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TASS Interview

moodragonxmoodragonx Registered User Posts: 422 Member
edited March 2009 in Summer Programs
I applied to the TASS (Telluride Association Sophomore Seminars) and was surprised to learn that I have actually been considered.

I mean, there are a list of reasons why I knew I wasn't going to get anywhere in the process. To start, my hand-writing is atrocious and I'm not sure the application was all too legible. Also, I didn't find out about the program until the week before the application/transcript/recommendation/essays were all due. Then I procrastinated the process and barely got the recommendation and transcript in time and then wrote all five essays on the postmarked due date. I then got to the post office half an hour after it had already closed. I managed to ship it the next day but later that same day I realized that I hadn't completed a question on the application because I started one of the questions before going to sleep one day and continued completing the application the next day but for some reason I didn't finish that first question I started. And I stopped literally mid-sentence so there's no way to tell what I was saying or going to say. And worst of all, it's stressed that the majority of the application process is based on the essays that were supposed to be written. I can't write my way out of a paper bag (if that made any sense). I mean my writing skills are enough to maintain decent grades, but I'm not happy with them at all and I didn't even have a chance to read them over before sending them, let alone revising them. Sooo, I was 99% sure there was no way I'd even be considered for this program and only sent it in because I didn't want to put all I'd done to waste and wanted a formal rejection letter (didn't want to leave any room for me to regret it in the future).

Today I get a flimsy letter in the mail with the return address being from the Telluride Association. Clearly only a single sheet of paper inside, I open it up laughing to myself as to why I don't simply accept the fact that they responded at all as a victory and cut my losses, tossing the envelope. But, out of curiosity, and the fact that this would be my first "rejection letter" and the novelty of that fact alone was worth it, I opened the envelope to read "I am pleased to inform you that you have been chosen as a finalist for the 2009 Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar (TASS)."


I really don't know if this means anything or if practically everyone gets an interview, but basically I'm to wait for a representative to contact me and schedule a time/place for the interview. I'd really like to attend this program, but I didn't think I had any shot at it at all so I'm completely dumbfounded by this. Anyone have any advice for what to expect and/or how to mange the interview?

I understand basic interview protocol and stuff (though any tips on the subject would still be appreciated) but how would I respond to questions about my application or something? The Interview is supposed to center around my application and essays and the interviewer is supposed to have a copy of it. If I were in the place of the adcom and I only had my application to go by, I'd just throw it out. So I guess, what could I possibly do to sway any poor opinion of me that may have been produced by my application and essays?
Post edited by moodragonx on
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Replies to: TASS Interview

  • writergrl94writergrl94 Registered User Posts: 321 Junior Member
    Not everyone gets an interview, so you should be proud of that at least. I worked on my essays for about a month, and didn't get an interview, so I think being a finalist is kind of a big deal. Anyway, I read on another thread that they ask about some of the books on your list, so maybe just refresh those? Just an idea... :]
  • moodragonxmoodragonx Registered User Posts: 422 Member
    Wow. Well I feel awful.

    But yeah I'll definitely look into my book list. And other essays as well. My list wasn't huge (I read someone had 46 books listed compared to my 14) but there were definitely a few that struck me. For instance, I was introduced to and ravenously read through the entire Hitchiker's Guide series.

