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lilmaz

Genetic Counseling Fall 2019 Applicants

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Hi everyone,

I'm glad this board has started already! I was planning on applying this year, but trying to get applications together while finishing my master's thesis in the fall was too much.

I've currently got an internship/volunteer position with a prenatal clinic in Indiana. I shadow half the time and work on database administration for a stillbirth assessment program the other half. With just this alone, I've gotten to shadow 25 patients in the last two months!

I also volunteer with Crisis Text Line, as I've seen others mention. It's a nice option and is easy to work around your schedule, which is a definite plus when you've got a toddler at home :)

I'll either be applying for VCU or IU (my applications will be limited due to my husband's career).

Looking forward to going through all of this with you!

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Hi all!

I've been lurking around here for last year, knowing that I was planning to apply this year. I applied once when I first graduated from college, but was nowhere near a qualified applicant at the time. So this will be my second time applying. I'm an older applicant (late 20s) and know that my real downside to my application will be my bad GPA from undergrad (like 2.6 I think...it pains me to say it. I really screwed up as an 18-22 year old!). However, I've spent the last few years retaking some courses and taking new courses, and doing well in them. I also have background as a sexual assault crisis counselor and mental health case manager, and now I work as a research coordinator with a GC/PhD doing work on pharmacogenomics and return of results. Our second paper on PGx was just published yesterday, so that's exciting! I plan on retaking the GRE soon (first time scores were 164 V, 157 Q, 4.5 Writing but my scores expired!) and hopefully arranging further shadowing (have shadowed only prenatal GCs in the past). 

So glad this thread has started! I can't wait to watch all of our journeys unfold. :)

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Just applied to 4 genetic counseling assistant jobs! Most of the jobs only require a bachelors degree but I could really use the clinical, medical office setting experience so I hope they don't dismiss my application for being overqualified. So fingers crossed! All positions would require a pretty big move but I think the experience would help next year with applications..

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Hey everyone! I'm a current undergrad (junior) and I'm really nervous about applying...does anyone have any advice for getting shadowing experience? I have a decent GPA (~3.7) and just like many of you mentioned, I work with CTL as well as running an enrichment program for high schoolers at my school and being a lab assistant on my campus since September, but I don't feel like that's enough after having lurked on the 2018 forum and seeing everyone else's extracurriculars/volunteer experiences. 

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On 2/18/2018 at 10:37 PM, geneAGTC said:

I wanted to pass along a genetic counseling volunteer opportunity at Stanford's Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease for anyone who is interested. I've been a volunteer for the past 9 months and have applied to programs this cycle. I am feeling pretty hopeful of being admitted somewhere, and the Stanford position has been an amazing experience. Here is the information:

Volunteers can expect to:

·      Learn about the day-to-day life of a genetic counselor

·      Gain a deep understanding of taking a family history

·      Interact with other members of our patients’ healthcare team, including physicians, nurses and patient care coordinators

Typical duties may include:

·      Data entry in the genetic counselors’ pedigree database, Progeny

·      Maintaining and organizing data in our electronic filing system

·      Light office duties to support the genetic counseling team

·      volunteers with prior research experience or who excel at routine responsibilities may be asked to participate in more advanced research projects

Ideal applicants are:

·      dedicated to gaining exposure to genetic counseling

·      detail oriented

·      able to work well with a team

·      available 8 or more hours weekly during working hours, but we can be very flexible to work around other commitments. 

Multiple positions are open for summer 2018.  Ideal candidates would be available throughout the 2018-2019 school year.

Please send your CV and a cover letter introducing yourself and why you’re interested in volunteering with us. 

Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease

Julia Platt, MS LCGC

jplatt@stanfordhealthcare.org

Readers, this is a great opportunity if you are in the SF Bay Area.  This team is FABULOUS!!!!  

(PS:  Also:  Hi A.  It's A.)

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So, I took the GRE today. How would 157 Q/V stack up against other applicants? All of my friends are basically med school oriented and are taking the MCAT so I still don’t know how this app works haha

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Hey guys!  So if you haven't heard already there's this second awesome group space for future genetic counselors to talk about everything from interviews, to every day life, to just meeting new people.  If you haven't joined it yet, I'll post the link below but it is a lot of fun to just relax and meet more awesome people that could potentially be our future classmates and co-workers.

 

https://discord.gg/WxD4AWK

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On 3/12/2018 at 11:33 AM, karyotype said:

So, I took the GRE today. How would 157 Q/V stack up against other applicants? All of my friends are basically med school oriented and are taking the MCAT so I still don’t know how this app works haha

I'm just creeping around here but I can give my 2 cents on this. Grad schools are pretty much just looking for anything above the 50-60th percentile. They say "successful" applicants have scores above the 70th percentile, but from my experience they really aren't that picky.

