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So I may be starting a job in mid-June where I am working around 40-50 hour weeks. I figure I will be strapped on time a lot to do secondaries. I am graduating college this may and will have my primary submitted to AMCAS June 1, (I have taken mcat and all the prereqs) before I start working. My question is to people who work full-time and applied. Was it feasible doing all those secondaries during work? Or did you find it nearly impossible? I am planning on applying to like 25 schools, so I figure I will have a lot of writing. Though I will focus probably more attention on 10 of those (my top 10 choices). All advice appreciated
 

Bacchus

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Not working because of secondaries is illogical. Getting time off for interviews is another thing.
 

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I'm interested to see what people say about this too since I may be in the same situation. I heard you can find a lot of the secondaries in the school-specific thread, so maybe it would be helpful to fill some of them out ahead of time.
 
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I'm interested to see what people say about this too since I may be in the same situation. I heard you can find a lot of the secondaries in the school-specific thread, so maybe it would be helpful to fill some of them out ahead of time.
Yeah. I have a lot of down-time in the next two months that I plan to use to write my PS/pre-fill out AMCAS. But would it be a good idea to start making drafts of secondaries based on the 2009-2010 threads? Or do they change too much year to year for that to be useful?

Or am I totally overreacting about how hard it is to balance secondaries with work...
 

justdoit31

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I worked 15 hrs/week volunteered 5 hrs/week and was taking a full load and did it just fine.

Some secondaries will only take you 20 minutes other an hour or two... If you work a typical 8-5 schedule you could do 1-2 hours in the evening without an issue. I actually filled out over half of my secondary applications while on vacation. Most of them are low key and you will find you can modify essays to work for another schools prompt quite often.
 
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I worked 15 hrs/week volunteered 5 hrs/week and was taking a full load and did it just fine.

Some secondaries will only take you 20 minutes other an hour or two... If you work a typical 8-5 schedule you could do 1-2 hours in the evening without an issue. I actually filled out over half of my secondary applications while on vacation. Most of them are low key and you will find you can modify essays to work for another schools prompt quite often.
good to know! are you a texas resident btw? I was thinking of applying to texas schools but i heard they don't take AMCAS. is the texas application system largely similar ?
 

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You should be fine. I worked 40-50 hrs. as well while I studied for and took the MCAT and then applied last year. It really wasn't bad at all, and I still was able to make tons of time to enjoy life. As someone else said, you can modify a lot of your secondary essays so its not like you'll be writing 20 completely different ones. And yeah, the harder part is going to be getting time off for your interviews. I ended up having to take a lot of my interview trips as unpaid time off which sucks, but time wise it's completely feasible.
 
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I mean, I won't lie--it's definitely a challenge. If you've got the desire to apply to med school, I'm sure you'll have no motivation problems--just be prepared not to have a life during secondaries. I take a little longer to write I guess (I could never finish an essay for secondaries in 2 hours--I pretty much spend 2 hours just reading for typos over and over again like a premed), but there was a long stretch of going to work, coming home and writing, going to bed at 1am, sleeping, and doing it all over again. It lets up as you're able to start copying essays for similar prompts, though.

Then again, maybe I shouldn't have done consulting? My superior made me work 10 hour days in the evening after my interviews instead of giving me time off :p
 

obgyny

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So I may be starting a job in mid-June where I am working around 40-50 hour weeks. I figure I will be strapped on time a lot to do secondaries. I am graduating college this may and will have my primary submitted to AMCAS June 1, (I have taken mcat and all the prereqs) before I start working. My question is to people who work full-time and applied. Was it feasible doing all those secondaries during work? Or did you find it nearly impossible? I am planning on applying to like 25 schools, so I figure I will have a lot of writing. Though I will focus probably more attention on 10 of those (my top 10 choices). All advice appreciated
I'll be in the same boat, so you're not alone :).

I have a question. My school has resources for the students where premed advisors and/or writing consultants will look over your personal statement or secondaries and give you feedback. However, I graduated last year so I won't be able to use these resources anymore. Any advice on where someone who's no longer a student can get good feedback on their essays?

I mean, I have some friends I could ask (both pre-health and writing backgrounds), but I feel like I also need an unbiased opinion who has experience in this sort of thing.

Thanks!
 

