Here is my post about interview day:
-I popped up at 5:30AM and went to run pretty soon after. I knew I was early, but wanted a chance to drink some water and energy well before interview time so I wouldn’t have to visit the bathroom so much. It was cold, and if I was not on day 422 in a row, I would have skipped it. Maybe even then, but I wanted to mention it in my interview, so I forced myself outside into the 31F parking lot to get it done. It was miserable as expected. See, even people who follow through on exercise don’t always like it and don’t want to do it. I just did it to continue what I’d started-I’m no superhero.
-We left 2 hours early because we didn’t know what Friday morning traffic would be like, and I wasn’t entirely certain we knew how to get directly from point A to point B–since those directions were so convoluted. BUT traffic was actually very light. And we found the building fairly easily, making us more then an hour early. So we just waited in the car, and I finally went in about 10:45AM (check in was 11-11:15AM).
-We started with lunch–which in interview clothes is awkward. And a gal walked in late because she had a class or another interview or something. The director said help get “my-name” situated to one of the grad students. Did I hear that correctly? My name is not very common. But when I looked at the labeled lunch boxes, sure enough there was my name. But I hadn’t gotten a good look at the gal so I turned around and tried to see her name tag, but she caught me looking. And not wanting to be a total creeper, I rolled my chair over and confirmed her name. Sure enough we have the same unique name! It would be really cool to be in a class of 12 with another one of me! NEAT!
-I’m so glad I went with comfortable clothes/shoes. After a presentation and a sandwich lunch, they drove us to the main campus and gave us a walking tour: The Student Union with fast-food (Jamba Juice!), a game area with bowling, billiards, air hockey, student store. It’s all pretty standard now, and the kind of thing both UNR and Mizzou were building while I was there–and the kind that opened right after I left in both cases. They have a fancy rec-center, which is the same story as well. Constructure during my tenure, but I never got to enjoy it before leaving. We also toured our building on the main campus. They have two research labs, which means possible funding opportunities and resume-building. It also sounds like the school makes every effort to place the AuD students in departmental work positions–which is a MUST for me ($$$-wise). We are on the 12th and 13th floors and the view is outstanding!!!!!!! We can see the cityscape, foothills, and right into the stadium where they had the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Olympics. I wish I had brought my camera. . . My feet were killing, but would have been much worse in any other interview shoes. My FitBit says we walked 4.39 miles for the entire day minus 1 for my mile = about 3 miles (taking off some for dinner). Can you believe my FitBit auto-updates from 10 hours away!!! Anyway, and you know how campuses are all concrete hills and stairs. . .
-Next, I had my individual interview. I was nervous (of course) but not as much as in the past. I had prepare–somewhat–for certain questions (none that they asked me as it turns out). These interviews were set up a lot more low-key then the vet school interviews I’d had. Instead of sitting at a long table with 4-6 people looking intimidating, these were in rooms at a desk with just one person. No one asked me any tricky or technical questions as they had in the vet school interviews, so that was good. First, I had the clinic person ask me questions then, the academic-oriented gal asked me questions. I’ll try to remember the questions (I think I forgot a few):
* = interviewer talking
! = my response
[my internal thoughts/notes]
*How do you learn best?
!I learn best by doing something. With someone watching to make sure I’m doing it properly. Then doing it alone, and having someone check my work. Then being trusted enough to work independently.
*Talk about a recent time you learned something that way?
!long pause. [under pressure I could not think of anything. Though I paused and looked like I was thinking, what was actually going on in my brain was–come up with something good and impressive relating to audiology or accomplishment you want them to know about! Uh oh you’ve been quiet for a long time. Say anything! Panic!!!] *It doesn’t have to pertain to audiology. !I clean corporate, and that’s how I was trained. *chuckle. !My boss showed me what to do, then the next day I did it and he checked me. Then he said you did this or that wrong or remember to do this. *Laugh [thinking I was kidding, which I was not. Even cleaning requires some memory.] !Then I felt competent.
*Do you work well in a team?
!I prefer to work alone, especially if it is for a grade–I like to earn my own grades. [WHY did I say this?! I should have told of a success while working in a team to brag and show cooperation, but I wasn’t expecting the question.] !But I understand collaboration is important and different perspectives can make the project even better.
*give an example of a time you successfully worked as a team
!pause. [trying to think of anything tangible and applicable, but mostly just panicking again.] Veterinary hospitals are based on teamwork. There is a hierarchy, but in order to do the job successfully, statuses have to be thrown out the window. Even though my job was monitoring anesthetic, doing blood draws, and technical things, I picked up the back-line to relieve the receptionist. Or carried bags of dog food to the front. . . Or gloved up and held a spleen [first organ I could think of, which may or may not be accurate.] out of the way during surgery. *Laughing–because all of us hold the spleen out of the way.
*When did someone’s response take you by surprise (something to that affect)?
!Long pause. [Again the question caught me off gaurd and was nothing I had prepared for. I could only think of one story, and though I knew it wasn’t a good interview story, my mind got stuck on it and went blank for anything else. . .] !We didn’t go over our exams in class, and I want to know why my answers are wrong for the future. It’s stuff I will need to eventually know. So I scheduled a meeting with the professor, and apparently it wasn’t a great time for a meeting because instead of seeing me as enthusiastic or consciousness she treated me badly. I was shocked and I guess mostly disappointed. I wasn’t a point chisler, I just wanted to make sure I knew the material because I would need to use it for my future. *surprised such a thing would happen: What did you do? !Well, I pressed on and finished the meeting, but I never went back for subsequent tests. *What did you do instead? !I just went to a different professor.
