Networking as a Preprofessional Student

  • Mar 27, 2017

"How can I increase my chances of getting admitted into professional school? How can I learn more about the profession I want to go into? What is a good way to decide on which schools I would attend? How can I meet more professionals within my field?"

Hello Spartans! I'm sure most of you have asked yourself at least one of these questions during your time as a pre-professional student because I know I sure have. The one thing that I have learned throughout this pre-professional journey is how important it is to network! It is absolutely crucial to gaining more experience and will certainly help your chance of getting into your desired school. I'm typically an introvert and would much rather be sitting at home than going to open houses and networking dinners but I'm doing whatever it takes to become a dentist! So, what are some things you can be doing to network?

  1. Inform yourself of events going on at professional schools you are interested in. For me, I check the U of M School of Dentistry and Detroit Mercy Dental School websites to see if they are having any workshops and open houses. Fortunately, most schools will host these sort of events and it is a great way to tour the school, introduce yourself to admissions, and to ask insightful questions! Even if you only have one questions for admissions, make sure you introduce yourself and ask them. You will be surprised at how many people will remember your name when you application lands in their hands if you do this.
  2. Step out of your comfort zone. It is so easy to fall to the back of the group and get anxious when it is time to introduce yourself to admissions but don't fall in that trap! It is hard, but it truly shows a lot about your confidence and ability to handle yourself which will go a long way!
  3. Another step to networking is to join pre-professional clubs. Because of the pre-dental club, I have been able to network with admissions committees, dentists, and other students pursuing dentistry. You will be amazed at the resources that many clubs have.
  4. Shadow! When you are shadowing, make sure to network with the professional and see if they know of anyone else you can shadow or ask them any questions you may have about the professional school journey. This is so important because many, many shadowing experiences can come from just one experience by networking.
  5. Follow social media accounts for professional schools. This is a great way to find out about events that may be going on! I can't tell you how many times this has helped me find out about an event that I wouldn't have known about otherwise.
  6. Talk with your professors. Often times they know a lot about pursuing professional school and can offer tips to you along the way.
  7. Follow alumni on linked in or other professionals on social media to keep up with their latest work.
  8. Talk to current students! If you are pursuing medicine, talk to current medical students because they are the best resource since they are currently going through it!

I hope these quick tips help you to get the most out of networking! Remember that admissions aren't necessarily looking for the geniuses but they are looking for well rounded applicants!

By: Samantha