My name is Mrudula Utukuri and I currently hold an offer from Murray Edwards to study medicine (from October 2015). I originally applied to a different college but was invited to interview via the Winter Pool in January (2014).
I arrived on the day feeling nervous but was quickly put at ease by the staff and students. The facilities provided by the college such as the Help Desk, where students personally took interviewees to their interview rooms reduced my stress tremendously, as getting lost and being late were both fears of mine. I met the other interviewees and chatted whilst munching on Freddos (for which we were all very grateful)!
In my interview, questions were posed so that I could use the first principles I knew and with some intuition and guidance, apply them to unknown situations. For example, I study Physics and I play the piano and so we discussed the pitches of instruments by exploring sound waves. You may ask ‘what has this got to do with medicine?’ I questioned that also but the interviewer was not looking for a ‘correct final answer’ rather they were observing how I approached the unknown material.
I also noticed that I was directing my interview to a certain extent as questions were asked in response to my answers, for example, when discussing my experience in a GP surgery, I spoke about teamwork, and was then asked ‘who is the most important healthcare worker in a hospital?’ I responded that it was dependent on the situation and was then asked ‘why then do you want to be a doctor?’ In that respect, the interview mirrored a conversation, allowing me to relax and respond calmly and confidently.
Touring the college with current students gave me a first glimpse of student life (further enriched at the Offer holders’ Stay, see blog item number 6) and the enthusiasm and pride with which the students spoke really emphasised how much they loved studying and living there.
My advice for those who find themselves in a similar position to myself is to stay calm and focused. The fact that you have been taken out of the pool suggests that the college is seriously considering you. Also, be open-minded about the pooling process and the college. I knew very little about the college, having only looked at the website a couple of days before my interview. I therefore arrived at Murray Edwards unsure but I left, knowing that this was the place for me.
Offerholder for Medicine