I found out about the MHIRT Latino Mental Health Research Program in late December. I had just finished my graduate school applications, I was applying to Ph.D. programs after finishing my undergraduate degree. I just applied for the program because I thought it would be a fun experience before I started my Ph.D. studies. Additionally, I thought it would be good practice in case I’m able to participate in the Fulbright Research Program when I conduct research for my Ph.D. dissertation.
The application was due February 8, 2017 and I turned it in on late January. I forgot about it as I was interviewing for Ph.D. programs in January and February. Then on March 8th, I received an email notifying that I was a finalist and I needed to schedule a phone interview. I had my phone interview on March 10th with a former participant of the program. During the interview we spoke about my previous research experience, research projects I’ve participated on, my research interests, the reasons I want to participate in the MHIRT program, my background, and career goals. Part of the interview was conducted in Spanish and the other part in English. After my interview I wasn’t expecting to hear back soon, but on March 15th I received an email from Dr. Lopez, the director of the program. He wanted to speak to me about my application, we spoke that same day. The surprise interview was a complete disaster. He had asked me only two questions and I completely messed up one of them. I was sure that I wouldn’t be going to Mexico, then two hours later I received the congratulatory acceptance email. I was overjoyed, literally jumping for joy. I accepted immediately.