Thursday, May 14, 2015

Flashback: The Interview


Deciding to come to Poland was one of the hardest and easiest decisions I've ever made.

I knew that I wanted to come here from the moment I first saw the website my sophomore year of college. Of course I knew it would be easier to go to school in the US, but I kept Poland in consideration.

The time to apply to medical schools came around and I had my applications in the first week they were open. I was so excited and nervous. Mostly excited. There was nothing else in this world that I wanted to do.

I got interviews at a few places. But, my first interview was for my school in Poland. It was one of their first interview days in November. My mother and I drove out to New York City where the interviews were being held. It was my first time in a city of that size.

My mom helped me pick out my business suit and shirt. She helped me do my hair (because anyone who knows me, knows that I can't get it under control). We sat around for a while at the hotel and I nervously looked up possible interview questions. I had an answer rehearsed and ready to go for almost any question they would give me.

The time finally came for us to drive to the interview. We packed everything in the car and headed off. We had driven ten minutes when I realized that I had forgotten my folder with my passport copies, my research, and everything else I'd need for the interview. We made it back to the hotel in 2 minutes.

After that little mishap we made it to my interview. My mom decided to stay in the car where she could look at the hudson river and I walked- well hobbled to the building where the interview was being held. As it happens, heels have never been a strong suit for me. Why I decided to try them out the day of my interview I'll never know! Luckily they wouldn't see me walk.

I came into the building and was immediately beckoned into a room with a large oval table with 8 people sitting at it. They placed me at the head and thus the interview started. At first it was just basic, why do you want to be a doctor? why Poland? What do you do to relieve stress?... And then the question that I blanked on: Name three attributes that would make you a good doctor?

I got two. And then I totally blanked. My palms began to sweat, my hands began to shake. For the life of my I couldn't think of a third attribute.

I tried in earnest to think of something and then hastily apologized. "I'm sorry, I'm so nervous." I explained. They nodded and smiled.

Luckily, the remainder of the interview was science questions that I knew the answers to. The hardest part was deciphering what the interviewers were asking me. Many had Polish accents which I wasn't yet accustomed to, but one particular older professor spoke so deeply and with such a strong accent that I kept looking to the other interviewers to decipher what he was telling me.

After they were done with their questions they were quiet for a moment. And then the one who must have been in charge at the end of the table said, "Congratulations, we would love to accept you."

My heart literally jumped into my throat.

I was so happy.

I stood up and they each shook my hand. One of the older women gave me a big hug. I'm sure I looked like I needed it.

They gave me pens and a book on the school. They asked me if my mother was in the waiting area so they could congratulate her as well. Unfortunately, she was outside. They still loaded me down with pens and notebooks to give her as well.

I thanked them and walked calmly out of the building. And then I RAN to the car to tell my mother. If I hadn't been wearing the heels I probably would have done a heel click too.

We celebrated by going to see downtown NYC.

I was going to be a medical student.

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