You're doing it wrong, part 2: your experiences

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During undergrad/post bacc, I had 5 jobs. Should I list them all or will that be a red-flag to adcoms?

I was never fired in any of the jobs I held. Reasons why I had a lot of jobs was due to finding better paying opportunities.

Should I list 1 or 2 recent jobs instead?
Group them into one space and call it Short-Term Collegiate Jobs.

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So the prompt says activities "since graduating high school" and since I graduated high school roughly 780 weeks ago and played my instrument on average 4 hrs per week am I expected to list 3100+ hrs lol? For non-trads should we just put the hours while pursuing our degree?

The prompt is intended to keep people from including experiences that will have zero impact on admissions, like high school athletics, NHS, etc.

In the case of an artistic endeavor like playing music, it is perfectly acceptable to convey the activity accurately, meaning you should list the entire timespan and make a good faith effort to estimate the hours. Beyond a certain point the hour count does not really matter. Something you have mastered through years of sustained practice is... something you have mastered through years of sustained practice.
 
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[So, you don't go to your kids' soccer games or scout activities-or the equivalent?]

I have in the past but the two older ones don't do any of that stuff anymore and the two younger ones are too little be involved in those types of activities yet. I did manage to find a few leisure activities that I could list so it looks alright now I think.
 
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I have in the past but the two older ones don't do any of that stuff anymore and the two younger ones are too little be involved in those types of activities yet. I did manage to find a few leisure activities that I could list so it looks alright now I think.
Sounds good.
 
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[So, you don't go to your kids' soccer games or scout activities-or the equivalent?]

Should I have listed that? I’m involved in my older daughter’s gymnastics. I figured putting that was like putting being a parent on there, which is something I’ve been told explicitly not to do (and wasn’t going to anyway).

Or do you mean if you have nothing else?
 
Should I have listed that? I’m involved in my older daughter’s gymnastics. I figured putting that was like putting being a parent on there, which is something I’ve been told explicitly not to do (and wasn’t going to anyway).

Or do you mean if you have nothing else?
It isn't a one-size-fits-all situation. For some, attending their kids' athletic events is not even remotely relaxing. For others, it's a chance to hang out on the bleachers with other parents, drink coffee, and socialize. Or even to help with the event. (Attending sporting events as a booster doesn't require one to state a personal conection to one of the atheletes.)
 
Would it seem entitled to list shadowing a parent/working for a parent as an experience?
 
Also how many hours is too little? I was privileged to get a competitive leadership experience in an organization but after realizing it wasn't interesting after only 10 hours I left. Should I not list this as an experience?
 
In reviewing an AMCAS application I actually spend the most time on the experiences (employment/activities) section. My rationale is that your metrics are easy to interpret and your butler may have written your personal statement, but the experiences you list shows me two important things: (1) what you have chosen to do with your available time, and (2) what you consider worth sharing.

Here's a little exercise. Lay out your proposed experience list in order of descending hours, the look at the list and try to see what it says about you. For example, if your list looks something like this (which is only a slight exaggeration):

1. Hobbies - Skiing/snowboarding, 9000 hours
2. Hobbies - Windsurfing, 7000 hours
3. Hobbies - Cycling (road and mountain), 5000 hours
4. Hobbies - Rock climbing, 2000 hours
5. Research, 100 hours
6. Shadowing, 20 hours
7. Habitat for Humanity, 8 hours

...it tells me that you are a very active, outdoorsy kind of person. Great. Good for you. It also tells me that you are more concerned with enjoying yourself than getting into medical school. Not so great. Bad for you.

A couple more easy rules to follow:

(1) If you have five or fewer entries don't apply. If you have 12 or more check for excessive filler.

(2) Don't list anything from high school or earlier. I don't care if you played for the state championship football team. I don't care if you had great accomplishments as a boy scout. I don't care if you were valedictorian of your high school. Pretend your life started on the first day of college.

(3) Don't include anything that is considered a normal part of existence for decent human beings. I have seen people list the deaths of relatives/friends in this section. If that event impacted your journey to medicine do yourself a favor and put it in the personal statement. I have seen people list being a husband/wife/father/mother/sister/brother/son/daughter/best friend in their experiences section. I can feel the earnestness oozing through the computer screen when I read these, but it doesn't make you look appealing. At best, it makes you look like a newborn fawn that just hobbled into traffic.

(4) In writing the entries I know there is an endless debate over being explanatory versus being brief, so you need to walk the line and be concise. That means you explain wherever necessary, and don't explain where it is unnecessary. Use enough words to get the point across and then stop. Tell what you learned only if you have something worthwhile to tell.

