Informational Interview

Why did you select this individual to interview?

I have always known I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field.  I learned from a young age that this would require a lot of hard work.  However, I did not know what this really meant until I was in high school and college and saw what future medical students were doing to excel.  Not only did you need to get good grades in math, physics, and chemistry, but you also needed to have research, volunteer work, patient care hours, and more.  Luckily, I have an older brother who graduated from Ohio State with a degree in Biology, who just went through the process of applying to medical school. Although I plan to apply to PA school, he has still set a good example of hard work for me to follow that will help me to achieve my goals.

Describe the major responsibilities associated with their current role.

My brother, Danny, is currently working at a dermatologist office in Columbus as a Medical Assistant.  He has shown me an example of how to balance a busy schedule and prioritize.  As a Medical Assistant in dermatology, his responsibilities include efficiently recording and charting patient data, assisting in medical procedures and communicating biopsy and lab results with patients.  The job has helped him to prepare for what is to come in his future as a physician.

Discuss how the person prepared for this role, and if they provided you with any advice as what you might be able to do to prepare for a similar career.

Danny’s job as a Medical Assistant was very beneficial as he prepared for medical school and his future career.  Not only did he gain knowledge and experience in the medical field, but the schedule allowed him to continue taking courses and study for the MCAT when he was not working.  His advice is to put academics as your main priority but to also be sure to pursue extracurriculars in your desired field to make sure that this is the right career path for you.

Summarize any insights from the interview that might be helpful in your academic or career preparation.

All of Danny’s advice was very helpful.  Most importantly, he has shown me a good example of perseverance and determination.  These qualities are necessary in applying to competitive programs such as PA school or medical school.  I will definitely be following his example and be looking to get involved in more extracurriculars in addition to the ones I am already involved in.


S – I volunteer at The James Cancer Hospital as a Restful Nights Volunteer.  I volunteer for two hours each Monday.  I visit patient rooms and talk to the patients and families, and pass out amenities such as lotion, Chapstick, books, magazines, crossword puzzles, sleep masks, and headphones.  I have learned a lot about the hospital, the health care field, interacting with doctors, nurses, and patients.  More importantly, I have learned a lot about myself.  I have learned about my strengths and weaknesses, and how to build these up so that I could prepare for my future.


L – Because I am an employee at Ohio State, I am required to attend a certain amount of SEE workshops.  These involve learning career and leadership building skills.  Recently, I attended sessions about “personal branding” and customer service.  We learned about the different qualities that we have that make us unique and how we can use these to develop professionally and set us apart from others.  Knowing your “personal brand” and what makes you you, can help you to learn what your strengths and weaknesses are, and how you can use them to work well in a group and be a leader.


A – Since I started at Ohio State in Autumn 2014, I have learned the study skills that have worked for me and helped me to excel in my classes.  Although it was difficult to adjust to college classes at first,  I have been able to use these skills to continue to increase my GPA each semester, which will help me to achieve my goals in the future.  I have found much success in utilizing the various resources available to me at Ohio State, such as office hours, tutoring, discussion boards, clubs, and review sessions.


O – I created a plan to fulfill the prerequisites for Physician Assistant School.  When I decided that this was the career path I wanted to take, I switched my major.  I had to decide what major and minor I would choose.  I joined the Future Buckeye Physician Assistants club, which helped me get an idea of how to choose this path.  I met many people who gave me good advice and told me about their experiences.  I chose to major in Health Sciences and minor in Biology to fulfill these requirements, and so far I have really enjoyed this major and the classes that I have been taking.


G – I would like to study abroad next year.  I would really like to visit other countries so I can learn about their people and culture.  I also think that by studying the health care systems of other places would help me to expand my skills and knowledge to help me with my career as well as my studies.


H – During Autumn 2015 semester, I attended “The Rite Bite on a College Campus” information session.  A nutritionist from Ohio State came and talked to us about how to make healthy choices at the campus dining facilities.  Healthy eating is a key component of a healthy lifestyle.  Everyone has the power to take care of their bodies by being aware of what to put into it.  Therefore, there was a lot of important information that HSS students could take away from this meeting.

Year in Review

At the beginning of my HSS career, I was a freshman, scared to begin my journey as a student at Ohio State.  I remember moving into my dorm, meeting my roommate, and going to HSS events to meet the other students in the program.  The first few weeks of school were very intimidating.  There were so many students who were in the same boat as me.  I knew I wanted to work in the medical field, but I was not exactly sure if I wanted to be a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, dentist, etc.  I did not even know about all of the options.  This made it difficult for me to be motivated to do well in my classes.  As I branched out and made new friends through HSS, I learned about several new opportunities.  In the spring semester of my freshman year, a friend of mine in HSS invited me to get dinner and go to PA club with her.  An admissions advisor was there speaking, and he said many things about the occupation that sounded appealing to me.  I began researching the occupation and became very interested.  I continued to attend the PA club meetings, and became excited for my future.  This gave me the motivation to do things that would help me get into PA school.  I began utilizing the resources available to me, looking for tutoring services, and looking for jobs and volunteer opportunities.  I searched for opportunities in the HSS e-mails, and was able to find several resources including chemistry review sessions which helped me to improve my grades.  I also found out about open volunteer positions at The James, which has had a huge impact on my college experience.  HSS has given my so many opportunities.  I plan to continue to look for opportunities to improve my academics and more opportunities to work with patients and gain experience in the medical field.  When I was a senior in high school and applying for a spot in the Health Sciences Scholars Program, I had no idea how much of an influence it would have on my college experience.  It has given me the resources I need to achieve my goals and become excited about my future.