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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/23/2017 in all areas

  1. 27 points
    Horb

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    I GOT IT OMG I AM DYING!
  2. 20 points
    imogenshakes

    2017 Final Decisions

    I accepted my offer from UC Davis yesterday! I'm so excited and relieved. Much of the decision had to do with the area itself (better for me and my partner, easier for him to find a job) and funding (I found out recently that I actually have six years of funding there, which I didn't get anywhere else). Now onto the practicalities!
  3. 20 points
    maelia8

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    Just got notified - I got the research Fulbright to Germany!!!!!! Best possible news to wake up to here on the West coast <3 SO HAPPY!
  4. 19 points
    GopherGrad

    Some Words of Caution

    I read this thread with a little concern and wanted to add my own perspective. I am presently in my fourth year, recently defended my dissertation prospectus, and am preparing to start gathering data. Prior to my PhD program, I worked as an attorney and taught practical courses at two law schools. In this thread, I’ve seen three related, basic concerns: job prospects, strategies for maximizing job prospects, and the work load. Take my advice as a current student with a grain of salt, but be aware that the path to success in this field is idiosyncratic enough to doubt that tenured faculty know how it works, either. Job Prospects BigTen is right here, and the attempt to rose-tint the job market issue by noting that an important number of tenure track positions at research universities are held by graduates from 10-25 ranked schools ignores the struggles faced by the vast majority of student from those programs. It is frankly unconscionable that faculty at 50+ ranked schools encourage graduate students to attend. I truly believe the emerging consensus that a number of graduate programs exist to fill the egotistical and labor needs of the department rather than because they provide reasonable employment opportunities to graduates. Evaluating job prospects and placements by reading placement boards provides some information. Watching your colleagues graduate and fight for positions provides another. Attending a PhD program outside the top 10-12 is a real gamble. Most students in this range seem to place at universities or outside jobs that at least provide standard of living and a reasonable connection to the questions and research that drew you to study social science in the first place. But the plight of Visiting Assistant Professors who make minimum wage is real, and in most cases the PhD does little outside the academic/think tank world other than convince employers with no idea about the academic job market that you’d leave. After the 12-14 rank, most graduates have fewer tenure opportunities, period. They certainly face uncomfortable constraints on the region and pay they must accept for any measure of job security. If your passion or self-assurance prompts to take the risk of attending a program outside this range, do yourself a favor and pay special attention to the advice in the following section. Securing a Stable Job Publishing: Ask yourself an important question over and over again (and ask your advisors): can some part of the questions that animate me be answered in a compelling, novel way with data that exists on the internet? If the answer is yes, you need to work on publishing. If the answer is no, then you need to focus on generating compelling research and data collection designs. When you graduate, hiring committees will have an opinion about whether it should have been possible to publish on your question during school, and often times the answer is. Often times (especially in comparative politics), the more promising candidates are the ones that generated awesome data sets. Networking: I promise you this works. Every week during your first three years of graduate school, find two non-academic employers that have jobs you think you might like and be qualified for, then email a person that has 5-10 years experience in one of those jobs asking for advice. Ideally, you would get 15 minutes to speak with them about their own day-to-day (like you’re interviewing them about whether you want the job) and what skills the job takes (as though you are preparing to interview for it). This means you send out 300 networking emails in three years. You’ll get maybe 40 people willing to speak with you and 10 that like you. Find excuses to stay in touch with those people, and 1 or 2 will have a job for you when you graduate. This job worked for young law school students I mentored and seems to be working for MA candidates I work with now. Grants: Winning a grant is easier said than done, but it can be very beneficial. Winning a grant that pays you to research frees you from needing to work and sends a signal to future grantors and employers that you are promising and talented. Winning grants for research activities achieves the latter. I have not won any of the general work-replacement grants, but those I know who have burst ahead of the rest of us. They have zero distraction. This is part of why students from private schools like Harvard and Stanford outperform equally talented students at Michigan or UCLA. They work less. I have been fortunate enough to win a couple of small but prestigious-sounding grants to fund research. It has completely altered the way senior colleagues view my work and promise. Work Load I think the gallows humor about reading in the shower is part of what makes for bad graduate students. It is absolutely true that you cannot read enough to stop feeling behind your classmates or (heaven forfend) the faculty teaching you. So why bother? First the saccharine advice: if you are an interesting and curious enough person to attend a decent PhD program, there is very little in the world, and nothing at school, worth the sacrifice of five to seven years of your personal growth and exploration. I don’t care if you end up teaching at fucking Harvard, your colleagues will never look at you with the wonder your friends do when you serve them a perfectly seared scallop or play them Fur Elise on the piano after you eat someone else’s scallops. They won’t know you like your mother or your husband or your son. Here’s an inconvenient truth: 90% of you want to go to grad school in large part because you want to feel smart. Your colleagues will rarely make you feel smart, even though you are. The whole enterprise is about identifying flaws in even the best work (in order to improve it) and on some level, this is miserable. Don’t believe me? Ask students at the schools you were admitted to how they felt about the process of drafting and defending their prospectus.** But your friends and family will make you feel smart, especially if you turn your substantial talent to excelling in at least one thing they can relate to. You want to feel proud and useful and cherished and special? Learn to give people something that gives them instinctual pleasure. (Usually not an AJPS article.) Now for the professional advice you won’t ignore: You will have plenty of pressure to read deeply and critically and to learn method. I don’t suggest ignoring this. But the best ideas and the best careers don’t seem based on picking apart the causal identification of a key article. Great insight requires time to rest and percolate, and inspiration comes from wondering why people haven’t solved real world problems more often than it comes from replication data. Models don’t provide insight. They describe it. Good ideas require some amount of travel and art and philosophy and debate and REST and EXPERIENCE and EXPOSURE. If you want to have any hope of avoiding the scholarly lament that “my research and my life talk to twelve other people” you have to set aside some time to be out of the literature and out of the methods. I’m not suggesting you spend every Saturday smoking weed and reading Batman comics. Maybe baseball games and 30 Rock marathons are rare indulgences now. But don’t cancel your subscription to the New Yorker or stop seeing your friends, because politics is about real life and on some level no one trusts that the academic without work experience, without family, without friends, without hobbies, has any insight about what animates actual people. Good luck with everything. **Setting aside the problems with political science as a science, while this process of critique and revise makes everyone feel stupid and insecure, it does help you eventually feel proud of and defend your work. But to scratch the itch of feeling competent, you’d be better off having kids and teaching them to camp or make great spaghetti sauce or something.
  5. 19 points
    Sunsy

