With November here and the countdown to the ‘C’ word set to begin many of you will be waiting for responses from the vet schools to your applications. The annual ‘Waiting Games.’ It is a weird period because it is, as I am concerned, the only time during your applications where you have no real power over the outcome. You simply have to trust that you have done an awesome job with your application and that the admissions tutors appreciate that level of sheer brilliance and follow suit by sending you an invite to interview.
We’re the kind of people, however, who don’t enjoy sitting around waiting idly – it’s not really in our DNA. The good news is that there are still things that you can be doing during this period of time to further enhance your chances of an ultimately successful application. The goal of submitting a UCAS application for most of us is to be invited to interview. The next real challenge thus becomes nailing the interview and this is one major area where you can be very proactive in preparing for the event. There are already some good interview related articles on this blog, in addition to a cracking chapter dedicated to interviews in the book.
The famous saying, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice,” is as applicable to vet school applications as it is to becoming a successful performer. Even if you have not yet received an invite to an interview, starting to prepare is a good idea, as by the time you do then you’ll be firing on all cylinders and ready to absolutely storm the interview as if it is the most natural and laid back activity in the world. If you have read the frankly huge chapter on interviews in my book (if you haven’t then I wholeheartedly suggest you start there) then you’ll already have a good idea of what to expect at interview and how best to prepare, the main method being to get at least one mock interview under your belt.
Vet school interviews will often involve discussion of topical subjects in science and veterinary-related areas such as farming. Having even a very superficial yet broad grasp of some of the key topics is a very sensible idea and if you really are totally committed to securing a place at vet school then it is highly likely that you already maintain an active interest in such news and topical affairs simply because you enjoy doing so. I used to keep a keen eye on the news and with news websites like the BBC it is easier than ever to keep abreast of the key topics. No one will expect you to be an expert on any of the topical issues but drawing a blank when asked about the issues pertaining to the badger cull, for example, will not win you any support from the interview panel. So that’s probably one of the main activities you can be doing during the waiting period: read.
Work Experience Questionnaires & Supplementary Questionnaires
A number of the vet schools quite rightly appreciate that trying to cram all of the pertinent information about yourself into a single UCAS application is difficult and so several will send out additional questionnaires for you to complete. Having the relevant info to hand at the time will make completing these so much faster and less stressful. Ensure you have any work experience references already in your possession and, if necessary, take a look back at any work experience journals or diaries to help jog your memory of the placements.
Use the time to focus on academic pursuits
Needless to say but most of you will be offered conditional offers, meaning that they are dependent on your ultimate grades. I know it’s probably pointing out the unbelievably obvious but just continue to work hard and apply yourself to your studies. This period is a great time to just regroup and focus on those areas that really need your academic attention. After all, there’s little point in getting too hung up on interviews if there is a danger of your grades slipping.
Do something truly altruistic
It’s a nice feeling to do something nice for others and this is as good a time as any to do just that. Why not help out future vets following in your footsteps by giving me the chance to send your school library their very own copy of Vet School. I firmly believe that having access to a fantastic resource like Vet School can, for some prospective vets, be the difference between a successful application and having to look for alternative career options. I want as many future vets to have that chance as possible and school libraries are often one place we all start our career planning.
So…..you can help out your school and future generations of young vets like you by enabling me to send your school a copy of Vet School. There is more information about this here.
No news is good news
Remember that if you have not yet heard from the vet schools then it means your application is still being considered. Therefore, no news genuinely is good news.