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  1. 3 points
    I just want to put out there that I'm not a big fan of this year's dissemination method for results. Everyone, whether they win or not, wants the cozy comfort of an official letter to snuggle up to or curse at.
  2. 3 points
    der Träumer

    Fulbright 2013-2014

    The only thing Europeans (and everyone else) are thinking, is how crazy we all are for paying what we do for higher education.
  3. 2 points
    danieleWrites

    I'm older and okay with that.

    But am I a rarified beast? I'm starting on my PhD at the same time my son is starting on his BA. Most of the people in my MA cohort weren't born when I got my high school diploma. I remember research before the Internet, though I have no idea how I lived in a world without google. No, really. I can live happily without a microwave, without cellular service, without bar code scanners, without DVDs and CDs, but no search engines or wifi really sucked in retrospect. Sometimes, I feel like I'm going to be that old lady at my MA graduation ceremony, the one who got a standing ovation and a write up in the paper because she got her degree as an old lady. Of course, she was not only 88, but a really nice woman. I'm 41 and, well, nice is usually used ironically. I hope I'll be done way before I turn 88. It seems like I've been at this education thing forever. I like being older. I don't get the kind of guff from students that most of my cohort did. I don't know if that was age or just me. I have some insight into Raymond Carver because I remember the 70s. Too bad I'm not fond of Carver. I also saw Star Wars, opening night, in the theater. I was 8, but what the heck, right? Billy Idol videos make perfect sense because I grew up under the threat of global thermonuclear destruction. Degree-seeking at this age is fun. Anyone else starting out later in life? Do you think we'll have problems keeping up at recess?
  4. 2 points
    Porshyen

    Fulbright 2013-2014

    I RECEIVED THE FULBRIGHT TO GEORGIA!!! I am shaking.
  5. 2 points
    azeriETA

    Fulbright 2013-2014

    Long time lurker, first time poster. Accepted ETA to Azerbaijan! I just wanted to say thank you to all of you on this board. I know I didn't vocally participate, but I checked it very often, and your friendly chatter and also nervous banter kept me a little more sane during this process. I wish the best to all of you, congrats to all those who receive/d grants, and good luck to everyone!
  6. 2 points
    I also received an email from Dolly! I will be going into my 3rd year PhD to start the award. I am at Concordia Communication Studies. I am actually quite speechless because this is my 3rd time applying for sshrc! I was unable to apply for SSHRC or OGS in my MA because of my low undergrad grades. Now to wonder whether FQSRC will fund a 5th year
  7. 2 points
    Yeah York's benny packages are UNBEATABLE. Thank God for all the Marxists.
  8. 2 points
    champagne

    I'm older and okay with that.

    As someone that falls under this age category, I don't understand the distinction. I feel that the characterization of energy being automatically associated with the younger population is unfairly ageist. If you look at most job postings, they specify an applicant with "great energy" or something along those lines. Does that not automatically (unfairly IMO) connote a younger body? Who's to say that someone in their early 40's cannot bring more energy to a position or a department than someone immediately entering following their undergraduate degree? I would argue that someone who has experienced more of life can bring the same, if not more, energy to the field because they have discovered other things that are not for them, and you know they are in academia for the best reasons. The energy one brings to a department or a field is completely determined by that person. If they want to let their age define that output, that should be up to them, not some unfair prejudice placed in the academic marketplace. Also, I just realized that you placed the caveat of thriving dependent upon the energy you put in, regardless of age. Oh well, I'll still throw my support to the oldies!
  9. 2 points
    soaps

    MPA rankings.

    Oh Jesus, everyone knows the US News ranking is wildly inaccurate. No need to repost it here thus giving it more false credence. Asking people to provide their own rankings accomplishes literally nothing except revealing the biases of everyone here. If you want an informal assessment of the top programs, you can search practically every thread in this forum.
  10. 2 points
    CEUStudies

    Fulbright 2013-2014

    Let's hope so! Good luck to everyone who hasn't heard yet and congratulations to everyone that has . And if you didn't get it this year, I wish you an excellent year of planning so that you can try again starting... Oh wait, Wednesday!
  11. 2 points
    NowMoreSerious

    I'm older and okay with that.

