Hemichordate

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Especially one that includes a dinner party...

I know that you get to meet the other applicants, but is there anything else? Do faculty usually come to these and get an idea of what the applicants are like outside of the interview?
 
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Hemichordate

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Which school? Just curious which schools have night-before-the-interview socials or activities. I am aware of Penn (happy hour the night before the interview, with current students and other applicants, no faculty) and MCW (not sure of the details).
WVU (Md/Phd)
 

CougarMD

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Which school? Just curious which schools have night-before-the-interview socials or activities. I am aware of Penn (happy hour the night before the interview, with current students and other applicants, no faculty) and MCW (not sure of the details).
UCI has one too....at a pizza place.
 

torshi

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They are "secretly" watching you!
 
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It's honestly just a chance for you to meet students, get a feel for what the people are like, and ask any questions you want. I'm pretty sure it is in no way a part of the selection process (unless you do something horrendous or are ridiculously obnoxious), at least this is what the students told me when I went to a dinner before an interview (MD/PhD as well). You have to remember most MD/PhD programs are trying to recruit as well. Don't worry too much about it, and just try to enjoy it because you have a long day of interviews after it!
 

Gaboon

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UCI has a fun one!

I try to go to them since it's fun to meet everyone & the pizza is amaaaazing. I think I'm addicted to it. But yeah...seriously...they're just for fun. These are put on by students who want to show hospitality. These things aren't some kind of underground applicant assessment. Don't trip out about that. If you want to meet some cool people, de-stress, have some good grub & have the opportunity to ask some questions to current students, then show up!
 

45408

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Black tie, hors d'ouevres, cocktails, and snogging.
 
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WVU (Md/Phd)

When you go, look for Dr. Berrebi specifically and Dr. Minnear. Talk about sports. They will carry the conversation. Don't be a wall flower.

Now for what the socials are like.

I hated every last one of the "socials" I was essentially forced to attend while I was interviewing. My "interviews" were a little longer than normal, with arrival, dinner with faculty and students, bowling with students (then bar after that). Next day was breakfast with students and the program director came (just to pay essentially). Tour of program, then the "pre-interview social" which was a dinner party at one of the faculties homes.

Some things to know, there is at least one student member on the admissions committee (who will not announce themselves generally) that will be there, usually when no faculty are present.

Alcohol will be involved usually. Most of the time, faculty and students don't like to talk about work. They will briefly tell you their thoughts about the program but try to steer the conversation away from topics like that.

They are really big on sports there in Morgantown. Talk about that.

You don't need to wear a suit and tie to dinner. Business casual. Jeans and polo if you go out at night. Don't act like a nerd, trying to rattle off meaningless facts about the school.
 

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In general, MD/PhD socials are your chance to get a feel for the program and its current students. It is also the program's chance to impress you with its generous bar tab allowance. Generally, you will talk about your research interests for part of the night, and conversations will drift from there. When I was interviewing, I went to socials where the conversation covered everything from cheap European travel to the TV revival of American Gladiators. It was wide open and faculty members generally were not present unless stated beforehand (dinner at the dean's house, etc).

So, when it comes to the socials, just relax and be normal. This sounds easy enough but I have attended socials where other applicants chose to talk about their MCAT scores or whine about their lone B+ from undergrad. Do not be that guy/girl. Everyone will hate you and your fellow interviewees will be tempted to tell stories about their trips to Tijuana just to shut you up.
 
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Hemichordate

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In general, MD/PhD socials are your chance to get a feel for the program and its current students. It is also the program's chance to impress you with its generous bar tab allowance. Generally, you will talk about your research interests for part of the night, and conversations will drift from there. When I was interviewing, I went to socials where the conversation covered everything from cheap European travel to the TV revival of American Gladiators. It was wide open and faculty members generally were not present unless stated beforehand (dinner at the dean's house, etc).

So, when it comes to the socials, just relax and be normal. This sounds easy enough but I have attended socials where other applicants chose to talk about their MCAT scores or whine about their lone B+ from undergrad. Do not be that guy/girl. Everyone will hate you and your fellow interviewees will be tempted to tell stories about their trips to Tijuana just to shut you up.
So in general, is it ok to tell personal yet quirky stories, or should I talk about topics other than myself?
 

Ursa

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all of the socials that i attempted to attend seemed like busts. i would walk in, see like 15-20 students and like 3 interviewees. then i would walk out! but then again, maybe i just felt obligated to go and was looking for any excuse to leave! lol hope you have better luck
 
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Hemichordate

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all of the socials that i attempted to attend seemed like busts. i would walk in, see like 15-20 students and like 3 interviewees. then i would walk out! but then again, maybe i just felt obligated to go and was looking for any excuse to leave! lol hope you have better luck
Lol, in my case, only 4 people are attending, so I definitely need to go.
 

david06

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So in general, is it ok to tell personal yet quirky stories, or should I talk about topics other than myself?
Stop overthinking, show up, and act naturally. Restrain yourself from telling stories of drunken debauchery or the like. You'll be fine.
 

ILikeDrugs

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It's be cool if they held the socials at a hookah bar. I'd try to slip in a little something special. :D