So You’re Re-Applying

Match day comes and goes, Phase II comes and goes, the PMVS closes, and you are still without an internship. You have to add a year to your projected graduation, and you have the financial strain of re-applying. Now what?

Based on my research, internships post minimum hours requirements and tend to look at totals in terms of whether or not you meet this threshold and nothing more. You want to be able to show diversity of experiences, which you should have after completing three or more practicum experiences, but it seems that there is little to be gained from taking on more and more unpaid experiences simply to inflate your totals. If anything, once you pass a certain point, your totals may arouse suspicion that you either exaggerated your totals, or that your experiences are not well-rounded. My point is, if your hour totals meet the minimum requirements for the types of sites where you are applying, consider getting a job where you are compensated for your time with money and not just experience.

As far as finding said job, it can be difficult to get something related to the field if you are not either licensed, or know someone who can recommend you. My mentality in financing my graduate education has always been that I do not consider myself over-qualified for anything. Unfortunately, employers do not always agree, and I was turned down for a job at a group home simply because I already had my Masters. Anyway, I was able to continue boosting my CV and pay my rent by taking nanny jobs for children with special needs and working for an academic coaching agency.

One thing I wish I had done during my first round of applications was to reply to my rejection emails to inquire about how I might improve my application. Most training directors will either ignore you or decline to provide feedback, but a few might respond. They may give you valuable feedback as to how to improve your application, especially if you decide to re-apply to that site. This might be easiest to do after the match has ended – that way, they are more likely to have time to reply to you with a more thorough analysis of your qualifications.

Also, save everything. There is a good chance that, due to the nature of the imbalance, you did not match either due to bad luck or to minor details with your application. You do not need to start from scratch with your materials the following year. The APPIC portal closes sometime in April, so I recommend downloading copies of your applications early.

Remember that not matching is not a reflection on your abilities or intelligence. Self-esteem takes a hit when you don’t match, and it is difficult to keep this from showing in your subsequent applications. Hang in there.