    2017 Final Decisions

    Now that all my visits are finally over, UC Berkeley is the winner! Couldn't be happier about it, especially since everything I saw at the visit was extremely positive and welcoming.
  6. 18 points
    SarahBethSortino

    Fall 2017 applicants

    FINALLY! Just got an email from the director of Graduate Studies at Brandeis. Off the wait list and I have a real actual official offer in hand.
  7. 18 points
    Old Bill

    2017 Final Decisions

    I am extremely pleased to finally announce that I have accepted my offer of admission to Ohio State University! Can't wait to join wonderful folks like @Ramus, @acciodoctorate, @toasterazzi (and most recently @engphiledu) in this fantastic program! Did I add enough superlatives? Hmm, don't think so... I'm supremely beyond elated and enthused! (That's better!)
  8. 17 points
    SpeechLaedy

    No acceptances (yet), only rejections

    Thank you so much to everyone for all your thoughtful words of encouragement!! I truly truuuly appreciate it! I am so incredibly happy to say that today I received an acceptance from LIU POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😫😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 I literally cried tears of joy as soon as I saw the words "Congratulations" in the email subject. I am seriously so incredibly overjoyed. You were so right @plume. All I need is ONE! After 5 CONSECUTIVE PAINFUL REJECTIONS.... the 6th is a YES!!!! Thank GOD!!! 😭😭😭
  9. 17 points
    positivitize

    Waitlist Movement

    Uh... holy shit. IU just funded my first year! Thank you @RydraWong!!
  10. 16 points
    juilletmercredi