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Hi guys! First time posting here! I'm excited to be able to have this forum as a way to bounce ideas/questions off of others and hopefully give/receive good feedback during the application process!

A bit about me: I've been working as a Molecular Technologist for the past 5 years after receiving my MS in Molecular Pathology in 2013. I decided to switch careers but still wanted to stay in the genetics area. I have shadowed some local genetic counselors, and am now starting to study for the GRE (it wasn't required for my grad school program). I'm a bit nervous because I haven't taken a math class since my senior year of high school :/ I have also started volunteering for the local chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness. 

I'm hoping to get more volunteer hours and hopefully shadow some more genetic counselors, but unfortunately, the city I live in is about an hour away from everything, so we will see how this goes! 

Good luck to all of us! :D

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Got an interview for a genetic counselor assistant position!!! I've applied to basically every job across the country and am so excited to finally get a positive response! 

What is everyone else working on already to build their resumes for next year?

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On 3/27/2018 at 10:31 AM, lilmaz said:

Got an interview for a genetic counselor assistant position!!! I've applied to basically every job across the country and am so excited to finally get a positive response! 

What is everyone else working on already to build their resumes for next year?

Congratulations!! I was seeking a GCA position as well. Good luck with your interview! :) 

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Hi everyone! I'm an applicant for 2018 but wanted to post this on here as well. I'm currently a GCA in DC for a great team and they wanted me to mention this on here since everyone is so qualified and motivated. They'll be searching for a new GCA (considering I get into grad school, fingers crossed!) but can't post anything on job sites until I officially resign. The hiring process can take some time so if you're interested or just want to talk to me about my experience as a GCA feel free to private message me!

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Hey everyone! A little bummed that I just saw that this is a thing now!! I applied for the fall 2018 cycle to 5 schools all in Jersey, Philly, and NYC area but not even an interview :(  So far I have shadowing hours with a cancer GC, experience working as a teacher assistant at a school for children with disabilities, and am finishing up my BS degree in biology this May. I was really hoping to get into grad school right away to avoid a gap year, but based off what I read on the 2018 form, it seems I need a lot more experience before re-applying!!

I know I have to retake my GRE (141V, 144Q, 3W). I'm not the greatest at standardized testing, so any suggestions on how to improve my scores? I am also not sure how I should spend my gap year? I was thinking about applying for lab assistant jobs, but I'm really not sure what would be best to improve my application.

Looking forward to hearing from everyone and so glad I found this forum for this application cycle!

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On 4/6/2018 at 4:25 PM, Laurie619 said:

Hey everyone! A little bummed that I just saw that this is a thing now!! I applied for the fall 2018 cycle to 5 schools all in Jersey, Philly, and NYC area but not even an interview :(  So far I have shadowing hours with a cancer GC, experience working as a teacher assistant at a school for children with disabilities, and am finishing up my BS degree in biology this May. I was really hoping to get into grad school right away to avoid a gap year, but based off what I read on the 2018 form, it seems I need a lot more experience before re-applying!!

I know I have to retake my GRE (141V, 144Q, 3W). I'm not the greatest at standardized testing, so any suggestions on how to improve my scores? I am also not sure how I should spend my gap year? I was thinking about applying for lab assistant jobs, but I'm really not sure what would be best to improve my application.

Looking forward to hearing from everyone and so glad I found this forum for this application cycle!

My #1 advice with the GRE is to study the stuff you know you have trouble with beforehand! I didn't want to pay a boat load of money for prep books on top of the cost of the test so I checked out my public library and found two Kaplan books! I was able to keep them for months while I studied without spending a penny!

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On 2/24/2018 at 11:00 AM, freckledgenes said:

 I'm an older applicant (late 20s) and know that my real downside to my application will be my bad GPA from undergrad (like 2.6 I think...it pains me to say it. I really screwed up as an 18-22 year old!).

I feel like we’re kindred spirits! I’ll be 32 when I apply the first time, with an equally abysmal undergrad GPA. Since it’ll be almost 11 years old at that point and because I got a masters degree with a 4.0, I’m hoping it won’t be too detrimental. Good luck with the GREs again!

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On 3/18/2018 at 10:54 PM, gs3476 said:

A bit about me: I've been working as a Molecular Technologist for the past 5 years...

Me too! I got my MB in 2016 after about 6 years of molecular experience and the genetic counselor I’ve been volunteering with has told me repeatedly what an advantage this is because I already know more than most first year GC students about molecular and genetic testing. I tried to get a job in a cytogenetics lab last month to try to balance out my molecular experience, but the job was frozen right before I interviewed. Either way, I think this experience is going to be invaluable, especially because not all programs do a lab practicum, which I don’t love. Before I moved to IN, I worked in the molecular diagnostics lab at VCU and the GC students rotated through our lab. I think that experience is so important to understanding the complex lab results involved in this field. 

