by Victoria Thompson
Between working multiple jobs, studying for the GRE, and finishing up my vet school application, my summer has been quite busy! I would have to say the topic that I am most consumed with right now is vet school (my friends could definitely attest to this… *cough cough* Tina and Steph…). Applying to veterinary colleges is terrifying, frustrating, but most of all exciting.
Here is a list of random advice I have for those working on/planning on applying to graduate or professional programs.
- Start on your personal statement early, and get many opinions on it from professors, family members, and professionals in the field for which you are working towards. I started my personal statement over four months ago… which I thought would be plenty of time. My personal statement has actually undergone at least four variations and I am still having people read it to give me recommendations!
- Take your entrance exam early enough so that if you are not satisfied with your score, you can retake it. I am not sure about the MCAT for med schools, but with the GRE for vet school, the school only sees your highest score!
- Keep an accurate record of all your activities. For my application, I am supposed to list basically everything I have ever done since my freshman year of high school! Luckily for me, someone told me this information while I was still in high school, so I started an Excel document to keep track of my hours shadowing/working for veterinarians, volunteer experiences, and other activities. This record has helped a ton while filling out my vet school application.
- Ask for your letters of recommendation early. I asked my references a few months before the application opened. Once they agreed to write me a letter, I then requested a face-to-face meeting with them to discuss my goals, the application timeline, and letter content. In this meeting I also explained the application process in case they haven’t written a vet school recommendation letter in a while. To apply to vet schools, the reference has to login with a provided username and password in order to upload the letter onto the application services website. It is kind of confusing!
The advice above is what I consider to be the most important thus far in my application process. I am sure that my ideas will change as I continue to work on my application. Good luck to everyone in your future endeavors, whether it be graduate school, a professional program, or straight into the job market upon graduation!
One final thought, even if you do not get into the school you want, try again the following application cycle! It shows dedication :). Now back to editing my personal statement…