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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How are interview dates assigned? (Is there a ranking system?)

Yes, interviews are scheduled based on ranking. The best applicants are scheduled on the first interview day. The worst applicants are scheduled on the last interview day.

Just kidding.

We actually schedule the interviews based on who has the highest GPA.

Just kidding, again.

Interviews are scheduled based on the responses to the "human condition" question. Interesting essay responses get priority in the interview process.

Again, just kidding.

Ok..... seriously....  It's fascinating to think there are theories as to how these interviews are scheduled. (It kind of makes me sad that some applicants become obsessed with trying to figure out what every little detail means -- instead of using that precious time to actually prepare for the interviews.)  It's odd that some people don't realize that this is a multi-day process. Someone will always be first, someone will always be last. I sometimes think that those who are so afraid to go last lack the self-confidence to actually do well in an interview. They've already doomed themselves before stepping foot onto campus. I believe that if you are comfortable, confident and well-prepared, it doesn't even matter when you are interviewing. I think of our amazing current students and say to myself "It doesn't matter if they would have interviewed morning or afternoon, Thursday or Friday or Saturday, first or last...."  For every ten people who tell you it's better to interview first, there will be ten people who will tell you it's better to interview last. Let it go. Prepare for the interviews and don't let outside distractions veer you off course.

Hopefully, this post will put to rest all the speculation as to how the interviews are scheduled. In a nutshell (because it's really nothing more than a nutshell) here goes:
  • We have five interview days -- one Saturday, one Thursday, and three Fridays.
  • Towards the end of December, when we have narrowed our applicant pool down considerably (and determined the names of many who will be invited to interview), we do a data export.
  • The data that is exported is simply "Applicant's CURRENT city".
  • To be respectful of travel issues, we TRY to schedule most of our out-of-state applicants on Saturday. Not always, but mostly.
  • For the Thursday interview, we try to schedule as many "San Franciscans" as we can. Not always, but mostly.
  • Once we have many of the interview slots on those two days filled, we simply start filling in the remaining interview slots for the three Fridays -- sometimes in alpha-order (because that's how the list is printed) but not always. If we have x-number of spots and x-number of applicants, we just fill in the little boxes on the Excel sheet. LOL!  Yes, it's THAT simple!
And because I'm obsessed with FAQs..... 
  1. Are there some out-of-state applicants interviewing on other days besides Saturday? Yes. We try to do our best given the interview limitations we have.
  2. Will there be some California residents interviewing on Saturday? Yes. We try to do our best given the interview limitations we have.
  3. Will some San Francisco residents interview on other days? Yes. We try to do our best given the interview limitations we have.  
  4. Will there be non-SF residents interviewing on Thursday? Yes. We try to do our best given the interview limitations we have.
  5. Will the date an application was submitted have any bearing on when they are scheduled to interview? No.
  6. If I'm scheduled to interview on the last day, does that mean I have a lesser chance of being admitted? No. If an applicant is a good fit for our program, it doesn't matter what day they interview. A good fit is a good fit.
  7. What if my file hasn't been reviewed yet, is it too late? Nope. We will still schedule a spot for you -- likely on a Friday. But could be a Thursday. Or even on a Saturday.
  8. Am I more likely to get admitted if I interview on the first day rather than the last day? That's crazy. You're obsessing over stuff we don't even think about.
  9. Can I request what day I want to interview? No. Interviews are preassigned. Please refer to your interview invitation for more information. 
  10. I just can't stop obsessing over the meaning of why I was scheduled to interview on a certain day. What can I do to take my mind off of this? Send me a personal email and I will provide you with at least two things you can do with your time -- which is guaranteed to be better spent. Seriously, I will do this! Just send me an email. =)
I think that pretty much answers everything. What did I miss?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Admission Status Updates: The good, the bad, and everything in-between....

As many of you have now noticed, we are sending our notifications out via email.

The good:
Today we sent several hundred interview invitations out via email. Congratulations to those who have been invited. We look forward to meeting you in 2012.

The bad:
Unfortunately, we also sent out many hundreds of denial letters. I hate sending these out -- especially at this time of year. But our goal is to notify applicants as soon as possible so that personal decisions can be made on your part. We know people are anxious to be notified of their status with our program so we'd rather not delay these emails any longer.

The in-between:
We still have work to do! Unfortunately, we weren't able to review ALL the applications we received. Although about 95% of the applications have been reviewed and applicants have been notified, that leaves about 5% who will have to wait until the new year. We'd rather not rush this process, but instead want to review these remaining files when we return after the winter break.  Some of these unreviewed files will be invited to interview, some will not. We won't know that until we've reviewed them. There's no rhyme or reason as to why certain files have been reviewed already and specific files have yet to be reviewed. We simply ran out of time. (But we also let applicants know that we may be reviewing files until the end of January -- Ahhh... breathing room!)

So.... be patient. (Oh, and be sure and check your spam email folder.)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Because it rocks..."

First, I love this video -- it cracks me up! I feel it definitely captures the personality and energy of our students.

I had an insider's look at the production of this video and realized the time/effort that goes into creating something like this. It is quite extensive. In total,  about six hours of footage existed -- which had to be edited down to seven minutes. I admire Shirin (in our office) and the filmmaker for being able to do this -- as my version would have been no less than three hours in length!  You'll recognize some of the faces from the previous video. (And don't miss the outtakes at the very end! Too funny!)

I'd love to hear your feedback on this video, too!

"Pharmacy & Me: Student Voices"

Interesting educational video of current UCSF Student Pharmacists sharing how they became interested in pharmacy, what it is like studying in the PharmD program here, and where they want to take their careers. It's a bit dry... but a definite "must see" for anyone considering applying to UCSF.

I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments section below!

Dear Joel, If we are invited to an interview, will we be able to choose from a few interview dates? Or will we already be assigned an interview date that we cannot reschedule? Thank you for your time.

We assign interview dates. Applicants do not choose. Information on rescheduling to a different date (than the one we assign) is provided to those that are invited to interview.

Ask me anything

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