    Heh. As a 34 year old starting my PhD this fall, I can assure you that many of us have not been spending all of these intervening years just soaking up literature. Many of us have been working full time in careers unrelated to academia, getting married, having kids, getting laid off, divorced, etc, etc. If anything our only advantage is maybe some perspective and experiences with hardship and failure, since many early 20's PhD students have basically been academic rock stars most of their lives. But I'm not sure that makes up for the type of energy that only somebody in their early 20's can have. If you pour that energy into your work, you'll thrive.
  12. 2 points
    Imago

    Studying for the GRE Thread

    That's a hard question. I don't know how much you studied for the practice test you took, but I'd say it's not a bad starting point. It all depends on how easily you can learn the concepts tested and how fast you can adapt to the test's time constraints. If you really want to ace the GRE, make sure you get the scores you want on three consecutive practice tests. Also, I highly recommend the Manhattan Strategy guides for the quant section. They are simply the best out there. The Princeton Review, on the other hand, is pretty solid for the verbal section.
  13. 1 point
    Tsetso_BG

    Harvard Kennedy School 2014

    Hi everyone, I have decided to create this topic for all of us who are planning to apply to HKS this fall. I'm particularly interested in the MPP program. We can introduce ourselves here, share experience and advice and of course freak out together when decisions are about to be released. Anyone else?
  14. 1 point
    ak48

    Working during Graduate School

    The mathematical possibility of obtaining an overall 3.9 GPA indicates your grades weren't that affected.
  15. 1 point
    I'm not a troll. I don't know what FQRSC is. Probably because I didn't apply for it. I've applied for CIHR and OGS and recieved OGS and was shortlisted for CIHR. This was my first year applying for SSHRC and there are multiple awards and have varying durations. So yea, RELAX My department emailed me on Friday saying I recieved a SSHRC award but with no details about the amount or duration as I am assuming there is a privacy issue of sorts and want me to recieve official news from SSHRC. Not all departments operate the same as you can see some department waited later to release their results. Stop being so judgemental and get off your high horse... my goodness.... THANK YOU to the above poster. Yea my graduate career has been a bit complicated, not having a masters and being in a PhD program that isn't combined or fast tracked and taking a medical leave for a year. The admin works get tricky to keep up on.
  16. 1 point
    A cocky guy I know (with no advanced education) often says: "I have a PhD - a post hole digger."
  17. 1 point
    meaningless

    Studying for the GRE Thread

    i think it is time to update my progress: Practice test scores: Barron's (17-18 Apr) practice test (online prep) V:155-160 Kaplan (19 Apr) V: 152, Q: 168 (first time to meet 320) Manhattan (22 - 25 Apr) 1st: Q164, V: 158 2nd: Q 166, V: 162 3rd: Q 166, V: 157 PowerPrep II (1st set) (25 Apr) Q: 167 V: 155 I hope my progress can bolster the motivation of the multiple time takers. Q: the improvement, if really considered a significant change, is by practicing over and over again (manhattan). IMHO i think manhattan Q is a bit more difficult than Magoosh, but then to be fair i will have a more detail evaluation after my exam on this Sat. Just one thing to add: Barron's Q is for basic of basic. if you are aiming for >155 then just forget about Barron's quant practice. V: except expanding the vocab, i use Barron's six practice test and their online prep majorly. they focus on obscure vocabulary, and the RC is really good in the questions setting and the comprehensiveness and structure of the passage is parallel to the one in the 1st set of powerprep. I would recommend Barron as your Verbal prep. Less than a week for the exam. in the time being i will try to: 1. complete the Barron six practice test 2. complete the remaining 3 Manhattan practice test 3. complete the 2nd set of PowerPrep II practice test And I think to try to adjust your expected score is another important step in your prep too. As I think Q 170 is beyond my reach, so then i will try to secure a higher V score to obtain the minimum 320. If I keep insisting on getting Q 170 then I will be too stressed out and that is the last thing you want for exam preparation and also the exam itself. of course i will keep up with that and maybe i can get the targeted prefect score on the test day? who knows
  18. 1 point
    ilovewesties

