USMMA Advice

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by CadetAviator, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. CadetAviator

    CadetAviator Member

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    Good Afternoon Everyone,

    I am a candidate for the class of 2022 for USMMA and I was wondering if people on this forum that are familiar with USMMA could give me some advice. All of my paperwork for the academy is currently turned in for the academy except for seventh semester grades. I have been told by my admissions officer and local admissions rep that I am a "very competitive candidate". Here are some of my stats.
    GPA: UW 3.95 W 4.67
    SAT: 1360 superscored (670 verbal and 690 math)
    CFA: 6:10 mile, 16 pull ups, 65 push ups, 9.38 shuttle run, 76 sit ups and 59' bball throw
    Extracurriculars and awards:
    -CAP: Cadet Captain, Cadet Deputy Commander, Emergency Services Officer, Public Affairs Officer, Communications Officer and Squadron CAC Representative. I also hold a number of Search and Rescue ratings such as Ground Team Leader, Mission Scanner, Ground Team Member 1, Urban Direction Finding Team and Mission Radio Operator. I have also trained and signed off over 20 members for their basic ground team rating in addition to holding various awards and commendations
    -Sea Cadets: Cadet Seaman, Recruit Training, Unit Commendation, Academic Commendation and Master at Arms School
    -National Honor Society Member
    -High School Tutor
    -Swing Dance Instructor
    -Country Club Server in which I work over thirty hours a week during school and forty during the summer
    -Student Pilot: I currently have 12 hours and I am finishing my license this year using a special program through CAP
    -Superior Honor Roll Student at my high school (over 3.75 GPA)
    -Five AP Classes and Four Honors Level courses
    -95 ASVAB

    I am currently up for three nomination interviews this month and I an specifically concerned with my lack of athletics. Any advice on how to leverage this?
     
  2. golfindad

    golfindad Member

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    Just my .02. While this is kind of related to athletics, it is not how you think. I think, just a guess, that athletics are important for three reasons. One, it shows athletic/physical fitness ability. Two it show that you can handle a daily multi-hour requirement while maintaining grades. Three, it shows you are competitive and can work in a team while being competitive and can be a leader in an activity that requires a long term leadership commitment. So, given those three things, you need to address what you do physically/athletically. Second, I think you need to address how you believe you can handle the time pressures with regards the Academy. Athletics in high school takes up a lot of time and requires daily determination, and has ups and downs of its own, independent from class work. I think you should think about how to address that factor. Also, if you are not doing 3 hours a night home work at high school (which it doesn't appear to be the case with 30 hours work) you need to be ready to address how you will handle the change from less than 3 hours or so a night to not having enough time to finish all of your work because of regiment, athletics, band, waterfront, whatever. In this light, regarding time limitations, I would also focus on classes that will assist you at the Academy, especially if they are AP classes and you have a 4 or 5 on the test. Chemistry, English, Physics, Calculus. Finally, is there something where you can show long term leadership, competitive leadership? If so, highlight that.

    I am not intending to discount your accomplishments. I am not intending to discount your education, or how it is. I am simply looking at your question, and putting out there some ideas for you to think about.

    Finally, your interviews may not even go to your resume. They may be off the wall questions, ethical questions, trip you up questions, and good cop bad cop scenarios if there is a panel. You need to be yourself, but, at the same time, be sure to highlight what you want to highlight, and stand your ground, don't be wishy washy. If you have filled out three applications for nominations, you have answered numerous questions and written numerous essays, so you should have an idea of what you would like to highlight. Search this board for interview questions, and let google be your friend on the same issue. Good luck.
     
  3. CadetAviator

    CadetAviator Member

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    Golfindad,

    Thank you for your advice. I will keep this in mind as I go up for my first interview this Wednesday. I do have to agree that the lack of athletics is an important issue however I believe that I can counter it with my working. I have fully paid off a car and will have enough saved up for my private pilot's license by the end of the year. I think that says a lot and a lot of kids don't work for a living like they used to and I am lucky if I get an hour or more to do homework a night. I do think I can effectively manage my time at the academy and I will be sure to explain that.
     
  4. KP Eng

    KP Eng Member

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    Out of curiosity, why didn't play sports? Clearly you were involved in many activities, and based on your CFA you are in decent shape. Why did you elect to tutor, instruct swing dance, and work so much rather than do competitive team sports? That would be my question for you.
     
  5. vortexkp99

    vortexkp99 Member

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    I did not do athletics in high school....but I had a job and also did CAP while learning to fly....I joined the rifle team for cold times and did waterfront stuff in warm times. Just get in and do what you want...focus on grades, I never met a fellow student who was kicked out for not doing atheletics. The rest is all noise until graduation and the work to live.

