The multiple-timers thread

Discuss applications to the clearing house (and to courses that are not in the clearing house system), screening assessments, interviews, reserve lists, places, etc. here
just looking
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The multiple-timers thread

Post by just looking » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:57 pm

I thought I'd make a thread to share the experiences of those who have applied 3 or more times to the doctorate. I wanted to know how people felt towards the process, how things have changed in the time they've been trying, how hopeful they remain, etc etc.

Obviously it would be good to hear from new-timers too :)

My experience: Applying for the third time this time around. First applied for the 2010 intake, got 2 interviews and no places; then 2011 I got another 2 interviews and that resulted in 2 reserve places; and finally for this intake I don't know much yet but I've just found out UCL have put me 2nd on their interview reserve list.

My first application was when the new style applications came in, which was a real relief for me as I wouldn't have to write oodles of stuff; but then it seemed so restricted. Working as an AP all this time has given me mixed feelings. Watching the downturn carve up our department and lose posts has been a sobering experience. It's made me wonder if it's worth it, emotionally and financially. I've been giving graduate medicine some serious thought. But then every time I do a good bit of work with a client, I think, well this is great! But the number of applicants just creep further and further up, and it just feels harder and harder..

I don't know much, but I've learnt one thing: I bloody hate reserve lists.

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Gilly
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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by Gilly » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:08 pm

reporting in!

first applied for the 2010 pool - no interviews. Second - 2011 pool - 1 interview (Oxford), 1 reserve list place (Coventry) and so far at 2012 - 1 interview (UEA)

its been a bit of a hard slog these last few years, and if im honest im just getting a bit tired of it all - i thought i had a really strong application this year, and found myself really angry and annoyed at the start of the week (although it does seem the universe is currently trying to pile stuff on me at the moment). I've worked stupidly hard to get where i am, and it jusst feels like its not paying off at the moment.

Ive also given thought to GEM/alternatives quite seriously, but thats some possible thought for AFTER UEA interview...
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Sandy2010
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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by Sandy2010 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:28 pm

Hi there JustLooking,

Sorry not to contribute to the discussion, I am a first timer so have no pearls of wisdom! But I am just wondering how did you hear that you are on the reserve list for an interview? Was it by post or email? I applied to UCL but have not heard anything.

Thanks.

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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by bedsap » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:35 pm

just looking wrote:
My first application was when the new style applications came in, which was a real relief for me as I wouldn't have to write oodles of stuff; but then it seemed so restricted. Working as an AP all this time has given me mixed feelings. Watching the downturn carve up our department and lose posts has been a sobering experience. It's made me wonder if it's worth it, emotionally and financially. I've been giving graduate medicine some serious thought. But then every time I do a good bit of work with a client, I think, well this is great!
This sounds like something I could've written, especially the last sentence!

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littleg
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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by littleg » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:39 pm

This thread is right up my street, brilliant idea justlooking.

This is my fourth time applying and (I feel slightly ashamed to say this) I've never had an interview. I've been on a couple of reserve lists (once my second year, and once my third year) but have never got further. I feel strangely relaxed about the whole process this year in comparison to previous years. Although I have an awful awful feeling that things might change once interview offers come out from my chosen uni's.

This whole process has been a 4 year rollercoaster for me, and I must say that one of the hardest aspects of this has been to watch my colleagues/friends progress, and for me to feel left behind. A friend who I started my first assistant post with will qualify this year. We started our first assistant post together and although I'm very happy for her it's painful to see how far she's got, and for me to have remained quite static.

But, trying to be positive, I've had some awesome experiences as an assistant and I genuinely believe that if I do get on to training my experiences will help me. I love being an assistant, i just wish someone would wave that magic wand and say 'dont worry, you WILL get on'. :D

just looking
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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by just looking » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:04 pm

Gilly wrote:reporting in!

first applied for the 2010 pool - no interviews. Second - 2011 pool - 1 interview (Oxford), 1 reserve list place (Coventry) and so far at 2012 - 1 interview (UEA)

its been a bit of a hard slog these last few years, and if im honest im just getting a bit tired of it all ...

