University of pennsylvania/the first interview of my life...I either make it or break it.

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by placebooooo, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. placebooooo
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    placebooooo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Hello GBAtempers!

    To give a little introduction, I am currently a high school student in my senior year who applied to several colleges in order to start getting prepared for my future career, dentistry!

    I live in Philadelphia and have applied to the University of Pennsylvania along with several other colleges. My main priority currently is to go to Upenn even though I see slim chances :( but somehow I feel something good will come out of all of this.

    Anyhow, I just got an email from the one of the college's school alumni requesting an interview. Of course we are arranging dates and the interview is to be held this monday. Problem is, I have never been interviewed in my life before, and have no idea how to react to "why are you interested in our school" ...etc and other related questions. I am extremely scared of course, since I believe my application isn't strong enough compared to other applicants.

    Some info about me:
    11th grade year: nailed a 100 on the Ap chemistry course for both semesters.

    this year:
    I am tackling AP physics and AP calculus which I both have a 99 in for the first semester. ( I havent sent in these grades yet to the college.)
    I also have a gpa of 4.02

    But the thing that really scares me are my SAT/ACT scores. I do extremely bad on standardized tests, I got about a 1300 on both the sat and act. I believe if anything kills me it's that.

    Also, my current AP Physics teacher, who apparently also teaches at Upenn told me straight up in my face that I will get rejected; My counselor also said the same thing unfortunately. But I didnt let that keep me from applying. I have some confidence within me; my older brother also always pushes me saying "they can't tell you you arent good enough, dont listen to them! how dare they say that to a student?!" and i still applied.

    That is why I am pretty concerned with the interview, I really want to get in which would be my dream. My plans are that if I dont get in, god forbid, I might just end up going to a community college...

    I would really appreciate any advice on this interview guys. Thank you for your time reading this. These forums and users all rock. You guys are the best.

    Thank you,
    Placebooooo
     
  2. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Be yourself, and practice interviewing. Work with your family, even. When you get in there, relax, but be confident in yourself. They will almost guaranteed ask you about your SAT ACT scores and why they are weak. You are going to want to have a good response at the ready. Focus on your good qualities and again, be confident in yourself. Standardized exams are not everyone's cup of tea, and your high test grades in other courses should hopefully reflect that.
     
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  3. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    1) Dress well. I'm not saying you have to go in your best tux (that would probably look a bit silly), but you definitely want to present yourself well. Look like someone they'd want associated with their college. If you show up in grungy clothes or your favorite Marilyn Manson cosplay, they're probably going to just get a very bad impression.

    2) Do a little research. Look up the college and study some basic background info. It doesn't have to be super in-depth (you want to appear well read, not obsessive/potentially murderous), but just have some conversational knowledge. Drop those mad knowledge bombs during the interview when appropriate; shouting over the interviewer to tell them the date the university was founded is not likely to impress.

    3) Be honest. Be yourself. So, you want to go to this university. Cool, sell that, just don't oversell that. You are not there to monologue about how admittance into this university is the ailment for the tragedy of your pitiful existence. The interviewers have to talk to kids over and over again, so they'll be able to smell bullshit from a mile away. You are not auditioning. Just be straightforward in a pleasant, respectful way ("I want to attend UPenn because it has programs that interest me/I like the campus/etc.").

    If you're worried, come up with some hypothetical questions and think about how you'd answer them. Practice out loud if you need to. You won't necessarily get these questions, but they'll get you in the right frame of mind.

    4) Be realistic. The truth of the matter is, when it comes to college applications, interviews aren't that big a deal. Don't get me wrong, they can help, sometimes, but they're not a major factor in the decision process. Thinking of this as your one and only chance to "make it" won't help your anxiety.

    While you're worried about your test scores, colleges put a lot of stock into school grades and extracurricular activities, too. Having that together goes a long way, much longer than the interview.

    5) Don't bet it all on red (and blue). You might not get accepted into your first choice school, even if you're perfectly qualified. Even the best transcripts get turned down for one reason or another. It happens. Putting all your hopes and dreams into just one college is a bad mistake. Still try for UPenn, but you have to be willing to give other schools a try. Have a second choice, and a third, and a fourth, and a fifth. The more options you have, the better off you are.

    I can speak from personal experience. Initially, I didn't even want to tour the University of Delaware. I had my sights set on other schools in other places, so what was the point? Well, my parents eventually convinced me and I took the tour and I ended up really digging what I saw. It still wasn't necessarily my top choice, but I figured that it wouldn't hurt to apply.

    Well, when the letters came in, some of my dream schools rejected me outright, others just wouldn't have been feasible for my family. And at the very bottom of the pile, there was a little letter from Delaware, bundling my acceptance with a pretty generous scholarship. The "fallback" suddenly became very a appealing front runner.

    2 years in, I can definitely say that it's all worked out for the best. I've had an amazing experience so far, and it's all because I opened myself up to other possibilities.

    Go for UPenn, hope for the best, but it's not the end of the world if you don't make it in. Plus, if you're still set on being a UPenn student, you can always attend another school, rock the grades, and transfer later.

    6) Discover Native American ancestry in your family lineage. Optional, but highly recommended.
     
  4. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Discover Native American? DAMN! I'm like like 8% Portuguese but that's it. :angry:
     
  5. Black-Ice

    Black-Ice Founder of the Church of Renamon

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    I've been doing this myself over the past few months.
    Went to my 1st choice University for an interview and got an offer within 2 days, and I made friends with a few of those who may be on my course.

    Do everything Gahars said, Universities look for personality and great people who would be an asset to their community as well as good grades. Anyone can walk in with so and so grades, but only you can walk in as yourself.
     
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  6. placebooooo
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    placebooooo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Thanks everyone. I will gladly accept accept all of your advice and tackle the interview on :)
     
  7. placebooooo
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    placebooooo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Hi guys. first I want to thank you guys all for the great advice, it all really helped out. The interview was held today instead of monday (bad weather) and I believe it was very successful! The meeting went on for 40 min of us just having a regular conversation, the guy was really cool too. He was laughing a lot and was very interested in what I am doing in high school. I felt really good after walking out of there today, you guys are the best!
     
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  8. Black-Ice

    Black-Ice Founder of the Church of Renamon

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    Glad to have been helpful ^_^
     
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