AROTC Interview

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by degli, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. degli

    degli Member

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    DS has submitted the application. Waiting on interview notification and pft. Does it make a big difference if he interviews locally or should it be at one of the colleges listed. His first choice is 12 hour drive or plane ride a way. Second choice is VMI/ 5 hour drive and he was notified by email that VMI admissions wanted him to interview with them. What to do? Where will AROTC likely ask him to interview? Thanks!
     
  2. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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    Our DS received his interview notification just the other day. They provided him with a list of schools that were relatively close to our home (I think the furthest one was a 3 hr. drive one-way). You are able to schedule an interview at a school that's not on the list provided, but you have to run it by a point of contact first.

    In an ideal world, it's best to interview at your first-choice school since they have a vested interest in taking time out of their day to interview you and playing a part in seeing to it that you get the scholarship . However, in your case, logistics may dictate that your DS has to interview much closer to home. I guess it will be a matter of deciding if the 5 hr. drive to the second choice school is worth it. Make sure your DS is prepared to answer the question, "Why are we not your first choice school?". There was a candidate that posted on the forum that the interviewer (at #2 school) spent the first part of the interview with both the candidate and their parents. As soon as the parents left the room the interviewer closed the door, and that was the first question out of their mouth. Unless your DS has a good answer for that question at VMI, I wonder if it would be a better risk to just interview at the closest school, even it's not on DS list of schools that they want to attend. It may be easier to answer when being asked by a school he's not even interested in vs. having to answer that question at his #2 choice (especially at a school known for the quality of the educational & ROTC programs). I'd be interested in hearing from the more experienced posters about their thoughts on this issue.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    There are two schools of thought regarding this issue.

    1. Go to the school you want most because it places a name with a face, and may give an edge.
    ~~~~ In your case, it really is unrealistic due to location.

    2. Don't worry about that and go the closest one near your home. Stats will speak for yourself when it comes to the boards.
    ~~~~ Again, I don't think his number 1 choice is going to hold it against him for not taking a plane ride just for an hr long interview.

    You have to do what you feel comfortable with. Now, if you are asking opinions. My opinion would be to take the 10 hr round trip road trip to VMI. College is more than just what you can see and read on their web page or the glossy brochures they send you. Kids, especially freshmen typically get homesick long before Thanksgiving, usually @Columbus Day. He needs to feel out his number 2 choice before matriculating. As HS SRs they want to fly the coop, and the farther, the better. Reality many times does not match theoretical.

    Visiting campuses, gives them a chance to look into the future of what it will be like next yr. with their peers, living on that campus.

    I am a strong proponent of contacting prior to the visit/interview the det. Ask them to set up some cadets in the unit to talk with your child after the interview.

    We agreed to meet DS at the student union at a specific time, it was about 2 hrs. He had the time to talk to his peers on a casual level, regarding everything he wanted to ask. They did so in the ROTC lounge playing Xbox. He was able to walk around the campus, as if he was already a student there, and get a true feel.

    Every college has a feel. Every det. has a feel too. It is something you can't get by looking at their websites. College, even at an SMC, is part social. They have a unique feel. Our kids knocked some colleges out after visiting the campus. They just didn't like the feel. They were not unique. Our youngest, endured touring college campuses with his 2 older siblings, immediately cut out certain colleges because he didn't like the feel of the campuses. The same with our middle, she refused to apply to certain colleges because she didn't like the feel of DS1's choices.

    I also agree that be prepared to answer Why NOT our college? That can be incredibly tricky if they both offer the same major/academic standings. AN SMC vs non-SMC is a little easier to answer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  4. degli

    degli Member

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    He did visit both schools but liked Citadel slightly better than VMI. Location. He did like both schools. Of course Citadel is 12 hrs as opposed to a 5 hr drive. I think if it came down to scholarship money and VMI offered, he would chose VMI.
     