I know exactly the feeling. I think to myself, I won't ever be paid close to a medic, is the job satisfaction (if I ever get there!!) going to be enough? I've been fortunate in a great number of ways, but I still need to get on.

Oh and I must say, one of the things I look forward to when I get on the forums during application time is your doodles! They've always made me chuckle.

littleg wrote:This thread is right up my street, brilliant idea justlooking.

This is my fourth time applying and (I feel slightly ashamed to say this) I've never had an interview.
Thanks! But you absolutely can not feel ashamed about your progress so far. I was thinking about the numbers last year. For an average London uni, they have to reject nine out of ten candidates before they even get to interview stage! Can you imagine how many brilliant candidates must get completely overlooked as they simply can't take them through to the next stage? I think the application process is fairly flawed and needs to be looked at urgently, but it just gets tougher and tougher. But you will go to the ball!
Sandy2010 wrote:I am just wondering how did you hear that you are on the reserve list for an interview? Was it by post or email? I applied to UCL but have not heard anything.
I received a letter. I imagine since others are also saying they haven't got anything, they may be staggering rejections/acceptances etc.

Good luck all!

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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by Gilly » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:09 pm

im going to get back on the doodles soon, i promise!
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littleg
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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by littleg » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:15 pm

Thanks just looking! I would love to get as far as receiving an invitation to the ball this year!! :D

As far as feeling embarrassed goes, I think I've been unfortunate enough to have been surrounded by a peer group who have had very unrepresentative experiences. Most of the assistants I know have got on to training within their first two years of applying, with no extra experience compared to me. I think this has skewed reality for me because, really, we all know how difficult this is and there are a whole load of people out there who are in the same position as us.

This is the first year that I've contributed to this forum and so far it's been really helpful and, in a way, quite cathartic.

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choirgirl
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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by choirgirl » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:49 pm

Having read the previous posts in this thread, through which I can feel people being frustrated and disheartened (quite naturally), I'd like to share something which has been posted on the Educational Psychology thread, which I assume most members don't read :lol: , but the EP application/interview process is happening roughly in parallel with the CP process.

Anyway, the following quote is a response back to an unsuccessful applicant from one of the course providers, and really highlights the 'hairs-breadth' margin which can sometimes (often?) be the deciding factor between whether Perfectly Competent Applicant A or B gets an interview. I'd feel confident in making an educated guess :) that a similar message would apply to the CP process. (My emboldening.)
'we had over 230 applications for the 64 interview places. Virtually all the applicants had the necessary experience and qualifications. Therefore the decision about who to invite for interview were based on how you present evidence of your ability to use psychology to understand and work with children and young people in complex organisations. We also looked for your commitment to train as an EP.
Given the quality of the applications there was often only minimal distinctions between people offered interviews and those who were not'.
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rennyren63
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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by rennyren63 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:46 pm

Don't feel ashamed for applying x amount of times...I think if you are doing a job you love, and training would lead you into a career you would love, then why not keep applying for training. I applied for the first time in 2003 in my first AP post - no interviews (it was expected). I then kept applying each year...each new AP post felt new and exciting and I was surrounded by other assistants and it seemed 'applying' was just what we did each year, it was no hassle. By 2006 I was getting interviews and 'almost' making it on reserve lists...then BOOM they brought in the need to send an academic transcript with your application - no more interviews for me!! :cry:
Ive thought long and hard about quitting and moving on to a new career, most of the old assistant friends i had are either through the other side of training or they have changed career direction. Will i keep applying??? Well, for the minute i love my current psychology position and i am completing a part time MSc outside of work (so i feel i still have new things to put on application forms), so why not! Im not ashamed of applying so many times, i may feel a sharp pain in my back each time someone gets an interview straight from undergraduate (bitterness is creeping in) but i will keep applying until my partner and i start a family and then i will have new priorities.

