Not much to report science-wise this week (a combination of bad luck and not understanding the requirements of a protocol means no data this week either 😦 )
But this weekend is our second recruiting weekend! Also known as interview weekend, this is basically when all the prospective students come and interview and hang out with current students and get wined and dined and decide if they want to go here, and we decide if we want to accept them.
By this stage in the grad school application process, you’ve submitted all your transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statements and research experience essays, and all that jazz. The program has decided that on paper, you’re qualified.
So recruiting weekend basically is a time for the program to make sure they didn’t make a terrible mistake (i.e. you lied on your application or you really don’t fit with the culture of the program), but it’s also time for them to try to convince you that you should definitely, totally come to our amazing school.
It ends up being pretty fun (definitely fun as a first year, but still fun as a recruit, too). Even the interviews aren’t so bad because most PIs (who are doing the interviewing) are not interested in grilling you. They just want to talk a bit about what you’ve done (because it’s probably pretty cool, and if there’s one thing scientists love, it’s hearing about other science in the world). I remember my interview weekends actually having a good time during the interviews. It’s sort of intense because you get shuttled to 6 half hour interviews over the course of a morning and afternoon. And you may be slightly jet-lagged from having flown in the night before. But it’s fun to talk about what you’ve done, and to hear about what PIs at this university are doing. I ended up rotating with two PIs I had interviewed with, and joined the lab of one of them.