Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Interviewing prospective students

I had a slightly surreal moment today while interviewing a prospective student. To give a little background, this is a fun opportunity and activity I applied for and have been doing all year; Yale SOM uses second-year students to interview prospective students. Only about 35% of applicants are invited to interview, and of those, something like a third or so of them are admitted. As interviewers, we spend 30 minutes with each candidate, then write up a report about our conversation. That report gets put into the candidate's application file, along with his or her application, essays and other materials, and the whole package is given to the admissions gurus. We, as interviewers, aren't involved in any decision-making per se; we just conduct the interview and write up our thoughts.

Anyway, these interview opportunities come in waves; this week I have 7 interviews, and 3 were today. They take place in different rooms. One of mine today was in the same office where I had my interview in 2009. I was sitting in the exact same spot. And in both cases, I could see the snow falling heavily outside the windows. Of course, in this case, I was on the other end of the conversation, which is definitely the preferable place to be!

The group of us who were selected to be interviewers went through some training, but in general the process is somewhat loose and more or less a conversation. I'm personally interested in hearing about people's motivations, rather than their accomplishments; I think accomplishments can usually be explained nicely in essays and on the application. I more want to know why -- why did you pick this major, why did you leave this job, why do you want to get an MBA, etc. It's really a lot of fun doing the interviews, and it's a great professional/leadership experience for me, too.

This was a very busy day; on top of the three interviews, and three classes -- one of which was three hours -- I also had two hour-long sessions helping first-year students prepare for their interviews tomorrow for summer internships with Deloitte, where I'll be working after school. So I have been tied up from the time I awoke at 6 a.m. until a few moments ago! It's going to be a long night, too, with much reading to do for my one and only class tomorrow. Part of my predicament today came about because I took a few hours last night for an extremely nice, leisurely dinner with my friend Yujie (pictured). We went to Ibiza. We were celebrating having accepted full-time jobs; and we were catching up on our gossip. I'm glad she'll be in New Jersey next year, not too far from where I'll be in New York.

Speaking of internships and jobs, I discovered this week that the internship program in which I participated this summer, at the Associated Press, has been put on hiatus this year. In fact, AP is suspending all of its internships this summer, as it focuses on its core businesses. In other words, it looks as though they don't want to spend the money. It's a shame because there were some first-year students who were interested in AP. Oh well; now I feel especially lucky to have had the experience I did.

Perhaps all the snow we've been getting will be good preparation for the weekend, as I join about 200 of my classmates for the annual SOM ski trip in Killington! Expect some good pictures.

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