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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Making a list, checking it twice... I mean three times.

Eeeps! We need to take our own advice and calm down a bit. Seems a bit frantic around here as we near the end of December and prepare for our own winter break.

So what's up? 

Here's what's up (in the form of a Q&A-style conversation)....

What's it like on campus this week?
SUPER quiet. It becomes even more desolate as the days pass. Seems like lots of people decided to take this week off. Wednesday and Thursday will be like a ghost town around here. Students ended finals last week so that adds to the calmness.

Are you done reviewing files?
(I thought you'd never ask this question.) Almost. I would say we have 95% of all files reviewed. Time was our enemy this year and we just weren't able to complete them all before the end of December. But that's okay! We always expect to review a small percentage of files when we return in January. Because our review process is so thorough, we don't like to rush ourselves to the point of potentially missing something in a file.

Have you sent out notification letters?
Not yet. We are feverishly working on it RIGHT NOW. I took a quick break so I could post this message! (....and eat a cookie!)

Well, what's taking so long?
There are lots of details that go into the notification-letter-sending process. We've got to assign interview times, make sure the information is correct in our database system, make sure we are sending the correct letters to the correct applicants (we like to triple-check our work), replace ink toner in the printer (ha!), and actually stuff letters into envelopes (any volunteers?).  In addition, our little printers can only print so many letters at a time.

Well, can't you send out the denial letters then?
Same thing -- we are working on that, too. Hopefully, you won't be receiving one of these so let's not spend too much time on this question.

When will I be notified?
As soon as we can get the letters processed, stuffed, sent.

Do you need a ride to the post office?
Ha! No. We have a campus mail system. The University is a LARGE community. The mail gets picked up once a day and is then delivered to the mail center for processing. It could take a few days for a piece of mail to even leave campus -- if the timing isn't in sync.

What if I don't receive a letter soon?
It could possibly mean your file hasn't been reviewed yet. (It doesn't matter when you submitted your application, by the way. Our review system doesn't take into account the date an application was submitted. In fact, some of the un-reviewed files may, in fact, have been submitted as early as August.)  It could also be the US Postal System being a bit delayed in delivery -- especially around the holidays. It may even be the case that PharmCAS hasn't even sent us your application yet (have you checked lately?)

Are ALL the letters sent out at once?
Nope! I think that's called "magic" and we aren't magicians. 

Oh, so there is a strategy for sending out letters then, right?
Unfortunately there isn't (other than what's already been mentioned.) I know this comes as a terrible shock to those who believe we have some type of sophisticated strategy for sending out notification letters.
If my file isn't yet reviewed, does that mean I will not get an interview?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Some of the letters that will be sent soon will include interview invitations as well as denials. Of the remaining un-reviewed files, some will be invited to interview, others will not.

Are the interview invitation letters in BIG envelopes?
Nope. All letters, regardless of decision, are sent in the same-sized envelope. Sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists! 

Are the letters sent alphabetically? I should get mine first, right? (My name is Aaron Allen Anderson).
Nope. Unfortunately, Aaron, we aren't that sophisticated to be able to send letters out alphabetically. There's no method to how we send out letters (except what's already been mentioned above.) Sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists!

I turned my application in SUPER EARLY because I wanted to be one of the first to be notified. I should be receiving my letter in the first batch of mailings, right?
Nope. There is no preference for submitting applications early. It does not result in an earlier review or an notification than those who submitted their application on the deadline date. Sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists!

If I get invited to interview and I decline, that opens a space for another person, right?
Nope. At no point is one applicant's interview based on whether another applicant accepts or declines theirs. Sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists!

I can't stand this waiting period. Can I just call you and find out my admissions status?
Nope. We are too busy to field calls of this nature, besides patience is a great characteristic for a future pharmacist.  If you have not received a notification letter by January 14th, please contact us.

Hope that helps.... did I leave anything out?


Tamara Ly said...

so glad i came across this blog! very helpful so far. won't be applying until the next cycle, for fall 2012 enrollment! :)

Ashley said...

Thanks for the update, Joel! I'll volunteer to help stuff envelopes!! Maybe it would relieve some of the anxiety I'm feeling during the waiting period :)

Anonymous said...

Joel, the UCSF pharmacy admission website mentioned that we should notify you if we have a change in courseload for the spring 2011 semester. Does this mean, we should tell you if there is a change in my spring semester even if I am adding 6 more semester units in addition to the 15 semester units I mentioned on the PharmCAS?

Joel W. Gonzales said...

Dear Anonymous,

You should follow the instructions on PharmCAS for the Academic Update window, which I believe is open from mid-December to mid-January. For those students that are eventually admitted to UCSF, we will provide them instructions on how to update us (directly) of any course changes. At this point, do not send anything to us.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to ask again, but if we are admitted (hypothetically speaking) and we are still finishing some courses in the spring but we add some electives courses for fun (interested in taking some film classes) - do we still need to notify you of any changes and will this lead to a 2nd review of my application file for admission?

Joel W. Gonzales said...

I vote that we focus on the interviews now and deal with these other issues if/when you are admitted, yah? Besides, these course questions aren't even related to this blog post. Just saying... =)

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