• Funniest Story on the Job Contest Starts Now!

    Contest starts now and ends September 27th. Winner will receive a special user banner and $10 Amazon Gift card!

    JOIN NOW

Communicating with schools pre-secondary (should you do it)?

XyZ1000

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2016
64
12
86
Hi, everyone. I have seen comments about networking with schools, admissions committees, and current students during the interview process, but am confused about what is appropriate and how we can go about building these relationships. I recently finalized my school list, so I did not know what schools I was interested in earlier in the year when seminars were going on and did not get a chance to attend seminars about many OOS schools that I am now interested in. Should I reach out to the schools to make them aware of my interest/build connections even before getting secondaries/interview offers? If so, what is appropriate to say? Thank you all for your input.
 

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
23,829
40,416
276
The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
Hi, everyone. I have seen comments about networking with schools, admissions committees, and current students during the interview process, but am confused about what is appropriate and how we can go about building these relationships. I recently finalized my school list, so I did not know what schools I was interested in earlier in the year when seminars were going on and did not get a chance to attend seminars about many OOS schools that I am now interested in. Should I reach out to the schools to make them aware of my interest/build connections even before getting secondaries/interview offers? If so, what is appropriate to say? Thank you all for your input.
No, once you have applied now it just appears you are a brown noser. It wont help and can hurts. Also the belief in pre-application networking is mostly a myth. Seeking out information on the school from these sources is good to utilize in where and how to apply but the belief that these actual contacts or connection has any influence on admissions decisions in reality is all but nonexistent.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

XyZ1000

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2016
64
12
86
No, once you have applied now it just appears you are a brown noser. It wont help and can hurts. Also the belief in pre-application networking is mostly a myth. Seeking out information on the school from these sources is good to utilize in where and how to apply but the belief that these actual contacts or connection has any influence on admissions decisions in reality is all but nonexistent.

Thank you so much for letting me know, I thought I had been completely uninformed and this was something we were supposed to do.
 
Last edited:
About the Ads
Oct 14, 2011
7,458
3,729
226
  1. Academic Administration
I'll slightly differ with the above opinion. Pre-application networking is helpful, but it won't carry any additional weight for you in the application process. Admissions recruiters do value meaningful networking relationships, and some may have some insights on how decisions have been made in the past. In general, most of us are on the same team and we want to help you succeed, even if it winds up not being with our school.

But I will say the networking definitely helps to tease out the recruiting pitches from "reality". We know that the words of current students and recent graduates will be more valued than our opinions. You also need to know what the support structures are once you enter professional school and beyond. It always surprises me how little premeds know about these networks since they are vital to continued professional growth.

Yes, act professionally. Don't brown-nose, and respect the process. Are you supposed to do this? Well, I will say the interaction helps me get an idea of what students are looking for from us schools, and it helps us give you better information.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

XyZ1000

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2016
64
12
86
I'll slightly differ with the above opinion. Pre-application networking is helpful, but it won't carry any additional weight for you in the application process. Admissions recruiters do value meaningful networking relationships, and some may have some insights on how decisions have been made in the past. In general, most of us are on the same team and we want to help you succeed, even if it winds up not being with our school.

But I will say the networking definitely helps to tease out the recruiting pitches from "reality". We know that the words of current students and recent graduates will be more valued than our opinions. You also need to know what the support structures are once you enter professional school and beyond. It always surprises me how little premeds know about these networks since they are vital to continued professional growth.

Yes, act professionally. Don't brown-nose, and respect the process. Are you supposed to do this? Well, I will say the interaction helps me get an idea of what students are looking for from us schools, and it helps us give you better information.

Thank you for your advice.
 

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
23,829
40,416
276
The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
I'll slightly differ with the above opinion. Pre-application networking is helpful, but it won't carry any additional weight for you in the application process. Admissions recruiters do value meaningful networking relationships, and some may have some insights on how decisions have been made in the past. In general, most of us are on the same team and we want to help you succeed, even if it winds up not being with our school.

