Welcome to the GradCafe

Hello!  Welcome to The GradCafe Forums.You're welcome to look around the forums and view posts.  However, like most online communities you must register before you can create your own posts.  This is a simple, free process that requires minimal information. Benefits of membership:

  • Participate in discussions
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Search forums
  • Removes some advertisements (including this one!)

juilletmercredi

Members
  • Content count

    2,143
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    49

juilletmercredi last won the day on October 22 2016

juilletmercredi had the most liked content!

7 Followers

About juilletmercredi

  • Rank
    Cup o' Joe
  • Birthday 07/09/1986

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Pacific Northwest
  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    Working in industry
  1. How can an entire continent be horrible? You love your potential advisors and the work that you are going to be doing at your upcoming program. That's great news! This sounds like a GOOD choice for you.
  2. I would not attend any PhD program without funding, no matter how phenomenal it is. That said, I think it's fairly common to go programs/cities where you don't know anyone. You'll meet and get to know people. Do faculty members at School 2 already do research on sex? If so, then you can ask them what the political climate is like for getting that work done. In public health, some of the top schools in my field for researching sex and sexual behavior are in red states. I don't think it necessarily matters much.
  3. ^This is true. I currently live on the West Coast and people are far less familiar with (and less amused by) the vagaries of elite East Coast colleges than East Coasters probably expect. A lot of people out here wouldn't be aware, or care, that Brown was an Ivy League at all. But if Syracuse is #1 in the field, then they're going to be familiar with that. As an unrelated but parallel example, I work in tech, and there are far more graduates from Georgia Tech and UIUC than Harvard around me at my job - definitely more than Brown or Dartmouth.
  4. OP's description says they are in occupational therapy, which I think makes the question of facilities a bit different - nicer facilities may indeed be integral to a better education, depending on the resources, techniques, and equipment they have that may make certain educational processes easier or more accessible. I went to school on a medical center campus alongside medical, dental, nursing, and other health professional students - facilities and labs seem to make a difference in those fields. That said, Wash U is a nationally recognized university. I don't know that it would limit you to MO after graduation, although your strongest connections would be in MO and the Midwest. What is inter-professional design?
  5. What do you want to do, and what is the track record of these departments in getting people to that place? It's my understanding that anthropology is pretty competitive when it comes to TT academic positions, so if that's your goal then it helps to go to a program with a good reputation. That doesn't mean Ivy League prestige; it just means a program where students consistently get postdocs and academic positions that are similar to what you want to get. So ask and see what the placement looks like from the programs you're comparing. Do students at the other schools you got into get postdocs and eventually TT jobs? Where do they go after graduation? The other thing to consider is how closely related (or not) the other professors' work is in the northeastern Ivy to yours, vs. the other schools - and whether the distance is something you can live with. For example, I studied HIV and substance abuse in gay and bisexual men in graduate school. I'd be willing to go to a program with professors who studied HIV and substance abuse in another population, or even more broadly studied sexual risk behavior in another population. I could've made that work and got that mentorship in proposals and grants that rising_star referred to. But if the closest professors were doing research in, like, obesity and cancer research and there was no one doing anything that touched HIV or drug abuse or sexual risk - that wouldn't have been a good fit for me, and I would've been unhappy. So how much "distance" from your original interests can you live with?
  6. What are the costs? What would your eventual debt be? Would your really significant scholarship at Carnegie Mellon make it cost less than only having to pay tuition and fees at Wagner? Also, you said you'd be living with family in New York, but what does that mean? Clearly your room/living costs are covered, but what about food and transportation and miscellaneous fees? Depending on what that family is willing to cover for you, you may be saving less than you think. CMU is a great university and I think it's likely that the scholarship will bring the total costs down below what Wagner wold cost even with you living with family, so I'd choose there. And you've also got generous offers at UNC and Pitt, also both great schools. Frankly, I would take NYU off the table and decide between the places you have funding at.
  7. ^What @rising_star said. Prestige is largely field-dependent. I am not in school counseling, but it doesn't seem like the type of field that is highly-prestige-focused. You also may want to consider where you want to work post-graduation - if you love the West Coast location and the university is well known regionally, it may not matter that the East Coast school is technically more prestigious if you decide to stay on the West Coast for a few years after graduation or longer. (Oh wait - rising_star said that too. LOL.)
  8. +1 for Atlanta as well. I agree that amazing research opportunities are more important, especially if you are considering a PhD later. But even if you aren't, great research opportunities can lead to good career connections or at least something interesting to put on a resume and discuss in a cover letter.