    Advice for a first year PhD student

    About your dog: I think that depends entirely on you and your program. I am in a social science program where the majority of my analysis and writing can be done from home, and I prefer to work from home or from a library (as opposed to my cube in the windowless cube farm). When I was taking classes I was generally there from 9-6 or so, but now that my coursework is finished I am rarely at the school itself. I go for meetings, seminars, interesting kinds of things and I do most of my work remotely. My time is verrry flexible, and if my building didn't prohibit it I would get a dog in a heartbeat. Another thing to keep in mind: a dog can be a great comfort when you're all stressed out over graduate school. Advice? Age: -Don't feel like you have nothing to offer just because you are younger. I was 22 when I started graduate school. You got accepted to the program for a reason, and chances are you are just as equipped as any older students are to successfully complete the program, just in a different way. -Your older classmates may be just as terrified as you. Talk to them. You have a lot in common. You are, after all, in the same place. -You will feel like an imposter, like you don't belong, or like you are constantly behind. Or all three. It's normal. It will pass. (Well, sort of.) People of all ages go through this. Adviser related: -If you are lucky enough to get both research interest fit and personality fit perfect, congratulations! But sometimes, personality fit is more important than research interest fit as long as the research isn't too different. A great adviser is interested in your career development, likes you as a person, advocates for you, and wants to hear your ideas. Even if his or her research is quite different from yours, they may give you the autonomy to work on your own projects and just supervise you. A bad personality fit will drive you nuts, even if you love his or her research. Consider that when evaluating your adviser fit. (This will vary by field: research fit may be less important in the humanities, more important in the natural and physical sciences. Social sciences are somewhere in-between.) -Don't be afraid to be straight up blunt with your adviser when it comes to asking about your progress. Ask if you are where you should be both academic program wise and getting-a-job-after-this-mess-wise. -Be proactive. Advisers love when you draw up an agenda for your one-on-one meetings, come with talking points and progress to share, have concrete questions to ask, and have overall shown that you have been thoughtful and taken control of your own program. Of course, this won't immediately come easily to you, but in time you will work up to it. Every semester I type up my semester goals, and at the beginning of the year I type up annual goals. I show them to my adviser and we talk about whether they are too ambitious, or whether I need to revise them, and how I can meet them. -Don't expect your adviser to actually know what courses you have to take to graduate. They will know about comprehensive exams and the dissertation, but a lot of professors don't really keep up with the course requirements, especially if their program is in flux. Get you a student handbook, and find out what you need to take. Map it out in a grid, and check off things when you finish them. Show this to your adviser every semester. You may have to explain how such and such class fills a requirement. -Nobody loves you as much as you, except your mother. Keep this in mind as you take in advice from all sources, including your adviser. Your adviser is there to guide you, but that doesn't mean you have to do everything he says. Studying: -You will have to read more than you ever did before, in less time than you ever have before, and you will be expected to retain more than you ever have before. The way that you studied in undergrad may need some tweaking. Be prepared for this. -Corollary: you may find that your methods change with age or interests or time. I preferred to study alone in college, but in grad school, I prefer to study in groups. It keeps me on task and the socialization keeps me motivated. You may find that you shift from being a more auditory learner to a visual learner or whatever. -You will feel behind at first. This is normal. -At some point you will realize that your professors don't actually expect you to read everything they assign you. This, of course, will vary by program, but there will be at least one class where the reading is actually impossible to do in one week. The point is to read enough that you know the major themes and can talk intelligently about them, and then pick some of the readings to really dig into and think more deeply about. -For most programs, don't worry so much about grades. If you stay on top of your work and do what you're supposed to, you will probably get an A. How much grades matter varies from program to program. In some programs, a B is a signal that you are not up to par, and more than a few Bs will warrant a discussion with your adviser or the DGS. My program isn't like that - A, B, it's all meaningless. My adviser doesn't even know what my grades are. But at almost all programs, a C means you need to retake the course, and two Cs means you have to convince the DGS not to kick you out. Extracurricular activity: What's that? No, seriously: -A lot of your time will be unstructured. You will have coursework, but most grad classes meet once a week for two hours and you may have three classes. You may have meetings with your adviser every so often and some seminars or things to catch (like we have grand rounds and colloquia that are required), but a lot of time will be unstructured. However, since you have so much more work than you had in undergrad, you actually will have less free time than you had in undergrad. This may initially cause you great