What Happened Last Cycle: A Quick Breakdown

Before we embark too far on my journey into my second year applying, I thought I should share what happened last time, in brief.

Last cycle I applied to genetic counseling schools while I was still an undergraduate. I knew I for sure wanted to be a genetic counselor and I didn’t want to take any gap time before getting my Master’s of Genetic Counseling degree. I applied to 10 schools and interviewed at 2, one in New Jersey and one in South Dakota. That means I received 8 (!) rejections without an interview!

However I had the most wonderful and interesting interview experiences like this

This was coincidentally my first time in a bar. The bar was also a Chinese restaurant on Times Square.

And this

Did they steal BYU’s Motto?!

A medical school interview tip book I’m reading states that many students overestimate their ability to interview and that is so the truth for me. I thought if I’m just confident and show my love for GC, they will love me back. Not the case! The whole process was fun and new and it made me come off excitable. I was so excited to be there, I didn’t ask questions showing that I wanted to find out if it was the right program for me. Even though I showed enthusiasm, I didn’t show the kind of thoughtful, collected maturity these schools look for. Having interviews and feedback last cycle played in huge role in knowing what I want to improve this cycle.

As I said, I was thrilled to visit both of my schools. Beyond that, I won’t speak to my particular impressions of these schools or any schools I will visit this cycle, because they are only my personal opinions based on limited experience. I will say that I am very lucky that I got to experience two completely different programs with different values and culture, and I developed a better idea of what types of programs I should apply to this year. Even the schools I didn’t interview at gave me feedback about what they were looking for. I learned what to improve, and whether I wanted to try for that school again.

As I previously mentioned, last Match Day happened on my graduation day. Getting notice that I hadn’t matched, while trying to celebrate graduation, wasn’t easy. There were advantages to this set up though. My whole family found out at once, so there was no repeating the bad news, at least not to them. Also Match Day really can never get worse than ruining graduation, so it’s all looking up from here. I’m also quite grateful that we scheduled a self-care Disneyland trip for the weekend immediately following Match Day.

Now that you’re caught up, I’m planning on expanding the scope of my posts from my own story to topics covering everything about prepping for genetic counseling and graduate school. I’m hoping to not only keep my own friends and family updated, but also share my blog widely to become a resource for other pre-GC students. In a world where there are hundreds of books, YouTube channels, blogs, and Instagrams about pre-med / med school life… We need at least one speaking for genetic counseling amiright?!

So for the next few months I’ll share weekly posts of both personal updates and info that could be helpful for others like me. Then starting in January there might be news about interviews (and rejections haha!)

I hope you’ll all stay along for the ride!

-Laura Cooper-Hastings

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