  5. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    I had this similar discussion when I went up for a summer visit last summer. When I spoke with the cadre, they made it very clear to me that it would behoove any applicant to try and interview with their first choice, rather than a local school - just because of the sake of logistics.

    From what the cadre told me, you kind of have to look at it from the human nature aspect. So just for the sake of the conversation, we'll use your schools you listed. Say your son interviews at VMI, and mentions that it is his 2nd choice. Well, his interviewer may not be as inclined to pass him with flying colors (even if he did well) - due to the human nature aspect.

    On the flipside, if he does interview at the Citadel, and does well, his interviewer may be more inclined to pass him with flying colors - since he/she also knows that the Citadel is his top choice. See what I mean now?

    IMPO, I believe applicants SHOULD make every attempt possible to interview at their top choice. For one, even if he does not get a scholarship, your interviewer will realize how far of a trip it was for him to come all the way out to the Citadel. In return, he/she may be able to help your son in the future in things such as receiving a campus-based scholarship. This shows how committed your son is to come to the Citadel and their Battalion.

    Now to address your question of whether it'd be worth the trip, only you and your son can answer that question. Personally (and based off the first post), I would say go for it IF it is logistically reasonable. Depending on who is driving, if you/him are able to make a trip out to the Citadel without facing any hitches, then by all means go for it.

    If the Citadel doesn't seem to work out, then I guess VMI will have to be the one. But, just as Futuremom said, make sure your son is prepared for the "Why are we not the first choice" question.

    Now, based on your second post - I'd be more inclined to say VMI -- but soley based on that post. The one thing I've learned from these forums is that although receiving a scholarship is great, but you must also consider the cost of college, say if he ultimately is never awarded a scholarship, or God forbid loses his scholarship.

    Best wishes.
     
  6. platypus1618

    platypus1618 Member

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    You can also ask about interviewing via Skype or even phone at his top choice school.
     
  7. gojack

    gojack ....

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    I would suggest interview at the closer school (VMI) and be honest...
    Pose the question as - it's very close to a toss up, why should I (DS) choose VMI over The Citadel?
    He likes both, the closer to home option has clear advantages, let VMI make the case on why VMI.
    He is interviewing the school as much as they are interviewing him.

    My experience - just a couple of encouraging words from a PMS can change a future cadet's mind on school choice in the blink of an eye.

    just another opinion

    BTW, It's completely his choice on where to interview.
    Best of luck
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  8. degli

    degli Member

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    Well it looks like there are different views on whether to travel and visit Citadel or do the shorter trip to VMI. Wish there was a perfect answer.
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Well, then let me try cloud things further with another point of view.

    I say go ahead and interview wherever is convenient for you. I know a lot of folks give credence to the "human nature - so interview at your first choice college" theory. I would interview at the first choice college if its logistically reasonable, but I certainly don't adhere to the human nature stuff. The interviewee is a professional officer. He or she has absolutely no connection to the school other than the fact that they are stationed there for a couple years. ANd whatever loyalty the might feel to the school is massively trumped by their loyalty to the service. I don't think they give two hoots on where you want to go to school.

    DS didn't even interview at a college but at the brigade recruiting command just down the road. Of course he didn't get a 4 year scholarship, but I firmly believe it had absolutely nothing to do with where he interviewed. We did meet with the PNS at each college he visited.
     
  10. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    We were undecided on how to proceed because two miles away was the place my son was instructed to interview with. Across country and 9 hour round trip were the two top schools he wanted. We followed Pima's (and others) advice and went to both. This included missing part of my other son's PPW and getting a hotel and missing school for another.

    Son went to an informal interview to one school and really loved the school as well as the battalion. This was extremely far and inconvenient.

