Carly Miller '20


Name: Carly Miller

Graduation Year: 2020

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Minor in Spanish

Your Story: While touring colleges as a high school student, I was drawn to Gustavus due to the emphasis on community, as well as the opportunity I saw to be involved not only in science as a biochemistry major, but also in music, service, and leadership. I began my first year at Gustavus interested in chemistry and curious about the pre-med path. Participating in the First Year Research Experience (FYRE), shadowing physicians both at home and in Costa Rica during a semester abroad, and engaging in community service experiences all helped me to solidify my interest in medicine. 

Outside of the classroom, Gustavus exceeded my expectations in providing ample opportunities for involvement. I was able to play in the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, even traveling with the group to Sweden and Norway. Additionally, I loved my time as a Gustie Greeter, as well as a mentor and coordinator of Big Partner Little Partner. 

I have no doubt that my time at Gustavus has left me well prepared to take on medical school. My classes as well as extracurricular experiences allowed me to refine my leadership and communication skills, and made me more resilient, all of which will no doubt help me as I pursue a career as a physician. 

Top Five Activities/Experiences (in no particular order):

1: Gustie Greeter

2: Studying abroad and shadowing in Costa Rica for a semester

3: Big Partner Little Partner

4: Gap year as the Education Coordinator at Hospital Pathology Associates 

5: Mayo Innovation Scholars Program research project 


1: Make sure the activities that you are involved in are ones that you truly enjoy. Whether you find your niche in an organization on or off campus, spending your time doing what you are truly passionate about makes a big difference. Committing to a few meaningful activities allows you to take more away from the experience, and it will stand out more to admissions committees compared to short-term activities you did to “check a box.”

2: Having a good GPA and MCAT are important, but that is just one piece of the puzzle. When interviewing, most medical schools are interested in hearing about what you do outside of classes, and how you are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance. That being said, be intentional about scheduling time each week for hobbies and catching up with friends/family. This will make you a more well-rounded person, and will help you avoid burnout. 

3: Take the time to form relationships with people at Gustavus. Whether it be professors, other students, or staff, these relationships will be meaningful even after you leave the hill. The Gustavus community is second to none, and you will likely find that there are many people to reach out to for support when you are going through a challenging time. Professors are also a great resource for finding out about research opportunities or gap year positions!

Future Plans: I will be attending the University of Minnesota medical school, starting Fall 2021. At this time, I am keeping an open mind about potential specialties; however, I have a particular interest in working with underserved populations and Spanish speaking communities.