Getting into Medical School, aka Holy of Holies (the F-1 version)

My adventures as an international student trying to get into a US medical school as a prestigious MSI student!

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I am a 22 yr old Foreign lady trying to get into an American med school. The journey has been "rough" to say the least. So join the band wagon and let's see if they think I'm good enough to become a doctor. I hope my story encourages someone, maybe you. Not necessarily to become a doctor, but just to follow your dream. Leave your comments as you read...I thrive on feedback. And if this is your first time here, catch up on what you missed, cus every post IS important...well almost all. So forget that board meeting(at your own risk) or skip that class (again at your own risk) and lose yourself in my archives. REMEMBER: "If it aint ROUGH, it aint RIGHT" - Richard Hamilton, Detroit Pistons Guard

Friday, July 28, 2006

The past, part II

Did you ever hear that funny play on words, Assumptions make an "a*s" of "u" and "me"? I think it's like the cleverest of these I've heard in a while...seriously. But to keep it PG up in here, I have proceeded to replace the not-so-well-accepted portion of this phrase with "donkey" (or "butt" whichever floats your boat). This is the story of how my ASSUMPTIONS made a "donkey" of me, in essence, The "Donkey"fication of Abbey.

Before I start, let's make sure we're all on thesame page. The location is Miu Corp right now and I have finally gotten over my "Wow! so this is where all the magic happens" phase. I came into this internship with lots of stories from my peers both within and outside "The Ends of the Earth". Apparently most of them were the best things to happen to their company. They had perfect reviews from their bosses. They were offered second internships/full time jobs the minute they submitted their first copy-paste projects. The design team could not hold a meeting without them. And last but most important of all, they ate lunch with the VP on a daily basis. So I'm exaggerating a bit, but you get the drift. There's a BIG difference between stretching the truth and straight up lying. Unfortunately, I couldn't tell that difference back then. I soaked up all these stroies ASSUMING my "peeps" will never lie to me and patiently waited for some or all of these "great" things to happen to me too. ASSUMPTION #1 made, "Donkey"fication stage I complete.

It's now month 3 and still no one has invited me to any special events with the VP, and most meetings, I was lucky if they remembered to leave room for me at the conference table. Even when they did, there was this neon sign on everyone's head that clearly stated: NO COMMENTS NEEDED FROM YOU. I remember one of the first times I decided to ignore this notice. It was at one of our design meetings and I made what I thought to be a brilliant suggestion. Trying to show them I can do more than photocopy 400 page manuals...you know, "for the team". They all looked at me, nodded and pretended to take notes, finally I thought, someone was listening. But for some reason, this "brilliant" suggestion never got implemented. Maybe I should ASSUME they'll implement it in the second release of the product? Nahhh, too soon for "Donkey"fication stage II.

So as you can see, it was very easy to feel like an overpaid human xerox machine in this new world. But the future was looking bright, I was finally beginning to understand their tech savvy mumbo jumbo. Luckily for me the project we were working on was a new one so everyone else was as clueless as I was. So when we weren't at team meetings trying to understand the project, I spent the rest of the work day devouring the design specification manual. OK, I'll be honest. I spent the rest of the day perfecting how to sleep sitting upright. Don't blame me, there really was nothing to do, even my team leader couldn't come up with stuff for herself. You might be wondering how all this ties in to learning who I really was. Well for sure, one thing I had learnt so far was that my daily productivity was inversely proportional to how much I ate for lunch. But apparently, there were still more painful lessons to come.

You see there are these things called Mid-Coop reviews where you meet with your manager and he updates you on your performance so far. I was excited at the prospect of finding out how many times my manager had caught me drooling at my desk. So on the appointed date, I got to work earlier than ususal, updated myself on all I had done so far, just in case he decided to give me a pop quiz and got ready for our meeting. The meeting was going well, he discussed his opinion about my work, my personality and my team members opinion about my performance. Everything was excellent. Perfect scores on all sections except one, "efficiency at performing tasks" or something like that. I asked him why that was lower, his answer? I had not done enough yet for him to judge that. Understandable. Afterall, the developers were still writing the code so there was nothing for me to test yet. We were now about to round up, but for some reason I was feeling very confident with myself. I ASSUMED I could handle anything. ASSUMPTION #2 made, "Donkey"fication stage II complete.