anxiety. It did for me. Some people love unstructured time, though. (I don't.) -Because of this, you'll have to be planful about your non-grad school related stuff. -TAKE TIME OFF. DO it. It's important for your mental health. However you do it doesn't matter. Some people work it like a 9-5 job. Some people take a day off per week (me) and maybe a few hours spread across the week. Some people work half days 7 days a week. However you do it, there needs to be a time when you say "f this, I'm going to the movies." -Find your happy place, something that keeps you the you you were when you came in. I love working out. It gives me energy and I feel good. I stay healthy. I also love reading fiction, so sometimes I just curl up with a good book, work be damned. You have to give yourself permission to not think about work, at least for a couple of hours a week. You may also discover new hobbies! (I never worked out before I came to graduate school.) -Your work will creep into all aspects of your life, if you let it. This is why I hate unstructured time. You will feel guilty for not doing something, because in graduate school, there is ALWAYS something you can do. ALWAYS. But since there will always be more work, there's no harm in putting it aside for tomorrow, as long as you don't have a deadline. -You may need to reach outside of your cohort for a social life. None of my close friends are in my doctoral cohort. I've met master's students in my program, master's students in other programs, and I know a few non-graduate students I hang out with, too. Go to graduate student mixers. (If your university doesn't have any, organize some, if you like planning parties.) Join a student group that doesn't take up too much time. I had a doctoral acquaintance who kinda laughed at me because I joined some student groups other than the doctoral student one, and I was usually the only doctoral student in those groups, but I met some close friends (and future job contacts) and had a good time. -DO NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR WANTING A LIFE OUTSIDE OF GRADUATE SCHOOL. This is paramount. This is important. You are a well-rounded, complex, multifaceted human being. NEVER feel bad for this. Everybody wants some kind of life outside of work. Yes, you may loooove your field, but that doesn't mean you want to do it all day long. Some other doctoral students, and perhaps professors, may make you feel bad about this. Don't let them. Just smile and nod. Then disappear when you need to. Career: -This is job preparation. Remember that from Day One. Always be looking for ways to enhance your skills. Read job ads and find out what's hot in your field, what's necessary, what's in demand. For example, in my field statistics and methods are a hot commodity, and they're not a passing fad. I happen to really like statistics and methods, so I have pursued that as a concentration of mine. -Don't be afraid to take on volunteer work and part-time gigs that will give you skills that will be useful both inside academia and out, as long as it's not against your contract. Your adviser may be against it, but he doesn't have to know as long as it doesn't interfere with your work. -If you want to work outside of academia - if you are even *considering* the possibility - please please definitely do the above. Even if you aren't considering it, consider the possibility that you won't get a tenure-track job out the box and that you may need to support yourself doing something else for a while. You will have to prove to employers that you have developed usable, useful skills and this is one of the easiest ways to do it. But don't overdo it - get the degree done. -For more academic related ones - always look for opportunities to present and publish. Presentations look good on your CV. Publications look better. When you write seminar papers, wonder if you can publish them with some revision. Write your seminar papers on what you maybe think you may want to do your dissertation on. Even if you look at them three years later and think "these suck," you can at least glean some useful references and pieces from them. Discuss publication with your adviser early and often, and if you have the time and desire, seek out publication options with other professors and researchers. But if you commit to a project, COMMIT. You don't want to leave a bad impression. -If you can afford it, occasionally go to conferences even if you aren't presenting. You can network, and you can hear some interesting talks, and you may think about new directions for your own research. You can also meet people who may tell you about jobs, money, opportunities, etc. -Always try to get someone else to pay for conference travel before you come out of pocket. Including your adviser. Do not be shy about asking if he or she can pay. If he can't, he'll just say no. Usually the department has a travel fund for students, but often it's only if you are presenting. -If you are interested in academia, you should get some teaching experience. There are two traditional ways to do this: TAing a course, and teaching as a sole instructor. If you can help it, I wouldn't recommend doing a sole instructor position until you are finished with coursework. Teaching takes a LOT of time to do right. You should definitely TA at least one course, and probably a few different ones. But don't overdo it, if you can help it, because again, it takes a LOT of time. More than you expect at the outset. If you are in the humanities, I think sole instructor positions are very important for nabbing jobs so when you are in the exam/ABD phase, you may want to try at least one. If your own university has none, look at adjuncting for nearby colleges, including community colleges. (I would wager that the majority of natural science/physical science students, and most social science students, have never sole taught a class before they get