Internship/Job Opportunities

Hi all,

I can’t begin to describe my relief in finding this forum of HOPE!

My story (in brief) is as follows:

I am about to turn 24 (yes, I am still young–hence the username-- but I have no advisor and need help!). I am hoping to apply to medical school as soon as possible; however, I obviously want to maximize my chances of acceptance, even if that means waiting until next cycle. I graduated from a four-year institution with a double major in English literature and Spanish language, plus a minor in journalism. I had a fairly decent GPA (3.6), but apparent struggles in completing my science prereqs. These struggles were mainly due to serious health problems that I encountered in the beginning of college (when I was taking the intro courses). My lowest grade was a C- in general chemistry (I also have a C+ in gen bio II).

I went back immediately after graduation to do a DIY post-bacc at the same institution (they have a discount for non-degree seeking alum), and got 'A’s in orgo, physics, and biochem. I’m concerned because I don’t have any research experience, my rec letters might not be great, and I don’t have a lot of volunteer experience either. Most of my college experience was dedicated to solving my own health problems. I’m attempting to get a lot of shadowing and volunteering done this “semester” while I take a course in genetics and finish studying for the MCAT (which I’ll take in April), but I’m trying to decide if aiming to apply for this cycle is too soon.

Should I take another year and gain some more experience? If so, are there two-year internships for post-grads available? I haven’t found hardly any that offer clinical experience and/or research experience. Or, should I apply for some sort of job for a year or two? Although I don’t know who would hire me, since my resume at this point is 90% academic, and my degree is in literature…

I don’t have a family to support, so I don’t have a lot of expenses. I’m mainly just looking for something to increase my chances of acceptance. I was also thinking about applying this cycle/summer, but also applying to some sort of one-year program just for the year it takes for applications/interviews/acceptances–so I could bring it up in conversation during my interviews. BUT, still can’t find any programs that would work for that plan. Even if I did, I’d probably have to be applying now(ish) and I don’t have MCAT scores yet. What do I do??

It sounds like you’re on track for applying this cycle. I would suggest continuing on the path you’re on, getting some shadowing and volunteering done between now and when the application cycle opens, pending your MCAT score. You should aim to have your application in and complete in June of this year.

You’ll still need something to do for the next year, though, even if you do get accepted. That said, I’d keep my eye out for opportunities that truly interest you, regardless of their bearing on your chosen profession. Take this time and find something you’ll enjoy doing, that interests you, and that you feel passionate about. Volunteer, travel, learn some new skills. It doesn’t have to relate to academia or medicine, but ideally make it something you would want to tell someone else about.

I wish I had some more concrete prospects for you, but I’m sure things will work out. Good luck with your MCAT and your applications!