DrDarwin

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to mention that a particular school is one's first choice? Obviously many wait-listed applicants are going to write letters saying as much, but is an interviewee likely to be perceived as a brownnoser for saying it during an interview? I think it can go both ways. What do you all think?
 

ajt2003

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DrDarwin said:
to mention that a particular school is one's first choice? Obviously many wait-listed applicants are going to write letters saying as much, but is an interviewee likely to be perceived as a brownnoser for saying it during an interview? I think it can go both ways. What do you all think?
Definitely not! Say it! But be genuine and eloquent - which should not be a problem for you, DrD! If you are in love with a school, I really think it's important to be detailed in your reasoning (i.e., what about the curriculum, educational methodologies resonate with you? What about the location? What about the patient populations?). The job of an interviewer (in most cases) is to serve as your representative when your file goes to the committee - if your interview has more concerete examples - which you provided him/her with - as to why you are a good fit for the school's program and why you are paricularly excited about attending said program, it can only help. IMHO, of course!

Granted, at a top 10-15 school, I don't think this process holds THAT much weight - after all, doesn't everyone want to go to Harvard, Hopkins, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, etc.? Still, if you have unique reasons (I'm interested in pursuing research with Professor X; my sig other goes here, etc.), it might help you stand apart from the rest of the well qualified crowd...
 

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ajt2003 said:
Granted, at a top 10-15 school, I don't think this process holds THAT much weight - after all, doesn't everyone want to go to Harvard, Hopkins, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, etc.? Still, if you have unique reasons (I'm interested in pursuing research with Professor X; my sig other goes here, etc.), it might help you stand apart from the rest of the well qualified crowd...
Tothe contrary, at the top 15 schools saying they are your top choice can be very helpful. Since they are the top schools, deciding on acceptances when your interviewed applicant pool is relatively similar in stats, etc. desire to attend the school can matter quite a bit. For example, I have heard that Harvard likes to offer the minimum number of acceptances to fill their class. Most places will get 30-35% of their offered acceptances to matriculate. Harvard, however, gets something like 50+%. How do you do this? Admit people who you know will accept your offer. This is why expressing you interest and intent can be very helpful.

But as was mentioned by ajt, if you are going to say this, make sure you have strong resons and are able to express them.
 
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DrDarwin

DrDarwin

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ajt2003 said:
Definitely not! Say it! But be genuine and eloquent - which should not be a problem for you, DrD! If you are in love with a school, I really think it's important to be detailed in your reasoning (i.e., what about the curriculum, educational methodologies resonate with you? What about the location? What about the patient populations?). The job of an interviewer (in most cases) is to serve as your representative when your file goes to the committee - if your interview has more concerete examples - which you provided him/her with - as to why you are a good fit for the school's program and why you are paricularly excited about attending said program, it can only help. IMHO, of course!

Granted, at a top 10-15 school, I don't think this process holds THAT much weight - after all, doesn't everyone want to go to Harvard, Hopkins, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, etc.? Still, if you have unique reasons (I'm interested in pursuing research with Professor X; my sig other goes here, etc.), it might help you stand apart from the rest of the well qualified crowd...
Thanks, ajt ;)

I mentioned something to my interviewer, but it was after the interview was over, and it felt a little awkward. I tried to politely interject at least once or twice during the course of the interview, but there was just never a 'natural' moment to mention my interest (my interviewer was sort of authoritative--though not in a bad way--and I did not want to annoy him or come off as pushy). I therefore ended up doing so after the interview was over, and my interviewer replied (with something like), "All right, that sounds good to me." He--and his secretary--smiled as I said all this, which was nice, I guess. I had always intended to say something, and at least I won't have any regrets now, despite any awkwardness that may have resulted. I also mentioned that said school was my top choice during interview 2, and then cited several specific reasons that I said confirmed my previous belief. After citing these and acknowledging that there were several others, my interviewer replied that my first three or four reasons were "pretty compelling" (I had also mentioned most of these reasons during the course of the interview prior to getting the "Why School X" question). I hope that bodes well.

I also agree that the interviewers often act as an applicant's advocate. My first interviewer actually said, "So, if I have to convince the admissions committee that [your biggest weakness is not a weakness], what would you tell me?" I then systematically disabused him of any previous doubts :laugh:. I was actually happy to get this question because it addressed what I--and apparently my interviewer--consider to be the biggest weakness in my application, and he seemed pretty content with my response.

Let the waiting game begin :thumbdown:.
 

uclabruin2003

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at my interview i told my two interviewers that i considered the school my top choice. both of them were wide-eyed and seem very interested at how i came to that conclusion.
so dont say that school x is your top choice if you dont have a good reason. they questioned long and hard about my motives and i made it clear to them why i believed the school was my top choice.
i was scared that perhaps i would be conceived as a brownoser but like the above poster said....most schools want to accept people who they KNOW will attend. they dont like to accept people who wont attend...its a waste of their time and money. in any case i later got in.
 
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DrDarwin

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FaytlND said:
Tothe contrary, at the top 15 schools saying they are your top choice can be very helpful. Since they are the top schools, deciding on acceptances when your interviewed applicant pool is relatively similar in stats, etc. desire to attend the school can matter quite a bit. For example, I have heard that Harvard likes to offer the minimum number of acceptances to fill their class. Most places will get 30-35% of their offered acceptances to matriculate. Harvard, however, gets something like 50+%. How do you do this? Admit people who you know will accept your offer. This is why expressing you interest and intent can be very helpful.

But as was mentioned by ajt, if you are going to say this, make sure you have strong resons and are able to express them.
Yeah, my first interviewer said, "School X is a great school, they often compete with us," when I mentioned where else I had interviewed. I therefore felt that expressing my interest in his school was paramount. Although my reasons were not very specific with the first interviewer (i.e., "School X was my top choice coming in, and everything I have seen, heard, and done today has confirmed my previous belief"), I cited some very specific examples during the second interview, mentioning again that they had crystallized my conviction that I would be happiest at School X. I am hoping that interviewer 2 can fill in the specifics about my desire to attend School X during meetings if interviewer 1 mentions my interest but cannot provide substantive support.