What to do with a Full Time Job

Post Reply
TJSands3
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:29 pm

What to do with a Full Time Job

Post by TJSands3 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:41 am

I am chemical engineer and have a full time job and work about 50 hours a week. This will be my second time taking the MCAT and reapplying-didn't get accepted the first time. I am trying to decide if I study 4 hour a night after work and all day on the weekends that is about 30 hours or so a week of studying. I am trying to decided should I leave my work and solely focus on studying and volunteering? Is there anyone else in the same boat?
NS_Tutor_Will
Posts: 766
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 9:15 am

Re: What to do with a Full Time Job

Post by NS_Tutor_Will » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:43 am

First, I'm not a professional advisor for medical school admissions, but I did just go through the process as a non-trad applicant so I can at least offer some thoughts. I think one important thing will be for you to determine what it is that you need to improve in order to be a more competitive applicant. Is your GPA competitive for the schools you applied to? If that's the issue, then you may need to go back to redo some of the pre-med courses in a post-bacc program. Did your MCAT hold you back? Retaking is definitely the way to go. If adcoms worried about your experience or exposure to medicine, then getting more experience shadowing and volunteering in a healthcare setting will be important. Basically, what you need to do in the reapplication year will be determined by what held you back the first time. An advisor can help you figure this out and some admissions people at medical schools may also be willing to help you out. This is the most important part — it's imperative that you understand where you need to improve your file and that you take steps to improve each relevant area.

You'll also want to consider finances. If you can afford to not work and there are multiple aspects of your application file that you want to improve, then it makes sense to throw yourself all the way into that. Maybe you could go part-time at work or pick up odd jobs to make ends meet while volunteering, taking classes, and studying for an MCAT retake. I had to go back to take five classes that I never took in college, and worked odd jobs while taking the classes, shadowing, volunteering, and studying for the MCAT. It can be done, but it was definitely a lean year!

If all you need to do is improve your MCAT score, that can be done with the 30 hours a week, but you have to ask yourself how sustainable that'll be. If you're working 50 hours a week, are you really going to be able to work at a high efficiency on MCAT prep for 30 hours a week? If so, then I think that plan could make sense. It's definitely doable. You'll want to be realistic about the last time, too. What will be different? What made it hard the last time? How will you change your approach? You'll want to consider all these angles before deciding on the best plan.

Ultimately, your situation is going to be unique to you based on what you want to improve, what changes you're willing to make, and how you want to plan your reapplication cycle.

I hope this helps! Good luck!!!
Dreamcatcher
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 13, 2019 8:52 pm

Re: What to do with a Full Time Job

Post by Dreamcatcher » Mon May 13, 2019 9:24 pm

TJSands3 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:41 am
I am chemical engineer and have a full time job and work about 50 hours a week. This will be my second time taking the MCAT and reapplying-didn't get accepted the first time. I am trying to decide if I study 4 hour a night after work and all day on the weekends that is about 30 hours or so a week of studying. I am trying to decided should I leave my work and solely focus on studying and volunteering? Is there anyone else in the same boat?
Hi, I'm in the same boat. Work full time in the medical field. This will also be my second time taking the mcat. I did horribly on Mcat last year (used other review company).
I also contemplated quitting work so I could focus on studying but many (with experience as adcoms) advised against it, saying that med school entails studying with clinicals so it would be viewed less favorable if I'm unable to balance both.
I am also a nontraditional app which makes it really hard but I'm really hoping next step does it for me this time. I'm still trying to figure out which of their programs will be most helpful whilst still affordable.
I just started my review again last week (hesitantly). My days start pretty early and im home ~4p so I try to take an hour or 2 to unwind/nap then i review until ~10. Weekends I go all day ~5/6 hrs of actual productivity.
I'd say my biggest challenge is structure and staying on target and not get bogged down with the minutiae.

Best of luck and I hope that this year will be ours!
Post Reply