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30 Days Until Departure

With only 30 days until the start of the MHIRT program, I’m feeling a little anxious. So far we have been given information about our trip and been asked to provide waivers and other paperwork for our participation. Earlier this month we were also provided with a brief description of 8 different potential projects that we might participate in for the program. We were asked to rank our top three choices and then the committee would decide which program we would be placed in for the duration of the program. The projects were all extremely interesting and included a variety of different topics. I would have been happy to work on any of the projects.

Ultimately I was assigned to work on a project dealing with mental stigma among healthcare professionals. I immediately sent my mentor an email introducing myself and I am extremely impressed with my mentor. She has written countless books and articles on the topic of mental health stigma; I feel extremely honored to be able to work with such an established and knowledgable professional. She sent several of the articles related to the project and the protocol for the current study. I am beyond excited as the time draws nearer.

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Applying to the MHIRT Program

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

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.