Hi! New user here. I was super happy to stumble upon this forum as my undergrad experience didn't prepare me for the application process. My school/degree mainly catered to prospective MD careers. So I apologize in advance for the long post.
I am looking to apply to stem cell/regenerative medicine programs, but not until the cycle after next (so for the class of 2021). I graduated from a mid-tier college with a a kinda low GPA (3.55) in biology. I am terrible at standardized tests. I have been looking at requirements for programs and all either don't want or don't require the GRE. I have therefore come to the conclusion not to take it, as it would be a waste of time and money.
Luckily, I was hired only 2 months after graduating with my BS as an Associate Scientist at one of the top 3 Pharma companies in their R&D department working on cell transport. So, by the time I apply, I will have been working for there for 2 years (and fingers crossed, with a promotion my boss has been hinting at). In addition to my current job, my school had a co-op system through which I worked at Harvard Medical School for a year as a glorified lab tech. I also did a research project for 4 months in a lab at my university, working with ovarian stem cells. I plan to get my recommendations from these three places.
So TL;DR, I'll be banking on writing a good SOP/application in order to get into a program. But, as I remember from applying to undergrad, writing is not my strong suite either. Does any one have any advice for writing a good SOP/application? I don't want to be too concise, but I also don't want to ramble on. How long should the SOP be? Also, is there anything else I can do in the next couple of years to bolster my application? I.e. volunteering? Building a relationship with PI's about their work that I find interesting?