an assistant professor job. At least, it's not that common n my field, which straddles the social and natural sciences.) -Always look for money. Money is awesome. If you can fund yourself you can do what you want, within reason. Your university will be thrilled, your adviser will be happy, and you can put it on your CV. It's win-win-win! Don't put yourself out of the running before anyone else has a chance to. Apply even if you think you won't get it or the odds are against you (they always are), as long as you are eligible. Apply often. Apply even if it's only $500. (That's conference travel!) Money begets money. The more awards you get, the more awards you will get. They will get bigger over time. If you are in the sciences and social sciences, you should get practice writing at least one grant. You don't have to write the whole thing, but at least get in on the process so that you can see how it's done. Grant-writing is very valuable both in and outside of graduate school. -Revise your CV every so often. Then look and decide what you want to add to it. Then go get that thing, so you can add it. -The career office at big universities is often not just for undergrads. I was surprised to learn that my career center offers help on CV organization and the academic job search, as well as alternative/non-academic career searches for doctoral students. In fact, there are two people whose sole purpose it is to help PhD students find nonacademic careers, and they both have PhDs. This will vary by university - some universities will have very little for grad students. Find out before you write the office off. -It's never too early to go to seminars/workshops like "the academic job search inside and out", "creating the perfect CV," "getting the job," etc. NEVER. Often the leader will share tips that are more aimed towards early graduate students, or tidbits that are kind of too late for more advanced students to take care of. This will also help you keep a pulse on what's hot in your field. It'll help you know what lines you need to add to your CV. And they're interesting. Other: -Decide ahead of time what you are NOT willing to sacrifice on the altar of academia. Then stick to it. I'm serious. If you decide that you do NOT want to sacrifice your relationship, don't. If it's your geographical mobility, don't. I mean, be realistic, and realize that there will always be trade-offs. But you have to think about what's important to you for your quality of life, and realize that there is always more to you than graduate school. -If you don't want to be a professor, do not feel guilty about this. At all. Zero. However, you will have to do things differently than most doctoral students. Your adviser will probably never have worked outside of the academy (although this may vary depending on the field) so he may or may not be able to help you. But you have a special mission to seek out the kinds of experiences that will help you find a non-academic job. Test the waters with your adviser before you tell him this. My adviser was quite amenable to it, but that's because I told him that my goal was to still do research and policy work in my field just not at a university, AND because it's quite common in my field for doctoral students to do non-academic work. If you're in a field where it's not common (or where your professors refuse to believe it's common, or it's not supposed to be common)…well, you may be a little more on your own. -Every so often, you will need to reflect on the reasons you came to graduate school. Sometimes, just sit and think quietly. Why are you doing this to yourself? Do you love your field? Do you need this degree to do what you want to do? Usually the answer is yes and yes, and usually you'll keep on trucking. But sometimes when the chips are down you will need to reevaluate why you put yourself through this in the first place. -To my great dismay, depression is quite common in doctoral students. Graduate work can be isolating and stressful. Luckily your health insurance usually includes counseling sessions. TAKE THEM if you need them. Do not be ashamed. You may be surprised with who else is getting them. (I found out that everyone in my cohort, including me, was getting mental health counseling at a certain point.) Exercise can help, as can taking that mental health day once a week and just chilling. Don't be surprised if you get the blues… -…but be self-aware and able to recognize when the depression is clouding your ability to function. Doctoral programs have a 50% attrition rate, and this is rarely because that 50% is less intelligent than, less motivated than, less driven than, or less ambitious than the other 50% that stays. Often they realize that they are ridiculously unhappy in the field, or that they don't need the degree anymore, or that they'd rather focus on other things in life, or their interests have changed. All of this is okay! -You will, at some point, be like "eff this, I'm leaving." I think almost every doctoral student has thought about dropping out and just kicking this all to the curb. You need to listen to yourself, and find out whether it is idle thought (nothing to worry about, very normal) or whether you are truly unhappy to the point that you need to leave. Counseling can help you figure this out. -Don't be afraid to take a semester or a year off if you need to. That's what leaves of absence are for. Lastly, and positively… …graduate school is great! Seriously, when else will you ever have the time to study what you want for hours on end, talk to just as interested others about it, and live in an intellectual community of scholars and intellectuals? And occasionally wake up at 11 am and go to the bank at 2 pm? Sometimes you will want to pull out all of your hair but most of the time, you will feel fulfilled and wonderfully encouraged and edified. So enjoy this time!
  11. 15 points
    RydraWong

