Can I Combine Experience in my AMCAS or AACOMAS Application?

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Session 144

Our student today wants to know about combining multiple jobs into one experience or if he should keep them all separate. What should you do on AMCAS?

The questions answered here on the podcast are taken from the Nontrad Premed Forum. If you haven’t yet, register for an account there to join the community and ask away.

[01:05] OldPreMeds Question of the Week:

[Tweet “”I had a half dozen different jobs while in college and I’m wondering if I should keep these together or separate them on AMCAS and AACOMAS. Everything from customer service to monitoring, merchandising at a warehouse store and everything in between.””]

[01:40] Quality, Not Quantity

Students often think that the admissions committee should know that you’ve done a ton of stuff. And this is not the way to go about your application – quality, not quantity.

[Tweet “”The goal of your application is to show who you are and the impact that you have on what you’ve done.””]

If you’ve had a job, say a customer job. And you went in and clocked in and out and you didn’t really have a good impact on the world or anybody in particular. You simply just do the job. You wouldn’t necessarily want to put this in your application. You may fill in some gaps here and there. But it doesn’t really add to your application to show who you are. It just shows that you held the job for a little while.

However, if in that customer service job, you had an amazing experience and over and over again, you impacted the customers’ lives in one way or another, you can then tell that story in your description for that activity. And that shows who you are and the impact that you have on the world around you. This paints the picture of who you are. That’s the important part here.

[Tweet “”Who are you? That’s what the admissions committees want to know. They don’t need to see everything you’ve done on your journey. Quality, not quantity.””]

[03:48] Filling In the Gaps

The admissions committees want to know who you are. They need to see the impact you’ve had on each of these positions. If you need to fill in gaps, there are ways to combine things and massage timelines to fill it all in. But then you ignore talking about.

If, say you have a job from 2014-2018 and had six different jobs there. Instead of listing all six, you can just say you’re doing various, non-clinical jobs in general. For the description, you can, for instance, say that you’ve held various jobs and then probably highlight one in particular that you enjoyed the most. Then tell the story about the impact you’ve had from that position.

[Tweet “”You’re putting in the general timeline of all these jobs but then you’re just highlighting one.””]

[05:15] Shadowing Experiences

You don’t have to list all the shadowing you’ve done in separate experiences. You can combine them all. In fact, it’s good that you combine the timeline as well. I know a student who put in multiple times for shadowing but the school only saw the last chunk of time that she put in, assuming she only had 9 hours of shadowing (when she actually had more than that). And she got rejected.

[Tweet “”Just go from when you started and when you’re planning on stopping… just put one full range in there.””]

You don’t need to go in and individually put in all those there. Just put one giant rage. Estimate the hours for all of them and then arrange in bullet points all of the shadowing experiences.

[06:40] How Impactful Was Your Job?

Therefore, if your job is not as impactful and it’s just a thing you’ve done, then don’t separate them all and just combine them. Just highlight one of them and bullet point all of the different jobs you’ve had. Again, the goal is to show the impact you’ve had on these positions.

Does that show the admissions committee member anything about you? Keep this in mind when you’re filling out your applications.


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