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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just call me Dr. Mel

I really wanted to save the title in this post for when I announced I got INTO vet school - but I'm impatient and so can't wait. :)

The interview went very very well. I had mixed feelings about it right after finishing, but now, after 24 hours I can step back, look at my overall performance – and I believe it was enough.

Of course – nothing is a sure thing, and I may come back to you guys in 4 weeks and announce that I will NOT be in the c/o 2015 and will have to reapply – and who knows how my emotions and feelings about the interview will change over the next 4 weeks – but for now, I’m optimistically hopeful.

If nothing else – I know that I gave one of the best interviews that I’m capable of right now, (with the exception of one thing I will get to a moment) so I know that whether I get in or not, will be based on the “real me” right now. And that’s a really good feeling.

OK – enough of my incoherent ramblings and onto the details:

Remember the “one thing” I mentioned. Oh yeah - I forgot my blazer at Matt's, so had to do the interview in a shirt and slacks that I had NOT planned on wearing without a jacket. When you are sitting in the parking lot 1 hour before your interview, and your blazer is one hour (one way) away, there’s one of two paths to take. One path is scrambling to find a replacement jacket, stressing, and INSISTING that everything go according to plan – INCLUDING THE D*MN jacket. However, I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and decided instead that the whole situation was funny. After all, I had dry cleaned my entire outfit for the interview. It was my first time in my LIFE I had dry cleaned anything and because I had changed my mind about the outfit at the last minute, the jacket was the only thing I still planned on wearing. Yes, the jacket that was sitting 60 miles away.

Remember me saying that everything happens for a reason? Perhaps I wouldn't have had such a relaxed "oh well" attitude during the interview if I had had the jacket? I managed to crack a few jokes, be relaxed, and ended with a killer answer of “why you should pick me and not the other guy”. No way to know for certain, but I think when I found out I was missing my blazer and managed to laugh at myself and I think it helped. Yes, I still wish I had that jacket. But even if I had the opportunity to “redo” the interview with the jacket, I’m not sure I would. The interviewers were dressed in business casual, so I still “over-dressed” them, so hopefully it’s not a big deal.

I didn’t sign a non-disclosure agreement, however I don’t think it would be professional or prudent to post all of the details of the interview. If you are a vet school hopeful and want more details than I’m posting here, I would be MORE than happy to talk to you privately – drop me an e-mail.

Suffice to say the interviewers were very interested in my endurance experience (in fact, my ethical question was related to endurance – something I was not expecting) and then quizzed me closely on what I had recognized in my preparation as the hardest question that I might have to answer. (and yes – to my dismay they were able to nail it right on the head and ask it. *sigh*). The question is: why are you getting your DVM instead of your PhD? This is a very good question. And I think I was able to answer the question well (thanks to my Aunt) and avoid the corner they were trying to back me in (thanks to Dr. C* for helping me recognize the corner).

My feeling is that they were trying to do 2 things with the question:
1. They managed to sniff out my weak spot and wanted to exploit it by putting me under pressure and to see how I would react.
2. They wanted to see if I would hang myself if given enough rope, by backing myself into a corner in a position that I couldn't defend.
3. They wanted to see if I would change my story/waver and show inconsistencies if pushed hard enough.

I didn’t get asked anything I would call especially “hard” or that was unrelated to my experience. I didn’t get asked about any current events. I actually thought I would get more technical questions – especially considering I come from a poultry background I felt that campylobacter was an easy question to ask (one of the leading causes of food borne illness in humans).

Not that I’m complaining – I don’t know anything about campylobacter (because I’m in RTE and not necessarily extremely knowledgeable about processing…) besides what I looked up and memorized from……

After the interview I attended class with my former roommate who is now a first year, went to the bookstore to buy gifts for my LOR writers and then cooked all my food for my 100 miler this weekend! :)

BTW – in case you were wondering (and you know that you were!), I FINALLY thought of an appropriate, thoughtful gift for the LOR writers and the vets that helped me to prepare for the interview. It was difficult because:

1. I don’t have a lot of $$ (big surprise……horses tend to do that)
2. I don’t have a lot of time (who does?)
3. Everyone is on a health kick nowadays and so the standard cookies and chocolates are not nearly as thoughtful as they once used to be.
4. A bunch of these people are high level people in the company I work for (VP etc.) and others I work with professionally.
5. None of these people graduated from UC Davis and have their own graduate school alma mater’s that they support…thus making them walk around with a UCD coffee mug would not be kosher.
6. I didn’t want it to be stupid.

Each person is getting a bottle of UC Davis olive oil, and a bottle of specialty balsamic vinegar that is made at a local winery that I really enjoy. I’m actually very proud of myself! I’m not known for timely, thoughtful gifts – just ask my family and friends.

I'm off to 20MT 100 tomorrow and I think that it will be JUST the thing to do to come down off the interview. And no, I won't be doing it in the rain. They are predicting "showers". Showers are not rain. "Wait a minute", you say......"showers mean"....

Lalalalalalalalala I can't hear you - what did you say? That's right - I'm an ostrich and my head is the sand right now.....LALALALALALALALALALALALALALA!


  1. "showers" means "pack your rainjacket".

    That's all.

    Oh, and HAVE FUN!

  2. THAT'S GREAT!!! So glad to hear the preparation paid off and that the interview went so well. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you....your comments about the DVM vs. PhD question reminded me about my prep. I remember preparing for the same question but of course my answer was "I want both..." :-)
    Have a blast at your ride!

  3. Glad it went so well! Fingers crossed :)

  4. Having confidence in yourself always pays off in an interview. So glad you were able to shake off forgetting your jacket. Celebrating with an endurance ride is a great idea! Enjoy your ride!

  5. How did you answer their DVM/PhD question?

    Great story!

  6. Glad to hear your interview went well-I'd think getting through that is a major accomplishment in itself. Have a nice ride this weekend and celebrate!

  7. When I interviewed for med school, I wore a light gray wool I stuck out like a sore thumb in my fellow flock of ravens (and I love my bright yellow peacoat, lol!). :) I think being chill and different means a lot in a high stakes interview.

    I am really excited for you. You will find the learning curve and expectations to be a bear, but it is worth it. Congrats!!

  8. Don't know if you noticed, but Chris Martin posted on his blog that he's skipping the 20MT because of the weather.


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