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Successful Student Profiles

Below you will find stories and advice from some of our successful applicants who have been accepted to Health Professions Schools.

Allopathic Medicine

Jack Liu

 

Major:  Chemistry – Biochemistry concentration

Minor: Philosophy, Political Science
Overall GPA: 
3.89
Graduation Year: 
Spring 2016

 

Which school are you attending? Albert Einstein College of Medicine

 

What extracurriculars did you participate in?

·         VP – Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Hunter College (Fall 2015 – Spring 2016)

·         VP – Chinese Student Union, Hunter College (Fall 2014 – Spring 2016)

·         Volunteer/ Intern, Wellcome Health Clinic (May 2014 – May 2016: over 300 hrs)

·         Voter Registration Volunteer, AALDEF (Spring 2015)

·         Junior Senator, Hunter USG (Fall 2014 – Spring 2015)

·         Undergraduate Researcher (Matsui Group), Department of Chemistry at Hunter College (Summer 2013 – Summer 2015)

·         Public Health Intern, APICHA (Summer 2014)

·         FSDC member, Hunter USG (Fall 2013 – Spring 2014)

·         Marketing Team Member, CUNYfirst (Fall 2013 – Spring 2014)

·         Volunteer, NYPH – WCMC (August 2013 – July 2014: over 200 hrs)

·         Employment: SHSAT tutor, RiteAid cashier, Chinese dessert preparer

 

 

How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?

I spend an average of 15 hours a week studying for my courses at Hunter College.

 

Did you use a test prep course?

I did not use any test prep course for the MCAT. I used the ExamKrackers MCAT Review and did the practice MCAT exams available through the AAMC.

What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?

There are three things that I believe are the strengths in my application: my GPA, my MCAT score, and the diversity in my extracurricular activities. My GPA (3.89) and MCAT score (96th percentile on the old MCAT) helped me secure an interview. From there, the diversity of my extracurricular activities offer multiple talking points throughout my interviews.

 

Did you apply nationally?

I applied to 20 MD programs throughout the US; 10 are in New York State and 10 outside of New York State. I received 7 interviews; 6 were from programs in New York State and 1 outside of New York State. 

What advice do you have for others?

My biggest advice, aside from securing a solid GPA, above average MCAT score, and leadership opportunities through your extracurricular activities, would be to apply as early as possible during the application cycle. By having your completed application in as early as possible, it will be one of the first batches that the admissions committee look at. If they give you an interview, you would get one of the earlier ones (as early as late July). If you do well enough, you will get an early acceptance (as early as mid-October). After completing that first interview, subsequent interviews will feel like a stroll through the park; after securing that first acceptance, do I even have to tell you how happy you will be?

However, applying late does not mean the end of the world. I finished my secondary application in October, got interviews in February and March, and still got into medical school. But it was a stressful period when my friends were getting acceptances while I was still waiting for interviews. So, be smart and apply early!

 

 

Allopathic Medicine

 


Slavena Salve Nissan

 

Major:  Biology

Minor:
Overall GPA: 
3.88
Graduation Year: 2015

 

Which school are you attending?

 

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

 

What extracurriculars did you participate in?

 

- Interning, Volunteering, and Research at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine

- The Macaulay Messenger (online newspaper for the Macaulay community)

- Hunter Health (a website for Hunter pre-health students to contribute writing/visual art pieces)

- The MacBlog (a Macaulay Hunter student blog)

- Poetry and photography as hobbies

 

How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?

 

It varied from week to week. I became a better studier as my undergraduate studies progressed. I would make sure to do at least a light review of each lecture as soon as I could after each session so that my studying never became too overwhelming and to avoid cramming the night before an exam. 

 

Did you use a test prep course?

 

Yes, Kaplan.

 

 

What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?

 

1. My clinical exposure and my ability to speak about my experiences from a patient-centered perspective.

 

2. My ability to tie in my love of writing and storytelling into my passion for medicine.   

 

3. The fact that I put in a lot of time to make sure that the narrative that I was portraying was clear, concise, and an honest reflection of my experiences.

 

Did you apply nationally?

 

No, I only applied to schools in the Northeast.

What advice do you have for others?

1. Participate in extracurricular activities that you’re actually interested in. Don’t do anything just because you think the admissions office will like it.

