Name: Mika Muras
Accepted to: Augsburg Physician Assistant Program
Major: Spanish, Pre-PA coursework
Undergrad University: Bethel University & various community colleges
Work at ACR (length of time, experience gained): 3 years
Total HCE/PCE hours: 4,400 hours as a CNA in a nursing home and DCP at ACR Homes
Shadowing hours: 16 hours
Other volunteer hours: While I was a student at Bethel University, there were multiple settings where I volunteered. I led a trip to Chicago where fellow students and I took part in landscape and school service projects. Many Saturday nights, I participated in City Front, a volunteer opportunity in Dinkytown and downtown Minneapolis— often we would provide food and insulated clothing for people experiencing homelessness in the area. Lastly, I took part in a St. Jude fundraiser at Bethel; I photographed the events and helped campaign to raise money for the children’s hospital. After the COVID pandemic is less intense, I hope to volunteer for Special Olympics regularly.
Extra: PRISM – LGBTQ+ community group founder at Bethel University, tutored Spanish, English, and other HS courses, studied abroad in Spain, worked with people with disabilities in multiple settings, ACR Homes Pre-PA internship
How many programs did you apply to? Five Programs
How many programs did you interview with? I had 2 interviews scheduled and only interviewed with Augsburg University because they accepted me the next day. I am still waiting for a response from Northwestern University.
Anything you found surprising about your interview? The multiple mock interviews that ACR Homes provided me, along with personal interviews with multiple PAs and research, left little room for surprises. I think what surprised me the most was that I didn’t feel very nervous on the day of the interview. I was prepared and confident without feeling like I was reading from a script. The interviewers sincerely wanted to get to know me and my personality. I was surprised by how ‘business-casual’ they made it feel. I expected the environment to be more serious, but the interviewers actively participated in the conversations which alleviated my nerves.
Were there any helpful resources you used to get through the application and interview process?
Finding comprehensive lists of interview questions is really helpful. Some of these lists are even tailored for specific schools.
Any other advice for other pre-PA students?
Use the resources that ACR Homes gives to you! They are willing to help you with every step on the road to PA school. While I was gaining experience working at an ACR group home, I was able to do a Pre-PA internship where I did research to implement positive changes in the life of a resident. As a part of this internship, I shadowed a PA multiple times and asked her questions about life as a PA who works with people with disabilities in primary care. Later, when I needed recommendations, they gathered information from my internship/presentations and wrote me a recommendation. Two of my recommendations were written by people I met through ACR Homes. Later on, when I heard back from Augsburg and Bethel to schedule my interviews, ACR scheduled two mock interviews with multiple PAs to help me prepare. Take advantage of the free help they offer!
- Check off the prerequisites
- Expect the prep to take time
- It will be your career and acceptance might not happen the year that you graduate from college
- Volunteer doing something you’re passionate about
- Be present in all the steps towards acceptance
- Have multiple people including a PA edit and critique your personal statement
- Prep for your interview by reading questions online & practicing
- Shadow a PA multiple times
- Working with people who have disabilities can be a rewarding experience for both you and the resident— commit to working with the residents long term— they deserve it!
- Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! (*Network with Mika and other PA students in our Employee & Alumni pre-PA facebook group!