    2017 Final Decisions

    Just accepted a PhD offer from the University of Wisconsin-Madison! Thrilled to be done with the decision making process at last, and even more excited to start graduate studies there in the fall. Time to start looking for apartments and to go shopping for an actual winter wardrobe!!
  12. 14 points
    sandralbertin

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    I'M AN ALTERNATE FOR MOROCCO RESEARCH!!! I KNOW OTHER PEOPLE ARE SAD ABOUT THIS BUT I AM V PROUD AND EXCITED!
  13. 12 points
    thepictureisstill

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    Waiting for Ireland to notify like...
  14. 12 points
    chemteachersrule

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    I GOT THE FULBRIGHT ETA TO INDONESIA!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SO EXCITED RIGHT NOW!!
  15. 11 points
    anxiousgrad

    Waitlist Movement

    I GOT INTO DUQUESNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  16. 11 points
    abcd1

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Finally got accepted to my top choice school today! Either I was not on a waitlist or someone declined an offer.
  17. 11 points
    Yanaka

    2017 Final Decisions

    Just accepted Villanova!!
  18. 11 points
    Nomad1111

    Summer before Graduate School

    You've travelled a lot, you've gone backpacking, you've had plenty of time. Others likely haven't, so why sweepingly say that travelling is a waste and you strongly advise against it? You're approaching it from one of many angles but others are in different positions coming at grad school from different angles.
  19. 11 points
    SAIC shantay you stay. Columbia you are the land of tuition for kings and queens. Now, sashay away.
  20. 11 points
    Sigwarz

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    Going to have a drink tonight for this forum. I have never been so engaged in a dialogue with as much momentum as i did this. Everyone here was so friendly and helpful, and reminded me of why i chose to pursue graduate school in the first place. To be surrounded by like-minded scholars such as you guys makes the world of a difference in me continuing to work hard and strive for higher education. Also, that google spreadsheet was impressive. Wow! The force is real. If the planets are aligned right, I hope to run into some of you in the future. Cheers. Don't stop reaching for those goals. If you have come this far, you have come a long way.
  21. 10 points
    aheather

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    HOLY HECK GUYS I JUST GOT PROMOTED FROM ALTERNATE!!!!! I'M GOING TO MALAYSIA!!!!!
  22. 10 points
    PeterBell

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    Promoted from Alternate for Korea ETA yesterday! I don't think I've ever been more excited! I'm thrilled to meet some of you guys. Have any Korea ETAs received their Grant Authorization Document yet? I'm eager to know the details of the grant, particularly our departure date!
  23. 10 points
    Captain Cabinets

    2017 Final Decisions

    I'm off to Oxford in the fall!
  24. 10 points
    Nirerin

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    I got it! I'm going to Ireland! Oh my god!!
  25. 10 points
    biomednyc

    2017 Biology Final Decision Threads!

    It ultimately came down to which school had the whole package of research, mentorship/support and location for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very hard decision. I definitely lost some sleep over it. Long story short, the research fit was very good at both schools, and it would be very hard for me to choose solely based on that. As for mentorship/support, I got along better with the faculty I interacted with at Penn. This obviously depends on who I happened to interview with/run into, but the gut feeling was there. I decided to listen to it because I got matched with POIs I was really interested in at both places, and simply could see myself working with those at Penn over Harvard. I’ve learned the hard way that personality is something that matters to me. I also approached it from the angle of: “If (or maybe when) something goes wrong, who (other than my PI) can I go to for guidance?” At Penn I could name two such people after the visiting weekend, at Harvard it was a bit harder. I think this one is largely because CAMB is broken up into a few sub-groups, and each has a chair and administrator. It’s very different when you’re one of six or seven people, versus one of 65. Both of them at Penn sought the few of us in the sub-group out during the interviews to touch base and get to know us. Does not being sought out during the interview mean there is less support at Harvard? Probably not. But the structures of the programs are undeniably different, and I decided that Penn fit my needs better. Also, there is a higher junior faculty turnover at Harvard than at Penn. To me, this had a higher probability of translating into a high pressure environment that I didn’t feel would fit the type of environment I learn best in. Of course that will differ on specifics labs and it’s probably avoidable; but again, it’s there, and might limit who I get to work with. I tend to gravitate toward smaller labs (which tend to be led by assistant professors) so I did not want to be limited by this fear. Finally, I preferred Philly over Boston. I can afford a one bedroom apartment about a 15 minute walk from campus by myself in Philly, in Boston that is nearly impossible. I wanted to have the option to live by myself comfortably. Ruled out NYC because of this one too. All in all, I had to go with where I felt I would have the highest probability of being happiest and most successful. So it’s not really one deciding factor, but kind of the context of the whole program, including the location, that just made Penn the better fit for me. It was one hell of a personal decision.
  26. 10 points
    Nomad1111