  9. I went to Columbia and got my PhD in public health (sociomedical sciences). In that department, and in social psychology - my other field - 20 hours a week is a pretty standard load for an RA.
  10. @VMcJ - It depends a lot on your institution and the infrastructure for this built into your department and university, but I would say not really. There are always professors looking for someone to analyze some quantitative data that they can't do or can't do well, but you have to either be in the right place at the right time or make yourself available. In my case, I got into statistical consulting in two ways: The first was reliant upon my university's infrastructure; there was a social science research institute at my university that hired graduate students across quantitative social science fields as statistical consultants. I found out about it by taking an advanced quantitative methods class in my department - the TA for the course was a fourth-year doctoral student who worked for the institute, and she mentioned it. I asked her to give me more information about it, and because I was a good student in quant methods she connected me with the director of the program. He interviewed and then hired me. I started working there halfway through my second year in graduate school. The second was acquiring sort of a reputation around my two departments as being quantitatively able. That was disseminated simply by having conversations with other students, helping some of my cohort-mates with their biostatistics homework or statistical analysis on projects, and generally being an excited puppy whenever statistics would come up. Eventually people started recommending me to other people for consulting projects. For example, one of my 2nd-author papers happened almost/sort-of randomly; the professor whose office was across the hall from my PI was an anthropologist who wanted to run a controlled trial and asked my PI if he knew anyone who could handle the stats for the trial. He recommended me. I would also highly recommend being proactive and simply asking. If you demonstrate yourself to be a capable student in statistical analysis, and then you ask your PI or other professors in your department if they know anyone who is working on a paper and would like a quant consult for publication credit - or honestly, just even let them know that you are looking for those kinds of opportunities - they'll remember you when the time comes. @AnUglyBoringNerd - No offense taken, really, more amusement I hear this characterization a lot from undergraduates and early graduate students. It's understandable, really, since the media presentation of work in a corporate office is pretty much this - a cog in a machine, in drab grey or brown cubicles, counting the minutes until 5 pm. I think that's one reason why aspiring academics are so passionate about the field in the first place, because it's like - I get to read and think and write about super interesting things and someone will pay me for it? It's so different from people's usual conception of a paying professional job, so it's very appealing. And I think that believing that academia is exciting and different and that the alternative is corporate drudge work is what keeps some students and graduates tethered to academia, even if it's not the right choice for them or their preferences have changed. My response to it is just my version of the truth, which is that has not been my experience the corporate world at all. And it is a Corporate Behemoth. Sure, there is bureaucracy - but no more than a large research university (you ain't seen paperwork until you write a federal grant!). I looooove my job. I do really interesting work, I get to use most of the research skills I learned in my research-based PhD program, I work on products that millions of people use and love every day, and part of my job is watching people play video games (and occasionally playing them myself). And I certainly don't feel like an easily replaceable cog in a machine - just finding hiring a replacement for me would likely cost more than a year of my salary, not to mention the lost productivity while they try to train someone to the level I'm currently at. (And, to toot my own horn a bit, I brought a unique set of skills into this position that would be really difficult to replace.) My company also cares about their employees and it shows in the employee morale and benefits they offer here. Just saying - corporate life is not so bad @BigTenPoliSci - This is a misunderstanding of my fields, I think. Social psychology is not a field that commonly offers any part-time options and is not geared towards training professionals. My program (which was also a top 20 program in the field, by the way), as all social psychology PhD programs, was geared towards training and producing academics for the field and that is what the vast majority of graduates have gone on to do. (Social psychology is different from clinical and counseling psychology. And even those PhD programs don't commonly offer any part-time options, and are designed as academic/scientific training programs. If anything, they require more work than a social psychology program because in addition to research and teaching, there's also the clinical hours they need to perform.) Similarly, although master's programs in public health often offer part-time options and are geared towards training professionals (much like some master's program in political science), doctoral programs in public health - and specifically PhD programs - are not. They are also academic programs that are primarily geared towards training academics, although there are more professional opportunities for PhDs in public health outside of academia. I took 4-5 courses a semester for the first 3 years, took a set of 4 comprehensive exams across two fields, and wrote a dissertation that tied together the two areas. I also taught, published, and wrote fellowships and grants. I did mention that I think a lot of this is departmental. Departments across fields are going to expect different things than others - I've met people social psychology who have said they are expected to work different hours per week depending on their department. I still maintain, though, that a program that regularly demands 72-80+ hours per week and thinks that's not enough is demanding too much.
