Alex Erickson '12
Name: Alex Erickson
Graduating Class: 2012
I’m Alex Erickson, and I graduated from GAC in May 2012. I am from Minnetonka, MN, and graduated from Hopkins High School. My freshman year of college I attended Colgate University in Hamilton, NY, before transferring to Gustavus. At Gustavus, I was on the tennis team, in the Tau Mu Tau Sorority, and was a Gustie Greeter.
I chose Gustavus because it had the best balance of everything I wanted in college –a liberal arts school with a great science department, a strong athletics program, and plenty of other social and extracurricular activities to keep you busy.
My interest in pre-medicine started in 10th grade. I took biology and absolutely fell in love with it. I began looking into a medical career while still in high school by talking to and shadowing physicians. I started on a pre-med track at the beginning of college. It wasn’t until my sophomore or junior year though that I decided this is what I 100% wanted to do. The combination of shadowing and informational interviewing was key for me in making this decision, since it gave me a good idea of what different areas of medicine are like.
My most influential experience at Gustavus confirming pre-medicine path was shadowing during one of my J-terms. I was able to learn about so many professions - other than various physicians I shadowed clinical researchers, principal investigators in labs, and those working in medical sales and medical technology development. By seeing all the different areas of science and medicine that I could go into, I knew that being a physician was the best fit for me.
Top Five Activities/Experiences:
- Shadowing various doctors
- Playing four years of a varsity sport (tennis)
- Gustie Greeters
- Australia/New Zealand J-Term
- Being a part of the Gustavus community in general
1) Do what you love. Even if you are interested in something that has nothing to do with medicine, still pursue it. Play sports, join clubs, take non-science classes. Although it is important to have some medical experiences so you know what you’re getting into, college is a great time to explore other interests. And oftentimes, these are things that will contribute to your application in ways you can’t predict.
2) Plan ahead. There’s a lot that goes into getting accepted to medical school, so if you can space it out over college your life will be much easier. I scheduled my MCAT way in advance so I could take it during the summer instead of during the school year. Completing your applications early also gives you a huge advantage in the admissions process. Yes, this means you should start working on your personal statement sooner rather than later.
Taking a year off to work and travel. I will be starting med school in fall 2013.
Updated 12/18/12 JMV