Prepare for the Expo

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The Pre-Health Student Resource Center’s Health Professional School Expo will be held virtually through Handshake on Wednesday March 24th with sessions from 10am - 4pm. This is your chance to meet and network with health professional school admissions representatives from all across the US! From medicine and public health, to optometry and physicians assistant; you will have a chance to meet with a variety of programs from a diverse group of schools.

This page will walk you through some important steps to help you prepare to have a great experience at the Health Professional School Expo. If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out at [email protected].

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Registration Through Handshake

Go to GoldPASS powered by Handshake and select the Students & Alumni login button. Then log in using your Internet ID and password as you would with any other UMN site. 

  • Go to the Health Professional School Expo event page, either following this link, or by searching the event listings
  • Click on the blue “Register” button on the Expo event student-facing page in Handshake
  • To learn how to register, read this article on registering for fairs or watch the first 2 minutes of this video on how to register for the fair.

If you’re interested in building out your Handshake profile, we encourage you to take a few minutes to do that. It’s not required for this event, but with all the opportunities available across the Handshake platform, it can be helpful to have your information updated.

Researching Schools

We encourage you to take some time and research the list of schools that are registered for the event. You might know exactly who you want to connect with at the Expo, or maybe you are planning to learn about many different programs. Reading the exhibitor descriptions and visiting the school’s websites will help you build out your own personalized schedule for the day, making sure you are able to learn more about any and all of the schools you are interested in. 

Here is a list of the types of information that you could be researching on program websites:

  • Prerequisites courses
  • Admission statistics 
  • Non-academic admissions requirements 
  • Current student profiles
  • School or program mission 

Registrations from schools are still coming in, so if you are registering early (early to mid-February) and signing up for sessions, we encourage you to check back later to see if there are other schools you want to add to your schedule.

Signing Up for Sessions and Appointments

We have encouraged the registered schools to build a schedule that includes a mix of group sessions, which can be like a short information session that may or may not have time included for individual student questions, and the 1:1 sessions. You may want to consider signing up for a school’s group session followed by a 1:1 appointment time slot, however, you can fill your schedule with whatever works best for you. 

  • You’ll be able to sign up for different types of sessions with exhibitors. 
    • Group sessions will last 30 minutes and allow up to 50 students to participate in a presentation/potential Q&A with exhibitors
    • 1:1 sessions will be between you and one admissions or school representatives and will last 10 minutes
  • Need help signing up?
  • If you are registering early in February, know that more school registrations are coming in each week. Be sure to check back to update your schedule and sign up for more sessions

Logistics & Technology

  • Technology: We’ve all been living on Zoom or other video conferencing tools for awhile now, but we wanted to remind you of a few things to help you prepare to have a good experience at the Expo. 
    • Check your sound, make sure your speakers and microphone are working properly
    • You will want to have a strong Wi-Fi connection
    • Consider your lighting
  • What to Wear: There is no “dress code” for the event, but keep in mind that you will be interacting with admissions representatives from schools you might want to apply to. We encourage you to wear something that is comfortable, makes you feel confident, and helps you make a good first impression.

Planning for Expo Day

Consider your top schools and programs you would like to meet with and make sure to sign-up ahead of time to guarantee your chance to connect with them. We do encourage you to do some basic research ahead of time so you are learning a bit about the schools you are signing up for. This will put you in a position to ask the admissions representatives questions that go a little deeper, and in turn help you learn more about the school or program. 

Examples of questions you could ask during the group or 1:1 session include:

  • What type of volunteering and work opportunities are most valuable to your school?
  • To what extent do you value non-medical/health related experiences?
  • What types of ‘clinical experiences’ do most applicants to your school have? Volunteering, shadowing, work hours (scribing), etc? Is there an advantage to applying early (to your school)?
  • What kinds of financial aid and scholarship opportunities does your school offer?
  • How does your school differ from other schools?
  • How does the mission of you school impact your admissions process?

Are you a freshman or sophomore? 

Even though you might not be applying for a few years, it’s not too early to start learning about different health professional programs. The questions listed above would give you great insight into different schools and programs, and help you build an authentic and competitive application portfolio by the time you’re ready to apply.

Are you a junior or senior?

  • The Expo is a great chance to talk to schools that you might be interested in applying to. Consider what factors are important to you when choosing a school:
    • What states you are interested in living in/attending school in? Do you want to have a rural or urban feel?
    • Financial aid & scholarship opportunities
    • Mentoring opportunities
    • Class size
    • Patient centered care opportunities
    • Rotation sites that are available, etc
    • What new initiatives are happening or have happened at your school/program in the last 3-4 years?