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Blogs



Brush with Stardom

Posted by 1Q84 in Right Now I'm A-Roaming, 19 September 2014 · 123 views

One of my professors who got his doctorate at Columbia, when I very hesitantly mentioned I wanted to apply there as a hail mary, casually said "Oh yeah, I can email Prof. amazing-rockstar-who-is-one-of-the-pre-eminent-professors-in-the-world for you."

I know not to count one's chickens before they hatch and I also know that simply having a prof email on...

Random Advice Before I Start

Posted by GeoDUDE! in Brittle Ductile Transitions, 27 August 2014 · 1,164 views

Hello All,

I haven't blogged for bunch here, but I thought I would just make a list of advice I thought of as I've been in graduate school a while and am starting at a new school. This advice isn't necessarily unique, but hopefully it will help people anyway.


It doesn't make sense to apply to a few top graduate schools, it makes much more sense to appl...

As if grad school was not enough...

Posted by moyru in EdTech Enthusiast, 10 May 2014 · 3,261 views

I'm going to be planning a wedding!

Definitely AFTER I graduate.



Now That The Dust Has Settled

Posted by NOWAYNOHOW in PhD, Please! , 05 May 2014 · 2,314 views

Well, we're a bit into May and it seems like things have certainly settled down.

I'm finally sure of how I'll be spending the next year (I signed a contract!): I accepted a 1-year research fellowship, with benefits, at my current university. Despite a generous fellowship offer, I turned down an offer of admission to a 1-year bioethics MA. I'm very happy...

I feel my PhD has been a waste

Posted by Tall Chai Latte in Tall Chai Latte's blog, 19 April 2014 · 6,068 views

I'm not sure what's got hold of me lately. I feel my PhD has been a waste.

I'm close to the end of my fourth year. By September, it will be my fifth year in the program. When I started in the lab, I was assigned four different projects, all were outside of the lab's expertise (and of course I wouldn't have expertise either). I didn't really think much of...

An Ending to My Application Season

Posted by Monochrome Spring in Blooming Ecologist, 07 March 2014 · 3,350 views

I've finally reached the end of this roller coaster called Graduate Application Season.

I will be attending my top-choice university in a department that I didn't apply to with a professor that was never my main POI. After recruitment, it was a whirlwind of switching advisors, departments, funding nominations, etc. Things change, but they can be for the...

The secret to application success!

Posted by BowTiesAreCool in The Many Flavors of Rhetoric, 21 February 2014 · 4,243 views

Folks, I think I figured it out.

I look at the people who are in programs and doing things I want to do. Fuzzy Suessian, Resurgence(ZN), etc and I notice a particular thing they have in common.

They’re all above 200 internet/reputation points.

THAT’S what you turn these in for, an acceptance! I dunno how the adcomms figure out who is who but they’re sn...

Time Flies When You're in Grad School

Posted by MissMoneyJenny in MissMoneyJenny's Blog, 11 February 2014 · 2,148 views

It has been a long time since I've even come onto the grad café. Moving to London and starting grad school has really taken any free time I used to have to just surf the web and engulfed it, but I am incredibly happy about that.

First term has finished and I am now progressing into my second round of courses before I hit the heavy 4 months of dissertatio...

I wish my lab had a window...

Posted by pyrocide in Pleiotropic Notions, 29 January 2014 · 878 views

Hello fuzzy penguins,

Winter and I are just... we're really not friends. It's perpetually cold, I can't go outside and run, and it's always dark. So as I sit here, curled up in fleece with the space heater blaring, I find myself picturing the future and its promise of warmth. Most notably, this upcoming August and September, when I (theoretically) start...

All About Interviews: Experiences for the GC Minions

Posted by biotechie in Musings of a Biotech Babe, 12 January 2014 · 3,247 views

My apologies for taking so long to get this post up! I started classes and have been pretty sick. As a reminder, the more questions you ask me, the more I know what you want answers to!

The purpose of the post for today is to provide my insights into interviews and hopefully ease some fears by helping you figure out what to expect at a biomedical science...

