Applying to PT school = stress + research + essay writing + paperwork + pay money. Then repeat. It's expensive, it’s scary, it’s exhilarating. At the end of my under-grad I studied PTCAS constantly. I looked endlessly at programs, dates, requirements, matriculation rates. I calculated, hypothesized, theorized, wrote, studied, worried. The deadline arrived and I submitted loads of paperwork, essays, and application fees. And then I waited. Forever. And finally, I got invited to interview, all the way across the country at the University of New England. Unbelievable! Surely, an interview meant I would get accepted. Arriving in Portland, Maine with a crisp new haircut, and dry cleaned suit I felt cool and confident. When I arrived, I noticed everyone else also had a fresh haircut and dapper attire. But I had one thing nobody else did – a really great personality! As I started to chat with the other interviewees I soon realized they too seemed to be really good people persons. What was I going to do to stand out? I reassured myself that I am a really good people person and I will knock this interview right out of the park. Only problem was my homerun hit felt more like a pop fly to center. From the start of the interview, I struggled. My answers were choppy, cliché and full of um’s and ah’s. Nothing I said made me stand out from anybody else. Having looked over their website and reviewing the pros of their school I thought I was ready to go, but I wasn’t nearly enough prepared.
At the end, I had a doubtful feeling but tried to remain optimistic. Perhaps I did not do as poorly as I thought. In anticipation, I checked the mail daily and then it came, an envelope from UNE. I ripped the envelope open to read a letter. WAITLIST! Remaining optimistic I just knew I would get in. As time went on I ultimately ended up waitlisted at 3 schools and eventually, I was not accepted to any of them.
Obviously, I needed to improve as an applicant. So I took physics I again and got an A. I took more time researching programs that were a better fit for my stats. Lastly, I knew I needed to address my poor interviewing skills. Just being a people person didn’t equal a quality interview. I hired an interviewing coach. At our first meeting his first words were “I hate your shirt, there is not a chance I would accept you into my grad program.” Boom, it just got real, but that is exactly what I needed.
If you are trying to get into PT school I would love to help you! Find me via:
Facebook: Dalin Hansen
Also check out some of my other posts about my interview experience and advice.