In a recent post I talked about the need for significant experience volunteering. But what exactly does significant mean?
There is no absolute definition of significant. You can’t say that 99 hours is insignificant but 100 hours is significant. Rather, what is important is how the hours are accumulated.
Doing an hour of volunteering each week over a period of four years, will give you 200 hours of volunteering. No one in the admissions department of a BS/MD program will question that this is indeed significant. On the other hand, the student who volunteers for 40 hours a week for 10 weeks the summer before senior year will have 400 hours of volunteering, twice as many hours.
But there are many who will question whether that 400 hours is significant. The student accumulating large numbers of hours in a relatively short period of time looks like he is just checking off a box of what he needs to do before applying to a BS/MD program. He doesn’t appear to be volunteering to help others as much as he is volunteering to help himself.
Significant volunteering ideally involves periods of more than one year volunteering. Two or three years volunteering is even better because the longer you volunteer. the more it looks like you are doing so because you really enjoy helping others.
And that is what BS/MD programs are really concerned with.