This weekend at UM Neuro, we’re getting our first group of interviewees to the PhD program. I usually volunteer to host a “recruit” because, not only do you get to meet interesting people, you get a slew of fancy dinners all paid for by the program! Woohooo! It is a bit intensive for the host though, the trips to the airport, and taking home of leftovers, the free hockey tickets. One catch though, the department won’t pay for booze. I suppose its completely reasonable, I mean federal funds and all that. And we wouldn’t be wanting to make those major decisions, oh like where to go to grad school, when we’re a bit tipsy, would we?
These weekends also bring back memories for me, of my own miserable interviews (yeah, I know its suppost to be fun, but i was trying to finish my senior thesis at the time). Some of these kids are so nervous and shy, while some are almost overcompensatingly outgoing. We try to make them feel at ease, but there’s always an undercurrent of judgement there: they’re judging us, we’re sizing them up as well. It is exciting to see this process though, where so much of your future career and life hinges of the span of a few conversations with a few people across the nation. Its usually seridipity where you go, what you choose. And the reasons you stay are usually different from the reasons you thought you’d stay.