Maybe I should have just let the meeting end, but I don't regret doing what I did next because it changed my life forever. Really it did. I asked my manager one more question. "What did I needed to improve on?" I honestly thought he was going to give me a pat on the back (or an equivalent that did not qualify as sexual harassment), and say everything was perfect. He was quiet. My heart had since stopped beating at this point and I could hear my brain screaming for its blood supply. But it wasn't getting any until I heard the answer to my question. The answer came, luckily before I suffered a stroke. "Take more Initiative". Yup that was the answer. The sad thing was that I knew what exactly he wanted me to do. Things were slow in my department, so he probably expected me to ask permission to spend a week or two with the developers and work on some stuff with them. The even sadder thing was that I thought of this everytime I sat at my desk doing nothing , but give up a nap to write some code? Sorry I just couldn't do it. Yes I love coding that much! Also, I "knew" for sure I wasn't going to end up in corporate America after college. So I worked hard, but the whole "above and beyond" deal was asking too much. There was just no motivation to do so. No motivation at all. Till that faithful meeting I thought I could do anything, whether or not I had a passion for it, and still be the best at it. I learnt otherwise. Unfortunately my "donkey"fication was still not complete, stage III?...my encounter with... The MCAT!!("insert action sequence music here")

....to be continued

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10 Comments:

Blogger Steph said...

During my mid-coop review I was told that I didn't fit in with the company's "culture", whatever that meant. When I asked for more details, my manager was unable to come up with any examples.

You got off easy with his answer. I think he probably gives that answer to anyone who he doesn't really have something to say about. :)

July 28, 2006 9:01 AM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

hmmm that's possible, but I guess its just a matter of how each person takes it

July 28, 2006 9:19 AM  
Blogger Errata said...

These are some really good reads!
You have truly become a corporate america victim

July 30, 2006 2:47 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

thanks...I won't exactly say victim, I got what I needed from them too

July 30, 2006 3:15 PM  
Anonymous ogizzle said...

hi, your blog interests me, because I identify completely. I am about to begin my 2nd yr of med school and I am an F1 student....oh and my MCAT was a 26 so you know the journey wasn't easy. I actually had to do a post bacc program for a year after graduation, but that was cool by me cos I was determined not to take that soul sucking exam 2ce, you seem to have done your research well on what schools accept internationals and all so I am sure u will get in...

July 31, 2006 11:50 AM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

I feel you on not taking the exam twice, but sometimes, you don't have a choice...keep reading to hear the full story

July 31, 2006 11:57 AM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

@ogizzle: btw what schools gave you admission when you applied? If you don't want to put that on here that's fine, but it will be nice to know

July 31, 2006 12:00 PM  
Anonymous ogizzle said...

LOL at "what schools gave me admission?". More like I was waitlisted by Ohio State and only accepted by Wake Forest in North Carolina. It's funny cos i didnt even want to apply to OSU since it's a public school, but their advisor contacted me after I received a brochure from their school and encouraged me to apply, then after all the money I was waitlisted. Then some chick later told me that they never accept intl students. Talk about 419. It's funny...actually it's God, 'cos Wake sent me a brochure as well and that's how I even found out they existed. I didn't do good research in applying to schools...all I knew was that my best bet was with private schools, so I took my ambitious self and applied to Johns hopkins, vanderbilt, northwestern etc...

July 31, 2006 9:01 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

hmm interesting. at least ur in thank GOD hopefully that would be my testimony too. thanks for filling us in.

July 31, 2006 9:58 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

@ ogizzle, did you see the post from 08/01? Did you apply to GW too?

August 02, 2006 10:03 PM  

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