Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Making the most of your interview trips

I spent most of last year thinking about dental school interviews. I was either preparing for an interview, thinking about a completed interview or deciding whether to attend an interview.

My first interview was in Florida. I scheduled it on Thursday and took extra time off from work. I spent the entire weekend poolside with my travel buddy.


After this, I made it a point to extend my interview trips and spend some time in the city. Some of the applicants I met came straight away from the airport to the school, then were flying out the same day. I can’t do that kind of frantic scheduling. I’d be so nervous throughout the interview thinking about catching my flight.

During your interview, you will hear about places you want to visit afterwards. My interviewers gave me tourist magazines and names of their fave restaurants. You already bought the airplane tickets- probably the most expensive part of your trip- so stay a little bit longer.

I stayed with friends. My friends were wonderful to let me crash with them in the middle of classes, thesis-writing and job interviews. A friend I hadn’t spoken to since junior year of high school let me crash with him- I would have died in LA otherwise. They were a welcome face to see in a brand new city.

I explored the city on my own. I saw the city as if I’d already gotten into dental school. I took the subway, went into grocery stores (one of my favorite hobbies), walked around the campus. Once the dental school accepts your application, the table turns: you need to make a decision about accepting their offer. You don’t just go to dental school, you’ll be a citizen of the city and the state, so explore the city as a potential inhabitant.