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i worked a 40 hr/wk job while volunteering ~10 hr/wk while i did secondaries and for the most part it was fine. difficult and stressful at times, but so is a lot of this process (studying for the mcat and finals at the same time comes to mind!). i ended up completing ~28 secondaries, if that gives a better idea of how many freakin' essays i had to write when i say that it's doable. i also revised a lot and spent 2-3 days per secondary on average. that said, like mentioned above, there was a 3 week stretch when i went to work, came back, wrote, slept, went to work, again and again and actually dreaded the weekend because it just meant more writing. now with THAT said, i think having had the opportunity to really get to know my job and get good experience from it was immensely helpful when *every* single one of my interviewers asked me to expand on what i'd been doing since i graduated.

i also agree with the above posters: make sure the place you work at is ok with you taking time off for interviews. i took the job i did in part because they offered an unusually high number of paid days off and were lax with ok'ing time off, and i still ended up having to take unpaid days the last couple of interviews.
 
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i worked a 40 hr/wk job while volunteering ~10 hr/wk while i did secondaries and for the most part it was fine. difficult and stressful at times, but so is a lot of this process (studying for the mcat and finals at the same time comes to mind!). i ended up completing ~28 secondaries, if that gives a better idea of how many freakin' essays i had to write when i say that it's doable. i also revised a lot and spent 2-3 days per secondary on average. that said, like mentioned above, there was a 3 week stretch when i went to work, came back, wrote, slept, went to work, again and again and actually dreaded the weekend because it just meant more writing. now with THAT said, i think having had the opportunity to really get to know my job and get good experience from it was immensely helpful when *every* single one of my interviewers asked me to expand on what i'd been doing since i graduated.

i also agree with the above posters: make sure the place you work at is ok with you taking time off for interviews. i took the job i did in part because they offered an unusually high number of paid days off and were lax with ok'ing time off, and i still ended up having to take unpaid days the last couple of interviews.
I think this and what all the others posted is great advice. I was doing a summer TA job (~30hr/wk) and lab for ~20hrs/wk this past summer while applying and it worked out fine. I came to realize I had a problem concentrating while sitting at my apartment (what with the great weather outside and the fact that I could hear how much partying everyone else was doing) so I ended up spending most of my evenings at a Starbucks with friends who were studying for their classes while I worked on my secondaries. You might want to consider doing something similar if you end up feeling the same way. It does get easier after you have a few written since you can just edit and reuse as others have noted. Either way, good luck with your apps! Hopefully this time next year you'll be all set to go! :D
 
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This is so weird, because I was just thinking that when I graduate in May and am working a full time job, I am gonna be so bored cause I will have so much free time. This semester I was taking 14 hours, studying for the MCAT, working 20 hrs a week, and volunteering 5-10 hours a week. Working 40 hrs and filling out secondaries should be a cake walk next to that. I would assume that most pre-meds have similar crazy schedules, so just think of it as practice! I think you will be fine. Depending on the job you have, you probably will have very little to do at home, if anything, so you will have most nights/weekends free (if it is a normal 9-5)...if it is work in a restaurant your work schedule could be all over the place though, so yeah. It isn't like having class where you have class all day then spend all night doing homework...so just thinking of the secondaries as homework! wait....just kidding. you're graduating, you probably don't want to think of homework, and neither do I. Hmmmm....don't mind my delirousness...It is 6:30am and I am up studying for my two back to back tests today :(:(
 

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Anyone should be fine working full time and doing secondaries. It's not like most FT jobs have homework, so you should have tons more spare time to do secondaries than, say, during the school year when you're working 15 hours a week in a part time job, taking 17 credits, volunteering 5 hours per week and tossing an extra 10 hours or so into a research lab. Add homework and studying to the above, and a FT job plus 1-2 hours on secondaries per day for a couple weeks seems golden in comparison.
 

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The weekends will be HUGE for you, that is if it's a week-day job. I was able to do ~2 apps on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. More if the apps were easy.
 
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This is so weird, because I was just thinking that when I graduate in May and am working a full time job, I am gonna be so bored cause I will have so much free time. This semester I was taking 14 hours, studying for the MCAT, working 20 hrs a week, and volunteering 5-10 hours a week. Working 40 hrs and filling out secondaries should be a cake walk next to that. I would assume that most pre-meds have similar crazy schedules, so just think of it as practice! I think you will be fine. Depending on the job you have, you probably will have very little to do at home, if anything, so you will have most nights/weekends free (if it is a normal 9-5)...if it is work in a restaurant your work schedule could be all over the place though, so yeah. It isn't like having class where you have class all day then spend all night doing homework...so just thinking of the secondaries as homework! wait....just kidding. you're graduating, you probably don't want to think of homework, and neither do I. Hmmmm....don't mind my delirousness...It is 6:30am and I am up studying for my two back to back tests today :(:(
Not to sound too much like my grandpa throwing out unwanted advice, but I thought I had a crazy schedule in college (class overload, volunteering, sports, research, etc.). Then I graduated and became an "adult" and started working for 9-10 hours a day straight (to be honest, I don't know very many jobs that are 9-5 cleanly cut that aren't remedial), and I was surprised at how exhausted I became. Sure, there was no homework, but for a while all I had the energy for was running to the gym, cooking dinner, and passing out, just to do it all over again.

