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Interviewing Advice

Good luck to all the undergraduates who are taking finals this week. I know everybody is excited and ready to begin winter break, but we only have two days left and probably are going to get no sleep, so push through it!

Today I wanted to talk about the interview process for those in BIMS looking to go to medical school. I recently went on a medical school interview and it was a great experience to see the campus and get to see that all the hard work is worth the time and effort. I interviewed in El Paso, Texas at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine and the school was amazing. You can be apprehensive about the location, but the city is larger than I expected and, as I found out, it is the safest metropolitan city in the state. For those who do not know about the medical school, it is the newest one in Texas and just graduated its first class this past May. The school had 100% of its students matched for residency, which is amazing.

My first advice when getting any interview offer is to research the school and get an understanding of the curriculum and what they expect out of their students. Find aspects of the school that interest you and research more into it, because the more you know about the resources of the school, the better prepared you will be for your interviews. For me, one of the important things is that the school is tied to a children’s hospital and is the only level 1 trauma center for the entire western part of Texas. I am interested in studying in Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, so residencies for these specialties are excellent in El Paso.

When applying you will receive a packet from Karen Hudson, our pre-medical advisor, and you should follow the guidelines she gives you for how to prepare and dress for your interview. The resources she offers provide a solid foundation for Aggies to be successful getting into medical school. Getting a flight and hotel is probably the easiest part of any trip, but have your confirmation number ready when you check in at the hotel. I forgot to print mine out, so that made it a little more difficult for me. I did not stay with a medical student, but that is usually offered and a great way to save money during the interview process.

On the day of your interview, you will be nervous, but that is okay; being nervous is good. Just remember to breathe and be yourself. Remember getting an interview already means the school is interested in you, so be proud of yourself and stay calm. Throughout the day, be attentive and focused because you are being watched (so do not fall asleep and never bring out your phone unless it’s lunch time!) Tours of the school will be long, but pay attention because the tours are a key to find things you like about the school and that you can ask questions about in your interview. El Paso is a new school, so the incorporated technology allows the curriculum to be very interactive, especially in the anatomy lab with the CT scans of the body. As always, be respectful and have great eye contact with your interviewer.

I do not want to give too much away (because some things you guys are going to have to experience yourself), but I hope this helps those interviewing this cycle and next year. Again good luck to everybody with finals, and let’s get ready in a few weeks to watch our Aggies BTHO Duke in the Chick-fil-a Bowl.