Criteria that Constitutes Happiness

Posted by annieca in Two Masters, an Archive and Tea, 13 April 2013 · 5,206 views

When I was deciding between Maryland and IUPUI, I was weighing the lesser amount of debt versus connections. Or at least, I thought I was. But then someone told me this:Pick the place that will make you the happiest, but remember that you always have the right to change your mind about what criteria constitute happiness. I love that quote. It told me that...

Visit Day - What I Look Out For

Posted by St Andrews Lynx in St Andrews Lynx's Blog, 12 March 2013 · 5,100 views

By this stage I figure I'm something of an expert at visiting potential grad schools. As mentioned in my earlier posts, I looked around a number of American universities when I was over in the States last summer (before the applications were even created). I visited several UK universities for formal interview days and informal introductions. Last weekend...

Now that the Dust has Settled...

Posted by viggosloof28 in A Future Historian's Journey to PhD, 01 March 2013 · 10,060 views

Now that the Dust has Settled... Back again after a fairly long absence! :)And gentlefolk, it's finally March.  I know for my discipline (history), programs are probably about half-way done returning decisions.  I personally applied to ten schools and actually heard from the last of them on Monday.  I'm extremely relieved to be done with the waiting game, and am extremely happy with how...

So now what?

Posted by Amerz in Amerz's Blog, 26 February 2013 · 44 views

[Note: found this unpublished and unfinished draft of a blog entry I wrote early last year. Thought I'd publish it anyway.]


Like several of you, I've heard back from most of the schools I applied to (actually, all but1). I've had two in-person interviews (both followed Skype interviews), one just over-the-phone interview, and two acceptances (weirdly, n...

Like Watching Sausage Being Made

Posted by TheFez in TheFez's Blog, 16 February 2013 · 11,781 views

Like Watching Sausage Being Made This week I got a peek behind the curtain at the application review process and it's not pretty. As they say "a little like watching sausage being made".At a social function I overheard some discussion about the PhD applications under review (in another department at another school on another planet with no specifics about any individuals, I swear).Using...

And now we wait

Posted by psychdork in Psychdork's Blog, 06 February 2013 · 3,571 views

I realize it's been some time since my last post, but there really wasn't anything exciting to write about until recently.So now I'm in that never-ending waiting period. Every day I find myself staring at my phone, demanding the email notification light to start blinking. And then it does, and I think, "wow, it really worked!". Until I read the email, whi...

What If??

Posted by obiwanitakenobi in 20/20 Hindsight, 15 December 2012 · 4,486 views

I bet that right now, there are about a million "What if??" questions running through every one of our brains... But the scariest one is "What if I don't get in?"I'll speak for myself-- that seems to be all   I can think about lately. A couple of days ago, I made myself write out a Plan B (which started off seriously: "look int...

T-minus 12 days.

Posted by Fell4Ever in Asian Studies Masters, 03 August 2012 · 2,104 views

This might just be my last blog post here on The Grad Cafe, and it is an exciting turn of events. How I went from a 'decaf' lurker to a Master's Student is certainly a trek I will not soon forget. I still wake up some days just wondering how I got into such a great program when everyone just seemed to out-qualify me, but there are those days w...

Where has my summer gone...getting ready for it all to start

Posted by orst11 in A Senseless Game, 22 July 2012 · 1,597 views

So less than a month until the big move. :)  I'm both excited yet freaking out at times. This whole process is about to finally end and a new journey will start and hopefully it ends as well as this one.  

Anyways, as many obstacles it seems like a person confronts with this whole process they must not forget the journey isn't over until you are really...

August 20: The Journey Begins

Posted by Medievalmaniac in The Alchemist's Path, 19 June 2012 · 2,109 views

OK, I lied. I actually start TA orientation on August 6.FINALLY!What a long, strange journey this has been. First, the application season-that-wasn't. Then, the application season that ended in a fully-funded offer from a perfect-fit school. Followed almost immediately by the cancer diagnosis. Followed by the year of chemo and radiation. Followed...



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