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Hi all,

I applied for the current cycle and am waiting to hear back on Match Day, but I wanted to mention an opportunity for all the future GC applicants on this forum. As you can probably tell from my username, I am a GCA at GeneDx. My company is hosting a Prospective GC Day on April 27th 2018. From what I've heard, the lineup will include talks by Quinn Stein and Shannan Dixon (program directors at Augustana and Maryland, respectively). In addition, there will be panels discussing different positions genetic counselors hold and the unique journeys many have undertaken to become genetic counselors. For those in the Maryland area, you can visit in-person and tour the lab before hearing the speakers. If you can only log-in remotely, you can access the talks via video conference. Feel free to get more information by visiting genedx.com and RSVPing to the host (Meg). Her email address is listed on the website, I just didn't feel comfortable putting it on blast on this forum lol. The program will run from 9am-2:30pm.

I don't know that I will be checking this forum all that frequently, but if you have further questions, I will try my best to reply!

Thanks!

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I have some questions for second time applicants, since this is my first time! 

What were the personal statement questions? 

What do you think was the reason you didn't get accepted? Just lack of more experience??

Thank you all!! So glad this forum exists! Just trying to prepare! 

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On 4/20/2018 at 4:41 PM, HiImKayla said:

I have some questions for second time applicants, since this is my first time! 

What were the personal statement questions? 

What do you think was the reason you didn't get accepted? Just lack of more experience??

Thank you all!! So glad this forum exists! Just trying to prepare! 

Welcome! 

I could be wrong but I think the personal statement prompts from this years application cycle are probably still up on the university's website. 

I am still very eager to contact the schools and see what their notes about my application were but I have a pretty good idea where my application lacked. Essentially due to the high number of people applying for these positions the "preferred experience" generally is "required experience". The hospital in my area (the largest in the state) didn't offer shadowing of any kind so I just thought, oh well no big deal...wrong, they want you to go out and find those opportunities even if it means taking off work or traveling to do it. Lack of formal counseling experience was another issue I think I had. They post on the admissions pages that they want applicants with counseling experience and then list a few examples and add that other experiences may apply, but in general unless its an opportunity with a formal training period it probably won't be that helpful. 

Also I think having a background in molecular genetics/biology is a huge help and will only help you more when you do get in and have to take the courses. I thought that having a master's degree in genomics would cancel out the areas that I lacked in, shadowing and counseling, but I think that at this point you have to go through and check all the boxes + in order to be considered. I've talked to many people in the genomics/genetic counseling area that feel that the admissions boards are behind on how they are now picking applicants in relation to where the field is going. The field is moving into a more and more technically specialized region and while finding people who have good people skills and the ability to empathize is important, it's going to be harder and harder to cram all the science they need to understand into two years if they don't prioritize people who have backgrounds in science. 

Sorry for the long-winded rant!! 

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Indiana University Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics in Indianapolis is planning a one-week intense shadowing program for this coming summer, I believe in July. The plan is for the participants to rotate through a number of departments in IU and IU Health. The GCs I’ve shadowed through IU have been top notch - if you’re in the Midwest or can arrange to be in Indianapolis for a week this summer, I highly recommend the program. Below is the link to apply, please feel free to PM me if you have any questions!

https://redcap.uits.iu.edu/surveys/index.php?s=MXRRTPXN8A

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Hi everyone!!! Sadly, I didn't get matched so now I plan on applying (again?) this next year!!

Does anyone know when I should ask programs I applied to/interviewed with what I need to improve in for the next application process? Also, should I email the program directors or call them, or does it not matter??

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15 hours ago, GCprettyplease said:

Hi everyone!!! Sadly, I didn't get matched so now I plan on applying (again?) this next year!!

Does anyone know when I should ask programs I applied to/interviewed with what I need to improve in for the next application process? Also, should I email the program directors or call them, or does it not matter??

I'm going off of what my rejection emails said, some said after match day, some said may, and other said July (lol denver). And I would definitely email, that gives them time to pull your application and hopefully think about their response more than a phone call. Glad you're here trying again!!

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On 3/12/2018 at 12:33 PM, karyotype said:

So, I took the GRE today. How would 157 Q/V stack up against other applicants? All of my friends are basically med school oriented and are taking the MCAT so I still don’t know how this app works haha

I matriculated with a 157/158 score. This is considered competitive by itself, but what others are saying is exactly right! Shoot for anything above 50-60th percentile, while not neglecting other application components. Keep it up! :)

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Does anyone know if Sarah Lawrence takes resumes in the application? I do not see it as a required document online...I really hope they do, because my experiences definitely strengthen my application. I don't think I have enough space (2 pages?) to cover my extensive volunteer and work experience in just the personal statement.

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