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These are my reasons. What are yours?

I think of myself as a lifelong learner, but deciding to go back to grad school wasn't a light decision. When I decided to take the leap in 2016, I was six years into a career as an officer in the U.S. Army and was hesitant to disrupt a steady paying job and what I consider purposeful work. Still, I had a list of reasons in my head for wanting and needing to leave the Army and return to grad school that are probably similar to what most people consider when they're making the potentially life-ch

koodoos

koodoos

 

Starting Your Statement of Purpose

Hey everyone, I wanted to start my blog off with a basic intro to the statement of purpose and the steps you can take to start your first draft. I'm an admissions reader and former writing consultant and love helping folks write better essays. By no means am I a writing expert, but I've read 1000s of personal statements/ SOPs and worked with dozens, if not hundreds, of clients on their college essays and applications and I just like helping folks craft better essays for their college app

koodoos

koodoos

 

Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! For my first post, I wanted to open up about what has been the hardest thing for me about the application process so far, and that is the feeling of not being good enough. Reading through the posts on GradCafe and seeing all the wonderful things people have done, I can't help but feel like I don't measure up. This is my fourth year working in labs and I have no publications. My GRE math score is...meh. My honors thesis is still in progress and so I do

ResilientDreams

ResilientDreams

 

So what's it REALLY like?

The whole reason I wanted to start a blog on here was to try, as realistically as possible, to answer the question, "so what's grad school really like," on this platform that seems to be mostly consumed by "so how do I get into grad school?". Admittedly, when I first started this blog, I had the best intentions of posting more regularly than "those other guys." So here I am, a year later, attempting to make up for it. So here we go, I'm going to break it into sections for the sake of readability

vestigialtraits

vestigialtraits

 

PhD - The First Year

So - as I attempt to procrastinate my way into ignoring very real assignment commitments, I figured I'd write a post on "what happens next."  As you may (or may not know) I applied to 6 programs, was accepted 3, and ended up attending my first choice program.  I applied to 4 PhD Programs, a DPA program, and a DBA program.  I got into 2 PhD programs and the DBA programs.  Of course I've gone back to see what the other programs look like.  One PhD program gets 30-40 applications and accepts 4 with

MarkMc

MarkMc

 

Final Response & Decision

After an incredibly long day I rolled home.  I ate some swedish fish for dinner (because that's what grad students do, right?!?).  I took a shower and took the dogs for a walk.  I opened my mailbox and the final response I had been waiting for was in there.  Valdosta was the last school to get back to me and had sent an email telling me to expect results last week.  The date on the letter to date of receipt was a nine day difference.  I was rejected.  I was kind of surprised.  When I check their

MarkMc

MarkMc

 

Down to the End

So the time has come.  I have to decide among a few acceptances.  Yes, I understand that this is a good problem to have, but it's also challenging to sort through what the best option is.  If it's the best option - will the faculty be who I want to work with.  I'm also waiting to hear from one more program. To recap - I was accepted to Indiana University of Pennsylvania in their Communication Medias and Instructional Technology PhD, Indiana State in a consortium PhD in Technology Management

MarkMc

MarkMc

 

Decision Time

So I had intended to start to knock these out one by one as I heard back, but life happened.  I'll walk through what some of the experiences have been and how I thought things would shake out. Kansas State - I thought for sure I'd be in here and it was my first response.  My LOR's were from the department chair, associate dean, and my employer.  The program fit with both the department chair's background who could make a stronger argument as well as my research interests.  In the end I was

MarkMc

MarkMc

 

Mental Matters

I've been meaning to write this post (and another that is hopefully coming soon) for a while but life happens.  I was able to go visit my future grad program a few weeks ago and I plan to write about that next but for now, I want to talk about something I think will be a little more universal - the mental side of the grad school process, as far as I've experienced anyway.    For me, and I'm sure many others, grad school was always just a far off thing I knew I'd do eventually but di

vestigialtraits

vestigialtraits

 

Valdosta State - DPA

So this was in the mix from early on.  I had initially decided not to apply when I started looking for programs.  I was bent on a PhD and was concerned that I couldn't find any where I could continue to work full time and that would be affordable.  I instead opted for the DBA program at Wilmington.  After an early rejection (with more to come on this subject in my next blog) panic set in.  I added (or re-added) Valdosta to my list.  I scored an interview at another program and when I sat down in

MarkMc

MarkMc

 

Indiana University Pennsylvania

So I had completely excluded this program from my plans.  It's setup as a every other weekend format for coursework and about 5 hours from where I live (so I'd be commuting to my parents every other weekend then returning to work and life where I live).  I wasn't going to apply as it isn't a direct fit to my research or course interests.  However I had only applied to 4 programs.  1 had rejected me.  1 had accepted me and I didn't want to go there.  I had applied to 2 other programs, 1 I've got

MarkMc

MarkMc

 

Severed Crossed Fingers

So, it's been a while since I last updated this. The main reason for this is that there is little to no news. The adjoining reason is that what news there is likely would only lead to a pretty depressing post. I'll keep it as light and cheerful as I can manage. Since last we met, I've been rejected, either tacitly or directly, from an additional four programs, leaving me with two that have yet to send any information: Georgia State University and New York University's Tisch School of the

ajayghale

ajayghale

 

