Since the last time I blogged, my life as a third year student has become extremely busy. I have been working to complete my application for the board exam, have been filling out applications for jobs, have been going for interviews, all while maintaining my work schedule at UNC each day. Whew!!
If I could give one piece of advice to the second and first year students it would be this: Do not wait until the last minute to fill out your board application, because it takes a lot more time than you would anticipate!
Sitting for the board exam is a huge process. For those who are interested, some of the things the process entails include: filling out a form for Elon University to complete after you graduate, completing a paper application that has to be notarized with a current photo attached, paying for the exam with a money order, finding two people who can write character references for you and registering online to pay board fees which total approximately $500 this year.
So, if you want to take the exam within a nice time frame after graduating, you must complete all of this information in a timely fashion. It takes 30 days to process your application, and you can’t schedule your day to sit for the board until that process is complete.
Now, on to the job search, which has been an exciting and time consuming part of this month. The job search and the interview process can be very stressful. Some tips that I would give for the interview process include:
1- Arrive at least 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time. They may have other paper work for you to fill out prior to the interview and it is professional to arrive early.
2- Be prepared with at least 4-5 questions of your own that you would like to ask the interviewer.
3- Research the institution before you go for the interview. They may ask what you like about their job facility or why you would like to work there.
4- Evaluate yourself before going. What makes you a good physical therapist? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why should they pick you over other candidates?
5- Think back to your clinical experiences and what types of diagnoses you treated. Were any of those out of the ordinary? Was there a particular patient that you felt you really impacted his/her life?
6- Be prepared with several copies of your resume and a list of references. You may interview in a round table setting with representatives from multiple disciplines asking you questions.
Hopefully, these tips will help out the second year student next year and give the first year student something to look forward to. October has been a very busy month for me. I can’t wait to see what my last three weeks at UNC bring. The time is quickly approaching for graduation and it is a very exciting, busy time for all of the third year students!!!