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Letter of Interest

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ParvatiP

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Ok, I am writing a letter of interest to one of my schools but I've never written a formal business letter before. Should the letter follow all the guidelines of a formal letter, ie with sender's address first followed by the recipient's address, etc? Any help would be appreciated.

Also, do you recommend mailing the letter, emailing it, or both?

Thanks!
 

nick_carraway

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Yes to your first question. At least that's how I do it.

I send snail mail whenever I'm allowed to but electronic updates if the school asks for them. In my opinion, it seems less casual and is in a medium that lends itself to filing with my app without any extra work by the admissions office.
 

Phoenix.

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I don't know really, but I didn't. I just typed up a letter in word, single spaced, with something like Dear Admissions Committee and the date at the top, the text of my letter, and then Sincerely, my name at the bottom. I sent it via email. And I got an invite. So apparently it didn't do any harm. I think the content of your letter will be much more important than the format. As for email or snail, it depends on the school, I think. If they have a status page and/or direct you to communicate via email, send it email. If not, snail, I suppose.
 

ParvatiP

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Yeah, I know it's probably best to snail mail it, but I'm afraid I'll get paranoid that it'll get lost in the mail somehow.:rolleyes:
 

dabiophyz

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Yeah, I know it's probably best to snail mail it, but I'm afraid I'll get paranoid that it'll get lost in the mail somehow.:rolleyes:

FedEx it and require a signature. $5 for peace of mind is a bargain.
 

nick_carraway

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Yeah, I know it's probably best to snail mail it, but I'm afraid I'll get paranoid that it'll get lost in the mail somehow.:rolleyes:
Or you can just use the USPS for less than a dollar extra...
 

33Tchica

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What is a letter of interest?

Is this something I should do to increase my competitiveness? Could you explain a little more?
Thanks!
 

Phoenix.

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What is a letter of interest?

Is this something I should do to increase my competitiveness? Could you explain a little more?
Thanks!

I highly recommend doing a search in this forum for "letter of interest." Or perhaps someone with more time will explain. In a nutshell, a letter of interest is exactly what it sounds like it is. If you are VERY interested in a particular school, you can send them a letter letting them know.
 

Docster

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Ok, I am writing a letter of interest to one of my schools but I've never written a formal business letter before. Should the letter follow all the guidelines of a formal letter, ie with sender's address first followed by the recipient's address, etc? Any help would be appreciated.

Also, do you recommend mailing the letter, emailing it, or both?

Thanks!

hey there, as an MS-II, I can still clearly remember how nervous I was throughout the admissions process, so I thought I would chime in with my personal experience.

After I interviewed at the school I currently attend, I wrote up a "letter of interest" one week after my interview (the admissions director had told us on interview day that it would take ~3 weeks to make an admit decision following the interview.) The format of my letter was informal (simply a date at the top, "Dear --- Admissions Committee", and "Sincerely, [my name]" at the bottom), but the language was formal (expressing my thanks for the interview opportunity, my preexisting ties to the school's neighborhood, three reasons I wanted to study medicine at the school in that particular city, and my intention to accept an offer of admission if made to me.) Since I didn't live very far from the school (just a 20min drive), I decided to hand deliver the letter on a Friday afternoon. I dropped off the letter with a secretary in the office and informed her that I had already been interviewed at the school and wanted to express my thanks to the committee.

I received an acceptance letter exactly two weeks later (just as the admissions dean had promised we would receive a decision w/i 3 wks.) I'm not sure if the letter of intent helped played any part in the committee's decision to accept me, but it definitely didn't hurt as I was accepted.

My advice based on personal experience: as long as you are courteous, gracious, and non-arrogant (i.e., not-too-pushy) in all your interactions with the admissions committee, they will welcome things like 'thank-you notes' and a 'letter of intent'.

