One of my favorite things about Penn is the interview process. I love that our school considers applicants in a holistic manner and realizes that students are so much more than extraordinarily high GRE scores and seemingly inflated GPAs. Though my knowledge of other schools’ admissions process is limited, if not nonexistent, I can speak somewhat about the interview experience here at Penn.
Perhaps one of the more unique aspects of Penn’s interview process is that current students, like myself, serve on the admissions board. Four students per class year are chosen by their peers to serve as admissions representatives and assist in the interview process with prospective students. We have no “voting” power at all: it is ultimately up to the professors, admissions counselors, and alumni to make final decisions. Rather, our role is to create a comfortable environment for the interviewees while answering their questions openly and honestly.
After the students get a tour of the school, the admissions representatives sit in the room with the interviewees and talk with them about anything and everything. It is such a rewarding experience to realize how accomplished and diverse the applicant pool at Penn is.
I have met students who lead international biking tours and some students who have never set foot in a city before their interview day. The unifying characteristic — that both students are equally qualified and will add an aspect of intrigue and build the class culture — constantly reminds me that getting into Penn, and I imagine any veterinary school, is so much more than just having good grades.