Meeting with the BGO!!!

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by TheNaterrater, May 25, 2013.

  1. TheNaterrater

    TheNaterrater Member

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    I received my "official candidate" letter and it says to schedule an appointment with my BGO. Any advice or tips for this interview? Thank you!
     
  2. Patriotic

    Patriotic Member

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  3. Ex.BT.USN

    Ex.BT.USN Member

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    Just Got To Go For It...

    TheNaterrater,

    It's all good!! The B&G already has your name on a list so contacting them will be of no surprise... Just go for it and relax. My DS is already on round four. He started with the area B&G coordinator (great meeting), got his letter like you, made the call to his B&G, and is now in touch through email.

    I meet a great guy on this forum that has given me and my son advise as well. There will be "Moderators" that may add to your post as well as people that have gone through the process. I'm confident all the information you get will be very good information.

    For now, make the call, be positive, be on your game, know what your going to say and let the steps begin.

    Good luck and enjoy the ride!!:thumb:
     
  4. sandnnw

    sandnnw Member

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    Advice:

    We made dinner for our BGO and had a ~hour long chat, this helped break the ice so much and kept us all "real" so to speak.

    You can practice, it's literally a job interview, but don't come across as scripted, stiff or try to be over zealous. I would practice with someone you DON'T know - giving them a copy of your application.

    The BGO is great practice for the MOC, but the MOC will be much shorter and perhaps less personal. From what I heard, the BGO paints a broader stroke for the USNA and confirms a lot of what you submitted on your application.

    The application is far more the objective, think of the BGO as more subjective relative to the other applicants he/she interviews. You might not have the best GPA or SAT, but your social skills, extra curriculars and athletics could outweigh your neighbors!

    Best of luck
     
  5. RAS

    RAS New Member

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    Just relax! Your BGO is there to help you get through the process and wants to see you succeed.

    Be ready to talk about the things you've done, particularly your leadership experience. Also, be ready to talk about not only your strengths, but what you feel are your weaknesses. This seems to be a favorite question in both the BGO and MOC interviews. Know why you're interested in the service academies (desire to serve your country, etc), and why the Naval Academy over the others. Be prepared to talk about your backup plans in case you don't get in. Do some research about what you want to major in and what you want to do after graduation (if you know already). For example, say that you want to pursue nuclear. Many don't realize that, while West Point has a nuclear engineering major, the Naval Academy doesn't. Knowing details like this will show that you are truly interested in the academy and have spent time learning about it. Try to have hard copies of SAT/ACT scores, your transcript, and resume that your BGO can keep. It gives you a reference point when you're talking, they appreciate your organization, and allows them to hold on to these things for reference later. Most importantly, just be yourself. They want to get a feel for the kind of kid you are past what they see on paper.

    Good luck!
     
  6. osdad

    osdad Member

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    My DD's BGO asked her: Tell me one thing about yourself that I can not discover by reading your paperwork?
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Ironic, since BGOs don't actually see any of the "paperwork" unless the candidate brings it to us. :rolleyes:
     
  8. osdad

    osdad Member

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    She did as RAS suggests.
     
  9. nigel

    nigel Member

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    Before my DD met with her BGO, he sent an email that said...

    Key areas in my interview include;

    Interest and motivation
    Leadership Potential
    Responsibility
    Organization
    Physical Fitness
    Oral Communications

    Take some time tonight to think of specific examples in your life where you've displayed these traits.


    She made notes about each of these topics, and had the notes with her when she sat down for her interview. He was very pleasantly surprised and commented that in all his years doing this, no one actually had written notes. We think her interview went very well - he was here for well over three hours!!

    Nicole
     
  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Why do you want to become a Naval/Marine Officer?

    Noticed I didn't say why you want to attend Naval Academy. I am a BGO equivalent for West Point. Many candidates are very good about explaining why they want to attend West Point - my dream since I was 5, great school, I visited, cadets are great, and etc. But no so much on why they want to become a military officer.
     
