Writer: Kelly Keating

kk_smallInterview and Transcription by Jennifer Ombres

U of A student Kelly Keating recently completed her bachelor’s in Animal Science and was accepted to several veterinary programs across the country. During her application process, Kelly frequently visited the Quality Writing Center to perfect her personal statement. This fall, Kelly will begin her veterinary studies at the University of Minnesota, the institution she most wanted to attend! We wish her well and hope she’ll return to Arkansas to care for all our dogs and cats. We recently sat down with Kelly to ask her a few questions about her experiences with the tutors at the QWC.

Tell us a little bit about yourself—your hometown, major, and work experience.
I was born and raised here in Fayetteville. My major is animal science. I work at the Animal Medical Clinic and the Parasitology Research Lab at the U of A.

Talk a little bit about your experiences with writing and the QWC. Have you had any trouble with writing? What motivated you to visit the center?
I have never thought of writing to be my strong suit, but I have done well in all the writing courses that I have taken. My motivation for coming to visit the center was from the quality of help that I received from tutoring sessions for Comp I & II papers. I wanted my essays for the vet school applications to be perfect.

How was your experience with the QWC?
My experience with the center was great. The tutors were always helpful, patient, and willing to answer any questions that I had.

Revision is a big part of your writing process. Could you talk a little about how you revised your work?
I usually revised my work based on the topics discussed in the tutoring sessions. For some of my essays, my final piece was completely different than when I started.

You were accepted into your first choice veterinary program. Could you describe the application process? Do you think working with writing tutors helped?
The application process was long and painful. It was like a second job. There is a centralized system that sends out an application to most of the vet schools in the US. Then there are supplemental applications for some of the schools. Some of the supplemental applications were really short, but some of them required more essays. I think working with the writing tutors helped immensely. Feeling comfortable with my essays allowed me to move past that part of the application and focus on the next step, the interviews.

What advice do you have to students planning to apply to a graduate program?
Go to the QWC. I have told all the pre-vet students that I know. I really think that it made my essays go from okay to strong. There are a lot of applicants, and any edge that you have can make the difference.