering students for 8$ an hour, is going to be detremental to my applications. I am asking because this summer will be my last opportunity before I start applying to med schools. I have many options. I can work at a normal 9-5 job in my home town, I can study abroad, or I can volunteer like last summer(120hrs.total) in the OR. I am also fairly certain that because I was such an excellent volunteer last summer, that I could get a paying job as an orderly for like 9$hr. What do you guys think would help my chances out the most? Thanks
 

Mephisto

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you don't seem to have any research experience. If at all possible, I would try to go for that. There are many fellowships with the NIH and HHMI and even some of the leading cancer centers that you could get with your GPA and background. you might even be able to get involved with clinical research if you enjoy that more. You definitely need some experience in scientific research. That's the main thing I see you lacking.
 

vhawk

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In both of my interviews, it came up that I have worked a lot of sucky menial 9-5 jobs. In both cases, my interviewer was positively impressed that I knew what it was like to shlep, so thats my 2 cents.
 

cammy1313

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As Mephisto stated, maybe summer research internship is the way to go? If that's not on your list of options then I vote for studying abroad. Getting in touch with other cultures shows interest and compassion for other cultures, not to mention how much you would learn from seeing how things work in other parts of the world. Actually, I think the experience is so invaluable that it should be required of all undergrads.
 

erin682

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I agree that research is good but if it were me I would study abroad and see if you can't do a little research during the school year. Studying abroad is a great experience to talk about in interviews and you're likely to get an interviewer at some point that has been where you studied. Not to mention that it would be really fun and a good life experience.
 

scrappysurfer

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I agree with the schleping comments. I think my work/research experience (bioengineering intern for 4/5 years in school and two years between) has made the difference for me. The terms "advanced," "mature," and "sophisticated" have been applied during my interviews. Since I'm only 24, I will attribute the descriptions to my real world expereince.

To be honest, though, I would have loved to study abroad. If you can tie studying abroad into something with a medical bent do so. Some of my friends have done this in South America. It will be fun> It will also stand out more than doing research because if you lack enthusiasm for your research it will show. If you do so, you may want to pick up a part time research job (i.e. 10hrs/wk as cheap labor in a research lab). There are many grants avaliable for students to work in labs.

Luck to you. Your stats are sickeningly good so far so you probably won't need it.
 

Blue Scrub

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Yes I think studying abroad would be just an awesome experience, and if you can tie it in medically or relate it to your desires to be a doc, it sounds good....as far as research, try and do it during the school year, the school year is longer and so maybe the research will be more fulfilling and you'll see some results