One last suggestion: If you have not yet received an interview by Jan/Feb/March, and think you really deserve one, ask your pre-med advisor or undergrad recommendation committee head to see if they can shake the tree on your behalf. Sometimes, depending on how late you applied, your application can get 'lost' among the hundreds/thousands of other well-qualified applicants. Based on what I've heard from docs at my school, a call from someone known to them on your behalf can help you get noticed in the midst of a busy application cycle. At most schools, as long as you get your foot in the door of that interview room, everything else besides your personality and formative experiences melt away to the background when it comes time to decide whether or not they would be proud to have you as a student, future colleague, and ambassador of their school's reputation.
 

Jess8000

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I've done a search on Letters of Interest and read through it all, but I have a few q's.

How long do you suggest the Letter of Interest should be? I was thinking half a page. It's just that I don't want to seem redundant-- most schools ask "Why our school" in their secondary anyway.

Here's the layout of how I was going to put together my LOInterest. Can anyone please give me some feedback or constructive criticism? Thanks very much. (BTW, thanks phoenix and docster for the suggestions....)
-------------

My name
My address
Date
Phone
Email

RE: Letter of Interest from Jess 8000.

Dear Dr. Med (last name of Dean-- or is just admish commit better?)

Subject 1: What this letter is about/for.
Subject 2: 3 reasons why I want to go there
Subject 3: Conclusion stuff, sell myself a bit more

Sincerely,
Jess 8000
------------

The body text would most likely end up being one-third of a page max. Is that too short?

Maybe I'm going to hardcore with this. Thanks for reading.
 

armybound

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I'd add in a paragraph about why the school should like you.. why you'd be a good/successful student there.

I wrote one that took 2 pages, but it was mainly because of the business format header and the line break between paragraphs.
 

bullishMD

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do you think it is ok to write a letter of interest (not intent) post interview??
 

Monarch Kong

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do you think it is ok to write a letter of interest (not intent) post interview??

Also interested in the answer to this question. Is it generally wise to leave the adcoms alone after you've interviewed with them? Excepting the thank you letters of course.
 

Jess8000

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I'd add in a paragraph about why the school should like you.. why you'd be a good/successful student there.

I wrote one that took 2 pages, but it was mainly because of the business format header and the line break between paragraphs.

cool. thanks for that.
 

drizzt3117

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As others have done, I combined my letters of interest w/ my thank you notes post interview.
 

bullishMD

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if i have something to update them on post interview can i include a paragraph about my interest (not intent) in the school as well?
 

Phoenix.

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if i have something to update them on post interview can i include a paragraph about my interest (not intent) in the school as well?

Of course. A letter of interest/update is whatever you want to make it. Include whatever you think will demonstrate your interest and/or why you'd be a great student at their school.
 

Jess8000

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One more thing....

Since I'm most likely emailing my LOI as a Word attachment, what should I state in the email msg?

Is "please see the attached document and add it to my file" the only idea that needs to be stated?

I don't want to risk sending an unprofessional LOI and having an effect worse than not sending one at all.
 

pluripotent

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One more thing....

Since I'm most likely emailing my LOI as a Word attachment, what should I state in the email msg?

Is "please see the attached document and add it to my file" the only idea that needs to be stated?

I don't want to risk sending an unprofessional LOI and having an effect worse than not sending one at all.

I can help. I copy and pasted the letter of interest text into the email body, then attached the letter of interest, and addressed it to the Dean of admissions. He replied today thanking me for the letter and will discuss it with the committee. I also mailed a hard copy for good measure. I did the same thing for another school and have not heard back. Come to think of it, I heard on SDN the other school doesn't like LOI. Its a crapshoot, every school is different. Anyway, the dean's response was very validating. I am glad I wrote it. :thumbup:
 

Jess8000

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I can help. I copy and pasted the letter of interest text into the email body, then attached the letter of interest, and addressed it to the Dean of admissions. He replied today thanking me for the letter and will discuss it with the committee. I also mailed a hard copy for good measure. I did the same thing for another school and have not heard back. Come to think of it, I heard on SDN the other school doesn't like LOI. Its a crapshoot, every school is different. Anyway, the dean's response was very validating. I am glad I wrote it. :thumbup:

Thanks pluripotent.

I was still deciding whether or not to send it as an attachment (PDF, not word) vs straight into the body of the email. Some people might be afraid of an attachment for spyware/viruses crap.

