Writing about Industry R&D Work Experience

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Apr 12, 2019
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Hello Everyone,

So I am in the midst of preparing my application for this coming cycle and I have come to a bit of a halt at the activities section. So I applied for the 2018-2019 application cycle as I was entering my final year of college. My stats were not as I would have liked them: 3.32 & 508. I had an awful first year of college due to family issues and got on academic probation. My school had an academic forgiveness policy and I ended up graduating cum laude, but those initial grades had to go onto the application. I had a modest amount of time volunteering in community health centers. I had a LOT of research and really want to go into medical research. I aimed for a lot of MD/PhD programs and MSTP programs as well as some MD only programs. I ended up getting one interview to a MSTP program. I was waitlisted for both the MD school and MSTP program. I didn't make it off either list.

After college I couldn't financially do a postbac or even reapply right away (that ties back to the family issues). I had to work to survive. I got a job at a biotech company that made clinical drug tests and I worked there for about 6 months. As a medical devices company it felt good to at least be in a medical adjacent field, and I knew I wanted to reapply the following cycle. I ended up leaving that company and joining the one I am at now. I am part of a R&D team where we work with medical device manufacturers to see if their devices will be sufficiently sterilized before they go into an OR or hospital setting. This being even closer to a medical setting was even more exciting and I knew I was on the right path. We even worked with disposable N95 mask manufacturers at the start of the COVID crisis to see if they can be safely re-sterilized during a shortage.

My question to anyone who reapplied and was in a similar situation. Joining the biotech work force, putting that degree to use for a bit, how did you discuss this on your new application? At both jobs I met people who were in a similar boat to me but also didn't have the experience of writing about this.

How do you think one would approach this? How does one explain the decision not to immediately reapply, and the decision to start working for a bit? Would this be considered a clinical work experience? A clinical adjacent work experience? Is that a thing?

Any feedback would be appreciated!