Fleet(ing) Foxes

I'm not sure if any of you listen to Fleet Foxes. They're my go-to shower singalong music, though my boyfriend calls it "weird monk music." He listens to rap. Artistic differences, I guess. Anyway, their music really hits me sometimes whether comforting or not. I have a playlist on my laptop of music that I find grounding, and it includes songs like "I Can Feel a Hot One" and some others by Manchester Orchestra, a large amount of Fleet Foxes, a taste or two of both Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bar

bugabooo

bugabooo

 

One was Enough

After being on this site for a while, I realized that applying to just one school made me one of the few, the proud, the...naive? I felt confident about me decision until I logged on here and realized people were applying to 4..5..14!? schools. And I started thinking I might have screwed myself.  But then the news came -- I was accepted! To say I was elated would be an understatement.     To keep what could be a long story short: No, I don't advise just applying to one school

vestigialtraits

vestigialtraits

 

Hungry, Exhausted and Probably Late. (Long Post)

Well, I've mostly gotten my voice back. I've been trying to decompress and really work through my experience this past weekend, and I think I'm ready to write about it. I'm not going to focus much on the specific content of the three interviews because there are plenty of forums and threads that contain very accurate and helpful information on that. Go find it. Rehearse your answers in front of a mirror, and remember that you're being interviewed for a reason and not by chance.  Last T

bugabooo

bugabooo

 

Indiana State University

So now we seem to be a bit more sequential in my blogs.  I've arrive at Indiana State 4th, which was also my 4th application to submit.  The University was never on my radar, it was the result of NYU sending me the solicited application for their Technology Management program.  I was typing Technology Management PhD into my Google search box automatically filled "online."  Indiana State popped up.  It's actually a consortium program that includes Indiana State (obviously,) Bowling Green, East Ca

MarkMc

MarkMc

 

Knowledge Begins With a Deficiency of Jouissance

I received word on Tuesday from the University of Wisconsin at Madison that my application to their Communication Arts - Media and Cultural Studies PhD was rejected. This was disappointing (I ate a pizza and watched The Flash in my darkened room after work, which I'd have done anyway, but that's not the point) but wasn't a huge surprise to me for a few reasons. The first reason was that their MCS division had been shrunk significantly in the previous years and only had about half of the spots av

ajayghale

ajayghale

 

RU up?

On this past Thursday, I came home with a plan to nap. Spoiler: I did not nap. I checked my email, and found one from the director of the IO MA program at Roosevelt University, informing me that I had been accepted into the program. He had forwarded his decision to the Office of Admissions, and wanted to tell me now because they have someone new in Admissions and it may take a bit for the University's materials to get to me.  I yelled for my boyfriend, who came running because he thought I w

bugabooo

bugabooo

 

Just Idling Insignificantly

I still haven't heard anything from any of my programs, but that's more or less to be expected. At least until the first week of February or so. In the meantime, I shall provide for you a playlist of songs to listen to while waiting. This is best enjoyed while waiting for admissions committees to render decisions, for pizzas to arrive, for the triage nurse to call you up, or waiting for the world to change (that song will, fortunately, not be featured here). 1. Elevator Operator - Cour

ajayghale

ajayghale

 

Kansas State

When I started looking for Doctorate programs, this was the one that started the search.  Having spent 15 years in banking a PhD in Personal Financial Planning seemed to be a perfect compliment (despite working on the commercial/lending side).  Tracking down someone to talk to was difficult.  The department chair was out on leave.  The program admin/coordinator took some time to respond.  The program required a 10 page statement (ugh) and while the application required a writing sample, I would

MarkMc

MarkMc

 

NYU

So for my second entry I'll be reviewing the NYU application process.  NYU was nowhere on my radar, nor was a PhD in Technology Management.  After taking my GRE (my GMAT scores that I used for my MBA/MADIR were awful) and scoring in the top half to top third I got a free application offer from NYU.  After looking at the program I thought it might be a fit and at no cost - I was ready.  While the price tag is staggering compared to many programs I looked at - I figured I would see where it would

MarkMc

MarkMc

 

Failure Makes Me A Modern Boy

I've done this before. The application process, not the blogging (though I have done that too). I'll interrupt this digression with another: I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Russian, a Master of Arts in Russian and Eastern European Studies and a Master of Arts in Slavic Studies. This is important to know because not only did my academic career diverge in the middle of my undergraduate years, it did it twice within the final days of my terminal graduate degrees. This could be indi

ajayghale

ajayghale

 

Wilmington University - DBA Application

Let's start with the first application filed for this post. Wilmington - Offers the lowest ranking of the programs I applied to.  It is a DBA program (that should in theory focus on practice more than research) that could be attractive should I opt to remain in banking.  It also offered the easiest application process.  There was no GMAT or GRE required.  It required a 2-3 page statement, 3 references (handwritten), and transcripts.  I hit some snags with the program (I was applying prior t

MarkMc

MarkMc

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