The Best AdviceI had requests recently to talk about applications, to answer questions like: How many hours should you have? How do you present competitive applications? What do the schools care about most? Well before I even begin to answer those questions, I want to share with you some of the best advice I ever received when it came to filling out my application. I wanted to do this first because if you're anything like me this one takes quite a while to sink in! This golden advice is simple, and you've probably been told this before but it is extremely important. Give yourself credit for the things you've done and the work you've put in! Being humble is a great virtue, but now is not the time to show that off. I am not much for talking about myself, so sometimes even the idea of blogging about my experiences seems to be a daunting task, but during the application process your goal is pretty much to show off everything you've done from high school to undergrad. There are a lot of competitive applicants out there and the only person who is going to prove you are just as amazing as any of them is YOU.
In fact, the best way I have to prove this to you is through my own experience in my interview. One of my questions was: Is there anything on your application you are extremely proud of, or anything you want us to be especially aware of that sets you apart? My initial reaction was to shy away from the question and shake my head 'no.' I quickly recognized my mistake and started talking. So, I told them I was proud of graduating from undergrad in three years and I was proud of my maturity despite my young age . I also added that while they may be looking for "more mature" students, that I was ready to be in veterinary school. They seemed to respond well to my answer and I kicked myself later for almost not saying anything at all! Now, with that I must add that you need to sell yourself without denying you have any faults at all. I met one girl after our interviews who did what I would consider "taking confidence too far." Her question was: What do you consider failure, and have you ever failed? Her response was that she has 'never failed at anything.' To me, that was a problem because everyone has failed at one point or another and that's perfectly fine as long as we recognize and learn from them. Colleges know you're not perfect, so don't pretend to be! Instead, you need to sell your attributes and work, while also recognizing your failures and show that you are willing to learn from them. This is what needs to sink in before you begin your application at all. Know that you are unique, talented, smart, and hardworking- then show it off!
Through the next days and weeks I plan on answering more questions about applications, and I will be posting more even through the VMCAS portal opening in June. Feel free to comment with feedback or any specific questions you have and I'll address them in later posts!
Thanks for reading and God Bless!