February 16, 2012

Interview Weekend Perspective by Peter Grahn

By Danielle Miranda

I’d like to start this blog with a link to an extremely helpful guide for graduate school admissions/interviews. If you are at all interested in applying to schools, read this! (If you’ve already applied, interviewed, and have been accepted; it’s a short read and will point out at least a few interesting things you could have done differently when approaching applications/interviews). http://www.amazon.com/Biomedical-Graduate-School-Planning-Admissions/dp/0763760005
To give some background information, I applied and interviewed for the neurobiology of disease track a year ago and was not accepted due to a lack of research experience. During the same phone call that informed me I was not accepted last year, I was given the opportunity to become a post-bac in the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) here at Mayo in order to gain valuable research experience and also take graduate level courses to feel out if this was really the direction I wanted my career to go. In short, the experience was amazing! If you’re interested in a career as a biomedical scientist; but are short on research experience look into programs like IMSD!
I’ve learned a lot about the interview process here at Mayo through my back-to-back invites and if I can give advice to anyone preparing for interviews, I’d tell them to just be themselves. If they have read the guide to admissions mentioned above and prepared accordingly, there is really nothing to stress about. My view is; I have been invited to interview because on paper I meet/surpass all the criteria necessary to start graduate school and the graduate school feels I am a competitive applicant. They probably won’t be quizzing me on my science knowledge; I’ve proven those abilities in my application. They want to get to know who I am as a person. I also want to know if this is a place I can feel comfortable and be myself the next few years. If I have to put on an act just to get into the program, I’d need to continue the act while attending and that’s not who I really am. So be yourself and RELAX!

Written by Peter Grahn.

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