I just thought I'd share my crazy experience with you guys.
Well, a few days ago I got a call from the UCLA Alumni Association saying I had made it to the finals for my district for the Alumni Scholarship. Surprisingly, I was the only one in my COUNTY that even applied for the scholarship. Unfortunately, this meant I had to drive two hours to get to the interview.
I had shoulder surgery last week, so I've been really sore and unable to even shower. I was nervous at the prospect of having to clean myself up for the interview. I decided to buy a shirt and tie that are blue and gold, UCLA colors, to try to make up for the fact I'm wearing this gigantic brace on my left arm/shoulder.
I arrived at the interview feeling extremely nervous. It was heald in an accountant's office where a large UCLA banner was displaced in the window. They called me into the office before a panel of four UCLA Alumni. They were all pretty friendly and really intelligent. The first thing they asked me was "Why do you want to go to UCLA?" I felt I answered it pretty well, and joked with them about my injury. However, the next three questions really threw me for a loop. They said, "What's your opinion about the Terri Shiavo case?" I stared at them blankly, completely not ready for the question. I mumbled out a disjointed, cliche response to that question, and the questions that followed which were "What's the largest challenge you've faced?" (a hard one to answer considering I've never had cancer or any other major setbacks), and then they made me respond to a quote by JFK.
After only 10 minutes, the interview was over. I left thinking "That was it???", after driving two hours to get there. Even worse, I was really disappointed in myself with the way I answered the questions. On the drive home, I sat there feeling depressed, as if I had done the entire application and gotten my hopes up for nothing. My friend who got the scholarship last year said they called her the night of her interview to say she got the scholarship. I didn't get a call. I went to bed feeling really disappointed and let down.
Then, this morning, I woke up to an e-mail saying they chose me for the scholarship!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't BELIEVE it!!! I felt like I had done so horribly in the interview. Looking back, I think they realized that I was just really nervous and wasn't expecting such weird questions. I also think they appreciated the fact that I made the effort to drive two hours each way on a school night, and got cleaned up dispite my physical condition. I also made an effort, even though I didn't answer the questions perfectly, to smile and shake hands with everyone that was there. Being friendly never hurts.
I just wanted to share my experiences because I know that some of you guys have either just had interviews or will have them soon. My advice to you is that it's OK to be nervous and stumble on a few questions. They don't expect perfection. They're most interested in seeing that you make an effort to show up, dress nicely, and act curtiously towards the panel.
I'm now like 99% sure I want to go to UCLA. The benefits for ASC seem pretty nice!!!