When Sejal Mehta delivers one of the strategy sessions she developed for seniors applying for medical school, there is one piece of information she usually leaves out.
Mehta – the person doling out career advice – is only a junior.
“It felt really strange presenting to them at first,” she said, laughing.
The evolutionary anthropology student from Clarkston, Mich., works as the only pre-med student advisor in the University Career Center, so she was the obvious one to tap when her managers wanted to develop a series of learning experiences for students anxious about medical school applications.
And already, she has seen the payoff, she said.
One woman from the university’s Pre-Medical Club organized a special gathering for club members after she attended one of Mehta’s sessions on her own and found it helpful. In fact, the woman credited Mehta with helping to ensure she was ready for her interviews with the University of Michigan Medical School, which admitted her.
“She said she had to have the rest of the group hear it,” Mehta said.
The University Career Center offers a variety of career and professional development services for students, including resume and cover letter resources, career assessment tools, and guidance on applying for jobs and internships.
Since creating the medical school sessions during the fall 2015 semester, Mehta has delivered it nearly a dozen times to groups ranging in size from 15 to 30 students. The work is especially rewarding because she gets to serve peers who – like her – have the goal of attending medical school.
When she’s not working at the University Career Center, Mehta serves as a biology tutor and volunteer at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. During her most recent Spring Break, she worked with a team of three doctors treating patients in rural Nicaragua as part of a trip organized by Medical Educational Student Opportunities, or MESO, an organization at U-M that connects pre-health students with health-related service events.
“It’s nice to be available and be that resource and that helping hand,” Mehta said.