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internship interviews

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by justcallmepsych4life, Aug 26, 2017.

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  1. justcallmepsych4life

    justcallmepsych4life

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    How do PhD/PsyD students afford to travel around the country for internship interviews? My professor told me to save, I asked if 8K was enough and he said he didn't know but definitely more... I plan on applying to 25 sites and I know 8 is considered good, so let's say I receive 8 interviews mostly in different states... I am hardly surviving off maximum amount of loans right now. There is no way I will have thousands of dollars by next year, let alone the costs to move to another state. What do students do?! I was told at the beginning of the program that we can take out extra loans that year, but I talked to financial aid and they said they don't give extra. And yes, I have worked throughout the program. Medical or car bills always came up each semester so I have no savings.. I am freaking out.
     
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  3. G Costanza

    G Costanza Psychologist - UCC 5+ Year Member

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    A lot of sites are aware of this common delimma for students and are offering Skype interviews as an alternative. You might be able to find out as you review the site's training section of their webpage.
     
  4. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Health Insurance Operations 10+ Year Member

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    I think i did it for less than 3k 6 years ago....and thats when oil was like $100/barrel.
     
  5. PhDToBe

    PhDToBe 7+ Year Member

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    I didn't spend anywhere near 8k and I had more than 8 interviews. Do your best to stay with friends, family, acquaintances, and even friends' friends, as well as share hotels with other interviewees from your program/prac sites. Perhaps family could loan you money if needed, too.
     
  6. Ollie123

    Ollie123 10+ Year Member

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    I had 12 interviews and got by on less than 4k. Some depends on circumstances...most of mine were major cities (easy/cheap flights). In many I had friends I could stay with. I did some trip planning to minimize costs (e.g. trying to schedule interviews to minimize multiple trips to the same city).

    I just taught an extra class one semester (got a fellowship but they still needed me to teach). Threw the extra in savings and that covered me.

    I can't imagine spending 10k unless you are in a weird location, won't consider hotels less than 5 stars or can't plan worth a damn.
     
  7. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Lot of planning, stacking up regions, staying with friends when available, utilizing other transportation methods when possible (e.g., trains), and doubling up with friends/colleagues when possible. Did it for about 2k when I applied.
     
  8. foreverbull

    foreverbull 2+ Year Member

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    I did all phone interviews and matched. Zero travel costs.

    If you want, though, you could pick your top 2 or three only to travel to in person. I wouldn't visit all in person; seems unnecessary. Many sites understand that students can't afford to travel and offer the other options. I knew of a site that didn't even offer in person interviews because of its geographic isolation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  9. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    In order to offset flight costs I also opened and used airline credit cards for monthly expenses. The joining points covered several interviews outside of drive distance. Between that, airBnB, looking for friends of friends in an area, and stacking I did it for less than 2k with only in person interviews.

    Also, what are you trying to do with your career? Is it possible to accomplish it with only sites within a day drive? I'm from the Midwest and that would still be a huge number of sites of different types.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  10. justcallmepsych4life

    justcallmepsych4life

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    My family isn't able to help financially, and I do not know anyone in other states that I could stay with. Would doing all skype/phone interviews put me as a disadvantage?
     
  11. foreverbull

    foreverbull 2+ Year Member

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    I would say no, but the people who traveled in person would likely say yes. There might be a slight advantage to putting a face to a name, but many of the sites I applied to offered phone interviews and made it clear that they didn't prefer one over the other. Of course, there might be a slight implicit bias for people whose faces they remember. I would say a reasonably safe bet is both: visit some in person (the ones easiest/cheapest to get to, maybe?), and leave the rest to phone interviews. Most of my colleagues did a mix of both rather than visiting every site, and my program has a high match rate.

    We don't have any stats on whether in-person folks get ranked higher, as far as I know.

    Do any people in here interview intern applicants and can speak to any possible bias?
     
