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Rejections and Being Thankful for What We Have

I haven't posted much recently, but I thought that I would throw out a recent reflection that I think could help a lot of applicants and current grad students. Losing sucks. A lot. Not getting something we really want sucks. A lot. But life goes on. I recently was awarded an Honorable Mention for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. This is a pretty big honor, as 16,000+ students apply each year. I know a few people who have applied multiple years and never eve

Monochrome Spring

Monochrome Spring

 

An Ending to My Application Season

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 better. I will be working toward a dual-Ph.D. in Forestry and Ecology, and I couldn't be more excited. My new advisor's research interests

Monochrome Spring

Monochrome Spring

 

Recruitment Weekend - Day 2

The day started off great. We had breakfast in the hotel, went to lunch with one of the program directors, and then toured the town with grad students. Later, we went to a hockey game and had dinner with grad students in the next town over. Then, for reasons I cannot divulge, I fell out of love with parts of the program. I saw a very dark and disturbing side that I had not expected. For that reason, now I am considering another school that I have an interview with in a few weeks. I've

Monochrome Spring

Monochrome Spring

 

Recruitment Weekend - Day 1

Today was great. I woke up at the equivalent of 3:30AM in my timezone and headed out with a group of other applicants from the department. We got really fancy portfolios with printouts of each professor's research, our personalized itineraries, and some promotional magazines. Then, we had an informational session, during which we got an overview of the departments housed by the larger department we were interviewing in. After that, we had a group meeting with the director to ask questions,

Monochrome Spring

Monochrome Spring

 

Preparing for Recruitment Weekend

It's finally here. I leave for recruitment weekend at my future home (top choice program!) in only four days. I'm not nervous, per se, but I am definitely over-preparing. I re-read all of the emails between me and my future PI, the itinerary from the department, the research section for each interviewer's webpage, and my application materials. I've also started compiling a list of questions to ask during my one-on-one meetings and the group dinners. I've already been accepted, since I won a

Monochrome Spring

Monochrome Spring

 

My GRE Experience

Disclaimer 1: The information I have on how admissions committees use GRE scores is entirely based on information I received from professors at the universities and departments that I am applying to. This can also be field specific. Please take this information with a grain of salt and inquire at your own prospective programs for more information. Remember that GRE scores are nowhere close to the most important part of your application, and many programs don't use them beyond a cutoff or correla

Monochrome Spring

Monochrome Spring

 

Introductions and Stats

I am a senior undergraduate graduating in spring 2014, applying for Ph.D. programs focusing on tropical plant ecology to start in fall 2014. I don't have much to say yet about applications other than that I submitted them, but I am listing my stats below as part of my introduction (taken from the applicants and admissions thread for biological sciences). Undergrad Institution: top 10 public, top 40 national, state school Major: Evolution, Ecology, & Biodiversity Overall GPA: 3.56 Po

Monochrome Spring

Monochrome Spring

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