Posts Tagged ‘choice’

Why Kingston University probably hate me

My relationship with Kingston University has been strained, to say the least. I first applied for a course there way back in 2006, when I was looking at undergraduate courses. I visited it one day, to have a look around and will always remember passing somebody on a path and overhearing them say something like, “This uni is so rubbish…” as they passed me. It felt like an omen. My first choice uni accepted me anyway, so I didn’t go to Kingston, as they were my back-up.

Then, late last year, I decided to apply for a PGCE with them, as they had quite a good reputation for the course. I again put them second and a different university first. I was surprised, therefore, when I got a letter from Kingston University asking me to come for an interview, before I got anything from my first choice university. I called up UCAS, the people who process and send out your applications to universities. I asked if something was wrong and if my first choice uni had my form.

And of course they didn’t! On the application form, you list your first choice UNDERNEATH your second choice. So I had put my choices the wrong way round.

UCAS said they would have to withdraw my application from Kingston Uni before they could send it to the other one. I would have to call Kingston and tell them to stop my application.

The phone call went something like this.

“Hi, I just need to speak to someone about my application for the PGCE.”
“Yes, I can help you with that.”
“Ok, I need to withdraw it. There’s been a problem on my form so I need to correct the mistake and then send it out again.”
“O, right. What’s the problem on your form?”
“I just, erm, it’s a problem with my choices.”

(Awkward, don’t want to say, “I put you first by accident but I don’t want you, I want someone else.”)

“Right, so what’s the problem with your choices then.”
“….Erm, it’s just… Erm… They’re in the wrong order.”
“Ok, so what’s the problem with the order.”
“…Erm. I, erm, put Kingston first and I meant to put the other university first.”

There it was. I’d said it. I’d said, you’re my back up, I don’t really want you. Now can you give me my form back so I can take it to the university I actually want to go to.

Awkward phone call.

She tried to persuade me to come to the interview I’d already been offered, because if my first choice university didn’t want me, it would have to go back to Kingston anyway, so that way, they’d already know whether they were going to offer me a place on the course. I said I’d try to change my shift at work because it was the next day and a bit late notice. Someone could cover but from 9am so I called back to ask if I could come a bit late, she sounded irritated but said it was fine. Then there was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing with workmates and I realised I couldn’t take the day off at all. So I called back and said I couldn’t come. So I’ve annoyed them. I’ve really annoyed them.

Then my first place university DOES reject me. And so my application goes back to Kingston Uni! They offer me an interview but when I call up to accept, they say there’s no record of them offering me an interview. Their system tells them I’m down as having been rejected.

I email someone to ask what the confusion is. I have a letter for an interview. Their system says they’ve rejected me. In the end, they kind of say I can come to a group interview day, I think to get me off their backs.

I go along and spend the day using three words to describe myself and what I feel makes a good teacher and other such nonsense. I felt like I did ok. We were told we’d get a letter in a week.

The next day, I get an email from them saying no thank you.

Whoops.

I think they hated me by the end of it all…! I’ve also got a feeling I was allowed on the interview day just to get me to shut up and stop calling and emailing!

The moral of this story? Don’t be an idiot with your application form. And don’t make it really obvious you don’t want something, if you might need to later pretend you really do want it.