2. Experiment with different study methods, and develop good, consistent study habits.

3. Create a good support system of family, friends, and mentors who will help guide you over the course of your journey.

 

 

 

Allopathic Medicine


Larisa Shagabayeva

Major:  Chemistry (Concentration in Biochemistry) & Special Honors

Minor:  History
Overall GPA: 
3.79
Graduation Year: 
2016

 

Which school are you attending?

I am attending Harvard School of Medicine.

 

What extra-curriculars did you participate in?

Pre-Health Organization, Pre-Health Student Advisory Council, Organic Chemistry TA, Hunter College Liberty Partnership Program, Science-related HS mentoring program.

 

How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?

40

 

Did you use a test prep course?

Yes—Kaplan with instructor David Elson

What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?

My recommendation letters and my personal statement

 

Did you apply nationally?

Yes

What advice do you have for others?

To work diligently and stay focused, to listen to the advice of your mentors and advisors, to apply only when you are in the position to have the strongest application, including a successful MCAT score, and to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

 

 

 


 

 

Optometry

 

 

Sarah Pinkhasov

Major:  Biological Sciences, Special Honors Program Major

Minor: Psychology             
Overall GPA: 
3.945
Graduation Year: 
2017

 

Which school are you attending?

SUNY College of Optometry

What Hunter College extracurricular activities did you participate in?

I was the founding president of the Pre-Optometry Society of Hunter College. I was also a member of the Society of Bioethics, Biology and Hillel Clubs at Hunter College.

How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?

35-40hrs

Did you use a test prep course?

Yes, OAT Destroyer.

What do you consider to be your strengths in your application?

My strengths in my application are my GPA and Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) score, my completion of the CSTEP Internship at SUNY College of Optometry, my diverse array of shadowing experiences in various modes and specialties of optometry, my leadership skills, and my community service involvement.

Did you apply nationally?

No

What advice do you have for others?

To be a successful student, one must have good time management skills to be able to balance coursework and other responsibilities outside the classroom and lab. I learned that dedication and perseverance is key; being able to make sacrifices is also important to ensure that you can be the best possible student and overall applicant. To excel in your courses be sure to take advantage of all the available resources at Hunter; attend professor’s office hours, tutoring centers, ask questions, become a TA for a class etc. Also, attend the various clubs available on campus because they are a huge resource. The Pre-Health clubs provide their members with an abundance of knowledge, professional resources, experiences and skills. By being a member, you will be exposed to various internship and other pre-health/optometry related positions that you can apply for. Beyond the opportunities that club membership offers, being part of a club is a great networking experience where you can meet students at different levels who can provide great advice and connections. Attending Club meetings and events is also a good social break from your academic studies! In regards to determining which career path is right for you, I believe the best way is to shadow different types of professionals and then determine whether you enjoy the environment. If optometry is your career choice, be sure to also shadow different modes of optometry; such as shadowing doctors in a group practice, private office, eye clinic, hospital etc. as well as different specialties in optometry, such as low-vision, vision therapy, glaucoma, contact lens etc. Be sure to reflect and learn from these experiences. Although at times being a pre-health college student can get overwhelming, remember to take breaks and know that, in the end, your hard work will pay off, and you will get the results you want.

 

 

 

 

 

Optometry


Ridwan Carim-Sanni

Major:  Biochemistry

Minor: Psychology
Overall GPA: 
3.56
Graduation Year: 
2017

 

Which school are you attending? I will be attending the State University of New York College of Optometry to obtain a combined degree in Optometry/PhD (OD/PhD).  

 

What Hunter College extracurricular activities did you participate in? I was an active member of the Minority Students Association and I volunteered for Peer Health Exchange.

 

How many hours on average did you spend studying for your courses per week?

I spent between 20-25 hours per week.

 

Did you use a test prep course? I studied using the OAT Destroyer test prep and the OAT Achiever.

 

What do you consider to be your strengths in your application? My strengths were my OAT scores and my research experiences as well as my unique background.

 

Did you apply nationally? Yes, I applied to 3 schools on the East Coast and 1 on the West Coast.

 

What advice do you have for others? Stay on top of your game, put in the maximum amount of work in all aspects of your application, and connect with mentors to help make sure that all components of your application are well defined.

 

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