During my senior year of dental school, I had the opportunity to travel to eight GPR interviews. They were scattered across the country from the East coast to California. So in order to balance dental school and interviews, I had to hack it with these tips!
1. Use the Tripit App: This is a lifesaver, you can easily have your travel itinerary, car rentals and reservations all in one application.
2. Pick ONE Airline: I used Southwest for 90% of my travel and by the end of interviews I had earned a few free trips in travel points! Don’t forget to download the app for your favorite airline- you can check in and have an electronic boarding pass ready to go.
4. Plan interviews back to back! For example, I would travel from Baltimore to Pittsburgh to San Diego and then Palo Alto. I purchased one-way tickets from city to city to save time and money.
5. Bring a CV with photograph: Two of my colleagues Jason Watts and Casey Lynn had great ideas during interviews; they used a condensed CV with their photograph on the first page. Check out the example below!
6. Pack healthy snacks: I loaded my purse with small packs of almonds, dried fruit leathers, protein bars and granola. Some places will provide lunch and others will not. Having healthy snacks will give you the energy you need to crush your interviews without breaking the bank.
7. Bring a water bottle: Carry a reusable water bottle with you. You will easily save time and money in the airport not having to purchase water!
8. Use Excel to stay organized! Brainstorm and figure out exactly what you are looking for in a GPR, and make those the columns on the spreadsheet (ex: digital charts, orthodontics). Call and ask to speak to the residents once you get an interview, most of your questions can be answered before you get on a plane. One spreadsheet included:
- GPR NAME
- Start date
- Assistant Ratio
- # of Residents
- Place Implants (Y/N)
- Restore Implants (Y/N)
- Perio Surgery (Y/N)
- Endodontics (Y/N)
- Orthodontics (Y/N)
- TMD (Y/N)
- IV Anesthesia (Y/N)
- OR Cases (Y/N)
- Comments: In the comments column I would write notes immediately after the interview about my experience. Finding the right GPR is like finding the perfect mate, when you know, you know.
9. Thank you notes: I carried a few thank you notes, postage and a list of GPR addresses. On the plane ride home I would write a thank you while the interview was fresh. This is a great way to make an excellent impression and use your time wisely!
For more life hacks to help jump start your school year, check out ASDA’s past Life Hacks Week posts. If you have hacks that you’d like to share with your peers, leave comments in the section below!
~Dr. Erinne Kennedy, MPH, Nova Southeastern ’15