Thursday, 19 November 2009

Imperial postmortem

Straight from the gargantuan sprawling mass of over-urbanisation that is London, I return! Now, allow me to spin for ye a tale of terror, adventure and outright ravery.

To begin with, I was ludicrously early - once again Google Maps has presumed me to be a lethargic snail made of concrete, and the journey from the underground station to Imperial College which it estimated as taking around twenty minutes took a mere five (if that). I planned the journey such that the twenty-minute walk would leave around fifteen minutes cushion-time, which could always be spent faffing around outside the university, but ended up spending a whole half-hour wandering around the area. It was a larf though.

Someone at Imperial has found out about my passion for procrastination, and as such my interview was one of the last. The first three hours were spent being shown super-spiffy demonstrations (including a balancing robot!) and being told how awesome the university is at everything (they might not have been lying here). And then followed the interviews.

Everyone in the group I was in was being interviewed simultaneously; however many the interviewers took a while to get there. And so we were left sitting around a table whilst the interviewers gradually came and picked us off, one by one. That was probably the worst part.

The interview, when it came, wasn't all that bad. Naturally I have to be quite vague about it, however. There were a few questions about my personal statement, but they seemed to be mainly out of interest - for example, "what sort of pieces does your jazz band play?" Two of them actually led into him explaining some of the things they've done at the university. Of course, there was a significant portion of maths in the middle of it all. I was mainly deriving the golden ratio in various ways, and each time I got there with a bit (sometimes a lot) of help from the interviewer. Generally I think I didn't do too badly, although I did make a few shameful mistakes - most notably, when I said two ratios were equal but then spent ages pondering what do do next before the interviewer had to explicitly point out that ratios can be expressed as fractions. And I had actually done just that for the previous question. Aah, mind blanks...

So, to summarise and conclude, the interview was largely not what I'd expected and the maths was fairly-hard-yet-doable-eventually. Not a clue whether I'm likely to get an offer or not; it really could have gone either way in the interviewer's eyes. But I believe offers/rejections come through in around two weeks or so. Thus Time, the omniscient (yet unforthcoming) being that it is, shall eventually tell.

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