Savannah Seiter '18


Name: Savannah Seiter

Graduation Year: 2018

Major: Biology

Your Story: I grew up in Otsego, Minnesota and came to Gustavus with plans to major in Biology and continue on to medical school. My decision to attend Gustavus turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I jumped right in with the required science courses with the goal of graduating in three years. I took four science classes during spring semester of my first year, despite every person I talked to advising me against it. (It was not easy, but it is possible!) During J-term of my sophomore year, I spent the month shadowing doctors at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. This month was the best learning experience I could have asked for and made any career path outside of medicine almost unthinkable. I took the MCAT that summer after attempting to teach myself physics rather than actually taking the class due to the slight time crunch in my schedule. (Quick PSA: medical school pre-requisite "required" courses vary by medical school, so if you’re interested in specific schools, check into each specific schools pre-requisite "required" courses early on!)

However, some of my most influential experiences came from outside the realm of science. Classes in culture, ethics, and religion led me to an interest in cross-cultural medicine and medical ethics. My extracurricular activities helped me to realize my passion for leadership, event planning, and community engagement, all of which I hope to incorporate into my future medical career.

After three years at Gustavus, I graduated with a degree in Biology. However, I had fallen in love with the campus, St. Peter, and of course, all of my friends still had one more year left. I decided to do whatever it took to stay in the St. Peter area while I applied to schools. The year after graduation, I lived in Mankato, worked as a medical scribe at a Family Medicine clinic in Owatonna, and spent every spare minute on campus. It is a long road to get to medical school, but once you get that acceptance letter it will all be worth it!

Top Five Activities/Experiences:

1. Gustavus Club Tennis

2. Student employment in the Advancement Office

3. Shadowing at Hennepin County Medical Center

4. Clinical research in the HCMC Emergency Department

5. Asian Olympic Quest J-term trip to China, South Korea, and Japan


1. Life balance. Yes, the goal of college is to get an education but sometimes school is not the most important thing. Your extracurricular activities have the potential to teach you more than a classroom can. The connections you make, lessons you learn, and experiences you have outside of the classroom will be more valuable and long-lasting than one extra hour in the library.

2. Enjoy every moment and appreciate the little things. Your time at Gustavus will go by fast and you never know what may happen. There will soon be so many things that you will never get back. Work hard, but don’t let yourself get so overwhelmed that you forget to enjoy the college experience because you only get it once.

3. Don’t let others dictate your future. When you tell people you’re pre-med, you’ll hear responses such as “all Biology majors say that” or “well, just wait until Organic Chemistry”. Don’t second guess yourself. Only you know your abilities. It is okay to change your plans, but don’t do it because someone tells you that your dreams are impossible.

Future Plans:

In August of 2019, I will be starting medical school at the University of Minnesota Duluth. I hope to one day practice primary care in a rural, underserved community.