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littleg
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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by littleg » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:59 pm

Hi Rennyren63, it's not that I'm ashamed of having applied so many times, it's more the lack of progress I've made! :)

Maybe ashamed was too strong of a word to use, I think it's more that feeling when friends/family/old colleagues ask how things are going and I don't have anything new to tell them. It's more disappointment really. I have absolutely no intention of stopping applying, this is what I want to do and as I said I'm happy being an assistant, I just wish there was a crystal ball which would tell me that I'll get where I want to eventually. But, there is no crystal ball and I'll just keep on doing what i'm doing and hope that I get there.

I really admire your attitude and I'm thinking along similar lines regarding starting a family. Good luck this year!

rennyren63
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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by rennyren63 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:06 pm

It's by no means a crystal ball but.....someone very wise once said 'you can't fail, if you don't give up!' I hope you get there! Good luck :D

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Spatch
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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by Spatch » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:19 pm

Good idea for a thread.

I was talking to someone today about how the feeling of being in limbo is one of the hardest aspects. In some ways the waiting and the "ifs" and "maybes" are as much of a killer as the rejection, hard work and the hurdles you have to jump through. Its that sense of delayed gratification for something that may never come.

In some ways I think we may be the worst demographic (as graduates) for this to happen to. I am always reminded of Orwell when he wrote unemployment.
"A working class man does not disintegrate under the strain of poverty as a middle-class person does. Take, for instance, the fact that the working class think nothing of getting married on the dole. It annoys the old ladies in Brighton, but it is a proof of their essential good sense; they realize that losing your job does not mean that you cease to be a human being."
The sad thing is I think a lot of people do put off the essential project of being a human and instead sign up for a punishing schedule of extra study, extra experience and leaving their friends and family behind for relevant work thats far away.

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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by ElizabethB » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:44 am

Spatch wrote:Good idea for a thread.

I was talking to someone today about how the feeling of being in limbo is one of the hardest aspects. In some ways the waiting and the "ifs" and "maybes" are as much of a killer as the rejection, hard work and the hurdles you have to jump through. Its that sense of delayed gratification for something that may never come.

The sad thing is I think a lot of people do put off the essential project of being a human and instead sign up for a punishing schedule of extra study, extra experience and leaving their friends and family behind for relevant work thats far away.
I think Spatch highlights really interesting and important points and identifies areas I need to really think about and reflect on (especially Spatch's last point! :oops: ).

I applied three times for the DClinpsy without any interviews and have since moved onto other things. After my third application, I was tired of the whole hoop jumping process and came to the realisation that not everyone will make it so followed my plan b options.

Almost all of my friends in my MScs groups and PhD department who wanted to be clinical psychologists are now qualified clinical psychologists or are currently training. Obviously delighted for them, but at the time, it was difficult to watch them obtain many interviews and places, especially as I was stuck in a seemingly neverending consistent cycle of rejection letters and no interviews for the DClinPsy, yet managed to obtain places for other doctorates with no problem! :roll:

I'm happy nevertheless with the decisions I've made :) I'm still continuing with my interests in clinical psychology but from slightly different angles, but also really enjoying my other career paths for what they represent and stand for
Last edited by ElizabethB on Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lilly
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Re: The multiple-timers thread

Post by Lilly » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:31 am

This really is a great thread, when you have applied multiple times, its good to know you aren't the only one relentlessly pursuing this career!
This will be my sixth time applying, and I cant imagine giving up, I know that this is the career for me and I know at some point I will get there!! first year one interview, and reserve list place, second year one interview and reserve list place, third year four interviews and two reserve list places and two rejections, fourth year two reserves for interview one interview and one reserve place, fifth year three interviews and a reserve for interview, leading to two reserve places and a rejection. This year I have one interview so far! But my feedback has consistently been to get NHS experience and supervision from a CP, which FINALLY (after 6 years of being a research psychologist) I have now got as an AP!

However I have always felt that I am hideously bad in interviews, so we will see! :roll:

All the luck in the world to all of us in the 3+ Club

Lilly xx
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