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porcupine

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  1. I'm wondering if I should take a year off from applying due to "weak" references. This upcoming cycle will be my third application cycle. My first cycle I was rejected post-interview from one school and this past year I was rejected post-interview from two schools. Unfortunately, I have thoroughly exhausted my references these past two years. I have used them sooo many times for OMSAS schools, OOP schools and job interviews after graduating that I can't use them again. My goal was to add more ECs and connections to potential references for this cycle, but COVID has put a huge damper on it (currently laid off from my job and cannot find a volunteer position in my small town, currently stuck in limbo as I'm sure a lot of us are). This fall I will be pursuing a graduate diploma and hope to have better academic references and placement experiences from it. Should I wait until I'm done this program to reapply? Otherwise if I reapply this year, my potential "weaker" references for the CAF would be: - A supervisor from a food service job (known for only 4 months, of which I've been employed with for 7 months) - A college professor that I took one course with and excelled in (not sure if college vs. university academic references also make a difference?) - A supervisor from an organization I volunteered remotely with for 3 months Thanks, hope everyone is staying safe!
  2. anyone interested in practicing interviews remotely?
  3. I started a college graduate certificate but decided it wasn't for me in the second week and have been pursuing work opportunities instead. The withdrawal isn't complete yet by the registrar's office. Even though I had no grades and was only in the program for two weeks, do I still need to send in a transcript from college? It will either be blank or have W's on it eventually but at this point it might still have my courses on it. Thanks!
  4. You can somewhat see what the CAF form looks like on UofT's video explaining it here: It describes "employment" as someone who is a supervisor, manager, coworker, etc. For "academic" it says someone who is a teacher, professor, thesis supervisor, etc. And for extracurricular/volunteer involvement (which I assume can be a personal referee because it is non-academic/employment related) says someone who is a mentor, coach, volunteer supervisor, etc. Hope this helps clarify where your referees may fall!
  5. It does not matter which degree you do. I switched from a bachelor of medical sciences to a bachelor of arts and still received interviews last year. No one in interviews asked me about my program either, but that's the nature of the MMI. If employment is one of your backup options, you will probably also find that employers won't know the difference between medical sciences, sciences, life sciences, biomedical sciences, etc. This depends on where you're trying to get a job, but overall it doesn't matter and you will be fine if you make the switch!
  6. As in, if they were able to complete it without difficulty? Sure! If you trust this person would say good things about you, then I do not see a need to ask what they wrote or how they ranked you though. Just gotta trust that they vouched for you to the best of their abilities. It's fine to ask them again next year if they'd be willing. This is my second time using one of my referees and they were happy to do it. Ya, last year referees had to write reference letters. This year there is only the evaluation form with room for comments.
  7. Don't most medical schools not assess which degree you took or its difficulty? So it shouldn't matter what they do a minor in or whether or not it's "cookie cutter"?
  8. UofT explains and shows some of the CAF (that applicants are allowed to see) on their new video here:
  9. You never know who will read your essay and if it will resonate with that person. Every application is another chance, even if a slim one. It's just up to you if it's worth the extra time and money. I am in the same boat as you and was given this advice. Good luck!!
  10. For at least uOttawa now, "You must provide a verifier for each activity listed on your detailed Autobiographical Sketch. The verifier cannot be a friend or family member. You must comply with the instructions provided or your application will be disqualified." If we include a personal hobby or life event on our ABS, any recommendations on who to use as a verifier?
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