Are you ready for some PMF?

I’ve totally forgotten how busy the school year can be. It’s already been non- stop and its not yet October. Speaking of October, the PMF application will be available from October 1-15th. I’m getting ready to open up that application and get working on it this weekend and next week. Compared to last year, there are a few changes. First one is that we need to apply for nomination from the school. This is not that complicated, but does involve getting a transcript, writing an essay and having the Official Application done as well. If you make it through the first Application round, there is an online, non-proctored test. This will make it more convenient for everyone. Last year, the proctored exam was held in our school’s computer lab and besides being inconvenient for the test-takers, having to trek to the school and look for parking, or rely on sometimes unreliable public transport, it was annoying not having access to the computer lab for days. So this is an improvement.
If you pass that exam, the final application step is the in-person interview. For me, I seem to “present” better in person than I do on paper. Basically, during my job searches, if I get an interview, I get offered a job. In a city full of hyper-educated people, my good grades from a good school, are a dime a dozen, so I feel like my personality and fit for the job become my distinguishing features. I feel that if I make it to the in-person interview, which also involves group activities and a proctored writing exam, I have a good shot at this. Obviously, I’m not the only person who is better in person, so I just hope I’m within that magic cutoff.
The thing about traveling for the in-person interviews makes me a bit uncomfortable. There are only 4 cities, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC, where the interviews are taking place. I’m lucky to live where there are hourly $99 flights to BWI and I have friends in DC with futons that will house me for a night or two, but for many other people, this could become very expensive. Of course, job searching in general is pretty expensive, but flights and hotels are not usually part of a job search, especially if there are no plans to relocate. I’d hate to see some semi-finalists not go for interviews because it is too expensive. Job searching should not be another thing that separates the haves and the have-nots.
Between PMF, midterms and being a bridesmaid in a wedding in Hartford, I have a very busy few weeks coming up. Let’s hope I can get enough sleep and not get sick or any of those other things that are caused by and add to stress!

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Megan Price

Only 4 cities this year? Interesting. I guess that is similar to doctor and dentist boards which are only offered in a few citiies and you pay your own way

Sean Hughes

Good luck Anita! I’m applying this year as well. I can completely identify with the stress of October, which I remember with chills from last year and that didn’t involve the PMF process. Interesting you brought up the indirect cost of taking the in-person assessment. I think it does pose an interesting question and I’m curious to see the ways in which people will make it work .