    Fulbright 2013-2014

    Haha literally all of y'all's responses are making me almost cry :') I applied to Kyrgyzstan - who knew that there were so many people in love with the country like me?
  19. 1 point
    Honestly, it shouldn't matter what they think. You will fit in with your own field, and if other fields resort to snobbery, ignore them (when possible). Their opinions can't hurt you if you didn't care about their opinions in the first place. Also, you shouldn't feel a need to downplay your accomplishments. Be proud of what you've done. In the case of being forced to interact with such people, stand up for yourself. Let them know that you are proud of what you've done and that a balance of studies is important, not just STEM ones. Don't resort to insulting anyone back, of course, but make it known that you are not going to let them belittle you with ignorant comments.
  20. 1 point
    muro0901

    MPA rankings.

    While I too agree that the rankings do have some innate inaccuracies, I do think it provides a glimpse into a schools quality. The survey is administered to deans, directors and department chairs of the 266 public affairs institutions in the US (two per school), who I would hope have some amount of expertise on the subject even if they are biased. A basic 1 to 5 quality score is given and then averaged to come up with the final ranking. The response rate is actually 39% which really isn't that bad (if you have ever administered a large survey before you will know). I think the point is well taken that public affairs is loosely defined, but US News doesn’t even create the definition they are supplied a list of schools by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. All of this information can be found in their methodology section (a section that most people do not know exists it would seem). To be clear I don’t put too much stake in these rankings, but I do think they get a worse reputation than they deserve. Honestly, it is the best source out there and while imperfect (and skewed toward academia) it does provide some useful information about a programs quality. No one should ever make a decision based solely on these ranking, but as you search for schools I don’t think keeping them in mind does any great disservice to you.
  21. 1 point
    By the way, not to highjack the topic but for all of us, here is some food for thought. What is your research worth? http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/04/25/pol-harper-trinidad.html?cmp=googleeditorspick
  22. 1 point
    I'm not sure how to find which specific grants a professor has received unless it's explicitly stated on their group website. For the second question, just look at what the lab research is, and what topics the published papers are.
  23. 1 point
    der Träumer

    Fulbright 2013-2014

    Agreed. I don't remember one ETA in my entire 2010-2011 cohort who attended an Ivy League. I'm sure there were a few, but not enough for me to make note of it. A lot of my friends were from small, liberal arts schools in the Pacific Northwest/Midwest.
  24. 1 point
    there'sanappforthat

    Fulbright 2013-2014

    Just think, not much longer you will be on the other side of the fence, telling everyone you know about your aweseome plans. Because I really think you are going to get it, and if you don't.. I might just have to start sending some anonymous letters to the Fulbright council... I went to my cousin's son's baptism over the weekend and was asked a lot of questions about my upcoming trip. I kind of felt bad that I was taking away some of the limelight from the little guy. Okay, no, I'm lying, I loved it!! I love talking about getting to go to Germany, I am kind of a sucker for the attention, I'm embarrassed to say!
  25. 1 point
    msmith1990

    What is "hot" in history today?