    Thanks for the advice! Does anyone else by any chance have any experience with this? What to expect? What to do to prepare? What not to wear? I'm just worried that someone's going to realize that my essays aren't up to par or my application isn't quite finished and toss me. I mean the interview is supposed to center around my essays (which are riddled with grammatical errors and run-ons) so I guess I just review them?
  • YoYoANNAYoYoANNA Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    I am an Asian and English is NOT my first language. I worked on my essay for like a month,thinking I would get rejected.One day, I got the letter from the TASS, and wondered what was TASS( obviously, i completely forgot i had actually applied for it). Then, I found out that I was accepted as a finalist for the interview.
  • YoYoANNAYoYoANNA Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    In my case, my interviewer didnt ask anything about my booklist. Instead he asked me which book did I like the least.
  • WannadartmouthWannadartmouth Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    I guess you would NEED to familiarise yourself again with the books that you wrote in the booklist. I mean, it's obvious that the applicant is just scanning the book if he or she cant response to the interviewer and that will definitely get you off the list.
  • lookbeyondlookbeyond Registered User Posts: 736 Member
    Telluride interviews could be either intensely focused on the booklist, on your essays, or on some random intellectual tangent from your essays. There is no foolproof way to prepare, since every interview is different, but definitely be prepared to have your brain thoroughly poked.
  • moodragonxmoodragonx Registered User Posts: 422 Member
    Well I definitely read all the books on the list and can respond to questions about them (as long as I don't freeze up).

    Does it matter that this is the Sophomore Seminars program rather than the huge explosive TASP one? As far as how interviews go, I mean.
  • moodragonxmoodragonx Registered User Posts: 422 Member
    Erm... Bu-bump?

    In addition, what should I expect from this program? The TASP program gets tons of recognition and those who attend are subject to quite a lot of hero worship, but how does TASS compare? I've looked up a lot about it already, but I guess I'm just curious as to how it's looked upon by the "CC community".

    I'm am freaking a little about this interview and I'm not sure what to expect/do.

    Look over essays? Check.
    Review books form the list? Check.

    Anything else I should look into? My application/essays weren't nearly as good as I would have liked them to be (ie. they're riddled with grammatical errors, my thoughts weren't entirely developed, there are points where -for sentences on end- I can't tell what I was trying to convey at all). Should I apologize for any of that, try to explain myself better, or just trying to not draw attention to it? I mean It's very VERY noticeable so I can't imagine them simply failing to see it. Or perhaps other parts of my application made up for it? Like the teacher rec or my ECs or something? I'm just running scenarios in my head where the interviewer skims through my paper and can't even come up with a question to ask me because they have no idea what I was trying to say whatsoever. And then they call the people responsible for looking over all of this and realize a mistake had been made and I was supposed to be rejected. And then the person who made the mistake is tracked down and, as they are currently forced to do lays-offs due to the state of the economy, he/she is the first to go. And of course this person can no longer afford to support their family and so little Timmy can't have his surgery because they can't afford it and I get arrested for being an accessory to murder.

    May I shouldn't show up?
  • FurbyFurby - Posts: 170 Junior Member
    Yeah, you're probably right. Don't show up.
  • writergrl94writergrl94 Registered User Posts: 321 Junior Member
    Wow. If you look on the TASP threads, there is a lot of information about the program. I think you should at least go to the interview, and once you talk to the interviewer, you will get a better feel for the program. They must have seen something in your application, or at least appreciated the ideas you put forth, so I guess give yourself some credit?
  • sevitagensevitagen Registered User Posts: 880 Member
    chill, read a book, and don't be too apologetic. it's the only thing you can do.
  • lookbeyondlookbeyond Registered User Posts: 736 Member
    Your ECs are absolutely worthless to TA, and your teacher rec basically only serves to tell them that you are not a sociopath. They liked the ideas in your essays, and that's what they'll want to talk about.
  • ObstinateObstinate Registered User Posts: 1,873 Senior Member
    I think not many people talk about TASS here because there aren't many AAs on here.
  • FurbyFurby - Posts: 170 Junior Member
    Also you should stop sounding so obnoxious. Saying "Gawd, everything was so terrible and I wrote each of my essays in under thirty seconds"
    a) Makes you seem like a little *****
    b) Makes the people who didn't get an interview feel even worse.
  • sqdwfe13sqdwfe13 Registered User Posts: 1,261 Senior Member
    moodragonx, I think it's interesting that you sound like me. I'm a sophomore too and we sound exactly the same in terms of writing skills. Congrats on becoming a finalist, maybe I should have applied too!
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