*Give an example of flexibility
!pause. [I am not super-flexible, and I partially came to audiology because it is calm and rote and schedules are given greater respect.] There is no such thing as a schedule in veterinary medicine. We saw walk-ins or when someone called with an emergency, or more likely something they had stared at for two weeks, we got them in. Eyes have to come in that day because they go bad in a hurry, and abscesses have to be seen immediately. I probably didn’t get a full lunch the whole time I worked at vet hospitals. You see appointments, or get the hospitalized animals taken care of to alleviate the afternoon. I am willing to do what needs to be done. But I went to audiology partially because there are no ear emergencies. . .
*Why did you leave vet med?
!hesitating. [I tried to think of some euphemism or temperate way to tell why. I knew I shouldn’t sound negative and I knew I should try to just say what drew me to audiology. Again the question caught me off guard and I had not prepared a good answer which made me very nervous.] !It started to feel thankless. There is this mentality that veterinary practice is out to swindle people and vets are only in it for the money. Which is not true at all–vets are the lowest paid medical professional and you work with animals because you love it. We were under-paid and working hard, so it was difficult when none of that was acknowledged. Audiology won’t have the same financial problems (something to that affect) *skeptical look [clarification:] People either can’t or don’t want to afford things. At least in Audiology, if people can’t or won’t afford things it’s not euthanasia. Also, when your coworkers are all working so hard and so many hours, it can become a grind. Negative. I want to be in audiology because generally after people are fitted they are happy and thankful. It’s rewarding.
*what’s your contribution to aud.
!As I mention throughout my application, Aural Rehab is very important to me. I think it is the next big thing in audiology and central. Also, my dad has hearing aids and I see that aural rehab can be better, and I want to be that person one day. [only good answer to any of the clinic questions.]
–> I left the clinic portion of the interview feeling like I didn’t do a good job. I wish I would have anticipated and prepared for some of those questions, because with some forethought I could have answered them MUCH better. It was too long to produce my answers, I was too negative, I talked about veterinary too much, and I didn’t emphasize audiology enough. But hopefully something positive was conveyed.
-there’s my Tiger! She said. I said “Mizzou!” [The academic portion was already going much better, and my nervousness subsided a little.] Then the gal told me she had to call her sisters after reading my application, because their dad (maybe someone else) graduated from M.U.’s animal science program, then moved to Illinois/Indiana/Iowa (some I-state) and worked for Campbells for a long time. She also mentioned that she liked or worked with [I was in a nervous state b/c the interview scenario, OK] one of my letter of rec writers.
*How are you at math?
! In my pre-vet course work I took physics 1, physics 2, Biochem, genetics, and enough chemistry to get the minor because I wanted that to be on my transcript for life! Math doesn’t come as easily to me as writing, but even though it’s not an innate ability, I know to ask for help early if I need it. [I’m pretty sure I also worked in a mention of tutorng my peers, but I don’t remember exactly what I said.]
*what motivates you?
!I thought about a word that word would describe me, and it is diligence. I am intrinsically motivated to be the best version of myself. I regularly compete with myself to be the best I can be. As an example, I read and typed outlines of all my Riverpoint classes prior to each semester to familiarize with the material and have a backbone for notes. And in my personal life I have run 422 days in a row–I was in the Econolodge parking lot in 31F this morning completing the mile 1st thing in the morning. [I HAD to find a way to get that in there!]
*Give an example of how you are dependable
[umm this is only my BEST quality! Though it’s hard to put an example to this trait without looking phony.] !My advisor knew she could depend on me to tutor students that needed extra help. And when no one was around in the summer and she had to do recruitment activities she knew I would be available to do a presentation.
*what area in the scope of practice interests you?
Right now, I’m interested in Aural Rehab, but that could be in every area of the scope of practice. *That’s how I feel too! Aural Rehab is central and it usually takes time to convince students of that. You are ahead of the curve.
*Can you balance academics with work?
!chuckle. [this is also my LIFE, so of course!] I have always paid my own living expenses and tuition costs, so ever since I went to college I have also had to work. I am getting very good at balancing school and work.
–> The academic part of the interview went so well, that I could feel the professor liked me. When she asked and I answered, I could tell I was IN with her, and she wasn’t critical at all, or even listening super-intently because I could tell I had passed muster with her already. Finally, on academics (my traditional weak point in pre-vet/interviews) I was a shoo-in. That was a (different and) nice feeling. My 4.0 GPA and hard-science experience was finally counting for something and that felt great!
-The group interview was actually a question panel with the program director. We do have to pay for 9 credits our 4th externship year. You find your own externship–if you want it to be paid. And they can be anywhere–Colorado! I asked what the procedure was if you have a hard time on externship, and she said she would try to straighten things out, but as a last resort you’d be pulled out and find a new one. But it’s never happened. I think the last question, which I asked because the forums talk about bad internships a LOT, put me in a negative light with the head of the department. She may see me as a troublemaker since I asked. . .
-Then we got a tour of our clinic area. It’s neat because you immediately observe clinic in the first semester, then go in there as you learn things in lecture, are in full-time 2nd semester-3rd to 4th year. Then you get 3 outside placements which is unique to the school and obviously super beneficial. This all before the mandatory externship. Oh, and they use all 7 makes of hearing aids so you have all that experience that not many people have. And finally wrote an on-the-fly essay and completed a short personality test before the day was over. I left around 4:15PM (5.5 hours after I walked in). Mostly I was thirsty! They had planned the day very tightly, but not really included bathroom opportunities. So I only had 2 cups of water while I was there, making my total half of what it should have been by the time. I was fatigued and headachy. . .
So that’s the interview and that’s the main event we had come for. Overall, I was really excited about the program a facilities, and thought with the exception of the clinic interview (which wasn’t a disaster, but could have been better) I made a good impression.