    I disagree with you on this one, although I think you've got some valuable stuff in your other points. Digital history actually facilitates interdisciplinary work in a lot of ways. One of my first independent research projects was a digital reconstruction of a ruined Irish cathedral as it might have looked 800 years ago, and then using that model to track how it changed, and what those architectural changes reflected about shifting perceptions of ethnicity. So there you've got history, art history, graphic design, anthropology, and maybe a few more social sciences to boot. I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of the digital revolution. I'm mostly a paper person, myself. But the tools these developments give us are actually extremely valuable in breaking in some new ground, not just teaching the old, worn-out stuff.
  26. 1 point
    cp13

    NDSEG Fellowship 2012-2013

    to offer some hope, I declined my award to accept an NSF, best of luck to the rest of you and I am sorry that you are being kept waiting.
  27. 1 point
    ridofme

    Is my plan feasible?/Programs in NYC

    This is not a ridiculously early time to consider applying. Most applications are due in December/January, and there's a lot of prep you'll have to do before then. I actually think you're right on schedule. If I were you, I would put all of my effort into studying for the GRE and finding a volunteer position/internship/job. I would suggest taking the GRE in early fall at the latest, so that you'll have time to re-take it if your scores aren't as high as you'd like them to be. The weakest part of your application, as you seem to realize, is going to be your work experience. Even if you find something that starts in May, you'll only have about 6 months experience at the time of application. Do you have a policy area of interest? Going abroad would only make sense if you are interested in international issues, which I'm guessing you're not, based on your work history and the programs to which you're applying (I assume you're doing the MPA at SIPA?). Also, hopefully you have a pretty solid reason that you left TFA (e.g. family/health emergency). You'll need to find a way to spin that. You also want to think about who will write your rec letters - most programs require three. Now could be a good time to reach out to old undergrad profs and let them know you're thinking of applying to grad school. Maybe they can even give you some advice on different programs. Finally - I know you did business undergrad, but did you take any econ/stat/calc classes? If not, taking one or two classes at a community college could help bolster your application. Good luck!
  28. 1 point
    Swagato

    I'm older and okay with that.

    It just refers to the Carnegie rankings.
  29. 1 point
    TakeruK

    Taxing Fellowships in the US

    I had meant to include this link with my first post, which was where I got a lot of my info when I first found out about the whole taxes on fellowships deal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States While we are studying in the US, we are still "residents of Canada for tax purposes" (unless you did drastic things to get rid of your Canadian residency status). This means that you are allowed to claim the tuition and fees you pay to your US school as Canadian Education Tax Credits!! You probably know that you can save / carry over education tax credits from year to year, so at least when you return to Canada, you will have a pile of tax credits and you might not have to pay (or pay only a reduced amount) of income tax for awhile. (I only found out about the tuition thing just last week, so I have to file a correction to my already submitted return!) Here's something you should read about filing Canadian taxes as a Canadian resident who is living in the US: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/t4131/ (I find it easier to view in HTML). See especially the first few sections on what it means to have residential ties in Canada. The "factual resident" (i.e. resident for tax purposes but not actually living in Canada at the moment) description below explicitly describes students as a type of factual resident. Just to be safe, you should try to keep as many ties in Canada as possible -- don't cancel/close your bank accounts, change your permanent address to be a Canadian one (maybe a parent or family member?) etc. Here is another publication from the CRA about being a student in another country: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/rc192/README.html Of particular interest is scrolling down to the section about the Tuition and Textbook amounts (direct link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/rc192/rc192-e.html#P192_0010) where it tells you which version of the Form TL11 you need to complete next year (TL11 is the equivalent to the T2202A but for foreign universities). Also, by the way, if you are used to filing taxes online, unfortunately, if you are living outside of Canada, we will have to mail in a paper tax return! And we are ineligible to file our US taxes online because we are not residents of the US. So it's like the worst of both worlds? Fortunately, we do not have to pay "double taxes" though -- we file income from US sources with their IRS and any income from Canadian sources with the CRA.
  30. 1 point
    Just to conclude this post in case anyone is wondering, I'm going to Korbel. SAIS might be the better school but Korbel is a good school with some notable professors and the 95+ thousand more is just not worth it for SAIS. On top of that Korbel offered an RA position as well which sounds really interesting. Thanks for all the advice.
  31. 1 point
    Lucia Werd