    Summer before Graduate School

    I totally disagree that travelling is a waste of the summer! If you have the time and money, do it! It's going to be very difficult to find that chunk of time during your PhD, you've likely worked your butt off to get into programs, and travelling is a wonderful way to grow and mature as a person. Sure, prep too if ya want, can't you do both? Globally calling it a waste seems a bit closed-minded?
  27. 10 points
    erosanddust

    2017 Final Decisions

    I accepted my offer from University of Toronto! My application season had a rather rocky start, so I'm thrilled that I'll be attending a strong and exciting program that has proven to be a great fit for me.
  28. 9 points
    Zeromus1337

    Waitlist Movement

    I got off the CUNY Graduate Center's waitlist! I'm in! I'm a Victorianist! Thank you, Victorianist/Romanticist who declined their offer!
  29. 9 points
    phdcalling

    Fall 2017 Waitlist Thread

    After waiting for what seems like an eternity...today I was officially accepted off the waitlist to my first choice, which is the University of Georgia! I am so excited!
  30. 9 points
    anxiousgrad

    Waitlist Movement

    I just got an email from the DGS at Duquesne: "I just wanted to update you on your waitlist status. The deadline for replying to offers for the PhD program is this Saturday. I have one candidate who I have contacted multiple times and who has never responded; I am assuming that she does not intend to accept the offer. If, by the end of the weekend, we have not heard from her, I will instruct the graduate office to extend an offer to you." I'm freaking out. I think I might actually get in.
  31. 9 points
    piers_plowman

    2017 Final Decisions

    Thrilled to accept my offer from Cornell. The place was full of energy (not to mention its material correlate, $) for the humanities, with a constant stream of speakers, institutes, fellowships, yearly themes, not to mention a solid collegiality and openness between grad students and faculty. And excited to be done with it all!
  32. 9 points
    biomednyc

    2017 Biology Final Decision Threads!

    I seem to be one of the only one on this thread crazy enough to say no to Harvard. I'll be attending Penn CAMB in the fall
  33. 9 points
    tonydoesmovie

    Do you agree?

    I'm not a woman, let alone a successful one, but men that are intimidated by successful women are probably not the best candidates to have a relationship with in the first place. Attraction is attraction, it shouldn't be qualified by the subjectivity of success.
  34. 9 points
    Lab6214

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    Take heart alternates - my best friend was promoted today to principal for the ETA in Colombia!
  35. 9 points
    Imke

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    HOLY SHIT I'M A FINALIST FOR THE GERMANY ETA!!! This feels so surreal!!! Congrats @jennymerri, @cruxclaire and to all of the other finalists!!!
  36. 9 points
    thepictureisstill

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    Today will be the day.
  37. 9 points
    slpslpslpbc

    2017 Canadian Application Thread!

    My boss, who is a SLP, just told me this: Accepted:Immediately- Drink joyously. Waitlisted:Immediately- Drink nervously. Rejected:Immediately- Drink to get wasted. That's my plan.
  38. 9 points
    pengpolaruin

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    IM GOING TO KOREA ETA AND IM CRYING OMG
  39. 9 points
    theanine

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    I GOT IT! There are literal tears in my eyes.
  40. 8 points
    FailedScientist

    2017 Biology Final Decision Threads!

    Well this thread is quite intimidating. So many Ivy level schools. I'll be heading to Baylor in the fall. Good Luck to everyone!
  41. 8 points
    RageoftheMonkey

    Fall 2017 applicants

    I officially accepted my History PhD offer at Cornell today, really excited!
  42. 8 points
    Nichi

    Decision Thread

    Accepted offer from UC Riverside
  43. 8 points
    HBAGN

    Fulbright 2017-2018

    Hi, everyone! I just found out that I'm a finalist for the ETA in Morocco! sandralbertin & littlegate, your research projects sound so awesome (circuses and women's rights, two of my favorite things!) - I really hope you get selected in the end (and that you'll find another way to do your projects if not with the Fulbright). I'd love to be in touch. DM me! Best, Hodna
  44. 8 points
    ThousandsHardships

    2017 Final Decisions

    ENFIN ENFIN ENFIN!!! Indiana University baby!! Finally got an offer of financial support after many long months of waiting!
  45. 8 points
    Silabus

