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An Interview with Manas

How did you get involved in Medic Mentor and why?

Medic mentor first came to our school and delivered an amazing presentation that got me very interested in finding out more about what they do. I then found out more information and decided to attend the national healthcare weekend which is now called the get into medicine conference. From then on, I decided to join some of the various programmes they offer and went on to present at the conference in front of 150 people a few months later. Since then I have done many things with medic mentor and I am now a scholar on their scholarship programme.

What were you most scared of/worried about when it came to applying to medical school?

I think most people would agree with me when I say the application as a whole is very competitive to be honest. It is no mystery that medicine has one of the most tedious and competitive applications for University. BUT, do not fear, medic mentor offers a lot of advice and guidance to those who want to make medicine their career and are hungry and dedicated to working hard step by step through the application process.

Describe your experience of the Get into Medicine Conference

It has now been some time since I attended this conference, but I do remember it being a real turning point for me in the decision of me wanting to pursue medicine as a career. I was amazed by the fluidity of the presentation given by the various doctors as well as the interactivity of such a large conference. The highlight of the conference for me was when a student my age at that time presented in front of everyone. I was amazed by the candidate’s confidence. I wanted to develop that kind of confidence so when on the present in the same location a few months later in the conference.

Describe your experience of the Awards Programme

The awards programme was a great way to push me to creating a good personal statement to apply for medicine. It allowed me to built up content is each section of the personal statement that can be deemed important. This includes things such as volunteering, attending different conferences and courses as well as work experience and additional skills and research.

Describe your experience of the Medical Leadership Programme

I really enjoyed being part of the Medical leadership programme as it was a great time to meet some other medic mentor students in person (during my time) and take part in interactive activates to develop my skills. This includes session such as how to deliver presentations as well as a how to set up a medical society in school. This was something I went on to do as the MLP really helped me to built up ideas to help set up the society and what things to include in the society sessions.

Describe your experience of the Summer School

Even though my summer school was heavily affected by the pandemic, I truly learnt a lot and it really enhanced my application. We had days dedicated to completing our personal statement as well as UCAT question prep and mock interview to finish it all off. All of this develop my confidence and made me feel a lot more at ease with the whole process. I was offered a lot of guidance and expertise.

Describe your experience of writing personal statements, what was difficult and what helped?

Writing personal statement is something everyone will find difficult. You basically have to sum up everything you have done in the last couple of year into just 4000 characters (including spaces!). The biggest piece of advice I would give to someone beginning to write their personal statement would not be to rush into writing it. But first spend a good amount of time writing a comprehensive plan as to the content of what you want to include in your statement. This way you know exactly what you want to write about and just have to find the best way of phasing different things.

Describe your experience of preparing for the UCAT, what was difficult and what helped?

UCAT prep again was a tedious process for me. I found it very hard at the beginning to find the patterns of questions and really understand what the questions were trying to ask me. As I progressed, I started to find the common patterns and themes and I started to understand it better. The biggest piece of advice would be not to worry about timed practice at the start, but to get an idea of the types of questions they ask and how to approach them looking for common themes.

Describe your experience of preparing for the interviews, what was difficult and what helped?

For me, interview prep was both stressful and enjoyable at the same time. It was tough when I was faced with new questions as I found it hard to think on the spot but it was very satisfying to answer a question through various mock interviews that came up a few times and you just knew what to say. The biggest advice would be to practice as much as possible. For me this meant always bothering my parents and asking them to give me mock interviews as well as a few medical students I knew through friends with older siblings. This is what helped me the most.

Describe your experience of preparing for school exams, what was difficult and what helped?

I remember prepping for school exams back a few years ago and it was all everyone would talk about during that time. The best thing that worked for me was definitely taking advantage of the numerous past papers available. This gave me the most realistic insist of what the actual exam would be like and the types of questions they asked me. As well as this, aside for actual work, I found that doing something to destress amongst all the revision was something that was really important for my mental health and keep me focused and reduce burnout.

Why did you choose to apply for the scholarship programme?

I chose to apply to the scholarship programme I really enjoyed working with medic mentor and did not want to lose that contact. As well as this, I really enjoyed the satisfaction of presenting and it is always rewarding to see aspiring students ask of lot of questions. In addition to this, I wanted to further develop others skills such as research as well as helping in education projects.

What educational projects have you been involved in this year, and would you recommend this to other students/scholars? Any great advice that you might give them?

This year I have been involved in the mental health project. This is something I was passionate about as it is something that is unfortunately becoming more and more prevalent not only in our society today but especially amongst medical students who often struggle with workload. I was keen to be able to work with a team to try and come up with ideas on how to provide services to medical students to speak to them and offer advice. I would highly recommend this project.

How have you found being a medical student?

Being a medical student these last two years, I have learnt so much. Alongside our very comprehensive teaching at University, Becoming a student has put a lot of things into perspective and made me a lot more independent.

Do you have any advice for Parents?

Advice for parents would be to always be keen to know what your aspiring child is up to and always be there to motivate them. I am sure there will be time when they will be feeling unmotivated so be patient with them and provide them with guidance.

Do you have any advice for teachers?

Advice for teachers would be to give students (especially those applying to medicine) a lot of notice with regards to the application process. By this I mean prior to the summer holiday hold a meeting for those interested in the career to let them know about early submission and the criteria etc. Would also encourage students to give the personal statement a go over the S5 summer before S6 so they aren’t stressed when hey come back to school in august before the UCAS deadline in October.

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