    MFA 2013 Waitinglist Support Group

    It's so quiet these days on the forum, especially compared to the frenzie we had a few weeks ago. I guess not many of us are still waiting for answers...
  32. 1 point
    Even in the hard sciences, after you get past Nature and Science, there isn't really a journal that could trump them all. In astronomy/planetary sciences, there are something like 4-5 other journals that would be roughly similar. And considering that Nature and Science is very exclusive, most people in the hard sciences will be in a similar situation as you described for the humanities and social sciences above. In my field, I don't think it matters too much whether you publish all 4 of your papers in the same journal or in different journals. The editors / editorial process may be different but chances are, you are not really going to get different peer reviewers because chances are, many authorities in the field have published in all the similar journals and so they would likely be peer reviewing submissions from many journals. Also, it's not like people read journal articles by reading a physical or electronic copy of a journal issue cover to cover. So, in my field anyways, you don't really have to worry about not reaching a specific audience by choosing the "wrong" journal. The people interested in your work will find your article through some centralized indexing/abstract service, such as arxiv, Web of Science, NASA ADS, etc. When we (fellow grad students, as well as post-docs and profs) discuss a journal article, we might not even remember what journal it was published in until we look up the actual bibliographical reference. But there are still some good reasons to pick one journal over another. The first one is impact factor for the particular topic/subfield of your general field but as discussed above, sometimes the differences aren't really there. Another one could be if your paper is expanding on previous work, you would probably publish it in the same journal. Or, you might find out that another group is doing very similar work so you might coordinate with them to submit your independent work simultaneously to the same issue of the same journal. Or maybe the same differences in editorial policies and timescales for review might be important. Finally, in the sciences, the PI is often a coauthor and a lot of times, as students, we end up submitting where our supervisors suggest.
  33. 1 point
    I think you're taking the right approach. In my opinion, keeping an open mind about research and not overcommitting to a particular discipline is the best way to conduct research that is relevant; at least in the social sciences. The social sciences are so heavily interrelated that researchers who take the most myopic view of research are the most likely to become overspecialized and consequently less relevant. Some of the best research I have seen in I/O psychology, for instance, has drawn heavily from theory in other related disciplines such as social psychology, economics, management science, and even clincial psychology (not all at once though ). No worries - your post didn't come across as arrogant to me. If you are really set on a particular journal, I wouldn't worry about spacing out the time between submission as long as what you submit is of high quality. I do not think that submission freqeuncy has much bearing on acceptance. The only individual who knows the author(s) of the submitted paper is the editor. Provided you do not receive a desk rejection due to some fatal flaw in your paper, it makes no difference to the reviewers how frequently you submit because they won't know who wrote the papers That being said, the creation of sound theory and rigorous research takes time, and so time will inevitably elapse regardless between submissions (perhaps more than you would sometimes want...!).
  34. 1 point
    secretlyismaili

    Fulbright 2013-2014

    It would rule if we could all chill together
  35. 1 point
    NorcalSLP

    2013 SLP Admissions Thread!

    you're out of field right? well getting into a program without any background is really hard. the first time i applied i was wait listed and rejected from every 3 year program I applied to. But I got into most of the post bacc programs and in my second round got into a number of good graduate programs. Not only did I get second bachelors in SLP but I worked in research, volunteered a lot and retook the GRE. Instead of focusing on not getting in and crying as a result you should focus on what you are going to do to better your application. Portland States post bacc program for example is non competitive (you apply you get in) and you get a very in depth background. Idk much about USUs program but it is very popular. I'm really not trying to be mean, and you still have other schools to hear from, but wallowing in not getting into a program isn't going to DO anything to help your application for the next go round. I understand your frustration and your disappointment but honestly the best thing you can do is channel those feelings into making yourself a better candidate.
  36. 1 point
    I got accepted off the waitlist on Wednesday with full funding. I'm still in shock. Best of wishes to everyone; I hope you hear good news soon!
  37. 1 point
    FrankForum