  11. It's not impossible. Lots of people do this every day, and leave academia for industry positions. You have to make time for it; you have to carefully choose opportunities and pursue threads that will help you build this networks. And you need to do it very early. I have completed a PhD in the social sciences and I can very confidently say that I have never read anything in the shower. (How, Sway?) I absolutely did more than just work - in fact, I had a very robust social life and I still managed to leave my program with five publications and two fellowships. And I got married. And I consulted on the side. You have to manage your time well. But it's not necessarily true that all you do is work. It's unhealthy to do nothing but work, actually. (I suppose this is also departmentally specific. I am horrified by the prospect of any department that thinks 72-80 hours per week of actual work is not enough. I think this is a dysfunctional department.) I would give the exact opposite advice. Consulting work is what helped me get my current position. And even if academia is your goal, you can get publications from consulting on the side - I have some second and third authorships from doing statistical consulting. Yes, but those jobs are competitive as well. People have such interesting conceptions of what corporate work life is like.
  12. I work in industry as well. You need to show that you have broad, generalizable research skills. The way to do that is to get involved in a variety of projects that showcase your skills. One thing I did was statistical consulting, which allowed me to work with researchers across many different fields, most of which were unrelated to my own. I wrote about this in my cover letter as evidence of being able to apply my skills to a variety of different areas. You can also co-author papers with people who are not in your narrow area or start a side project that's tangentially related to your major area. As for the skillset - you can take classes or workshops that help you learn in-demand skills, even if you think you won't use them in academia. Maybe you can develop a secondary specialization or "minor." Does your university have concurrent MAs you can complete in useful areas, like statistics? Something like that could help too.
  13. I agree with TakeruK. Apply for every position that interests you and leave the deciding until you actually have an offer in hand. That's when you can dither about whether or not to leave. I left academia for industry in 2015, after six years doing my PhD and one year completing a postdoc. My PhD is in social psychology and public health; I went into user experience research in technology at a large technology company. I've posted elsewhere in greater detail about why I left, but the bottom line is that I love my job and I have exactly zero regrets about leaving academia. The academic lifestyle and job duties did not suit me - but I still do love research. Now I just get to do research all the time and apply that to strategic decision-making and product design in technology. You get over the socialization that academia is the only worthwhile pursuit after a while. Initially I was concerned about what my faculty mentors would think; I thought they would disdain me for throwing away a promising start to an academic career to go into industry. Then I realized it was my life and I didn't care what they thought. (And honestly, the vast majority of them were pretty positive, or at least neutral, about the career change.) I wouldn't say that my work environment is anything like academia, and I actually work on a team of PhDs who all came from academia (mostly postdocs, a few straight from grad school, one or two from faculty positions). But I do agree that most of the aspects that excited me about academic research are still present in my industry research position. I just have to work a lot faster, write a lot more concisely, and spend most of my time convincing developers with no background in social science rather than other PhDs (which, quite frankly, is far more fun). Also meetings. So many meetings. But faculty members have lots of those too. And I don't have to write scientific journal articles, which is more than enough for me.
  14. I think first your friend needs to figure out what they want to do. They know they don't want counseling, academia, or research. What DO they want to do? What kind of tasks do they like to do on a regular basis? What would they love to do at work all day? Asking and answering those kinds of questions is more useful than looking at a list of things. The reality is it's possible for a PhD in clinical psychology to do virtually anything if they don't want to go back to school or do research or counseling. But they need to specify what kind of work they are looking for, and how they want to spend their days.
  15. Well, it depends. Some industry jobs hire you for direct experience and skill in a particular area, and in that case having studied the same area is a positive. Other industry jobs hire PhDs who have a general level of expertise in a broad area, and your research being directly relevant doesn't matter. In those cases, the name of the school may matter more. And this will also differ from hiring manager to hiring manager and company to company - some teams may prefer prestige (consciously or unconsciously) and some teams may prefer specific skills. There's really no blanket answer.