But I will say the networking definitely helps to tease out the recruiting pitches from "reality". We know that the words of current students and recent graduates will be more valued than our opinions. You also need to know what the support structures are once you enter professional school and beyond. It always surprises me how little premeds know about these networks since they are vital to continued professional growth.

Yes, act professionally. Don't brown-nose, and respect the process. Are you supposed to do this? Well, I will say the interaction helps me get an idea of what students are looking for from us schools, and it helps us give you better information.

Sorry for being nit-picky but isnt that what I said?
No, once you have applied now it just appears you are a brown noser. It wont help and can hurts. Also the belief in pre-application networking is mostly a myth. Seeking out information on the school from these sources is good to utilize in where and how to apply but the belief that these actual contacts or connection has any influence on admissions decisions in reality is all but nonexistent.
 

EdgeTrimmer

Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 26, 2018
2,851
2,067
126
  1. Non-Student
@gonnif and @Mr.Smile12, How about responding to emails from admissions? For example, my son received an email from admissions dean from one of the schools (T20) he is planning to apply, congratulating him for his high MCAT score and encouraging him to apply. We ignored such emails during UG admissions, but should he do same this time or reply back (with some questions)?
 
Last edited:

Grapesurgery

Full Member
Feb 28, 2020
121
205
66
  1. Medical Student
@gonnif and @Mr.Smile12, How about responding to emails from admissions? For example, my son received an email from admissions dean from one of the schools (T20) he is planning to apply, congratulating him for his high MCAT score and encouraging him to apply. We ignored such emails during UG admissions, but should he do same this time or reply back (with some questions)?
These types of communications aren’t uncommon. I received several last cycle. Some schools have even sent me secondary fee wavers citing my MCAT score to encourage me to apply, but this was only 2 (UChicago and northwestern). From what I recall these efforts by schools are typically seen as strategic methods to: 1. Get more applications in the door. 2. Get more secondary money. I don’t know the contents of the letter your kid has received but I would not be surprised if it was generic and sent to multiple applicants.
If you do have specific questions, however, for the school by all means ask the admissions team but I would infer it wouldn’t give you any weight in the final admissions decision.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

EdgeTrimmer

Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 26, 2018
2,851
2,067
126
  1. Non-Student
These types of communications aren’t uncommon. I received several last cycle. Some schools have even sent me secondary fee wavers citing my MCAT score to encourage me to apply, but this was only 2 (UChicago and northwestern). From what I recall these efforts by schools are typically seen as strategic methods to: 1. Get more applications in the door. 2. Get more secondary money. I don’t know the contents of the letter your kid has received but I would not be surprised if it was generic and sent to multiple applicants.
If you do have specific questions, however, for the school by all means ask the admissions team but I would infer it wouldn’t give you any weight in the final admissions decision.
I am not expecting any weightage and I am aware it's common practice. I am sure that they sent it to students above certain MCAT score. My question is since it's addressed to him, shall he respond back?
 
Oct 14, 2011
7,458
3,729
226
  1. Academic Administration
I would if he were really interested in attending the school. The beneficent reason is that the dean/director is encouraging your child. The jaded, maleficient reason is that the dean/director wants the supplemental fee. If anything, I find no reason not to at least send a thank-you note back. (We like knowing people read our emails, even if they are bulk-generated.)
 

EdgeTrimmer

Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 26, 2018
2,851
2,067
126
  1. Non-Student
I would if he were really interested in attending the school. The beneficent reason is that the dean/director is encouraging your child. The jaded, maleficient reason is that the dean/director wants the supplemental fee. If anything, I find no reason not to at least send a thank-you note back. (We like knowing people read our emails, even if they are bulk-generated.)
Thank you. Yes, he is definitely interested in the school and planning to apply anyway.
 
Last edited:
About the Ads
This thread is more than 1 year old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.