The interview offers/rejections are all in.
I have received 12/13 out of 14 potential interviews… Yes, there is a slash because one of the interviews is one interview for two programs (same university, but different sites). I had one rejection from my second choice program at my second choice school (I only applied to three schools for my second choice, two of which are the combined interviews). Those are fairly good statistics and I am quite excited.
The last interview offer came in today from the most competitive school with my first-choice program. It isn’t my first choice school because of its size and location; however, it is a bit of a milestone for me. The residents that I had spoken to had, for the most part not received interviews at said school, but were doing my program of choice. This school is very prestigious, large and known for its research and this particular program generally selects for people with strong research/academic backgrounds. Not people like me who don’t even have a Master’s degree. So, I had resigned myself that I likely would not get an interview with them. In fact, I assumed I would not, especially after hearing back from every other program by mid-week last week. Then, I got the email. I was short-listed and am being offered an interview! To me, this was as exciting as being accepted into the program. Well… I am really excited, though I suppose when and if an actually acceptance comes, especially to my first choice location (all appendages crossed), I will be even more pumped.
The addition of this interview means that one of my weeks (in the three week interview block) involves an interview every day. Every day. I am going to be exhausted. However, this means that I will be in a city where I can get home to see Patrick for the weekend on a fairly efficient flight (flying home is not always a financially or time-based option on this tour… I spend two weekends in hotels in strange cities).
Having so many interviews bodes well for my confidence. I don’t feel quite as anxious as I did before about matching, though I am still scared. According to the statistics, there were 25 CaRMS candidates last year who ranked my program first, 20 of them matched and 5 of them matched to their second choice discipline. At least there were no people who did not match to a program at all. Still, scary stuff.
Now, the fun part is scheduling. Many of the programs have socials the night before/after interviews and I often have to be to the next place by mid-morning. Flight booking/hotel booking has been and is continuing to be an adventure and a half. I am certain I am spending as much as I have made working (summer student jobs/clerk salary… not that much, but by principle still something) in the past four years on travel. Ugh.
Patrick and I are going out tonight to one of my favorite restaurants (yum yum curry) to celebrate the small achievement of the interviews. Then it will be on to more praying and preparations.