I’m a senior pre-med student majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. I’ve always known that I want to be a doctor and my experiences during my years at Brandeis have only reinforced that desire. In the last 10 years or so, it has become clear that taking a year or two off between being an undergraduate student and enrolling in a medical school is a path that these institutions prefer to see their applicants take. Therefore, I have recently begun a job search for gap year opportunities in clinical research or public health service projects. However, I have found the process of searching for a job that I know I will likely only hold for a short period of time to be somewhat awkward and difficult to approach. It has been challenging to express my interest in potential jobs while being perfectly honest about my intended path in life because most employers don’t want to hire someone who they know is there temporarily. That being said, does anyone have advice for an appropriate way that pre-med students can earnestly express interest in jobs they plan on holding for only a year or two?
Name: Alex Landau ’17
Hometown: Fairfield, CT
I am a senior on the pre-med track, but before medical school I will be taking a gap year to enhance my academic and clinical experience. Since coming to Brandeis I have not had the chance to explore all of my interests in healthcare, and this is where I am seeking advice. I have a keen interest in public health, and specifically increasing access to mental health education in minority communities. Within my gap year, I would love to explore the public health sector but I am having some difficulty figuring out how to do that. I would be extremely appreciative if anyone could offer advice on their gap year before medical school and what opportunities there are for students like me. Thank you!
Name: Megan Boateng ’17
Majors: Neuroscience and Biology
Hometown: Worcester, MA
I am a current senior searching for a year-long entry level job after graduation beginning in July 2016. I am interested in either clinical research or public health initiatives involving nutrition. I have a passion for medicine, public health, nutrition, and pediatrics. I have a wealth of clinical knowledge I can bring to the table, being a nationally registered EMT and having shadowed surgeons and an internal medicine doctor. I also have worked with young children for the past four out of five summers. Additionally, I have taken several public health courses including topics such as epidemiology and American healthcare. I am planning on taking psychological statistics next semester. I am unsure where or how to start my search and am looking forward to any suggestions and advice the alumni community may have.
Name: Meka Uffenheimer ’16
Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA
Hi, I’m a career changer trying to make my way into dentistry from social work. I will be completing my postbac predental program at Brandeis University by May, 2016 and start my application cycle for dental school from there. I’ve been shadowing 2 general dentists and 1 orthodontics and learned some assisting skills. It will be a great honor to receive advice from you about dentistry in general as well as how to wisely spend the gap year. Thank you!
Name: Zheqing Jiang ’16
Major: Social Work
Hometown: Quzhou, China
I am a third-year student majoring in neuroscience and psychology. Medicine and biomedical research are careers I have strongly considered but ultimately decided against. I still wish to improve peoples’ health and quality of life, but just at the population level. My experiences include research in health psychology (Brandeis lab) and immunology (NIH/NIDDK internship at Stanford). I have also been a Teaching Assistant in a social science statistics course. The most rewarding aspects of these jobs have been collaborating and working as a team, as well as interpreting data. Therefore I am considering a career involving study design and data analysis. I am now seeking to transition into the field of public health. At the moment, I am planning on working for a few years before pursuing an MPH (epi/biostats). Advice on entering public health and maximizing my future experiences before graduate school would be greatly appreciated. It would be extremely helpful to talk to alums about what they are doing and how they got there. I would also love to hear about any summer openings or opportunities you think I should know about. Positions in a health department or clinical research opportunities are of particular interest to me. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Name: Won Young Cheong ’17
Majors: Neuroscience, Psychology
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Hi, my name is Genna Karp and I am a sophomore here at Brandeis. I am on the pre-health track and am double majoring in Health: Science, Society and Policy and Biology. I am hoping to become a physician assistant, and am looking for a glance into life as a PA. I have shadowed an orthopedic PA as well as an Urgent Care center PA but I am hoping for a full image. In addition, I would love some advice on applying to PA school and getting the required hands on experience necessary for applications. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Name: Genna Karp ’18
Majors: Health: Science, Society and Policy, Biology
Hometown: Springfield, NJ