UVM College of Medicine Expands Admissions Ambassador Program
- By Nina Patricia Shedd
When UVM College of Medicine student Nazia Kabani ‘14 gives tours to prospective students as a Medical Student Ambassador, she’s on the look-out for students who may be far away from home. Although leaving her home state of Georgia for medical school in Vermont was more than a little daunting at the time, she is now grateful for her experience and all she’s learned in the process. Now, she wants to help others work through those same doubts.
“I remember how nervous I was during my interview day,” she says. “If during tours I am able to ease a few applicants’ fears, then I feel like I’ve accomplished something. Giving these tours is my way of giving back to UVM.”
Kabani is one of almost 60 students who act as Medical Student Ambassadors for the Office of Medical Student Admissions. These students are called upon to answer questions, share their experiences and get to know future College of Medicine students on a more personal level. The ambassadors are involved in activities such as giving campus tours, chatting over lunch, bringing them to classes, hosting overnight guests, and calling students to congratulate them on their acceptance to the College of Medicine. The program has existed in the past but Admissions expanded it this year to include additional roles and responsibilities for current students. The is goal to help foster relationships between prospective and current students. “We know that meeting and speaking directly with medical students is very important in the decision making process,” says Jan Gallant, Associate Dean for Admissions for the College.
Other new initiatives to connect current and prospective students extend to the digital sphere: A student blog has been created as a way for current students to share their experiences, and accepted students have the opportunity to join a Class of Facebook group where current students post messages and answer questions.
With the help of current students, the incoming Class of 2018 will recognize many faces when they arrive on campus in August from having already met and spent time with their peers or from having seen their picture on the blog or in Facebook groups. And for the ambassadors, it’s a way to share their enthusiasm for the College.
“I am incredibly proud of our program and our institution,” says Kabani, “and I like displaying and talking about all the great opportunities that UVM gives its students.”