The End of a Long Journey
In September of 2021, I shared with everyone the beginning of my journey to graduate school. I had made the decision to apply to various genetic counseling programs across the country in order to fulfil my goal of becoming a certified genetic counseling student in the future. Since then, I have finished my applications and have recently begun the interview process. Today, I wanted to share my experiences since the last time we talked.
The Same but Different
By the end of October, I had selected seven programs that I wanted to apply to based on location, quality of education, reputation, and program goals. One interesting thing about the genetic counseling application process is that we have to sign up for a national matching service in order to receive an ID number, which goes on all applications. Along with this, genetic counseling programs do not have one collective system for applications. In some cases, students are able to upload one general application and send it to multiple schools, but for me this was not the case. Beginning in November, I had to begin filling out each application individually. Looking back on it, I have to give additional thanks to the people who helped me through the whole process, especially my letters of recommendation! This process took all the way until New Year’s Eve, which marked the day I turned in my final application.
To be honest, doing that many applications can be tough. However, I did come up with some tips that may help you all if you plan on doing this in the future:
- Keep an ongoing CV/Resume
- Maintain a list of common information that may show up on multiple applications such as your address, emails, phone numbers for letters of recommendation, and important dates
- Make sure to keep track of applications due dates, and don’t wait too late to start them
- Contact the programs if you need help
First Impression Means Everything
As of now, I have since heard back and received some interviews! For some people, interviews can be a scary process. However, I have been trying my best to prepare. Interviews are an extremely important part of the whole application cycle because the programs finally get to put a face to the applications they receive. It gives the faculty a chance to learn more about you and to see if you are a good fit for their program. For those of you who may go through this in the future, here are some tips for the interview and some ways to prepare:
- Set up mock interviews with MSU faculty and get feedback
- Look up potential interview questions to think about how you may answer them
- Be yourself because the programs want to know the real you
- Ask good questions
- Be confident in yourself because they wanted you for an interview
See What the Future Holds
Again, I will come back in the future to let you all know how my journey ends. This is a time of my life that I have dreamed about for years, and I can’t believe it is coming near its close. As always, thank you for reading, and I hope this helped some of you for the future!
(Bio: My name is Michael Rexroad, a transfer student from Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City. I am a senior currently studying cell and molecular biology with a minor in chemistry and biomedical sciences.)