Major: Animal Biology
Overall GPA: 3.85
Graduation Year: 2016
Which school are you attending?
I was accepted to UC Davis' and Oregon State University's veterinary programs. I was offered an interview by Washington State University but I declined it because I was offered admission from UC Davis before the date of the WSU interview.
What UC Davis extracurriculars did you participate in?
Veterinary assistant at a pet clinic in Sacramento, 2 research internships at 2 different labs, University Honors Program, UC Davis women's rowing, feral cat clinic spay/neuter surgery assistant, rock climbing guide for the UCD Outdoor Adventure program.
Before transferring to UCD, I spent 2 years at community college, and I was involved in the following:
Chemistry Club, chemistry tutoring, chemistry stockroom prep worker, Oakland Zoo animal care internship, wildlife rehabilitation volunteer, SF SPCA volunteer, workshop presenter at a STEM event for young girls, horseback riding, notetaker for disabled student services, Galapagos Islands ecology voluntourism trip
How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?
Did you use a test prep course?
I did not use a test prep course. Instead, I bought the Barron's GRE Prep Book off of Amazon for about $13. I studied over the course of spring quarter out of the book twice a week as if it were a class. I even made myself a syllabus and study schedule to stick to. I scheduled myself to do the practice exams in the book as though they were just midterms. I signed up for the real GRE the week after finals week, so it was basically just another final exam. I did all this with another pre-vet friend, which was extremely helpful for motivation and because we could review each other's practice essays. We ended up scoring well enough that neither of us felt a need to re-take the exam.
What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?
I have had numerous and various experiences, making my application very well rounded. I have been involved with many different kinds of animal types (small animal, equine, farm, wildlife, and zoo) and in different sectors of animal care/vet med (research, clinical practice, public education). I was able to tie all of it together in my personal statement.
Did you apply nationally?
I only applied to west coast schools.
What advice do you have for others?
Don't be haphazard in choosing which schools you want to apply to. Go to their websites and read about their curriculum, opportunities for the vet students, location details like weather and recreation or population. Only apply to schools you could actually see yourself going to. Put time and effort into the supplemental applications, where you can specifically describe the things that attracted you to their school. Relate aspects about their program to things you are already involved with; e.g. "I was so excited to find out that X School of Vet Med has a raptor rescue and rehabilitation center. Since I hope to work with raptors in my career as a veterinarian, if I attended X SVM I would be able to get experience and advice as a veterinary student".
Take UWP104F (writing in the health professions) if you can. One of the assignments is to write your personal statement essay, and you can get feedback from your professor as well as classmates.
Don't hesitate to put your hobbies in the activities section of the application. You want to show them that you are a desirable applicant because of your unique experiences. For example, I included that I was a SCUBA diver and that I've hiked up Mt. Whitney.
I write a pre-veterinary advice blog based on my own experiences as a pre-vet: www.apachegirl.weebly.com