    Also, when goofing off, watch out for the shadow. He knows....
     
  6. CadetAviator

    CadetAviator Member

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    KP Eng and Vortex thank you for your responses. Due to a bad situation with my now estranged mother I had to save up for a car as this would allow me to not go over there. Additionally I have had to pay for my schools through CAP, Search and Rescue Equipment and my Pilot's License. Vortex you said you were in CAP? What grade did you get up to and did you do any ES? Also where are you from? I am in the Pennsylvania Wing in Harrisburg.
     
  7. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

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    You really need to get your run time down, my 13 year old daughter runs a mile faster than you. Just kidding you don't really, but seriously she does (not so hidden DadBrag)

    Think outside the box ... something athletic does not have to be an organized school sports.

    Around me there are leagues for a variety of sports and some "sports" run through local parks and rec dept. for slowpitch softball, basketball and kickball, local city leagues and church leagues. There are there are running clubs that get together Saturday mornings and do trail runs through the battlefields. There are somewhat organized leagues/clubs at the local gym. Its all something athletic you can put on your application but it doesn't have to be a big time commitment, nor necessarily require athletic ability beyond some moderate level of general fitness. Its also completely your choice how often you actually show up and participate.
     
  8. KP Eng

    KP Eng Member

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    As far as your interviews go, I think your answer is in your response. Your family situation made it necessary for you to work a fairly significant amount of hours. That forced you to pick and choice activities. You valued your experience with CAP, so you focused on that. I agree with my very wise classmate @KPEngineer that you need to at least check the box with athletics in some way.
     
  9. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

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    Three attempts at admissions, six years as a M/N ... I was bound to learn something
     
  10. CadetAviator

    CadetAviator Member

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    Thanks for your responses everyone! I'll keep it in mind however I did remember that I do have some athletics. Besides swing dancing which I have done for three years I also played golf for a local league during my freshman year of high school (I thought it had to be school run to count). Also, my admissions officer said that athletics shouldn't hinder me in the selection process as I have outstanding extra curriculars and good scores on the CFA. I have my first nomination interview tomorrow. Anyone have advice for it? I am used to higher level interviews due to CAP, all the way up to wing level events however my only concern will be my lack of athletics while everything else is pretty outstanding on my resume. Any tips and advice for the nomination interview? Also I was told that they would ask you situational based questions, will they let you state why you choose what you did or is it just your choice that matters?
     
  11. vortexkp99

    vortexkp99 Member

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    My final CAP cadet grade was the Earhart Award equivelent in 1995, but I belive that may have been after I was accepted to usmma. I had knowledge base and training of emergency services, but never actually performed it in a real case. The best thing about CAP was learning about the military, aviation history, survival skills, and opportunities to attend college.

    Once at KP, keep CAP to yourself and do not draw attention by mentioning it. Be a number in the crowd, focus on school work, professional development, and graduation..the rest is all noise till graduation.
     
  12. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

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    And never put any JROTC/CAP/Non-actual-military ribbons on your uniform.

    Saw a guy put about 8 rows of JROTC ribbons on his uniform the first day of Indoc. The ensuing interaction with his drill instructor was quite entertaining ... at least from my perspective.
     
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  13. CadetAviator

    CadetAviator Member

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    So Ill be sure never to do that ha ha. So I had my first nomination interview today and I feel quite relieved after doing it. It was with Senator Toomey from Pennsylvania and it was with a vietnam era Army intelligence officer and one of the Senator's staffers. They were both very impressed with my resume and CFA scores. Specifically that I was in Chinese Club which is a huge help to me due to everything that is happening in that theater was a huge plus I was told by the army officer. In fact it was the first thing we talked about and we talked about it for a good five or so minutes before talking about anything else. They both loved the fact that I was extremely involved within CAP and that I have worked the amount of which I have worked. They both also commented that I had a good command presence compared to most applicants and that I carry myself well. When I asked at the end if there is anything else I should do to make myself more competitive to become an officer they said just to keep doing what I was doing. Is this a good sign?
     
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  14. azmilmom

    azmilmom Member

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    @CadetAviator is doing pretty well in the CFA based on the USMMA (and USMA) average:

    Basketball throw: 67 Pull-ups: 9 Shuttle Run: 9.1 Sit-Ups: 72 Push-Ups: 54 1-Mile Run: 6:43
     
  15. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

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    My comment was in jest as cover for an opportunity to not so subtly brag about my daughter and her middle school track exploits. She runs the mile with a personal best of 6:06, and 2 3rd, 2 2nd and a 1st place finish in her meets.

    Bragging complete (not really)
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
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