    He did his formal interview at another one that was a 9 hour round trip and really loved the school as well as the battalion. The schools were radically different (though both excellent for his major) the battalions to him also seemed different. Those differnces are being factored in to his thought process. (though I keep telling him it was a small snapshot in time)

    At both schools he also requested to talk separately to a recent grads-mainly to hear how the Ecs are, real life, CULP, Ranger Challenge etc,

    One huge benefit though was that at one of his schools they said if he gets in to the school and passes dodmerb but doesnt get a four yr national ROTC they can work with him on a 3.5 yr or 3 yr scholarship. They also said that though they are NOT on the school admissions board that can help out there too.
     
  11. degli

    degli Member

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    So he's decided he wants to interview at VMI and went ahead with setting up the interview. He still has yet to get the letter informing him on where to go for his interview. He has sent an email to cc about his interview at VMI. No word back. If he doesn't here back, is this a problem? Tips on preparing for interview....
     
  12. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    Maybe I missed this tidbit of infor from all of the other changes w/ CC this year - but if the interviewing school process hasn't changed, your DS should be good to go to conduct the interview at VMI. At least last year's applicant group + years prior, that letter geographically indicates the closest Battalion from you. My letter told me to go to ... either St. Joe's or UDel -- I went ahead and interviewed at PSU.

    But perhaps you should wait on CC, or someone with working knowledge of this (seemingly) confusing process.
     
  13. degli

    degli Member

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    Problem is he's been waiting on the letter for a long while. He went ahead and set up an interview himself. Also he sent a note to cc about the interview at VMI. He sent this over a week ago. No response.
    Any tips on interviewing....
     
  14. degli

    degli Member

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    Confusing is right!!!!!
     
  15. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    The process seemingly has changed this year. Here is the quote from the AROTC application website: "Personal interview(s). If you are selected as a scholarship finalist, you must contact one of the schools listed in your notification letter (or any school of your choice) where you wish to have the interview conducted. Any travel to and from the interview will be at your own expense. " Others have indicated when they tried to set up an interview on their own, without prior approved from CC, the PMS they contact had no way to access the applicants records or add in the interview scores.
     
  16. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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    There are quite a few threads in the past year or so that deal nicely with the interviewing tips issue. One in particular was started by Thompson on 12/11/12. I know there's a way to link to the post number, but I don't know how to do it. The title of the thread is, "AROTC/AFROTC Interview Tips". The post number is #281641. In addition to Thompson's thread, you can do a search of "Interview Tips", "Interview Suggestions", or something comparable, and several threads will pop up.

    Good luck!

    Also, how long does he have to wait till the interview date? DS sent an email to the ROO at the school where he wants to interview about 3 weeks ago and still hasn't received a response. He's going to give him a call either today or tomorrow to try an set something up. He's just hoping he'll have at least a week before the interview so that he can kinda mentally prepare.
     
  17. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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  18. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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  19. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    Wow ... kudos to you for remembering that - I certainly have not.

    Here's a link to make it easier: AROTC/AFROTC Interview tips?

    delgi - I don't mean to beat a dead horse, by "note" do you mean snail mail or email. In any case I'd recommend using email and contact your DS's point of contact. I used my point of contact and was able to get any and all of my issues resolved.

    (If you don't know - and unless it changed - if CC still sends those letters every few weeks listing what parts are and are not completed, your DS's point of contact info should be listed on the very bottom of the letter. However, I'm not sure how CC's handling all of this paperwork. From what it seems, CC is starting to digitize everything now. Even for me, my CC letters told me any transfer request approvals/denials would be sent via snail mail; turns out I received an email from CC with that info.)

    ***Wow kinnem you're fast.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  20. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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    I've found that old thread to be very helpful. DS has it printed out and in a folder at our house so he can easily refer back to it.

    With regard to communication with CC, DS is pretty far along in the process and we've yet to receive a single thing from CC via snail mail. Everything has been through the application portal. I don't know if they plan on sending snail mail closer to the deadline for getting things in, though. If the applicant has any questions, there's a "Contact Us" tab. They just type in their message and off it goes. DS sent a question to CC the other day, and in about a day & a half he had a response sent to his email address. Pretty efficient I would say.
     

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