Blue and Gold interview

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Minichan6, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. Minichan6

    Minichan6 Member

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    I was wondering how much does this affect my application? If my Blue and Gold Officer really likes me and thought the way I answered the questions really well will this outweigh other parts of my application. Like if my grades and ECA were just average and not that great but my interview was really good does that bring up how good my application?
     
  2. usnahopeful2014

    usnahopeful2014 Member

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    They are looking for the "whole person." A good showing at the interview is points in your favor, but you want to look to improve the other parts of your application too ;-)
     
  3. NorthernCalMother

    NorthernCalMother Member

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    The following input is COMPLETELY anecdotal and w/out any basis in fact (@ least I admit it): I credit my son's sainted BGO w/ his admission to USNA, via NAPS.

    Son had a great h.s. profile but due to some sort of anti-test gene, his scores weren't up to par. In fact, the level of his PSATs were such that after rejecting him for NASS, USNA sent a letter saying, "Normally, we provide a candidate # to NASS applicants. We're not doing that for you."

    His BGO happened to call to introduce himself shortly after that letter, and after hearing his profile and status, called back w/ a candidate #. Which was just kind and helpful, and outside the realm of your question.

    Ultimately, the BGO conducted the interview, and like yours, it went extremely well. Even unbelievably well. And, many weeks later, this BGO took the time to phone our son, on a Sunday, to announce he'd be offered NAPS. I've seen this gentleman a couple times since @ USNA events, and he always sloughs off my thanks by saying my son got himself to the Academy. And that's true, too -- despite son's aversion to standardized tests, he's on the Superintendent's List, top 15% of his class in OOM, etc. In other words, as of his 2/C year, he is a great fit there. But I don't believe he'd have had the chance to demonstrate that if his BGO hadn't spotted and reported on qualities that didn't necessarily show up on my son's app.

    So I would never underestimate the value of a great BGO interview. And, in my son's case, an amazingly great BGO.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    As a BGO, I can tell you the answer is . . . I really don't know. I and other BGOs sometimes believe we can make a difference and other times think USNA could care less what we think.

    This is my best guess . . . a BGO who is passionate about a candidate may get that candidate a closer look than he/she would otherwise get. But, we do NOT have a vote in any way shape or form on whether a candidate is offered an appointment. Also, for a marginal candidate, a very strong or very negative write-up might tip the balance if all else is equal.

    However, before anyone starts panicking . . . I've probably done >150 interviews over 9 yrs and I can count on one hand the number of candidates about whom I've written a strongly negative review. One lied to me multiple times. Another was a complete nerd with no interest in USNA. Two told me they were applying only b/c their parents made them do it. It takes a lot.

    I don't "ding" kids for being kids -- for being high schoolers who don't have all the answers, who don't know what they want to major in, who say "like" every other word, who wear ratty clothes to the interview, etc. I cut folks a lot of slack b/c I don't want an hour or two of their time in what may be their first interview ever with a complete stranger (me) to make or break their lives unless something really strikes me as off.

    Likewise, I'm sparing with my "top" interviews -- most kids are great; only a few are exceptional. The result is that the overwhelming majority of candidates get a favorable write-up in which I try to identify things to USNA that they may not otherwise know. I have gone to bat for a few candidates whom I thought were exceptional . . . in some cases I THINK it helped and in others it didn't make a bit of difference.

    The bottom line is that, unless a candidate is a complete disaster, the BGO is very unlikely to make a lot of negative comments. And, even if he/she does, they are unlikely to dissuade USNA from offering an appointment to an otherwise desirable candidate. And, quite honestly, there is precious little a BGO can do to secure an appointment for a candidate whom USNA doesn't want.

    Finally, I see a lot of parents blaming the BGO for the fact their kid didn't "get into" USNA. I can only say this . . . you think we have WAY more power and influence than we actually do.
     
  5. usnacandidate89

    usnacandidate89 Member

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    Interview Woes

    Mostly for USNA1985...I have finished my entire application including, of course, my BGO interview. The latter is the topic of my woes. Im not sure how most interviews go but I feel as though mine was not "out of the ball park." I have done about five interviews with employers and generally can tell whether they like me or not. However, this was not the case with my BGO. I feel as though I should call him and try to pry for some information, if possible. Are there any signs I should have looked for that maybe I wouldnt have seen otherwise? Thank you
     
  6. usnajosh

    usnajosh Member

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    I really have gotten along well with my BGO. He wrote very favorably of me in his report, but he told me up front, "I can't get you into the Academy, but I can sure keep you out!" It was a bit un-nerving at the time, but we have laughed about it since. I really think that sums up what a BGO is capable of doing though.:thumb:
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    First, your BGO isn't there to like you. I've not always "liked" all of the candidates I interview but, if I think they'd make a good midshipman, I say so. My likes and dislikes aren't relevant except as they affect a candidate's abilities, etc.

    Second, don't call him and pry for info. That would be annoying. Seriously.

    As I said above, a less than stellar interview is not likely to hurt you. If a BGO wants to write something positive or negative, that has any real impact, he/she must cite facts, not opinion. IOW, "the candidate said three separate times that he doesn't want to attend USNA; his dad is forcing him to apply." The "I don't really think this guy would make a great mid," isn't going to cut it.

    I have given a number of candidates "lukewarm" reviews and I have yet to see it have any negative impact. Only if I can cite specific reasons why the person isn't suited for USNA am I likely to have any effect and, even then . . . :rolleyes:
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    That really wasn't appropriate for your BGO to say and, quite honestly, I think he has an inflated view of his importance in the process. As noted above, I once had a candidate lie to me multiple times and I then made it my mission to ensure he didn't get an appointment. It took a lot of effort -- and the backing of my Area Coordinator to whom this candidate had also lied -- to get it done. But this was a rare occurrence and the ONLY time I've done this in more than a decade.