    2017 Final Decisions

    Alright I finally decided! I looked at it all and Texas A&M is the place for me!
  46. 8 points
    tnt92

    NEW Canadian universities M.S.W thread (2017)

    @lindaMSW Please don't feel discouraged that you did not get on the wait list and were rejected in February. I am sure that there are many people who were rejected in February. The thing about this forum is that we're maybe ~50 out of a possible 800 or so who apply to the program. If they rejected you from the 2 year MSW in February, you must not have met some minimum criteria and you should inquire as to what that may have been to improve your chances for next time. I think it is really important to look at what UofT's program is looking for. Look at their mandate for the MSW program and see if you can get experience in line with that. Try to upgrade courses because they do heavily weigh research experience/grades, but do not forget they also equally care as much about your experience and how you articulate it (I have minimal research experience but had high grades in my research class, and had a ton of experience that were out of the box). Put yourself in a position where UofT (or any grad school you are trying to get into) would be a FOOL to turn you down. Hit every mark they're looking for and excel in it. And make sure they are aware of how lucky they would be to have you and your experience. It's not what they can do for you or what you hope to gain from them -- because they know they are a top tier school -- it's about what you can bring to them. Whether that is your experience, grades, lived realities, USE IT in your SOP. Make your SOP as true to you as you can, and get it proof read. I had a friend in law school read over my SOP and ripped it to shreds, but it forced me to be intentional and think deeply about not only why this is important to me but why I am important for them. The finished product brought my professor to tears and she said it was the most heartfelt SOP she had read -- not for sympathy reasons, but for the risks I've taken and experiences I had that makes me an ideal candidate for them. For anyone struggling with the decision that UofT made, think of it as a second chance to take some risks and become a candidate they cannot turn down.
  47. 8 points
    daniellekl

    NEW Canadian universities M.S.W thread (2017)

    For those of you who have been rejected/waitlisted, and you feel it's because of a low GPA, don't be discouraged!! Contrary to popular belief, UofT does actually look beyond the GPA, and my acceptance this year is proof of that. I was rejected to the program in 2014 and I thought for sure it was because of my grades (last 2 years were in the B/B+ range). That being said, I also didn't have much experience in the field, given that I was just coming out of undergrad. So, for those of you wondering what you can do to improve your application, here is what I did (it might work for you too!): As soon as I got the rejection from UofT, I enrolled in George Brown's fast-track Social Service Worker program (it's a summer, plus one year ... similar to Lakehead's HBSW). I did a placement through that program, and was soon hired on as casual staff, and later on, part-time staff. Through a connection at the SSW program, I got involved with a volunteer project at the City of Toronto This next piece I will hugely emphasize, as UofT is highly research focused: I spent over a year volunteering in a research lab, getting authorship on publications, presentations, etc. *Tip for UofT personal statements: mention wanting to do a thesis - even though only 3 students get to do one, UofT loves the idea of having social workers become researchers/academics, as it's quite rare. This was a tip I received from one of the faculty there, and it was very useful. I continued to work on my professional development, getting certifications in UMAB, harm reduction, etc. I then received a full-time job in the field It's all a process, and like previous posters have mentioned, if social work is what you're meant to do, you'll get there Just remember, GPA isn't everything, and I can't emphasize that enough, especially since when I was applying, people repeatedly told me that the school was "too elite" for what my grades were. *not amused*.
  48. 7 points
    Old Bill

    Venting Thread

    Minor, half-hearted vent here, but I dislike it when you either take yourself off of a waiting list, or turn down your offer of admission, only to receive an email several days or weeks later telling you that you have been rejected! I want to respond like Coriolanus to Rome, shouting "I banish you!" I know it's just an administrative blurp, but it's a point of pride, dammit!
  49. 7 points
    schizometric

    Fall 2017 Waitlist Thread

    I was amazed at how difficult it was to turn down an offer. It really twisted me up inside. I think the better the program and faculty are, the harder it is to let go, even when you have selected what you believe to be the program for you. I never thought about this while selecting programs to apply to. What made it a little easier was seeing the person who got the spot I released express their excitement on the results board. That was awesome!
  50. 7 points
    eadwacer

    2017 Final Decisions

    I just emailed the MA program at UBC with my official acceptance! I'm so excited! Honestly, my final decision happened yesterday when I read a course description on their website yesterday and it was so exciting and perfect for my research interests that I audibly gasped.