    NDSEG Fellowship 2012-2013

    No I am glad that it is after the GRFP date. Some people applied to both and by accepting the GRFP maybe they have to declien this one. I only applied to this one so maybe my chances are slightly better. When is that date?
  38. 1 point
    Thank you so much! Ethnomusicology, eh? I was a music major in undergrad. Left my career as a professional clarinetist a year ago (after 17 years). Good luck to you! I got my rejection letter about an hour ago. I am extremely relieved and looking forward to the pause. I will apply again next year and see what happens. If I'm rejected again, there will be tears and devastation but this year? I'm A-OK. Thanks to all who've pulled for me these last few weeks and I sincerely wish all the best to each of you.
  39. 1 point
    This won't be very useful for your immediate finances, but remember that there are tax exemptions for moving for a job, and I think there are ways to make that count for grad school. So if you pay for your move, save ALL your receipts, and Uncle Sam will pay you back next April! http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc455.html
  40. 1 point
    Don't look back! Fletcher is a great school and I think a lot of these schools are similar! As for the Ivy League thing, who cares.
  41. 1 point
    There's always room for a good hallucination.....it's what keeps life interesting! So, to refresh people who forgot all about my plight....ruthlessly rejected by my dream program (ON VALENTINE'S DAY FOR GODSAKES). The only one I applied to. However, I was told that in May I could apply to take a class in the program (free) as a non-matriculated student! And also find out from the admin committee what I need to do better next time. So, let's hope that when I send the email requesting paperwork, on May 1st mind you, that it will all be true. Looking forward to attending this program, one way or another! I know the power of the good vibes from this thread, so start sending them to Brooklyn!!!!!!!
  42. 1 point
    ridofme

    Fletcher's Peers

    It looks like the list is just IR schools. While WWS and HKS are policy programs, a lot of people go to those schools to focus on international issues.
  43. 1 point
    fuzzylogician

    Feeling Bullied

    RNadine, I'm so sorry to hear that this ordeal with the difficult committee member hasn't yet resolved itself! I remember your previous post and the distress it caused you then, it's terrible that the situation is still ongoing. I think it's important to bring someone in, and as you say - start with your advisor. You should be very honest with your advisor about the financial as well as emotional difficulties that this person has been creating for you. Since assigning blame isn't going to be useful here, I think you want to come in with a goal in mind that you will graduate by a certain date, and therefore will defend and file your thesis by a certain date. This is precisely where your advisor and other committee members should be championing your cause and defending you against this person. I think it's a perfectly legitimate request to have an agreed upon set of things you need to do and also at the same time a date for a defense and graduation! If you can have a written document specifying tasks you need to accomplish and these dates, and if everyone but this person agree to this plan, that's an important step for dealing with this person. If this person is notorious for being difficult, then people also have experience in dealing with this problem. Maybe you can get these people with more experience to lead the effort to solve the problem? Also, if there is no way (or will) to try and force his hand from within the department, then there are ways to do so without -- there must be an ombudsperson at your university who has had experience dealing with such situations. If you can't agree on a defense date and an end to the changes (when everybody else agrees they're unnecessary), then maybe it's time to get this external help. But before you do anything, if you've been putting up a brave front, I think it's time to be very clear about all the ways in which this is hurting you and trying to work with your advisor to end this situation.
  44. 1 point
    ghanada

    Life of a Grad Student in Engineering

    I have done a Masters in EE and now my PhD in BME. I can tell you it is absolutely what you make of it. If you want to take your time, pay more money, and cruise there is nothing wrong with that and it is very doable. Some people just work/study all day and have 0 life. I prefer something in the middle. But all will work. For my Masters I knew I wanted to get into a top notch PhD program so I wanted to be a superstar. I probably put in 70-80 hrs/week to get through all my coursework quickly. However, I was well balanced and had a good amount of free time and screw around time sprinkled in. That way I was able to spend 1 year full time working on my MS thesis which ended up being about 200 pages long. However, I am getting multiple publications out of it and it was key to getting me into some great PhD choices. Anyways, now that I am finishing my 1st year of my PhD I can say that I probably average around 80-90 hours of "work" a week. I use the word work lightly because to me it is more like play. I love my research, love my projects, love my advisor, love my labmates, love my school. I work lots of hours and very hard, but I am not stressed at all. I don't really have deadlines and my adviser doesn't care how many hours I put in. He works in a completely different building so I could take weeks off at a time if I wanted and nobody would really care. But I honestly wake up everyday excited to get into work and I leave every night sad that I have to catch the last bus home. I would rather work 80 hrs/week doing something I am passionate about and find both fun and rewarding than work 40 hrs/week doing something I hated. You know that old saying, "do what you love and never work a day in your life"? That is how I seriously feel.
  45. 1 point
    TeaGirl

