So I looked up the closest school, BCIT, and found out how to apply. Their application deadline was two months away and I didn’t meet all the criteria, but I could, if I tried.
So I took a deep breath, decided that this was what I wanted and got started. Afterwards I learned that there had been more than 200 applicants for only 24 spots in the program. That’s about a 10% chance of getting in!
This is how I got into that ultra-competitive Sonography program.
1. Confidence is Necessary for beginning
And knowing that gave me the determination to do everything that I could to make it happen. In moments of doubt I used a little mantra to inspire me; if someone else can do this, then so can I!
It helped me put aside my doubts so I could get to work. I had two night classes to sign up for, an online course to take, a volunteer job to find, an application to fill out, resume to update and part-time job to manage. At the end of the day there wasn’t much energy left for fears and trepidation. And I liked it that way.
Once I decided that this is what I wanted, and that I just as capable as anyone else of achieving my goal, I was able to face myself forward and walk steadily in the direction of my goals.
2. Doing better than the minimum
BCIT offered free upgrading night classes, so I signed up, cleared off my desk and jumped in. I had 3-hour classes four nights a week and I spent most of each day studying. I didn’t enjoy math, and if you ask me how I really feel about physics, the word despise might come up.
But it needed to be done and I was determined to do it. I knew that just aiming for the minimum of 80% wouldn’t be good enough, I had to aim for 95%. That way I would always be sure to meet my goal.
So I put in the extra review time, did all the homework questions, worked with my instructors and finished those courses with A’s. It felt great! My determination and effort had paid off.
Meeting the minimum standards was never enough to set myself apart. So I aimed to be the best that I could, and found that I was capable of much more than I ever expected.
3. I learned something new, for myself.
I found a position in a group that did energy balancing for survivors of cancer. It was new age stuff, and I was fascinated, watching each week how much it helped the people participating.
By the end of the sessions I had gained more than just the required volunteer hours needed for my application, I had learned something personal about helping people heal.
Sometimes you help by moving negative energy out of people’s bodies, sometimes you help by listening or offering them a hug. There are many different kinds of healing.
Volunteer work gave me valuable individual skills to showcase on my resume and an insightful lesson that strongly impacted my personal life.
4. All the bell and whistles.
I figured that they were there for a reason. Somebody on the inside wants to see applicants who have put in the extra effort.
For me this included a completing a course in medical terminology (which is basically Latin, pretty nifty), updated immunizations, Criminal Record Check, and CPR course.
To have all of those done before I was asked about them helped to show how dedicated I was, that I paid attention to details and that I was organized enough to complete the extras in the time allotted.
Keep in mind that if an extra requirement is written down that means someone planned those out and will be looking for them on incoming applications.
5. Went above and beyond.
These courses upgraded my resume and skills by showing that I was capable of succeeding in higher level education. And the psychology classes really opened my eyes to the nature of human behaviors and interactions. It has provided helpful insight in interviews, healthcare interactions and social situations.
A well-rounded education will teach you more than you realize. Strong skills in time management, organization, group participation and creative thinking are qualities that employers and interviews look for.
6. Polished my interview skills.
This was my chance to stand out to my interviewers, to show them why I was a great candidate. So I researched interview questions, reviewed what I knew about the program and the field, prepared my story and did a few practice interviews with friends and family.
I was still darn nervous on interview day, but I was much better prepared.
A program interview at BCIT was as important as a job interview, having this in mind helped me prepare appropriately.
7. Repeat if necessary
So once I had done everything that I could to get accepted, I started a rough plan for what to do if I didn’t get accepted. I looked hard at my application and tried to determine where I was weak so that I could work on strengthening those areas.
I would get a part time job and do some more volunteering. I could take higher level biology and math courses and there were some online ultrasound programs that I could do that would give me even more knowledge about the field.
I felt better knowing this. Having a plan for what to do next took off some of the stress of the situation for me.
I knew that I had done the very best that I could in the limited time I had. And I knew that I could do even better the next time around. If I had to.
When I got the good news that I had been accepted to the Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound program at BCIT on my first try, I was overjoyed! I felt like I had a fresh start in my life.
The numbers really surprised me. Clearly I had done something right to get in. So I began to think about what I had done so I could share it with others and help them increase their chances.
If you’re considering a program like this I hope my tips help you. Just take a deep breath, make yourself a plan and get started! After all, if I can do this, then so can you.