erik_1717 wrote:My dilemma:
I don't know for sure, but one thing that would enter my calculation is how it would look to the Army if you turned them down for their internship, and then applied AD later. Would it hurt your chances to go AD if you did? Maybe Esquire or someone else could answer that.
Also, just curious, since your grades aren't the best, would you mind me asking you what you think made the difference for your application to be selected as an alternate?
Sure. I think what really helped me was past leadership experience and my interview. It's funny, but the counselor at my school advertised the Army interview as an "informational interview", so I walked in not anticipating an interview for the internship. I think it may have helped me actually because I walked into the interview relaxed and full of questions. It also helps that the Captain interviewing me was great and we saw eye to eye on many leadership aspects. I left the interview feeling great and actually was able to stay in contact with the Captain through an occasional e-mail.
Also, I have been lucky enough to be pretty involved in other aspects of law school. I came straight to law school from undergrad, but I began working 15 hours/week at a firm during the second semester of 1L. I continued to work there over the summer and also externed for a local Judge who was great as well. I started working for another firm at the begin of 2L and am currently working there, and also am a fellow for one of the moot court teams. I took a course in appellate advocacy over the summer and wrote an appellate brief that I was able to submit as a writing sample too. I'm also a part of some clubs at school but I don't think that has much bearing. So, maybe my ambition to get legal experience and courtroom experience stood out to them?
Lastly, I have a pretty good undergrad resume. I played baseball at for a small NCAA D3 school and was a 2 time team captain. I earned all conference and academic all conference awards, and my undergrad GPA was far better at a 3.565. I'm guessing the military probably looks pretty highly at those who did athletics in college, especially with a leadership position. I also studied abroad one summer. Maybe that helped, maybe it didn't.
So yeah, we can never know exactly what helped or hurt. I'd guess these were probably the stronger parts of my application though.
With regards to the other stuff, the only reason I would consider turning down the Army summer internship would be my selection for Marine OCS. Thus, if I get into OCS and survive it, I won't have to worry about whether or not the Army knows I turned down the internship. I suppose though, that if I do go to OCS, not make it, and start applying for Army Direct Appointment, then I may run into that dilemma.
Thanks for the help and advice so far everyone. It has been great. Esquire, at this point I think I would truly be happy in either route. Honestly, just getting the opportunity to be a member of any branch would be incredible. I have always believed that it's not our situation that dictates our happiness, rather the attitude we have in approaching any situation. I think that may be why I have put so much thought into the loan repayment stuff. I'm willing to bet I'd be happy in any branch and I think that is what gets me thinking about other factors like the loan repayment that other branches offer that the Marine Corps does not. I guess what I'm trying to say is, if I'm lucky enough to get into more than one program and will be happy wherever, why not take advantage of incentives one program may have that another does not.
This talk has been great just for thinking about it. At this point I have no idea what I will choose if I end up having to make a choice. I've got at least a month longer to think about it and I have a feeling it is going to keep bugging me. I think the key will be to remember what's important. At the end of the day, if I can just be accepted into one of these programs, let alone more than one, then I will be doing exactly what I wanted to do with my law degree. If I can just keep that mindset, I think peace of mind in making these tough decisions may come easier.