You take a deep breath and you walk through the doors [of Stanton-Gerber]; It’s the morning of your very first [interview] day.
Congratulations, you have been offered an interview at Quillen! All that remains is to crush your interview, get accepted and pack your bags for Johnson City. It’s easier said than done, but luckily for you, I was in your shoes just last year. I will do my best to walk you through this slightly stressful, yet very important day.
First things first, you will park in your special reserved parking spot and I suggest walking in through the front door of Stanton-Gerber so you do not get lost. You will take the stairs to the third floor and most likely be greeted by the man, the myth, the legend: Doug Taylor, Associate Dean and Director of Admissions. Dean Taylor will extend a warm welcome and Amanda Cole, Admissions Coordinator, will offer you a cup of coffee. This is your first test. (Not really. But I took the coffee and I got accepted…)
Anyways, you will meet the rest of your interview group, probably somewhere around four to six people and be shuttled to the conference room where you will learn more about Quillen: the curriculum, the admissions process, the MD/MPH track, the rural track program, financial aid etc. It will be a lot of information and all valuable.
At around 11:00, your two tour guides will arrive. They will be either a first year medical student (M1) or a second year medical student (M2). Since I am currently taking genetics at the moment, I will draw out a Punnett square that better depicts the combination of tour guides you may have.
If you’re really lucky, I will be your tour guide for that day. Some important things to know about this tour is that it will last one hour; you will walk a little bit but not very far; you will go outside briefly but mostly stay indoors. Your tour guides have no influence on your admissions decision – in fact, they are largely motivated by the free lunch. Please ask lots of questions because it makes the tour a lot more fun and engaging. Ask about anything you are curious about. The tour will vary depending on who the tour guides are, but generally you will be taken to the lecture auditoriums, the anatomy lab, the student center and finally a tour of Building 60, the pièce de résistance of the Veteran’s Affairs’ campus. It is the newest addition to the campus and features brand new patient simulation rooms where you will practice performing physical exams, communicating with standardized patients and simulating any type of code on the hospital mannequins.
After this tour, you will be picked up in a bus and taken to the hospital where a third or fourth year medical student (M3/M4) will give the clinical tour. They will provide a short tour around the hospital and talk more about how the third and fourth years work. Most importantly, you will be given access to the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. My recommendation is the sushi. It might sound sketchy, but it is surprisingly good.
After lunch, it’s finally time to interview. You will have two one-on-one interviews, each lasting around one hour. Your interviews will be with various people: physicians, professors, medical students or community members. The best advice I have is to be yourself. The interviews are very relaxed and very conversational. No one is trying to trick you or deceive you in anyway. The interviewers truly just want to get to know what you are like as a person. Be confident in yourself and show them why you would be a great fit at Quillen.
I wish you all the best with your interview. What stood out to me at my interview day was how approachable everyone at Quillen is. The Admissions’ faculty are friendly and the students are happy. Everyone was very encouraging, and my interviews were very relaxed and I had the opportunity to talk about who I was rather than having to feel like I had to defend my application.
All in all, it is a great day. Be happy and be excited about getting to visit Quillen. It really is a great school for many people. If you have any questions, you can shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to see you next year!
P.S. My food recommendations while visiting Johnson City are: White Duck Taco and El Charolais (famously called El Kroger because it is located next to Kroger). My activity recommendation is Tennessee Hills Distillery (in Jonesborough).