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That Research Lady

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About That Research Lady

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  1. I worked at an ivy league my first 1.5 years and then the VA for my remaining time as an RA and I loved it. It wasn't in my topic of interest but I feel it allowed me to get experience that helped me stand out in applications. Clinical psyc admissions is competitive but those experiences helped me have options for admissions, so I'm grateful. It also pays very well compared to other positions. I almost convinced myself to stay in the VA instead of applying to grad school. I would advise that RA positions within the VA can look different so don't be afraid to ask about presentation/publication opportunities during interviews. Also, my position as an RA is among the list of exempt positions at the VA. I know my center will be hiring soon so if you're willing to move just message me and when they post the position I can send it to you.
  2. I lived off of loans in undergrad and used Mint.com. It's a Microsoft run website that you can attach your bank accounts to and keep track of all your purchases and make a budget (it has graphs and pie charts so I get happy). Also, make sure you have a small amount set aside for fun. I find that if I'm on a strict budget and I don't have a little fun each month I start to get cranky/pouty/whiney lol
  3. I was told I was nominated via initial phone conversation and then I received a separate email confirming I was awarded the fellowship.
  4. I've read that the wait list starts moving in mid-March so I'm trying to keep the faith. I can see the ups and downs of making it a match-like system but I certainly agree that the current system leaves room for improvement.
  5. I'm in exactly the same boat. I told my POI that I would wait until April 15th if I had to (or is it 17th this year?) but I feel bad about keeping my current acceptance on hold until then.
  6. I agree with the previous statements. I'd add that I have the same Psyc GPA as you but a lower cumulative GPA and I didn't need a masters to be accepted (and a competitive applicant) for my second round of applications. My first round I set up a call time with my POI and asked what I could do to be more competitive (I feel like email doesn't allow for as genuine of an answer). I worked 3 years full time in research and obtained a position running a lab, which helped a lot during my application process. The thing that made the biggest difference was pubs, presentations, personal statement, and fit. Honestly, I worked an extra 5-10 hours unpaid a week to write pubs and presentations. I made sure fit was a priority and took a year to search for potential POIs (I also reached out to them half a year in advance when I could). I also wrote my personal statement like a manuscript to show my strength in academic writing. Of course don't make it boring but it sets you apart when you can write something personal and interesting with an academic style of writing. Even with a low GPA I've had the ability to choose between some great institutions, so you can certainly do it without a masters and with some strategic planning!! Edit: oh, also, I worked in a completely different psyc area for the 3 years, so no worries. I was given feedback from a POI that working in your area of interest can help your application but it won't break it. Depends on the POI really.
  7. No this is perfect, thank you! I've been collecting ideas for a 5-year plan to obtain the most out of grad school so I've been searching for extra resources. Super helpful!
  8. Do you mind sharing what you were reading that layed out steps to establish your career? @psyched64
  9. Same here. I'm hoping were all talking about the same place to ease all our minds at once.
  10. The UConn post is most likely fake. I'm not sure why someone would do that (maybe trying to sabotage someone who was accepted?) but we should all be working to uplifting each other. This is a difficult process so it helps if we give each other support.
  11. So, I pre-apologise for sounding like a walking/talking commercial but I LOVE magoosh. It is the biggest reason I brought my score up! I didn't Study the first time either so second time I put a lot of hours in. I studied 15 to 20 hours a week (on top of working full time) for about 3 months. I only studied with Magoosh and my math score increased by 14 points and I ended up almost in the 90th percentile versus my previous score which was below the 40th. Verbal I moved up 5 points but I have a learning disability which makes learning new words a process for me so I did not Study for that section too much. To be honest, Magoosh's math question are much harder than the actual test, which I found great because I found the quantitative portion on the GRE super easy my second time. What I did was take a practice test, see which questions I tended to get wrong (be as detailed as possible, ie. Single word fill in the blanks or geometry with triangles) and then I'd watch those videos in order of worst performance to best and do some practice questions for those sections. Each week I'd do a mixture of all practice questions not to loose skill in what I'm good at and then I'd do a practice test a month later and start all over again. I really could not have brought my score up that much with Magoosh. With all that said, IF you have the money for a private tutor that may be a better route. Nothing beats one on one attention with someone skilled and knowledgeable.
  12. I have a learning disability, which explains my low grades in the beginning of my academic career, but I did not mention it in my personal statement at all. Instead I had a LOR mention it and only addressed it in interviews if a POI asked about my grades. That way your personal statement and interview allows them to focus on your strengths. Also, it helps when your former professor writes the LOR stating the disability because it shows a professional in the field thinks that this is not a deterrent to your success and they have plenty of years of experience writing with a positive spin.
  13. So the EXACT same thing happened to me this round but I got an interview because the POI was new. I guess it depends on the POI and the institution.
  14. The VA freeze does not include these types of positions anymore. The Director has exempt them (thank goodness).
  15. Also, give these last 3 your all. Go into each interview as far it's the most interesting program ever (because people can sense if your not excited). There were two schools I thought were towards the end of the list and after visiting them I fell in love with both. Keep an open mind and give these last ones a chance to impress you. I'll just add that I only applied to 5 schools that were almost perfect fits for me. It allowed me to take time to thoroughly tailor each application packet and I had an unusually high interview rate. I know applying to many programs can be helpful, but it can be hard to tailor that many applications. I'd agree that a project manager position would be ideal, just in case. Veterans Affairs pays a generous amount for these positions but working in a small lab at a university can help with pubs/presentations. Make sure wherever you get hired that they'll let you be productive!