  12. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Depends, really. The top students are still going to get ranked highly, whether or not they do an in person interview. The interviews really help those in the 2nd tier stand out. This second tier is fairly close so making a good impression would definitely help. It's definitely possible to get matched highly with phone interviews, but it's not a chance I'd take. This is from the standpoint of someone who makes ranking decisions on a yearly basis. I'd at least travel to your top sites.

    More importantly, in my point of view, traveling allows you to accurately judge the sites. My personal rankings changed drastically after visiting a couple sites and seeing that the reality was far different than they looked on paper.
     
    psychRA likes this.
  13. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    As @WisNeuro said, you may change and (to be frank) more time with someone that a site likes the more confident that person should be selected. Some sites won't consider phone interviews. Just the way it goes.

    I just have a hard time seeing how there is concern over application cost and not distance given that relocation (particularly cross country) isn't cheap either. What area of the country are you in and how wide are you trying to apply that driving and options given above is insufficient? Is there another underlying concern about site placement that is inspiring this (I assume yes since you are planning to apply to 25 sites instead of the avg 16 which provides basically equal placement chance)?
     
  14. justcallmepsych4life

    justcallmepsych4life

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    I only said 25 because my program said this is the ideal number. Moving would cost too, which I included in my original post. I would need deposit for an apartment, but thankfully I can keep my stuff with someone I know in the state I'm currently in and just take the essentials.
     
  15. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Health Insurance Operations 10+ Year Member

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    What are they basing this statement/suggestion on?
     
  16. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    25 is not ideal for most people. 25 is just a waste of application fees for most.
     
  17. SchoolPsycho

    SchoolPsycho

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    I'd recommend submitting 15 strong applications to sites you are passionate about rather than trying to hit the arbitrary 25 mark. 25 is very high.

    When you get interviews, the most expensive way to do it is to fly out, get a hotel for two nights, rent a car, and fly back for every interview. Even then I can't imagine $8k. I think I spent closer to $3k with 8-10 in person interviews (I can't honestly remember and it was only a few years ago!). Save money with cheap hotels, driving when you can, phone interviews when it makes sense, and stacking flights (Atlanta to Boston to Chicago to Houston to Atlanta, etc.).

    To help with the latter, note what days your sites offer interviews and get them on a calendar. Plot out a few likely travel scenarios in advance, note potential conflicts, etc. Then, when scheduling season arrives, man your email religiously and respond immediately to interview offers so you can get your preferred dates. This strategy saved me a lot of time, money, and travel stress.
     
  18. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    I know getting a credit card w airline points has already been mentioned, but if you've got just a regular credit card with points that you can exchange for various things don't forget that those can be handy too. My Bank of America credit card has a point thing that I generally forget about because it's so cumbersome to figure out how to use it, but I did manage to figure out how to get a free hotel night and a free one-way flight out of those points. Check with friends and family members and see if any of them have airline points that are going to expire. You might be able to negotiate for them to buy a flight for you and you pay them back any additional cost that is incurred.
     
  19. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    I would encourage you to examine the APPIC match statistics about probability of match and number of applications submitted.

    source: AAPI / APPA

    Below is the average for the a number of previous years, drawn from the 2016 Survey
     
  20. MCParent

    MCParent Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

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    I applied to a lot of sites, but it was specifically because I wasn't geographically restricted in any way (I actually like living in a little more isolated, rural areas that are often thought of as less desirable) so cutting down to 15 would have meant artificially cutting out sites I was a strong fit with and would have loved to go to. It is not good advice for a program to tell every applicant to send 25 applications.
     
  21. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent 7+ Year Member

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    Unsurprisingly, I found an old excel spreadsheet on which I tracked my travel itinerary. I applied to 19 sites (was coordinating a dual internship/non-psychology postdoc search with my spouse), got 11ish interviews, and it looks like I attended 10. Final cost: $2534 (for travel). This includes one extra "stop" on the way to see a friend.

