Do you want to reach out to different fellowship programs, but aren’t quite sure how to do it? The application process can be stressful and if you have any questions regarding a program or company, it’s always best to have them answered before hitting “Submit” on your fellowship applications. Read on for some tips from two current first year fellows.

Marjohn Azizy (MA) is a Clinical Operations- Translational Clinical Oncology fellow with MCPHS/Novartis. Mariam Salib (MS) is a Global/US Medical: Oncology fellow with MCPHS/Sanofi Genzyme.

Should potential candidates reach out to the current fellow(s) for more information regarding a specific fellowship if they have questions?

MA: Absolutely. Fellows are always more than willing to talk to a candidate and answer any questions that they may have. Before you reach out to a fellow, it is a good idea to take a look at what the fellowship that you are enquiring about really entails so that you can have a meaningful conversation with the fellow.

MS: Yes, certainly. Generally, fellows are always happy to connect with candidates and answer any questions they may have.

How should candidates approach the initial outreach to a potential company?

MA: Candidates should approach their initial outreach to a potential company by first learning more about the company in terms of goals, missions, etc. Then, candidates should take a look at their fellowship of interest and learn more about what the fellowship goals are. This year, each company has released a short video about their company and fellowships being offered. The videos are informative, short, and interesting to watch. Lastly, the next thing to do is reach out to the current fellow and ask for a 1:1 meeting in order to ask any questions you may have.

MS: There are multiple ways to do this. First, you can reach out to current fellows (find their names in the company’s fellowship brochure online) through LinkedIn and ask to set up a 1:1 to chat about their fellowship. Second, you can reach out to the fellowship program through the contact email included in the fellowship brochure. Third, if you have a connection at one of the companies, you can ask them to introduce you to the fellows who currently hold positions you are seeking. Finally, you can attend company-specific recruitment webinars or fellowship program webinars, if offered.

Do you have any other advice for candidates?

MA: Be yourself. I know that this process can be stressful, especially due to COVID-19, but relax. Also, keep in mind that yes, a company is interviewing you for the fellowship, but that you should be interviewing the company to see if the team/fellowship is a good fit for you.

MS: Be authentic, know your strengths, spell out how you would provide value to the company, and smile.

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