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Week 4 of this summer’s Science Enrichment Preparation program wrapped up with a tour of the UNC School of Dentistry. Each week, the scholars explore new options for health careers and professional schools. At the halfway point in the 8-week program, already there has been a change in the scholars. They are more comfortable with each other, having formed strong bonds during many late nights of studying. The scholars have also developed a much firmer understanding of the requirements and expectations for most health professional programs. They knew that preparing for these programs academically would require an intense dedication to studying and a passion for the material. These scholars came to S.E.P. to prepare for important prerequisite courses and the MCAT exam. However, throughout the program, representatives from each of the health professional schools and programs stressed the importance of out-of-classroom experiences. After a brief exposure to different health professions, the scholars are now realizing that they have to dive deeper to get the experience needed to have their applications stand out. The scholars are also learning the importance of networking, and taking advantage of every single experience presented at S.E.P., because with the competitiveness of these programs, knowing a professor or someone on the faculty to serve as a mentor can be especially important. Even though S.E.P. has proved to be a very challenging and rigorous program, hopefully the scholars will continue to persevere and excel.

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