I interviewed at CSU Fresno at the end of January. This school is very competitive because it’s the cheapest PT School in California, so my nerves were through the roof.
I can’t help but feel like I bombed the interview. I really like the school, so I’m trying to not get my hopes up too much. I don’t want to get rejected and feel that much worse.
The drive there only took 1.5 hours, and is actually closer to an hour but there was a lot of fog on the freeway.
I got to the school 15 minutes before I was supposed to check in, so I lint rolled my clothes and listened to the radio while I waited. I left about 5 minutes before check-in was supposed to start, but I couldn’t find the classroom. The room number and area of the building didn’t match, so I found someone else in a suit that was also lost. A few DPT students found us and directed us to the actual check-in area.
There were 80 other students there. 80. And they were all there before 9:30, so I guess I should have been extra early for check-in. The morning started at 9:45, and a professor introduced herself, talked about the program a little bit, and then separated us into groups. There were 16 groups of 5 people.
We went into the interview first, which lasted about an hour. They asked us all pretty much the same question, but it would be slightly different for each person. They asked me first, most of the time, which gave me very little time to think of a thoughtful answer. Or, I was often asked last, in which case I had to come up with something original to say, which is difficult after 4 people answer before you. They asked:
- How did your undergraduate experiences prepare you for DPT school?
- What was your favorite clinical experience, and where would you most like to work/not want to work once you are graduated?
- What was one thing you saw during your clinical that you think you would struggle with as a PT?
- Who is someone that is very different than you, and how did you manage to interact with them?
- Describe a time when you saw an interaction between a PT and patient that could have been handled better by the PT.
I feel like I rambled on for far too long about the undergrad experience, and mentioned that I often felt like the dumbest person in classrooms because I was surrounded by so many passionate, intelligent people, which wasn’t the most suave thing to say. As for someone different than me, I went on a ramble about my roommate who was raised in a strict family, and we got along because she’s outgoing and our personalities matched, which was a pretty crappy example.
Maybe I’m being too rough on myself, but you could tell that I had not prepared any answers for the questions. The others seemed a bit more rehearsed, or they were quicker on their feet and more well spoken. Either way, it feels pretty terrible to think that I bombed the interview, but hopefully the interviewers didn’t feel the same.
Tour of the School
I love the school, so much more than I thought I would.
The program is on one side of the campus and has some older facilities. However, they’re in the process of building new facilities, and they should be done this Fall.
The side of campus is right next to the library and student center. The library is huge, has it’s own area for grad students, and you can eat there. I remember being thrown out of my undergrad school’s library for eating a banana, so I’m glad that not all libraries are like that.
The student center is amazing. There’s so much food, and downstairs has a bowling alley, pool tables, arcade, and video game center. There’s even a salon in the student center. Across from this magical place is a pizza restaurant that serves beer, that’s still in the middle of campus. I’m not sure how students ever get their studying done.
The tour guide was incredibly helpful, as he gave us the pro’s and con’s to the school. It’s the cheapest in my state, and there’s a small class size and they get along very well. However, there are no TA’s for anatomy, and the anatomy professor isn’t all that helpful during lab.
I’m not crazy about the area because I’ve lived nearby my entire life. However, the city is much larger, and the school is down the street from a mall and a rock climbing gym. There’s actually stuff to do in this town, so that’s something to look forward to. The apartments are incredibly cheap, partly because nobody likes living here.
I hope I get in. They interviewed about 200 people for ~30 spots, so I think my chances are slim. I’m shooting for the waitlist, as I’m sure a lot of people will accept other schools, so I’ll be able to move up the waitlist. Fingers are crossed. I did my best, so hopefully they can see that.