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Would appreciate some perspective on whether or not to include a few things in my work/activities

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Daiichi

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I know the work/activities section is a place to add extra information about yourself that you think is relevant to your application, but I'm not sure when it just becomes superfluous information.

Scenario 1: I work in a sales job where I consult with physicians on our device/tests that are used to treat difficult to diagnose chronic illnesses. I will be putting this in my EC section as it has given me a very interesting perspective on medicine. I'm wondering if I should include a separate entry under 'Honors/Awards/Recognitions' category for hitting 110% of my quota in performance. Just hitting our quota is pretty difficult to do, and I'm trying to demonstrate that I'm not the irresponsible/lazy applicant that my less-than-stellar GPA suggests I am / that I recognize and demonstrate the value of hard work. Should I just include that statistic in the job description entry? Not at all?

Scenario 2: What is the collective opinion on including unimpressive hobbies in the EC section? I'm not an award winning violinist or a D1 athlete. I just have a few common hobbies (cooking, involved in a team intramural sport, etc.) and I don't know if that's all just unnecessary fodder that looks like I'm trying to fluff up my app. I already have about 10-12 entries on my app, so I don't need to fill space if it's not helpful. I've searched on here and a lot of people are saying that unless it's a unique hobby, you should avoid it. I suppose I'm not sure what to believe as I though this section was to help the school get to know you, and some of my hobbies are a big part of my life (I spend a lot of my free time learning more about cooking, nutrition, etc.).
 
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1) Scenario 1: I work in a sales job where I consult with physicians on our device/tests that are used to treat difficult to diagnose chronic illnesses. I will be putting this in my EC section as it has given me a very interesting perspective on medicine. I'm wondering if I should include a separate entry under 'Honors/Awards/Recognitions' category for hitting 110% of my quota in performance. Just hitting our quota is pretty difficult to do, and I'm trying to demonstrate that I'm not the irresponsible/lazy applicant that my less-than-stellar GPA suggests I am / that I recognize and demonstrate the value of hard work. Should I just include that statistic in the job description entry? Not at all?

2) Scenario 2: What is the collective opinion on including unimpressive hobbies in the EC section? I'm not an award winning violinist or a D1 athlete. I just have a few common hobbies (cooking, involved in a team intramural sport, etc.) and I don't know if that's all just unnecessary fodder that looks like I'm trying to fluff up my app. I already have about 10-12 entries on my app, so I don't need to fill space if it's not helpful. I've searched on here and a lot of people are saying that unless it's a unique hobby, you should avoid it. I suppose I'm not sure what to believe as I though this section was to help the school get to know you, and some of my hobbies are a big part of my life (I spend a lot of my free time learning more about cooking, nutrition, etc.).
1) Leave it with the affiliated Employment entry, to give it context.

2) IMO hobbies need not be unique to be included. Cooking, sport, and nutrition interests are perfectly fine hobbies to group in a space. You can make it less mundane by including a personal "best", like, what's your most popular dish, how did you make it better, who shares the results? Why did you get involved in that activity? Do you strive for any goal and how will you get there?

Including a Hobbies entry is important because it shows you have leisure-time, stress-relieving activities. It often provides an ice breaker in interviews. It gives you something about which you can show some passion.
 
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thatwouldbeanarchy

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I'm not sure that exceeding a sales quota at work is significant enough to warrant its own entry but if you want to mention it in your description of your job, that's probably fine. Be mindful of text limits, though. I wouldn't sacrifice a description of the actual job just to mention this. Also, have you asked your boss for an LOR? A glowing letter that mentions your hard work might be nice to have. (But only if you have a good relationship with the boss and feel confident that they'll write a strong letter.)

I would definitely include sports that you play! If cooking is just something you do in your free time, I might leave it out of the Work/Activities section. But I did get a couple of secondary questions that basically asked what I like to do in my free time. If you get any of those, both cooking and sports are fair game to mention! Also, these sorts of hobbies could easily become interview topics. I would say don't force them into the conversation. But if you're asked what you do with your time, what your interests are, these are good things to bring up. Don't worry--most of us don't have wildly unique hobbies. I think adcoms are more interested in seeing that you're a real person who does things besides study.
 
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