A good example is a poster presentation. Most everyone in medicine is familiar with posters. We know the drill. It is perfectly fine to simply list that you presented Poster X at Conference Y on date Z. You don't need to wax poetic about how crafting this poster taught you the value of teamwork and the true meaning of Christmas.

Now, if you have done something that is likely unfamiliar to the audience, like worked as a counselor at a camp that serves a specialized population, that deserves some verbiage.

That's all for now, I look forward to continuing the conversation below...



I worked as a tutor for underprivileged elementary school kids, and this is definitely one of my most meaningful experiences, but I talked about it in my PS. Should I list it is a most meaningful experience or should I list something else? I don't want to say pretty much the same stuff as my PS again it just feels redundant. I want my 3 meaningful ones to be research, shadowing, and the tutoring, but I have also recently begun coaching football at my high school. Should I replace the tutoring for the coaching experience as a meaningful experience? @Goro @meded
 
I worked as a tutor for underprivileged elementary school kids, and this is definitely one of my most meaningful experiences, but I talked about it in my PS. Should I list it is a most meaningful experience or should I list something else? I don't want to say pretty much the same stuff as my PS again it just feels redundant. I want my 3 meaningful ones to be research, shadowing, and the tutoring, but I have also recently begun coaching football at my high school. Should I replace the tutoring for the coaching experience as a meaningful experience? @Goro @meded

I wrote about two of my most meaningful experiences in my ps. They were really important to me and to how I got here. That’s why they’re most meaningful. I just wrote about them in different ways. In my ps, I focused on one particular aspect that they have in common wrt why medicine. In the experiences descriptions, I wrote more generally about them and what I learned from them.
 
Have a good question hoping someone can answer. I have about 3000 hours of paid tutoring experience over the last several years for half a dozen different tutoring companies in addition to some under the table self employment.
1.) is the self employment not reportable because I did not report it as taxable income? If I can report it do I list myself as the contact? My clients maybe?
2.) do I have to list every single company as separate experiences, some of which I only worked less than 50 hrs. for?

Thanks SDN!
 
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I worked as a tutor for underprivileged elementary school kids, and this is definitely one of my most meaningful experiences, but I talked about it in my PS. Should I list it is a most meaningful experience or should I list something else? I don't want to say pretty much the same stuff as my PS again it just feels redundant. I want my 3 meaningful ones to be research, shadowing, and the tutoring, but I have also recently begun coaching football at my high school. Should I replace the tutoring for the coaching experience as a meaningful experience? @Goro @meded

It's fine to have a most meaningful experience also be discussed substantively in the personal statement.
 
Have a good question hoping someone can answer. I have about 3000 hours of paid tutoring experience over the last several years for half a dozen different tutoring companies in addition to some under the table self employment.
1.) is the self employment not reportable because I did not report it as taxable income? If I can report it do I list myself as the contact? My clients maybe?
2.) do I have to list every single company as separate experiences, some of which I only worked less than 50 hrs. for?

Thanks SDN!

Lump them together in one entry as paid tutoring. List the contact as the tutoring company you worked for the most. Offer to provide additional references upon request. We aren't going to look into your accounting practices any more than if you were mowing yards for $20 a pop.
 
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Would it seem entitled to list shadowing a parent/working for a parent as an experience?
It isn't a negative to take advantage of your network (and your parent's). But I'd hope you'd use parental shadowing as a jump-off point to shadowing others.

It's not uncommon for an applicant to list working in a family business.
 
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It isn't a negative to take advantage of your network (and your parent's). But I'd hope you'd use parental shadowing as a jump-off point to shadowing others.

It's not uncommon for an applicant to list working in a family business.
Thank you so much!
 
During undergrad/post bacc, I had 5 jobs. Should I list them all or will that be a red-flag to adcoms?

I was never fired in any of the jobs I held. Reasons why I had a lot of jobs was due to finding better paying opportunities.

Should I list 1 or 2 recent jobs instead?

List them all. It is admirable to have been working while taking classes. You can say that you left the job for a better opportunity. No worries.
 
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So the prompt says activities "since graduating high school" and since I graduated high school roughly 780 weeks ago and played my instrument on average 4 hrs per week am I expected to list 3100+ hrs lol? For non-trads should we just put the hours while pursuing our degree?

Put the start date and 3100 hours. That makes sense since the start date, no? Otherwise, it looks like you stopped when you graduated and that doesn't make sense.
 
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Any tips or thread on writing about your most meaningful experience?
 
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