I\’ve decided to add something a little different to XOXO, Cierra starting now. I\’ve had the \”school\” tab for awhile and it only has a couple posts, but considering school is, and has always been, such a big part of my life I want to share more of that. In case you didn\’t know, I\’m currently pursuing my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. This is basically my biggest life goal and it took literal blood, sweat & tears to make it to this point (okay maybe not blood, but definitely sweat and tears).
Since it\’s such a tough road to get to and through professional graduate school, I want to start sharing the experiences I\’ve had, what\’s working for me, what it\’s really like, and everything else no one tells you about. I totally understand if this isn\’t your thing, but if you want an inside look keep reading and watch for future posts under the \”school\” tab.
It only makes sense to start back in the beginning when I was still in undergrad and planning my VMCAS (aka Veterinary Medical College Application Service). This is the main application you have to submit in order to \”apply to vet school\”, it\’s pretty common for all professional graduate programs to require their own version of the VMCAS.
When I was finally getting serious about applying I didn\’t have any doubts that everything would go well and I\’d get in somewhere and continue on. Sure getting in would be tough, but I had already gotten through organic chemistry, how hard could this be? Yet, I started hearing and reading the same similar things over and over; \”you need at least a 3.5 to get in anywhere\”, \”no one gets in on their first try\”, \”you can\’t have any C\’s on your transcript or you won\’t get in\”. I\’m sure I wasn\’t the only one who had these phrases thrown at them time and time again, but honestly it got really disheartening.
I\’m here to tell you that I should have never let a single one of those phrases take any amount of my focus. I took them to heart and just knew I would get rejected; I didn\’t have a 3.5, I got C\’s in some of my classes, and worst of all it was my first application cycle. I thought for sure I didn\’t stand a chance, but I was so completely wrong! Sure, there were some schools I didn\’t have a chance of getting into, but there were still plenty of other options. And spoiler alert: I got in, actually to more than one school.
I know every person that applies is different so I\’m not going to cover my application and share every detail of my experience, but I am going to share what I think made me stand out as an applicant. To start, I worked on getting as much animal and veterinary experience as I could. From doing 4-H in my childhood, to volunteering with a museum stingray exhibit, I tried to keep the experiences varied so I could say I had experience in a good amount of aspects of the field. When I applied I had small animal, food animal, and aquatic experience with private practice clinics, a museum, 4-H, non-profit organizations, livestock shows, and volunteer trips. I think that having so many different experiences over so much time (all of undergrad and my childhood) really strengthened my application. It showed I had dedicated myself to learning about the field I wanted to pursue and that I sort of knew what I was getting into. So the take home message is even if you struggle in some classes, keep going, your grades don\’t define you and they won\’t define your application.