Bottom line, college is a cake walk, even if you're premed--enjoy it! Because when I was your age...

Anyone else have a similar experience? Or am I just lazy?
 

obgyny

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Not to sound too much like my grandpa throwing out unwanted advice, but I thought I had a crazy schedule in college (class overload, volunteering, sports, research, etc.). Then I graduated and became an "adult" and started working for 9-10 hours a day straight (to be honest, I don't know very many jobs that are 9-5 cleanly cut that aren't remedial), and I was surprised at how exhausted I became. Sure, there was no homework, but for a while all I had the energy for was running to the gym, cooking dinner, and passing out, just to do it all over again.

Bottom line, college is a cake walk, even if you're premed--enjoy it! Because when I was your age...

Anyone else have a similar experience? Or am I just lazy?
It's not just you. I had the crazy college schedule too (more than full load of classes every quarter, including summers, worked a night job 15+ hrs/wk, did research 15+ hrs/wk, was heavily involved in 2 clubs which took 5-10hrs/wk, volunteered... so my work/activities took a total of ~40-45 hrs/wk, I had NO weekends my senior year of college, it was awful and I always worked 40+ hrs/wk over every break).

So I thought working full-time at one job would be a cake walk compared to that and that I would have so much free time, but I agree with 40milerun, it's a lot more exhausting than I thought it would be. Sometimes I work 12 hours/day and sometimes I work on weekends. I'm on my feet almost the entire time and my job is pretty mentally exhausting. I took an extremely long MCAT class (7 months of night classes!), so I would have work from 9 to 6:30pm, then class from 7-9:30pm a few nights a week. Luckily the class is over, but now I'm having to deal with studying for the MCAT and working 40-50 hrs/wk, which is not as easy as it sounds.... I'm also still involved with a club and volunteer on weekends. So I still don't have weekends :(
 

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OP, I worked similar hours during secondary season. It's doable, but you wont have the free time you wish you had. Most of your weeknights and weekends will be dedicated to writing essays. You'll be tired most of the time, but its not something someone applying to medical school couldnt handle.

I think that overall process of working and spending my free time on secondaries has made me really efficient. And of course, it makes you truly appreciate free time.
 

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I did this too, for 25 schools. I worked in a lab for 40-50hrs/week, and sometimes it was what others have described: work, apps, sleep, repeat. It wasn't very pleasant, but that may have been due to my writing habits. In any case it is not impossible to do.

I would actually recommend going through the secondary app threads for your schools. The prompts usually don't vary that much from year to year, and you could gain valuable information.

For example, from experience, I know that Pitt will weigh in more heavily your 1ry PS than your 2ry essays (at least for offering interviews). The opposite seems to be the case for California schools, where they seem to pay more attention to your 2ry essays than your PS, as I understand it from the "For California Applicants" thread in this forum. I won't suggest slacking on any aspect of your app, but having this info might help you distribute your resources more efficiently.

Lastly, in retrospect 25 schools was way too much for me. I could have saved a lot of money and effort if I had simply chosen more carefully my list of schools based on fit to mission, etc. I got interviews at some really good schools that were a good fit for me, at least in paper, and I also got nothing but silence from some lower tier schools in which there wasn't really a fit... I don't know if I would have taken my own advice 1 year ago, with the uncertainty of the process being what it is, but I do believe that almost anyone can be a successful applicant with, say, a 15 school list, if they are well chosen.

Good luck.
 

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I think the difficulty of secondaries is over-exaggerated to some degree. I worked ~40 hours/week during that time and it worked out fine.
 

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So I may be starting a job in mid-June where I am working around 40-50 hour weeks. I figure I will be strapped on time a lot to do secondaries. I am graduating college this may and will have my primary submitted to AMCAS June 1, (I have taken mcat and all the prereqs) before I start working. My question is to people who work full-time and applied. Was it feasible doing all those secondaries during work? Or did you find it nearly impossible? I am planning on applying to like 25 schools, so I figure I will have a lot of writing. Though I will focus probably more attention on 10 of those (my top 10 choices). All advice appreciated
I think it is very doable. I worked fulltime (40-50 hrs/week), studied for the MCAT and filled out secondaries all at the same time. Guaranteed I did not have much of a life during these three months, I managed it just fine.