When you say "addressed it to the Dean" did you email your LOI to the Dean's email directly, OR, to the admissions email, mentioning that its for the Dean? I'm guessing the latter, but just curious if it would matter (prolly not).

I'm also hesitant about saying I'm going to mail a hard copy in-- the recipient might get lazy and just wait for the hardcopy.

Anyway, I think I'll put the LOInterest in the body, attach it as pdf, and skip the snail-mail, since I'm not in country right now.

BTW pluripotent, how long was your LOI? thanks again.
 

Psychotropic

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hey there, as an MS-II, I can still clearly remember how nervous I was throughout the admissions process, so I thought I would chime in with my personal experience.

After I interviewed at the school I currently attend, I wrote up a "letter of interest" one week after my interview (the admissions director had told us on interview day that it would take ~3 weeks to make an admit decision following the interview.) The format of my letter was informal (simply a date at the top, "Dear --- Admissions Committee", and "Sincerely, [my name]" at the bottom), but the language was formal (expressing my thanks for the interview opportunity, my preexisting ties to the school's neighborhood, three reasons I wanted to study medicine at the school in that particular city, and my intention to accept an offer of admission if made to me.) Since I didn't live very far from the school (just a 20min drive), I decided to hand deliver the letter on a Friday afternoon. I dropped off the letter with a secretary in the office and informed her that I had already been interviewed at the school and wanted to express my thanks to the committee.

I received an acceptance letter exactly two weeks later (just as the admissions dean had promised we would receive a decision w/i 3 wks.) I'm not sure if the letter of intent helped played any part in the committee's decision to accept me, but it definitely didn't hurt as I was accepted.

My advice based on personal experience: as long as you are courteous, gracious, and non-arrogant (i.e., not-too-pushy) in all your interactions with the admissions committee, they will welcome things like 'thank-you notes' and a 'letter of intent'.

One last suggestion: If you have not yet received an interview by Jan/Feb/March, and think you really deserve one, ask your pre-med advisor or undergrad recommendation committee head to see if they can shake the tree on your behalf. Sometimes, depending on how late you applied, your application can get 'lost' among the hundreds/thousands of other well-qualified applicants. Based on what I've heard from docs at my school, a call from someone known to them on your behalf can help you get noticed in the midst of a busy application cycle. At most schools, as long as you get your foot in the door of that interview room, everything else besides your personality and formative experiences melt away to the background when it comes time to decide whether or not they would be proud to have you as a student, future colleague, and ambassador of their school's reputation.

Docster, this is great advice. Thanks for your insight!
 

fuzzywuzzy

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bump, does anyone know who to mail it to? dean of admissions or committee
 

Star2008

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Can I send a Letter of Interest pre-interview? I have yet to get interview invitations all but one of my schools. Thanks guys!
 

MDRus

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i am totally doing that. trying to poke the sleeping bears with a stick. see what happens. nuthin to lose.
 

elderjack21

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All right. In this world of medicine, it seems like there is no lack of people that are interested in explaining how great they are. I suppose some of that is necessary, but I want to avoid it if at all possible.

Here is my dilemma and how it relates to my Letter of Interest.

I have interviewed at multiple schools, have been accepted to a few of them, and recently interviewed at a school, that until I interviewed there recently, wasn't very high on my list. After visiting the school and interviewing, I know without a doubt that is where I want to go.

In my letter, should I mention that I have several acceptances to show that I am not merely making a desperate plea, or should I just say that I would accept their offer and reject any other offer that I may receive?
 

Cataract

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All right. In this world of medicine, it seems like there is no lack of people that are interested in explaining how great they are. I suppose some of that is necessary, but I want to avoid it if at all possible.

Here is my dilemma and how it relates to my Letter of Interest.

I have interviewed at multiple schools, have been accepted to a few of them, and recently interviewed at a school, that until I interviewed there recently, wasn’t very high on my list. After visiting the school and interviewing, I know without a doubt that is where I want to go.

In my letter, should I mention that I have several acceptances to show that I am not merely making a desperate plea, or should I just say that I would accept their offer and reject any other offer that I may receive?