    My strategy: credit card with good rewards (though I didn't use the points for this then, it's nice to know I have a ton of points now), stringing interviews together so it's mostly one way flights/train rides/drives, trying to cluster trips geographically, and staying with friends when possible. Are you sure you don't know anyone near the sites you're considering? I generally applied to places that people had success matching to from my program, so I could stay with people who had stuck around for postdoc/jobs or were there for internship themselves. I'm a couple years graduated, and I'd be happy to host applicants from my grad program now, even if I don't know them.

    If you really don't think that's possible, you'll want to consider applying to sites that have low cost of living and/or are reasonably close to cheap airports (consider regionals) and/or are drive-able and/or are clustered in certain geographic areas to minimize travel. Also, UCCs are notorious for sticking to Skype/phone interviews. Finally, some sites have non-mandatory Open Houses instead of interviews. I, personally, would want to see a site for myself, but if costs are so constricting, might be worth considering.
     
  22. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Clustering when possible is a huge money saver. There were two regions where I was able to group several interviews together, which saved me from multiple round trip flights and ability to use other transportation. As for phone interviews, I did a couple of phone interviews at some sites that did open houses that were near the bottom of my rank list anyway.
     
  23. foreverbull

    foreverbull 2+ Year Member

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    If I recall from the APA convention internship workshop 3 or 4 years ago, they noted that your chances of matching don't improve significantly after 15 applications (15 is the magic number they advised), so you end up flooding sites with more apps and spending more money with little additional return. Some of the higher-strung folks in my program went the "more is better" route, but didn't seem to fare any better than those who kept apps at 15. The students who struggled most were the ones who limited themselves geographically and kept apps far below the 15 mark, which our advisors strongly discouraged.
     
  24. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    The thing about flooding apps to a ton of internship sites is that many of these sites are probably not a good fit, and your app will just be tossed right away because of it. Maybe a few take a closer look and maybe a few of those offer an invite. It's just diminishing returns. Instead of having a magic number in mind, or going by some ridiculous number your program has told you, spend the time finding sites that are very good fits with your prior experience and what you want to do going forward. If you're worried about finances, needlessly sending out apps is not the way to go.
     
    Justanothergrad and MCParent like this.
  25. MCParent

    MCParent Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

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    Yup. Very often, 25 apps means something like "I applied to every site in San Francisco bc I need to stay there, including child neuro sites when I've only got experience in gero counseling."
     
  26. rdpchgo

    rdpchgo

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    Internship interview travel craziness, just went through this process last year and can't say I miss it!

    I agree with the law of diminishing returns after 15 applications. While hindsight is 20/20 for me now having had 12 interview offers, I personally wished I applied to fewer sites to have a stronger application. I can relate to the anxiety of wanting to have interviews, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that you could have 12-15 interviews within a 2 month timeframe. Depending on where potential sites are and how you're traveling, this will be both financially and mentally exhausting. Also, remember you'll be traveling in the heart of winter (depending where you're from and where you're applying). I'd also recommend the option for phone/Skype interviews for lower ranked sites to save some money and time. Granted many university counseling sites will only allow this option.

    In regards to cost, echoing many of the other posts in this thread, it'll vary depending on the means of travel (air, flying) and where you'll be coming from. Cluster interviews based on geographical region, as well. One thing I'll encourage that has not been mentioned yet: use your APA travel benefits. There are sizable discounts on practically all the car rentals and hotels (Wyndham and affiliate hotels)! Good luck!
     
    singasongofjoy likes this.
  27. G Costanza

    G Costanza Psychologist - UCC 5+ Year Member

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    I applied to 20 sites and received 19 interviews. I Skyped all the sites on the west coast and took a five day road trip with my wife hitting the tops sites in the Midwest and east coast. Total spent on travel: $1250. Like a boss.
     
    TiptoeConqueror likes this.

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