    It is very hard for a BGO in a 1-2 hour interview to trump a candidate's objective record (grades, scores, ECAs) and the recommendations of teachers who knew him/her for an entire year. And, a negative review that isn't supported by facts won't carry any weight at all. I think a lot of us wish that we could keep certain candidates from receiving appointments, but if wishes were horses . . . :rolleyes:
     
  9. usnajosh

    usnajosh Member

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    I suppose you're right, usna1985. I'm just glad I didn't have to find out if that statement would prove true or not! :smile:
     
  10. usnacandidate89

    usnacandidate89 Member

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    Thank you USNA1985 for your helpful response. I have literally lost sleep over this very subject. It is just difficult for me to grasp that a BGO's role is so subjective, in comparison to all other aspects of the application process. The USNA is what my entire life has been building towards and I don't want it dashed by an ill-fated hour and a half interview. In any case, it is done so I will fret no more. Thank you
     
  11. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    I have had Admissions call and discuss negative comments which I made on the interview. I think that if what we say supplements something else in the package, perhaps a teacher's recommendation, they are more apt to consider it.

    Agree. Not an appropriate statement. Very true about lying though. Admissions will look at all accusations seriously. In my approaching two decades of BGOing, it has come up three times, twice lying to me, and once lying to an Academy coach which I thought was an honest mistake. However, none of the three made it to USNA. One graduated from WP and one from AFA. With approxdimately 50 successful candidates, I have only had serious enough concerns about four to discuss them with Admissions. Even though I couldn't "keep them out", three did not make it through plebe year. So I might argue that the 1 -2 hour interview is ineffective. There are things that will manifest themselves not readily visible on a piece of paper.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  12. cabarle

    cabarle Parent

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    Glad to have read this post as I have submitted by application to become a Blue & Gold Officer. The area coordinator just endorsed my application and sent it to the candidate guidance office. If you guys know of another forum for Blue & Gold officers, I'm all ears. I currently volunteer with the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, so I have experience working with teenagers. Also, any tips, suggestions, and guidance will be appreciated!
     
  13. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    ^^^^

    Go to the week-long BGO summer training at USNA the first opportunity you have -- this summer, if there is still room. It's well worth it.
     
  14. USNA1986

    USNA1986 Member

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    Cabarle, I concur with usna1985, try to go to the BGO summer training. Not only will you benefit from the briefs and training, but you will also hear from current midshipmen.

    If you are not able to attend, most of the Powerpoint briefs are available on the BGIS (Blue and Gold Information System). Once you log into BGIS, look under "Forms and Briefings."

    Thanks for serving as a BGO!
     
  15. USNAhopeful~2015

    USNAhopeful~2015 Member

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    My BGO interview was upwards of 3 hours... horribly nerve wracking. To be honest, I felt the BGO hated me. He asked horribly difficult questions sometimes and would sometimes laugh at my answers. I had to drive 3 hours to meet him(I live in the middle of NOWHERE) then had to sit thru a grueling 3 hours.

    A couple months later, he came to my home town with a Mid and bascially let me pick the mid's brain for about an hour. When he introduced me to the Mid, he had some high praises.

    So my BGO scared me to death at the interview and I totally thought I had bombed. But I guess I didn't do so bad...

    usnajosh, I agree BGO's seem hard to figure out. But I think maybe that's the point.
     
  16. candidate1990

    candidate1990 New Member

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    So far my BGO has been amazing. Never thought I would get so many questions answered. Being in the Marines right now and overseas we have to talk through emails. I had my interview with my commanding officers since fleet enlisted have a different routing process, but I can understand the stress of the interview. Basically if I would've bombed the interview I would've ended my application hopes. I've heard recruiter nightmares and BGO nightmares alike, I'm just glad it's all going smoothly.
     
  17. usnacandidate89

    usnacandidate89 Member

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    USNAHopeful2015, that is the exact way i felt. This, too, was compounded by the fact that I had proven him wrong about his role in administering the CFA(which he was not aware he could administer). I literally had to quote the webite. Also, when we spoke on the phone he was very short and did not seem interested in speaking with me(I know he travels a lot and has another job). All of this was in the back of my mind going in to the interview, however, I hope it did not ruin the sanctity of it. Any thoughts/opinions?
     
  18. jtoye

    jtoye NAPS '12 appointee

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    My BGO interview was a good experience. He was a '93 grad and an aviator. Two perspectives I was glad he could offer. He was also friends with my JROTC instructor who put in a good word before we sat down. He described his role as an intermediary of sorts between us and USNA. To help get candidates and parents answers to their questions and provide insight to the candidate that might not be visible in our application. The interview was about two hours. He gave me advice on the MOC interviews. Afterwards he responded quickly to questions he could not answer with certainty on the spot. I just wish he would return my call so I could give him the good news.
     
  19. USNAorBUST

    USNAorBUST Beat Army

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    here is some words of advice if you want to hear it. Once you do your interview with your BGO, make sure you stay in contact with him! My BGO has been very helpful with me throughout my application process for two years in a row. He provides great advice, motivation, and much more. Good Luck!
     
  20. usnacandidate89

    usnacandidate89 Member

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    Thank you for your advice, thats kind of what i feel too. What, then, is the best way to stay in touch? If i dont have any questions but still want to let him know my intent and motivation, what is the best way to approach it? Man, it seems like I am over-thinking this but yet it really does matter a lot to me and I want to increase my chances of getting accepted in any way possible...
     

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