Norin

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What was your major in undergrad?

Major: Biology, Minor: Business Administration, at Baylor University

What do you think the strongest and weakest part of your application was? 

The strongest part of my application was definitely my personal statement. I talked about going on a mission trip to Guatemala, which interviewers found very interesting. The weakest part of my application was my hands on patient care experience. I had a lot of volunteer hours that were considered direct contact hours, but I didn’t have actual work experience in the field before I applied like most people did.

Tell me your experience on the mission trip?

The mission trip I went on before PA school started was such a great experience. I was given the opportunity to triage, work with many doctors and health care providers on diagnosis and treatment plans, and gather medicines for the patient. It was such an incredible experience to not only help the people of Guatemala, but also to interact with the community over there and learn about their life stories. I would really recommend going on a mission trip before PA school starts because it gives you an opportunity to learn more about the medical field and prepares you for PA school. Not to mention, it shows the interview community that you are well rounded and more than just your grades.

How was your gap year and what did you do? 

I took a year off before starting PA school because there were still some pre-requisites that I needed to complete and volunteer hours that I needed to add into my application. This really helped me focus on my application and make it stronger. After I applied, I got a job as a medical assistant to gain more direct patient care experience since that was not the strongest part of my application. It is good to always have a plan B after you apply and focus on areas that you need to work on before you know if you got in that cycle or not! Also I took time to travel and hang out with friends and family and I am so thankful I did. PA school becomes your life after you start, so taking that year off really helped me have fun before hitting the books again.

Any last tips for applicants and those interested in PA school?

I would truly recommend helping out the community as much as you can. During interviews, they look at more than just your grades. They want to see that you are a caring individual that does more than just study. Volunteering at the hospitals, tutoring students, serving hot meals to the homeless, and participating in poverty events are some of the things that I added to my application that really stood out as unique to the people interviewing me. Also, I would recommend a strong personal statement. It summarizes who you are as a person and your purpose for wanting to pursue medicine. Every part of the application is important, however, the personal statements gives them insight into your life so make sure it is strong. Also, I was waitlisted and then got in 2 months later so don’t be discouraged if you get waitlisted or even don’t get in the first time around! Keep pushing and striving to make your application the best it can be and it will work out! If any of you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to message me! Good luck to all of you, you all will do fantastic!

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