Applying to medical school is an intense and difficult process. Many students have trouble even getting accepted into one. But Chelsea Batista, a senior at CUNY Brooklyn, beat those odds.
Batista has gotten offers from 11 medical schools so far, including Columbia, Einstein, NYU, Weill Cornell and Stony Brook. Most of these schools have an acceptance rate below 3%.
Here are Batista's tips for anyone pursuing competitive careers.
1) Start early
Batista has known she wanted a career in the medical sciences since junior high, so she attended a high school with a gateway-to-medicine program. She also participated in summer programs at medical schools well before she even started college.
2) See pre-reqs as an opportunity
Make the requirements align with your interests and try to do more than the minimum.
"There are a lot of requirements to follow while applying to medical school, but I made these requirements work for me," Batista tells CNBC. "Volunteering was a requirement, so I volunteered at the Woodhull Hospital in Bushwick, Brooklyn, as a way to give back to my community, because I was born there."
3) Do your homework well
According to Batista, many students get frustrated or annoyed by homework and don't give it their all. Then, when it's time to study for exams, they feel more behind.
If you focus on actually doing your homework the way you should, you'll be better prepared for exams, which will save you time and stress.
4) Think strategically about money
A great education can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be.
Batista was a top student at Brooklyn Tech, a highly ranked public high school, and now attends the Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College, a highly selective undergraduate program that's also free. She has received two full scholarship options for medical school already and is still waiting to hear back from the other schools.
"Of course I thought about college finances, but I knew if I made it to medical school, paying off my loans would be possible, so I just focused on doing everything I can to make that happen," Batista says. "Everything sort of fell into place and I'm currently debt free."