Now that you know why it’s so important to go to the fair, let’s make sure you are well-prepared for the event. The goal of this preparation is to feel calm and collected at the fair, and make a memorable, professional impression on the representatives.
It’s important to dress in business casual and look very neat, clean, and professional. Wear a bright colored tie, bowtie, scarf, or accessory that conveys your vibrancy and distinguishes you.
Bring Your Credentials
If you have a business card or can make one, bring it. A business card with a professional-looking photograph of you, in a natural, evenly sunlit outdoor environment, looking relaxed and happy, makes a good impression. Your card can include your contact information and your medical career goals. Make your design creative, interesting, and distinctive.
Bring a one page summary of your medical school admissions dossier – it could include a professional photograph of you, your contact information, and your goal for your career in medicine, stated in a few sentences. Briefly describe each activity or experience that provides evidence for your development of one or more of the core competencies that admissions officers use in holistic review.
Do Your Research
Find the list of schools sending representatives to the fair. Print it out and rank the schools in order of your interest in meeting their representatives. Be sure to check the list for updates as the date for the fair approaches. For your very first interaction, you might want to choose a school in which you have zero interest, so you can practice interacting with the school representative.
Finally, do research on the schools in your highest interest group. At the fair, you should avoid asking the representative a simple question that you could easily answer by looking at the school’s website, so thoroughly explore the website. Find a program or a curriculum delivery method (problem-based learning, for example, or early clinical intervention) that you can mention to express your sense of fit with the school.
Place all of your documents and notes in a professional-looking padfolio or folder. Bring a large, professional bag to carry all of the information that you pick up from tables at the fair.
Stay tuned for our next post – we will walk through how to interact with school representatives at the medical school career fair.