Ok so right now it is t minus 30 days until I move and I figured I should actually post an update on whats happening in my life. So I think in my last post I talked about getting invited to interviews so why don’t we pick up there. I ended up interviewing with three medical schools and let me tell you that was a process.
The first school I interviewed with was Newcastle University. They were very accommadating with setting up a remote interview. Though I do admit at the time I was sceptical about doing my interview online and felt that I wouldn’t perform as well as I would in person. However, I knew that I couldn’t fly there to do my interview in person because the other schools I had applied to required in person interviews and I knew that if I got an interview I would have to fly there and doing multiple trips just wasn’t going to be feasible. In order to prep for my interview I did lots of research and actually used a company that helps with interview prep to do some mock interviews. I was paired with a student from Newcastle who helped me prep and it was honestly really helpful, I think the biggest thing is that it made me feel more confidant going into the interview.
So the day of my first interview came and because of the time change even though I was the last interview for the day for them my interview was at 7:50 am for me. I was not excited to have to get up that early (if you know me you know I am not a morning person.) We ended up actually starting a bit late which made me even more nervous because I had a midterm at 9am. And then we had some connection issues during the interview. But overall it went really well. When we finished I had 10 minutes to get to my exam but luckily I didn’t have too far to go as I was already on campus.
I was shocked at how quickly I heard back from them. I had interviewed on a Friday morning and by the following Tuesday I had gotten an email saying that I had gotten a conditional offer. It was Insane.
The next Interview I had was in February and this was the one that I made the trip to England for. This was a much more involved process and actually had two interviews. One was on my own with two interviewers and the second was actually in a group with other applicants. I have to admit that I even felt at the time that I just didn’t perform as well this time. I think because I had already done one interview and done well I didn’t prep as much in the days leading up and just wasn’t as focused as I should have been. Unsurprisingly I didn’t get an offer from this school. It was disappointing for sure but at this point I had seen both campuses and cities for these two school and already preferred Newcastle.
My third Interview was scheduled for March. Again it was even more involved than before and the school required you set aside three days. They wanted to tour you around campus and the surrounding area as well as host a dinner in addition to the two interviews and written exam that was required. So I guess I was making multiple trips to the UK. Except I didn’t. As well all know March was the beginning of everything shutting down because of the pandemic, which meant no flying for interviews. At first the university was going to just switch everything to online.. so first I wrote the exam online. But then they rescheduled the actual interviews for, get this, the middle of JUNE. I was so confused why they would push them so far back and so was everyone else apparently because a couple weeks later they were rescheduled for the beginning of May.
I went back and forth a couple times on whether or not I should actually attend the interview. By this point I was leaning heavily toward accepting my offer from Newcastle. In the end I did do the interview as I wanted to see it through. This turned into another interview that did not go exactly as I had expected.
If you are familiar with the UK you will not that they use a 24h clock for pretty much everything. This lead to some issues for me…. When I was converting the time to my timezone I first converted it to 12h clock then converted it to the timezone. Unfortunately I did the math wrong. “But Michaela why didn’t you just convert the 24h time straight to your timezone” you ask? well I that would’ve been easier but I didn’t. (Yes I was struggling with basic addition and subtraction, I blame the pandemic don’t judge me.) Fortunately, I realized that the time I had calculated didn’t seem right. So to double check it I decided this time I would just get Google to do the math for me. So I typed in the conversion for GMT to MST. I now had the right time, I was ready to go.
The morning of my interview comes and as I’m getting I get a phone call from the University: “am I having trouble logging on to the video call”. No I wasn’t my interview didn’t start for another hour I thought. Nope. It started in five minutes. Turns out I had forgotten about a lovely thing called British Summer time (aka Daylight Savings) and had again got the time change wrong. So there I was with my makeup half done and my pyjamas still on and my Interview starting in five minutes. Let me tell you I have never in my life gotten ready so quickly. I finish my makeup, got dressed, ran downstairs with my computer and logged on. I then had to run back upstairs to get my ID to check-in to my interview and by the time I started was rather flustered. Luckily, I made it through both interviews without stumbling too much.
The University called me the next week with the results of my Interview. I had been put on the waitlist. Again not surprising .. I definitely did not have a stellar interview.
So to conclude I ended up accepting my offer from Newcastle University, which I am incredibly excited about. Not only is it a great university but the city is beautiful. Not to sound incredibly cheesy but I pretty much knew the moment that I first stepped off the train there that it was a city I could see myself living in.
My summer has been filled with sorting out financing, and housing, and applying for my student visa but at the end of September I am off to start my journey in Newcastle.
Also big shout out to my parents and my friends for putting up with a very stressed me as I went through the application process … I definitely had more than one meltdown.