So this is part 2 out of my limited series on my Ed interviews (to see part 1 go here)
To start off, I want to stress something that DTE’s interviewing board also stressed, the school interviews are meant not only for the school to get to know you (in ways that weren’t covered through the paper application), but it is a way for you to get to know the school. I totally agree.
In my previous post, I mentioned how I began to feel pretty ambivalent about school in general and had begun to think that perhaps I wasn’t excited about school necessarily, only the future that lay ahead once I earned my credentials and M.A. To give away the ending of my post, I realized that nope! I’m super enthused about school – I guess the UCLA interview process just didn’t do it for me. So without further ado…
The Berkeley Developmental Teacher Education Program Interview!
My (lack of) Preparation
This time around, I dressed up a bit more (black pants instead of jeans, black heeled slippers, and I don’t remember my top but I wore a fitted jacket), but unfortunately, unlike the UCLA one, I was overdressed in terms of formality but underdressed in terms of weather. Oh well.
This was a more typical interview format where we were introduced to the people who would be conducting the interviews, given a bit of a background on DTE, and informed of certain changes (and the reasons behind the changes) that will be started this year! (Basically, DTE changed from a 2-year to a 15-month program.)
Then we (8 women including me) were each given a schedule of our individual 20-minute interviews with the exiting director (and co-founder), the exiting coordinator, the incoming coordinator, and a principal of one of the schools we’d work with. Also, we were given a written assignment (of which we were informed beforehand) where we read a prompt and had to write a letter to a principal requesting supplies for an upcoming unit. Basically we had an interview in every other 20-minute time slot, and in between, were supposed to work on our letter. We were also given an additional thirty minutes to complete the letter after our final interview session.
Overall, the interviews themselves were great. My first few felt a little rocky, but the last two went swimmingly. I honestly felt regretful that the exiting coordinator and director are retiring.* We just had great conversations and they seemed like people with opinions and convictions. (If only I had applied 2 years earlier…). Furthermore, I felt like I was taken seriously. While one interviewer referenced quotes from my personal statement, another chatted with me in detail about my reference letters and resume experiences. In short, I felt like they were making fair judgment calls on me as a person, which I truly appreciated.
My feelings after the interviews were mixed. Honestly, I felt a lot of regret. I felt regretful that as the first application, I rushed through it and didn’t edit my thoughts. I felt regretful that I didn’t prepare for my interviews (unlike some other people who looked up the interviewers and reviewed their application). I felt regretful that I chatted too much during the break times that I turned in my letter-writing assignment in late (so typical of me though). Lastly, I felt regretful that I didn’t purpose to give this application experience my all since I initially didn’t really want to return to Berkeley.
Well, we exhale and move on.
A cool info tidbit: Unlike other programs, one cool thing about DTE is that it gives you 4 separate classroom experiences, which is crucial!
To close, I really enjoyed the interview and realized that I do want to be in school, and that I want to be in this area (not So Cal). In hindsight, there were so many things I could have done better, but what can I do now? I found out that this year only 74 people applied and they will be accepting 15. I’ll be finding out sometime in mid-March. Regardless of the outcome, I really, really enjoyed the people I met (and the group of people I interviewed with), and I’m once again looking forward to being a student again!