I had the privilege of working with a young woman, Linda Rowland, who at the time of our engagement was about to graduate from a prestigious four-year college program. Linda’s professional goal after graduation was to become a nurse. In fact, she was so dedicated to her goal that all of her academic and volunteer leadership experiences throughout her college experience was geared to achieving entrance to a top nursing school. She approached me to write her résumé, which was to become part of her nursing school application.
The most challenging aspect of writing Linda’s résumé was organizing her many experiences into a format that would adequately emphasize the depth of her commitment to her chosen field. Her many experiences overlapped with and fell between academic semesters, which might have made for a rather confusing timeline. Of course college students are expected to have short-term professional experiences, but presentation of her credentials in a strict reverse-chronological format would be confusing to the nursing school admissions committees. Therefore, I organized her experiences into categories—academic excellence and teaching in pre-nursing clinical courses, medical volunteerism, and paid professional clinical and office work. These areas of expertise each addressed requirements for admission to nursing school and absolutely defined Linda’s dedication to her future career.
The outcomes of Linda’s application efforts weren’t surprising. She achieved admission to her first-choice program, and entered nursing school in the summer immediately following her graduation from college.