Congrats to Teagan on her acceptance into Western Michigan University’s Physician Assistant Program! If you’re an ACR employee who recently got accepted into their graduate, nursing, medical school or other program please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured here!
Name: Teagan Schnell
Accepted to: Western Michigan University PA Program
Undergrad University: University of Minnesota
Work at ACR Homes: I have worked at ACR for about four years now. There are so many great opportunities within the company to build your resume and gain experience for PA school. In my time at ACR I have held the following positions: DCP, Weekend Supervisor, Pre-PA Intern, Mentor, On-Campus Recruiter. Having this variety of positions for both leadership, teamwork and direct patient care helped give me a lot of different stories to talk about during my interviews. On top of being a great experience as a pre-PA student, I have gained life-long best friends that are some of the most incredible people I know!
Total HCE hours: Aside from my PCE hours, I had 600 HCE hours, and around 50 more hours during the interview process. These all came from different volunteer experiences and from working as a Behavioral Treatment Technician.
Total PCE hours: I had 2,000 PCE hours when I submitted my application. I had an additional 1,000 hours from working during the interview process before I got accepted. All of these hours except for 200 came from working direct care at ACR!
Shadowing hours: I had about 20 hours when I submitted my application and did about 10 more during the interview phase of the application cycle.
Other volunteer hours: I had around 250 hours of different leadership and volunteer positions outside of healthcare. Many of these came from different volunteer events with student groups and being on the board for some of the groups.
Extra: During undergrad I was apart of the Community Engaged Scholars Program (CESP) which recognizes students for integrating community service into their learning. This is what many of my volunteer hours came from, and I was also able to do my ACR Pre-PA Internship as a part of the requirements for this program.
How many programs did you apply to? 4
How many programs did you interview with? 4
Anything you found surprising about interviews? I was surprised with how relaxed and comfortable the interview settings were. I was still very nervous, but all of the staff and students I interacted with at my interviews were very positive and made me feel welcome.
Were there any helpful resources you used to get through the application and interview process? The most helpful for me were the two mock interviews that I did. The first was a mock interview with ACR Alum that are currently PAs or PA students and the second was through the PA Platform (which ACR paid for because I completed my internship and was still an employee when I received interview invites!). In both interviews I got helpful feedback and also gained some confidence answering the big questions in PA school interviews. I also listened to the Pre-PA Club Podcast which has a wide variety of topics that they discuss each week, from talking about CASPA to being a PA student or practicing PA. During the interview and waiting periods I also used the PA forum where people would post information about the interview style, and when acceptances were going out.
Any other advice for other pre-PA students? First, don’t lose hope. There are so many qualified applicants who want to be PAs just like you and it only takes one school to believe in you! Do a lot of research on the schools you are applying to and make sure you fulfill all of their requirements for application. If something isn’t clear from reading online, email or call the programs. I found that all of them were happy to talk with prospective students! Finally, interviews are very stressful, but you can make it an exciting and fun experience too. My first interview I made the mistake of over-preparing for specific questions that could be asked which led to added stress of trying to remember what I wanted to say during the actual interview. Instead I found it a lot easier and enjoyable when I reflected on my past experiences and what challenges I faced in each of those situations. This gave me a list of different experiences to pull from instead of trying to remember an answer for every possible interview question.
Current employees and ACR alumni can join our Pre-PA Facebook Group to network with Teagan and others and learn about other opportunities for application boosting opportunities.