Community Engagement

Making good impressions

Student ambassadors steal the show at OUWB Open House

An image of OUWB students at the open house

M3 Corey Shafer talks during a panel discussion held as part of the OUWB Admissions Open House on Oct. 26, 2023. (Photo by Michele Jasukaitis)

icon of a calendarFeb. 1, 2024

icon of a pencilBy Michele Jasukaitis

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Want to make a good first impression? Be a good listener.

That’s what an audience of nearly 300, in-person and virtual, did when a panel of seven student ambassadors shared what it is like to be physicians in training at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

The OUWB Admissions Open House on Oct. 26, 2023 held in the Oakland Center banquet room on Oakland University’s campus provided prospective students the opportunity to listen intently and politely ask questions of second-and-third-year students. It also gave them the chance to be in the same room with school administrators allowing for even more possibilities to make that good first impression.

“The students on the panel are so relatable. They have been in their shoes (applying to medical schools) and they are so good at being ambassadors,” said Monique Aftimos, coordinator, Admissions. “From them, prospective students hear that there is a genuine relationship in everything that we do to support our students on their medical school journey.”

The panel fielded questions with ease and responded honestly while describing what it is like to be medical students at OUWB. They took turns explaining the benefits of time management and why it is important to establish a balance between studying and home life.

“Getting off on the right foot with time management and making sure you intentionally set aside that day or that night, or whatever it is, aside for yourself is really, really critical to avoid burnout,” said Max Troyke, M3.

And they emphasized that OUWB is a community where everyone is family.

“Every school emphasizes community but you really feel it here at OUWB and I’m not just saying that because you make so many great friends right at the beginning, but even before your interview, you get involved in the community with your peers and outside of actual class,” said Frosilda Pushana, M2.

Recognizing an opportunity

To prepare for this event, the Admissions team compiled an extensive invite list comprised of applicant names from across the country, webinar attendees, and correspondences made through recruitment events and email inquiries.

“Everything about OUWB is a great fit for me, and at this open house, I wanted to find out more about the curriculum and student services,” said one attendee when asked why she came in-person to OU’s campus.

Two prospective students came from metro Detroit because both know current OUWB medical students who have positive things to say about their experiences, especially the opportunities to train with Corewell Health residents.

In-person attendees at the open house arrived from cities across the state of Michigan and from as far away as California.

“The students know that they have to stand out. They email us a lot so we see the names a hundred times. It was very nice to connect the name when we finally met some of them in person,” said Allison Foust, interim assistant dean, Admissions.

An image of OUWB students at the open house

OUWB Student Ambassadors who participated in the event. From left, Nikhil Aggarwal, Kellan Martin, Corey Shafer, Frosilda Pushani, Matthew Cederman, Dominic Tomasi, and Max Troyke. (Photo by Michele Jasukaitis)

OUWB presenters, including Stephan Sharf Interim Dean Christopher Carpenter, M.D., highlighted the school’s goals. Carpenter spoke of OUWB’s values, mission, and vision, and identified that OUWB looks for candidates who want to take care of people in the communities, advance research, and be leaders.

He also drew from his own experience as an internal medicine physician of more than 20 years, when he talked about patient care and the importance of collaboration.

“The world of medicine is nothing but collaboration. If you’re not collaborating as a physician, you’re not doing your job,” said Carpenter. “You’ve got to meet the patients where they’re at, and understand what their perspectives are; what their dealing with in their life. If you’re not thinking about that, you’re not taking care of that whole patient.”

Next, the associate deans responsible for the curriculum, student affairs, and for community engagement addressed: coursework schedules, clinicals at Corewell Health, student wellness, residency preparedness, and OUWB’s commitment to serving the community, and its diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Finally, OUWB Admissions Enrollment Management Associate Dean Abhinav Krishnan, Ph.D., concluded that through the interview process the end result is to admit those students who make a connection with OUWB.

“We would love to admit everybody... but it's about connection. It's also about making sure that you are an Admissions fit, and that we are able to align with one another,” he explained.

On the horizon

The next OUWB Open House will occur this spring tailored to university and college pre-health advisors. The aim for the Admissions team is to establish and solidify connections with these professionals so they can promote OUWB to undergraduate students who are interested in medical school.

Overall, the Admissions team is pleased with the outcome of the open house.

“We had a really good turnout. A lot of people were still hesitant about an in-person event but it went smoothly. I thought it was a success. I think there’s something to it,” said Aftimos, whose primary responsibility includes traveling to recruitment fairs promoting OUWB.

The Admissions team has received numerous thank-you notes since the open house providing attendees the opportunity to point out their applicant status and make yet another impression.

“I was a virtual attendee and this was the first open house I attended virtually that felt very intimate and genuine from the start … I knew I made the right choice when initially submitting my application to OUWB but I am even more convinced...” read one note.

Another applicant valued the student panel interaction.

“I really appreciated the opportunity to hear about the experiences of current medical students and learn about what the school has to offer. The experience was so thoughtful and incredibly informative.”

For those students who have received offers from OUWB, but have not yet committed, OUWB Second Look days will occur April 11 – 12, 2024. At this time, students will take a tour of Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital and hear why they should say “yes” to OUWB over any other medical school.

Interview Days will continue through March 2024 drawing from more than 7,000 applicants with 175 offers already extended to potential students. Keep track of the application cycle on the Admissions webpage.

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