Health Professions Week (HPW) is an exciting, week-long event for high school and college students interested in learning more about careers in the health professions. This dynamic event, which takes place November 5th through 9th this year, gives associations and organizations in the health professions an opportunity to connect with students and prospective members — especially if you consider these tips from Emily Rhineberger, senior director of application services at the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).
1. Go social.
Social media marketing is a great way to reach students, and this year HPW will be presented using interactive Instagram stories. According to Pew Research, six in ten Instagram users are within the age range of 18-29, and 32% of users attended college. “Using Instagram is new to HPW, but we know it will help make the event more interactive,” shared Rhineberger. “This year we’re using social media to make HPW more engaging so it’s more than just sitting in a presentation.”
Associations and organizations, as well as students, professors, programs and universities, can help extend HPW’s reach by tagging @healthprofweek in posts and stories, and by including the #HPW2018 hashtag on their social posts.
2. Put in the time to prepare for virtual fairs.
The best, and biggest, way for organizations and associations to get involved with HPW is also where they’ll see the most participation, Rhineberger explained when discussing the week’s virtual fairs. “From the past experience of virtual fairs, we know that anticipating questions and pre-writing answers are really important,” she said.
To prepare for a fair, Rhineberger suggests crafting standard answers to common questions. “A lot of participants ask the same questions over and over again, so it saves participating organizations a lot of time to have a standard FAQ that they can copy and paste in order to respond to the potential 4,000 or 5,000 people who will be joining the fairs.”
This year’s virtual fairs are Wednesday, November 7th and Thursday, November 8th, and each targets a different demographic. Wednesday’s focus is for college students and Thursday’s is for high school students. Prospective students will log on and chat live with professionals and students studying in at least 20 different health professions. There’s also a bonus session each day. On Wednesday, the 50-minute live Success Strategy Workshops for entrance exams highlights the GRE, PCAT, DAT/OAT and MCAT. Thursday’s special strategy workshop sessions focus on the ACT and SAT.
3. Start planning for HPW 2019 now.
It’s not too late to participate in 2018’s HPW events, but planning for HPW 2019 now is also a good idea. “We welcome any health profession that’s not participating this year to join us for 2019,” Rhineberger said. HPW executive committee members welcome feedback and conversations about the planning for the next year, so feel free to get the conversation started by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
When it comes to making the most out of HPW, spreading the word is the best way for professional organizations and associations to make the most impact. “The exposure is collectively helping us all by ensuring that there are applicants to all of our professions, all of our schools, all of our programs. So, getting the word out is mutually beneficial,” Rhineberger concluded.
Learn more at explorehealthcareers.org/hpw.