It’s truly a challenge to make your internship application unique. Especially nowadays when so many students seem to be so perfect – they have a 4.0 GPA, speak multiple languages, are presidents of all these organizations, started a business, and have publications. You name it, they’ve done, and then they’ve done some more.
What are you going to put on your curriculum vitae? What are you going to talk about in your personal statement? What makes you worth filling the intern spot over someone else? What makes you special?
It’s hard to stand out in the crowd. But you have to remember that you, too, are one of those accomplished veterinary students. And, more importantly, you’re one of those veterinary students reading this post to get a better idea about how to stand out on MATCH day. So, keep reading the bullet points below and refer to them when constructing your personal statement, they might help. Shhh, don’t tell anyone!
If you want your personal statement to stand out:
- Do some storytelling. Explain a few of your past experiences, relate them to one another, and clearly state how they affected you and prepared you for an internship. Make it clear that your past failures are setting you up nicely for success in the future.
- Admit your failures and weaknesses. This conveys a sense of maturity and humility that clinicians and intern committee members want to see.
- Literally say, “I understand an internship is going to be the most challenging, stressful, emotional, and tiring year of my life – but I can do it and I am ready because I want to learn about everything, not just one specialty.” You don’t have to say exactly that but make it obvious that you understand what you are getting yourself into. Even if you want to specialize, make it known that you are up for anything and everything. No one likes a “case dodger.”
- Tell the reader explicit reasons why you want to pursue an internship. Those reasons are yours and yours alone, so stick by them and be proud.
- Do not make it more than 1 page. The more concise, the better. Realize that committee members are reading thousands of these and they don’t want to be hit with a poorly organized, wordy, jumbled 3-page disaster novel.
- Use words, phrases, and syntax that conveys positivity and a good work ethic. The readers reading your statement are going to be your coworkers and mentors and they want to work with an optimistic, hardworking, and positive doctor. If this happens they will most likely write you good letters for specialty internship and residency and make some important phone calls on your behalf.
- Flawless grammar. Not grammer. Grammar! Do whatever you need to do to have absolutely no spelling mistakes. Even a single spelling mistake equates to a lack of attention to detail, disorganization, and forgetfulness. No one wants that kind of intern.