Summer is finally here, which means the VMCAS applications are open so if you’re applying this cycle, please continue reading for tips on how to strengthen your application. It seems like not long ago that I was applying for to vet school, and just thinking about that time makes my heart skip a beat. I have been through the battle not once, but twice, so I can give you firsthand knowledge of what I did to improve my application and get accepted into vet school. I can also give you insight into what it’s like not to get in your first time, so if that’s the case for you, I hope I can encourage you to keep your head up and keep trying.
One thing that was really helpful for me, was reading over the essays of a person who was accepted. This gave me an idea of what the school was looking for in terms of writing style. On my first round after not being accepted, my essays were something that received high scores—so they really liked my writing. One of the first things that the admissions committees are going to read are your essays and if you bore them with the same old stories they hear over and over, you might fall by the wayside. It’s important to stand out immediately, and a good essay can help you with that.
Different veterinary schools are big in different fields, and I think knowing what your school is known for is important. For example, Iowa State has a huge Veterinary Diagnostic Lab that conducts well over 1 million tests each year. After not being accepted the first time around, I found a job in research and I believe that this helped me get in my second time around. Find out what your top schools are known for and see if you can get experience in that area to help strengthen your application.
The interview is what can make or break you. My first time applying, I was offered an interview and this is where I came up short. I went into the interview thinking that I had it in the bag, but it turns out, I was very average and my answers were pretty basic. The school actually suggested that I look up interview questions and practice. So, I found awesome questions online and practiced them all summer long, every chance I got. During my second round of interviewing, I was so nervous because of the added pressure. But I felt great about my answers this time around because I had time to reflect on my life, the stories, and challenges that I could talk about.
There are many things that you can do to help boost your application for vet school and these are just a few of the things that I did. Improving your GPA is always helpful, but I always say that GPA isn’t everything so working on these other areas can help as well.
If you ever have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me. I’m always here to help fellow students!