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Monday, November 5, 2012

Moving forward...

Wow... what an incredible past few work days. Luckily, the weather in San Francisco this weekend was amazing! After the website glitch last Thursday and a busy day of crisis-management on Friday -- a great weekend was much needed!

We are back on the horse today... and moving forward...

Many of you know (and many of you don't -- because you successfully submitted your application way before the deadline), our website encountered a problem as the deadline approached. It happens. What website hasn't encountered problems? Especially during heavy-traffic times. (Ever buy concert tickets? Ever shopped online the day after Thanksgiving?)

I'll admit, part of me panicked. But I also had to keep things in perspective. No lives were lost. No destruction occurred. Our problems could be fixed. It required us to take a deep breath, assess the situation, fix the broken pieces, and create a plan to move forward.  Did we anticipate we'd have problems with the website? No. But life happens. =) 

We quickly assembled our team and our technical crew is close to resolving the problem. (Yayyy!) All applicants who created an account, but did not submit an application received an email this evening. We've decided to:

  1. Re-open the application portal to ALL applicants who have created accounts (but did not submit the application) regardless of how much of the application was completed. We will not allow new accounts to be created.
  2. Notify account holders (who did not submit) by email that the application portal has re-opened.
  3. Set a new deadline time/date. We expect to have the application open for a few days to enable applicants to complete and submit their application.  (Please note: Our new application deadline will not coincide with PharmCAS’ extended deadline.) Our new deadline will be announced in the email.
For those who have already submitted your application, congratulations! We consider you to have successfully completed our supplemental application process and you can breathe a sigh of relief. We will not reopen the application portal to those who have already submitted. However, for all those applications submitted on November 1 (when technical issues started to surface), our staff will be sure and check each of those applications to make sure no problems exist. If there is an issue, we will follow-up with the applicant individually.  

I suppose we will get some flack (by a few angry birds) by re-opening the application portal (and extending the deadline) for those that couldn't submit because our website wouldn't allow them -- but I'll be sure to remind those birds that our review process isn't based on who could submit their application first, or who had zero problems submitting, or who ran into a technical glitch, or who was allowed another opportunity to submit once the problems were solved. There's no advantage given that will result in a more competitive application being submitted. As always, it's about "fit". We are trying to find the students that make the best fit for our program -- regardless of when their application was ultimately submitted. 

Our goal has always been to make sure applicants are able to apply to our program if they meet the minimum requirements, including the deadline. We prevented that with our website glitch. We are correcting it so our goals can be accomplished and those applicants who had intentions of applying can do so. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

As (un)expected....

We realize there are some technical glitches (...as a result of a re-boot... as a result of a system overload*) that may prevent some applicants from submitting their application before the deadline tonight.

Not to worry. We are reasonable people.  Our goal, all along, is to get your application successfully submitted. This will continue to be our goal even though we've encountered a bump in the road and a deadline.

We will deal with applicants one-by-one to resolve the issues so applications can be submitted --  beyond the deadline. Even if it means re-opening the application so it can be correctly submitted. But we can only do this by working together, which we will begin doing as soon as possible. Remember, some of the qualities we look for in applicants include patience, professionalism and how they react/respond in various situations. 

In the meantime, don't stress. We'll fix it. I promise.


*P.S. We are more popular than we thought. I guess that's a good thing. =)

As expected....

Our Supplemental Application is experiencing HEAVY USAGE right now.  On the application website, we included the following statement:
We anticipate heavy website usage from October 24 to November 1 and recommend that you consider the possibility of technical difficulties when submitting your application.
Keep trying!

Supplemental Application Deadline

PharmCAS recently notified applicants that the PharmCAS deadline has been extended until November 15.  We've received many phone calls and emails asking whether this extension applies to our Supplemental Application. The deadline extension does not apply to the UCSF Supplemental Application. The following message should be posted to our website soon:

As a result of impact of the severe weather on the East Coast, PharmCAS has extended the November 1 deadline to November 15.  The deadline for the UCSF Supplemental application has not changed; the deadline remains November 1

If your ability to complete the supplemental application by November 1 has been impacted as a result of the storm and you can provide evidence to that effect (e.g. you live in an area affected by the weather), please contact our admissions staff regarding an extension at:  admissions@pharmacy.ucsf.edu 

We've had several discussions in our office over the past few days (regarding the extended PharmCAS deadline.)  The deadline was extended to accommodate those directly affected by the hurricane. It's our belief that those not directly affected should continue to adhere to the November 1 deadline -- it's the right thing to do. It's the ethical thing to do.

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