  11. navydad17

    navydad17 Member

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    Don't be in too much of a hurry to schedule your interview. For those that will be attending NASS, wait until you are back from that to schedule your interview. My DS learned a lot while at NASS. His detailer (maybe called squad leader at NASS) reviewed some key elements of what the USNA is looking for and what to expect during interviews. (Both BGO & MOC) His squad even had a mock interview and was given constructive criticism.
     
  12. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    I agree with navydad17, if possible wait to schedule BGO until right after NASS. When asked a question in an interview my son was able to say something like, “when I went to USMA I was impressed with all of the equipment they had –do you know they have a piece of equipment that cuts through titanium with a stream of water.…” He was able to talk about the "brotherhood" he witnessed.

    I also agree with RAS that you should have your resume on hand. Two copies one for them and one for yourself.

    All interviews asked him his intended major and branch and why.All asked about NROTC/ROTC. All asked about plan B. They all asked about honor code/concept and what if you were given an order you knew to be wrong.

    The question that for some reason really tripped my son up was, "what books have you read about the military" He is a huge history buff and reads a lot-in fact had just finished The Things They Carried but instead he answered, "I saw the movie Saving Private Ryan" (It could be worse, he could have said he saw the movie Private Benjamin...)

    His interview with his USMA FFR and his USNA BGO were radically different. Alot of it had to do with the style of the interviewer. The USMA FFR was very polite, straight and direct. He'd ask a question, and then silently write down the answer. The USNA BGO would tell a silly "sea story" or tell the story about the time Jacques Cousteau came to speak and he was in charge of the projector and it didnt work and then the BGO would ask my son a question, then tell another sea story. Obviously my son felt better about the BGO interview.

    My son also got a phone call from a regional rep who wanted to come out to the house, meet him and see if my son had any questions. My son didn't have any questions, but he said that he did have questions, figuring it was a good opportunity to get another foot in the door. This regional officer who met him was young, enthusiastic and my son really connected with him.

    All in all it would have benefited my son to practice with another adult with authority who he didn't know. I suggested it, he didn't listen. worked out ok anyhow in the end.:wink:
     
  13. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Be aware, too, that the BGO may well put off your interview until you have at least 40% of your application entries done. Why go through the process of an interview and write-up (we put a lot of thought into them---it is not a casual thing that is whipped out) and then have the candidate never complete his pack? I often wait until the Candidate Personal Data Record is filled out by the young person also. I want to see that they are putting work into the process and not just me.

    No matter how relaxed the BGO interview may be, remember that he is not your buddy, he represents the ACADEMY, not you. He is not your agent to grease the skids to get in. He (or she) may well tell you how to best position or present yourself to the Academy but consider that gravy. I am always amazed that when I recommend a reading (like The Naval Academy Handbook: How to Prepare, How to Get In, How to Survive by Sue Ross) candidates seldom touch it---and it always shows. And I always note it in my interview write up too. Questions that you cannot find the answer for in open sources like the Academy website or Catalog or the book above, your BGO is happy to find the answers to but he/she is also noting the types of questions you do ask. Questions about the Navy's specialties or active duty life for an officer or the responsibilities of an officer are all good questions as you would not find the answers to those easily.

    Lastly, know that the BGO interview is the ONLY human contact the Academy Admissions Board will have with you. As important as the congressional interviews are, they are (usually) just to lump you into the top 10 names to be submitted to the Academy. The congressional interviews are short (15-30 minutes) and nothing in those interviews are submitted to the Academy, just 10 names. When it comes down to a tight call between 2 good candidates, the only extensive, unbiased thing the Admissions Board knows of them on a personal basis is the BGO's interviews. The moral is: approach the BGO interview with the importance and respect of any good job interview. (Having said all that, also be aware that the BGO is delighted you are applying and wants to find good things to write about you so help him do his job.)
     
  14. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Strongly echo the above. Especially this:

    BTW, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't contact your BGO with questions about the process, etc. Just don't be surprised if he/she isn't eager to interview you when you have 11% (1 item) of your packet submitted.
     

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