Stating you have multiple acceptances might come off as pretentious. If it's a letter of INTENT that you're writing, I think it's enough to say that the school is your first choice and you are willing to withdraw all other application, given the opportunity.
 

phantomx87

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Can I send a Letter of Interest pre-interview? I have yet to get interview invitations all but one of my schools. Thanks guys!

I too have this same question. Can anyone offer advice for writing a Letter of Interest and/or Letter of Intent to a school to which you have not yet been invited to interview? I can PM with specifics if necessary.

:luck::luck:
 

pluripotent

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I too have this same question. Can anyone offer advice for writing a Letter of Interest and/or Letter of Intent to a school to which you have not yet been invited to interview? I can PM with specifics if necessary.

:luck::luck:

I have sympathy for your situation and understand the desperation you feel. I hoped for interviews from U Penn and Northwestern cause of their stellar oncology programs but I am on hold. The same thought crossed my mind, write them a LOI, but I decided not to write a LOI yet. I did, however, decide to provide them with an update (every quarter/semester with new grades is a convenient time). Remember, its still early in the season and complete crapshoot: thus far, my interview invites have been from certain schools I would never have dreamed of, and rejections from schools I was certain to get an interview at.

So here is my advice, take it or consider it unsolicited.... If you are on hold at the moment, write them with an update. If by January your status is still hold, write them your letter of interest along with your recent grades, explain your specific interest in their school, and why the schools decision to interview you would be a good decision. On the other hand, if you are not on hold and do not know your status, call them. If they are still reviewing your file, I'ld still go ahead and send an update regardless. Thats what I am going to do... can anyone give me some feedback on this strategy, i.e. does it help getting an interview? Thanks
 

elderjack21

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Stating you have multiple acceptances might come off as pretentious. If it's a letter of INTENT that you're writing, I think it's enough to say that the school is your first choice and you are willing to withdraw all other application, given the opportunity.

I kind of figured as much, thanks for the input.
 

bullishMD

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do you think it would be bad to talk about how you have family in the city which makes you want to go to the school even more in a letter of interest?
 

armybound

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do you think it would be bad to talk about how you have family in the city which makes you want to go to the school even more in a letter of interest?
no, that would not be seen as a negative.
 

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Just to share my experience, I too was considering whether I should write an interest letter to a school I hadn't heard anything from post-secondary (3 months). I kept debating whether it was the right time, and whether these letters had any impact at all. But in the end, I decided to do it. I wrote a 2 page letter combining my interest in the school as well as a few updates (nothing major at all).

Two business days after I emailed the letter, I received an interview invite (today in fact). Coincidence? I'll let you decide.
 

Jessie12

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hmm thanks for sharing! anyone else have a story where they think the Letter of Interest worked for them? Jess8000 - your in India now?
 

Jess8000

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hmm thanks for sharing! anyone else have a story where they think the Letter of Interest worked for them? Jess8000 - your in India now?

Uh? WTH? India? No.

What made you come up with that. lol.
 

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does anybody think that a letter of interest would be beneficial in bumping up one's status when they've been waitlisted?

I got waitlisted at a school I really liked, and I'm quite bummed. They don't release rankings for a while, and I was wondering if it might help my case.
 

ParvatiP

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do anybody think that a letter of interest would be beneficial in bumping up one's status when they've been waitlisted?

I got waitlisted at a school I really liked, and I'm quite bummed. They don't release rankings for a while, and I was wondering if it might help my case.

I think it would probably help you a lot. I know that for one school I interviewed at they don't have a ranked list per se, they just take people off the list based on who expresses interest in going there.
You shouldn't expect to hear anything until May though.
 

Dr OCD

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i wrote a letter of interest to my top choice and said in a very humble way that despite other interviews and acceptances, X school was still my top choice. i think its important for a school to know you are not writing a letter of interest like an application essay where you simply change the name of the school and send it in. rather, you should show why you genuinely want to attend that school and how you will contribute to that school as well.

just my 2 cents.
 

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I'm running out of stuff to say in my update letters. I haven't really done anything different in the last month.

Anyone have any good suggestions on what else to write in these letters of interest.
 
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