    Life of a Grad Student in Engineering

    80 hrs per week? 12hr days 7 days a week? I don't think that is physically even possible. I'd be comatose by hour 60. I'd say treat it like a full time job while keeping flexibility. If you have to, schedule down time and fun activities that you have to go to (either with friends, school clubs, sports, etc.) to avoid being sucked into nothing but research. During my MS I found that the best thing was to plan what you wanted to get done each week (aside from coursework) and get it done. Extra time is free time. Honestly, at the height of my MS thesis writing combined with teaching and setting up an big experiment, I'd say I was putting in about 35-40 hrs per week. Some weeks more, some weeks less. However, when I work, I work. I tend to not waste time while working. I think if you prioritize and are motivated and efficient, you can make your working hours productive without wasting time, and still manage to have plenty of time left over for fun activities and relaxing your brain. I think this work rhythm will do well for my PhD.
  46. 1 point
    It went to my SPAM! I found out 2 days later...cried excessively after screaming!
  47. 1 point
    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!
  48. 1 point
    chessmathter

    Iranian Admitted Students

    Dear Ahmad It would be much better if you started a new topic and asked your question there. This topic is dedicated to another question. Anyway , given your good background I know that you might be expecting yourself to make it to the top 10 or so. It is important to know that your qualifications might be good among the students of your university or even the country but do not convey your ability to continue in top schools. Unfortunately I should tell you that your chance will not be high for these schools either unless maybe for UIUC. I recommend that you choose two top 10 schools, 5 in top 20 and three outside this range as your safe school. You also have the option to choose a Canadian school for MS and then apply for a Ph,D in US. If you have more questions on this please start a new topic.
  49. 1 point
    ahmadpashaei

    Iranian Admitted Students

    what's you idea about my chance? I'm an electrical student in field control and instrumentation in University of applied science and technology-Sapco Tehran- and I will graduate in Feb,2013.I'm going to continue my education in the USA or Canada for Master and PH.D.I haven't ever had an article yet.But I try about it and I learn English.Although I hope I can get 7 score in Ielts exam at least,I didn't start studying for the GRE exam.I suppose that I would get 160 score in the verbal section and 170 in the quant section.My GPA=19.4 from20 till now.I was TA 3 times and I can get some good recommendation letters.On the other hand,I was responsible(I don't know exactly a suitable word) of laboratory for 2 terms.In addition I have 4 relevent certificates related to electrical enginering such as Matlab software, industrial electricity,etc. from Technical&Vocational Training Organization.what's your opinion about my chance?wha't your advise?
  50. 1 point
    "Why did you apply to schools that are so far away and cold? You could just go to UT Austin." "You want to study monkeys? And then what.. be a zoo keeper?" Or my favorite from my 28 yr old neighbor just the other day-- Her: I want to apply to graduate school! Me: That's great! For what? Her: Oh, I don't know. But I want to live in Arizona so I guess I will go to Arizona state university. Me: Wait, you don't know what you want to do? What was your undergrad degree? Her: Psychology, but I don't know if I will like that. I really want to study the body. Me: Um, ok so you mean you would like to be an MD? Her: What? I don't know but I like Biology.... Me: I tell you what, why don't you start looking at graduate programs in Arizona and see what makes you happy. (I'll help her along as much as I can, but I never met someone so full of excitement who had no idea what she should be excited about.)


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