Attending a med school fair is a great way to get to know the programs you’re thinking about applying to.
Below are 5 tips that we put together for a recent virtual fair hosted by AAMC (though much of this advice can be applied to in-person fairs too):
1. Clean up your social presence
Your online social media presence, that is. This is an online fair, which means that these school reps could be Googling you as you communicate with them. Go to your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. profiles/pages and make sure there’s nothing incriminating there (you know what we’re talking about). Make sure your privacy settings are set to the max.
Fair or not, this is something you should do anyway before applying to med school, as there’s a good chance adcom members will look you up at some point during the admissions process; if not now, then later.
2. Get set up technologically
You don’t want to go online 2 seconds before the fair starts to find out that your internet connection is down or that your headset is on the fritz. Do a test run to make sure all your equipment is in working order.
3. Dress to impress
You may not be seen in the flesh, but how you dress will influence the way you present yourself. If you take the time and effort to dress nicely, your body and mind will shift into a more professional gear. So make sure you’re not in PJs, chewing gum, or have spaghetti sauce all over your face. Also, make sure you’re in a nice, clean, uncluttered environment. Sitting straight at a desk will further get you in the zone.
4. Choose your target programs
There’s a good chance you won’t have enough time to speak to every single program rep at a virtual fair. Take a look at the list of schools that will be there, choose the ones that interest you most, research those programs, and then enter the fair with a good idea of whom you wish to speak to and what you’d like to ask. Avoid asking questions about basic facts that can be found on school websites.
5. Be polite
Courtesy counts! Your job here is to gather as much information as possible AND to make an awesome first impression. Wait your turn patiently while others are speaking, don’t dominate conversations, and don’t forget to mind your P’s and Q’s!