July Spotlight: Jordan Arntz, BS

Jordan in a cap and gown

Jordan Arntz, BS, recently graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and is planning to apply to medical schools. Jordan was one of the Pre-Health Student Resource Center Teaching Assistant and Peer Advisors, and supported other pre-health students by leading peer drop-in sessions, tabling at PHSRC events, and assisting with AHS 1101/1102, 1611, 1612, and 1613.

In this post, Jordan shares about her pre-med journey, her experience working with the PHSRC, her plans for the future, and her advice for pre-health students. 

Tell us about your journey as a pre-med student at the University of Minnesota!

My pre-med journey started in high school, when I became really fascinated with psychology and anatomy. I was interested in how the body and mind interact and manifest into our behaviors and daily life! Being a first-gen college student, I started to learn everything I could about the path to medical school, with hopes of psychiatry as my specialty. Because of COVID-19, I only had about half of my freshman year. Thankfully, resources like ExploreU, my first-year CLA course, and advisors at UMN gave me a lot of insight into what I wanted to do in college. I sought out opportunities early on and made sure to plan out my pre-med courses with my advisor. Despite COVID-19, I gained experience in so many of my interest areas, including singing, research, volunteering in clinical and non-clinical settings, engaging in mentorship programs, and fulfilling jobs! 

Talk about your experience as a TA and Peer Advisor with the PHSRC. How have these roles influenced your pre-med journey?

I have been so grateful for my position at the PHSRC. This center actually was one of the reasons why I chose UMN, because I knew I would have the support system. A lot of my learning about the pre-med journey and working in healthcare came from my own research with the support of the UMN resources. So as a peer advisor and TA, I've really enjoyed being able to share the knowledge I've learned, give advice, and address common concerns. My ultimate goal is to make sure pre-med students feel confident, supported, and healthy (mentally and physically) throughout their tough journey! Not to mention that this job has also taught me a lot more than I've learned on my own. The peers I work with, my coworkers, and the resources we provide also improved my own pre-med journey, because when I feel more knowledgeable, I also feel more confident! 

Congratulations on graduating this spring! What are your goals, hopes, and dreams for after graduation? 

I graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in May and am currently seeking out full-time positions in research labs and hospitals. I am about to start studying for the MCAT, which I am hoping to take in January of 2024. I will also be applying for medical school next summer! I decided to take a gap year so that I could focus on my responsibilities during undergraduate. I also wanted to gain more experience in a full-time position before applying, so that I feel more prepared. 

What words of advice do you have for pre-health students at the U of M?

I have two pieces of advice that I've learned the hard way throughout college. First, seek out opportunities and utilize the resources that are included in your tuition at UMN! It's never too early to start looking for future or present opportunities. I suggest picking experiences that are meaningful and interesting to you, rather than what you think most pre-med students are doing. This will make it so much easier to learn from the experience and be able to talk about it during application. Second, use this time to focus on work-life balance and time management. It's easy to feel pressured into doing everything all at once, because of how competitive getting into medical school is. But rest, social life, time with family, etc. is just as important as working on assignments or finding volunteer opportunities. Remember that medical schools care about you as a whole person, not just what is on your resume! Wishing the best for your journey, and always feel free to come to the PHSRC for support! 

Thank you for all that you've done for the PHSRC, Jordan, and for sharing your experiences and insights with Pulse readers!