Undergraduate education: B.S. in Interdisciplinary Health, Minor in Chemistry, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Overall GPA: 3.3
Science GPA: 3.5
GRE: 298, 4.5 writing
Total HCE hours: 304
Total PCE hours: 1,160 (CNA at Nursing home and hospital)
Shadowing hours: 124 (Orthopedic and ENT PA)
Other volunteer hours: 640 (Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, Delta Phi Omega Sorority, Incorporated, Crisis Nursery, Mission Trip to Peru)
LORs: 5 (1 professor, 1 Director of Nursing, 1 research professor, 2 PAs)
How many times did you apply?: once
How many programs did you apply to? 25 (only because I saved up JUST to apply for schools and wanted to have a better chance at getting accepted my first try)
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? 8 interviews, 3 accepted, 1 waitlist, 3 waiting to hear interview results
Where will you be attending? (if you're comfortable sharing) Lincoln Memorial University DCOM PA program in Harrogate, TN
Any red flags on your application? My Overall GPA, my GRE and I noticed a HUGE mistake on my personal statement after I submitted
Anything you found surprising about interviews? I was surprised at how comfortable staff and faculty made students feel during the interviews. I learned not only were schools interviewing me, but I was interviewing them as well. Throughout the 8 interviews, I was able to experience every interview style and found that MMI-style interviews were my favorite. It gave me a chance to breathe and reset between each mini interview and I enjoyed seeing a new face in each room.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? I am big on using social media to find random people to ask questions. You will be surprised how helpful social media can be. I also used the ‘Physician Assitant School Interview guide’ by Savanna Perry, ‘How to “Ace” the Physician Assistant School Interview’ (affiliate link) and ‘Getting into Physician Assistant School’ by Andrew J. Rodican (affiliate link). In addition, I watched hundreds of youtube videos and listened to all of Savanna Perry’s podcasts. I used social media to ask random people if they can interview me as well and was able to have 14 mock interviews because interviewing was my weakness.
Any other advice for other pre-PA students? BE CONFIDENT! Do not let your weaknesses and fears take over. Work on bettering yourself and your application in any way you can. If this is truly your passion, you will do whatever it takes to overcome any obstacles life decides to put in your path. Remember, it will only make you stronger! Do not be scared to ask for help! Reach out and use the internet and social media to your advantage. Practice, practice, practice before interviews. I recommend having strangers interview you instead of family and friends. Being nervous at an interview is normal and your interviewers are aware of this as they were in your position at one point in time. They want to make sure you are a human being capable of empathetically and compassionately take care of others.
Where can we find you? (website, instagram, etc) instagram @zee9193. Please reach out to me if you have ANY questions or need help with anything. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
If you've recently been accepted to PA school and would like to be featured in an "Accepted!" post to share your story and advice with other PA hopefuls, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org