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At PreMedLife, Tasheema Prince leads business development, marketing, and sales, and has been responsible for bringing on the company’s first clients. Tasheema is a 2003 graduate of Stony Brook University where she majored in Biology. Before founding PreMedLife, Tasheema worked at a publishing company in New York City. While PreMedLife is Tasheema’s main venture, she is also provides small business consulting for individuals wishing to break into the magazine publishing industry.
PreMedLife.com is the #1 national online magazine for pre-medical students. The magazine is targeted for students pursing admission to medical school. The magazine’s ultimate goal is to provide pre-medical students with relevant information pertaining to medical school admissions. PreMedLife seeks to be a complete and valuable resource to help students in their endeavors of becoming a doctor.
MO: Can you talk about how you launched PreMedLife.com with no experience and no seed capital?
Tasheema: Launching PreMedLife with no experience and no seed capital was a challenge but I’ve always had the attitude that if there’s a will there’s a way. It required me to teach myself everything that someone with financial backing would typically hire someone else to do. The process was challenging and it was a test of how much I wanted it. From building and designing the website and putting together a media kit to writing articles for the premiere issue to making advertising sales calls, I literally did everything. After graduating from college I worked in an entry-level position at a publishing company and while I was never directly involved with the company’s business of marketing, advertising, production, etc. whenever I had the opportunity to be a fly on the wall and “watch” how things were done – from advertising sales jargon to how a media kit should look and feel, I soaked up information like a sponge. One holiday season, my supervisor gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble which, ironically, I used to purchase a book about how to start and publish your own magazine and the rest is history. I used what I learned from being in the publishing environment and combined with the information I gathered from my own research and make it work the best way I knew how. I think that while it is good to know the amount of work that is involved with starting a business and launching a magazine, for me not knowing actually eliminated the fear I think a lot of people face with deciding to get started. Getting started is the hardest part only if you make it.
MO: When did you feel like PreMedLife was going to succeed? Have there been any specific milestones that have been particularly significant on your entrepreneurial journey?
Tasheema: Call me an optimist but I have always felt that PreMedLife was going to succeed. Our readers are such a niche audience and the number of students applying to medical school continues to grow so I believe there will always be a place in the publishing world for a resource like PreMedLife magazine. Since launching two years ago, PreMedLife has reached 37,000+ digital readers which is a milestone that is particularly significant to me more so on a personal level because I have always been underestimated and overlooked, so for me to now have a successful product that many probably would not have believed I had the ability to create means a lot. PreMedLife reached another milestone when a few months ago a news program on broadcast TV covered a piece featured PreMedLife which I was also so excited about.
MO: What tips would you give to a pre-med student who is feeling overwhelmed and anxious about getting into medical school? What steps can they be taken to strengthen their application and make it as polished and competitive as possible?
Tasheema: For students who feel overwhelmed and anxious about getting into medical school, I would tell them that they are not alone. When a student makes the decision that they want to become a doctor they must understand that they are making a huge commitment that will require a lot of hard work and dedication and it is from this moment that they must begin to prepare themselves to be the best medical school candidate possible. Being well-prepared and knowing what’s ahead can take some of the stress out of the medical school application process. From scheduling a well-planned academic course load and participating in meaningful internships to developing relationships with professors to getting involved in extracurricular activities, being well-prepared can be the key to taking the stress out of the process. It is also important for students to know that there is more than one way to get into medical school and if they have applied to medical school and have been unsuccessful, there are alternative options if they are truly committed to their dream of becoming a doctor. Thousands of students apply to medical school each year so it is important for students to show medical schools what makes them unique and in order to do this students must get involved. The experiences they have can either show that they are no different from other medical school applicants or set them apart. Grades alone won’t get pre-meds into medical school so it is important for students to know that in order to make their application as polished and competitive as possible, they will need to present themselves as a well rounded individual who has not only excelled academically but who can passionately answer the question “So why do you want to be a doctor?”
MO: Have you had any mentors or anyone that you’re inspired by?
Tasheema: I gained and continue to gain my inspiration from anyone who has worked hard to make something out of nothing. Reading success stories of entrepreneurs like myself who started with an idea and worked their butt off to see it to fruition always inspired me to persevere.
MO: How has PreMedLife changed since its inception back in 2010?
Tasheema: Since its launch in 2010, PreMedLife has become more than just a magazine. From partnering with organizations to promote primary care medicine to hosting medical school fairs and expos, PreMedLife has taken on a life of its own to become the ultimate resource for individuals aspiring to become doctors. In addition, with the launch of our PreMedLife Campus Editions, content and information is now tailored to students on a campus level as we strive to customize the resources they need to become the best medical school candidates possible.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
Tasheema: So many great things have been happening, but for me I would have to say that having the opportunity coach and mentor individuals who are interested in starting their own magazine is quite rewarding. I enjoy sharing my story with others and providing the model for those who dream of taking an idea and turning it into a successful magazine. We are really excited about the medical school fairs, workshops, and seminars we are planning and cannot wait to bring the PreMedLife experience to cities across the country.
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