for Healthcare Education
at Miami University
Student Profile: Alexandru Alexa (Class of 2011)
- senior chemistry major
- from Romania
(now Perrysburg, OH)
- entering medical school in fall of 2011
Why I Chose Miami
"Besides the beautiful campus, tasty dining hall food (Erickson, Alexander or Bell Tower are my top picks) and overall atmosphere, Miami was the school that could offer me the best preparation for entering medical school. This is evident in the high number of Miami applicants accepted into medical school compared to the national average.
"While getting into medical school is an extremely competitive process, and all your peers are striving to ultimately reach the same goal, the atmosphere at Miami is one of collaborative learning. I have heard stories from other schools where students steal each other's notes if left at the library or give each other false information, all in hopes of performing better on an exam. This is simply not the case at Miami. While we are all trying to get spots into medical school, we go through the process together. Whether it is helping one another study for exams or the MCAT or editing personal statements, we collaborate to reach a common goal."
Opportunities Outside the Classroom
"One's knowledge base is not solely enhanced in the classroom, which is why Miami offers so many alternative educational experiences. For example, there are numerous opportunities for students to volunteer. Through the "America Reads" and "Adopt a School" programs, I tutored elementary school children that needed help learning to read. You don't have to choose these programs specifically, but it's important to get involved in something you are passionate about.
"Miami also has an amazing undergraduate research program in any discipline. I was fortunate enough to do research in a lab with my organic chemistry professor; I synthesized ligands for the group's new catalyst system. I even received a stipend and helped with publication as third author for my summer work in the lab!
"School, volunteering and research are fun, but at times we need to do something that is not on our schedules. So, get a group of friends and sign up to play intramural sports. At Miami, I've played broomball, flag football (we were awful), and soccer (indoor champs). If you aren't the athletic type but love music, you're in luck. Miami always has concerts, whether small bands that play uptown, or bigger artists who perform at Millet. I've been to One Republic, Matt Nathanson and (my favorite) Kid Cudi.
"If you need some wisdom and inspiration in your life have no fear. Miami brings great speakers to campus. Recently, I attended a presentation given by His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama."
The Mallory-Wilson Center
"The Mallory-Wilson Center is great for all pre-professional students.
"The faculty members of the pre-medical advisory committee are there for you. They will answer your questions and help guide you towards your goals. When you apply for medical school, they will offer a pre-medical advisory committee letter. Take advantage of this! The committee will collect your letters of recommendation, evaluate your candidacy for medical school, and send your letters to AMCAS.
"You also have numerous options to be exposed to the field of medicine through organizations such as AMSA and Miami MED.
"I took advantage of the Mallory-Wilson preceptorship, and it was the single best medical experience I've had. I talked about this preceptorship in all my medical school interviews due to its uniqueness.
"If you need help paying for school, you can apply for scholarships and you can take out a loan for medical school applications. These amazing opportunities are all provided to you as a student at Miami."
My "Two Cents"
- Go to class.
- Attend your professor's office hours. While it might be intimidating at first, they are eager to help their students succeed. Trust me.
- Throughout college, you will be presented with opportunities to do something different. Whether it's eating sushi for the first time or taking an interesting class (Viticulture and Enology better known as "the wine tasting class") do it! You will make lifetime friends and discover who you really are, what your interests are, and what you absolutely love or hate. Don't be afraid to take on the challenges and experiences that are presented to you.
- Good luck and have fun!