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Bluecan

Can ECs be improved outside of undergrad?

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Hey everyone,

Forgive me for what might be a stupid question, but I recently made a post about lacking ECs. I managed to make some progress on them during the past few months (which I will continue during the year), but this is my last year of undergrad. If I'm unable to get in next cycle with the ECs I will have up until next September, am I out of the running for Canadian schools where ECs really matter? I've heard some conflicting advice that some schools only take into account ECs that are done during your undergrad (like Ottawa).

 

So-- do I have to be enrolled as an undergraduate student to make progress on these during a gap year where I'm working? Even if the answer is no, I'm still a little worried I won't be able to find any meaningful ECs that would really improve my application outside of the organizations you have access to as a student. I would be able to continue volunteering in the ER department at my local hospital as well as other "cookie-cutter" volunteering opportunities like the nursing home, but are these enough?

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That's really weird that uOttawa would do that. As if EC's outside of undergrad doesn't develop you as a potential doctor... 

For most schools that look at EC's, the more experience you have heightens your possibility of getting into medical school. So I wouldn't worry about that. For example, if you broadened, and deepened your experience as a graduate, your NAQ score at UBC will rise. 

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1 hour ago, Bluecan said:

I've heard some conflicting advice that some schools only take into account ECs that are done during your undergrad (like Ottawa).

Where did you hear this? I don't think this is true. At least it says this nowhere on their website. Their detailed description of ABS just requires that you put the time frame of the EC on OMSAS. So whether it was completed in 1st year, 2nd, high school, when graduated, during masters, etc. I don't think that means they will discredit anything done after graduation, they just want an approximate time frame. 

There are plenty of non-traditional applicants who have done very little EC wise in undergrad but still get in. Work experience after graduation is also important in shaping your identity. GPA can be hard to remedy but EC's can definitely be built over time. 

 

1 hour ago, Bluecan said:

So-- do I have to be enrolled as an undergraduate student to make progress on these during a gap year where I'm working?

No. Do something you enjoy when you graduate! There are endless possibilities and you don't have to be "cookie cutter" as you say, do whatever you're passionate about. :)

 

1 hour ago, Bluecan said:

I won't be able to find any meaningful ECs that would really improve my application outside of the organizations you have access to as a student.


What meaningful ECs will you lose access to when you graduate? You can keep volunteering at those places, no? 

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On 8/6/2018 at 1:30 PM, Bluecan said:

I've heard some conflicting advice that some schools only take into account ECs that are done during your undergrad (like Ottawa).

This was the case back in the day when they implemented the Top 3 ABS sketch. It is no longer the case, as they look at all your ECs from 16 years of age and onwards now. 

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On 8/6/2018 at 1:30 PM, Bluecan said:

I'm still a little worried I won't be able to find any meaningful ECs that would really improve my application outside of the organizations you have access to as a student.

There are plenty of opportunities that you don't need to be a student for. Think of what causes matter to you and google charities/organizations in your area - is it mental health? Volunteer at a crisis phone line. Is it animals? Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Is it homelessness? Volunteer at a soup kitchen or shelter. For other ECs, you could also join a rec league, or a running group, or a club that is based out of a community centre, or something like that. You just have to look, there are opportunities everywhere outside of university. 

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