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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/25/2020 in Blog Entries

  1. 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 applications. So, here we go! The statement of purpose, or what I like to refer to as the cover
    10 points
  2. 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 don't have a neat, packaged project that I can talk about or submit as a writing sample. I'm stil
    7 points
  3. MarkMc

    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 hopes of getting 2. The year prior to my application they accepted only and were looking for facul
    2 points
  4. 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. PLEASE, keep in mind, all of this is from my very limited perspective of a first generation, first
    2 points
  5. My apologies for taking so long to get this post up! I started classes and have been pretty sick. As a reminder, the more questions you ask me, the more I know what you want answers to! The purpose of the post for today is to provide my insights into interviews and hopefully ease some fears by helping you figure out what to expect at a biomedical science, molecular biology, immunology, or similar interview. I have a few questions that were in my message box, but other than that, I'm just going to fill in the pieces. You guys need to remember that at most institutions, if you're selected
    1 point
  6. 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 admission criteria I checked it all (over GRE requirements, over GPA requirements, lengthy job hist
    1 point
  7. vestigialtraits

    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 even though it worked out to me, it's always nice to have a backup plan. But if just one school get
    1 point
  8. 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 even gotten that. But, of course I'm still bitter that I didn't get the full award. To make things worse, t
    1 point
  9. vestigialtraits

    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 didn't put an incredible amount of thought into until I was about halfway done with college (about a y
    1 point
  10. 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 Thursday, I drove to WMU. It took about nine hours, and I was hungry by the time I got to campus. My
    1 point
  11. NOWAYNOHOW

    It Happened

    This morning I woke up to the coldest winter day so far this year. I could barely bring myself to get out of bed. Making coffee was a chore. My apartment was freezing. Our shitty prewar radiators are no match for this kind of weather. I just wanted to get back under my comforter, preferably wearing at least six pairs of sweatpants and my parka, and sleep until May. By 9AM, I'd already checked my email and this board approximately 200 times. The last couple of months haven't been easy for me. After implied rejections from what I felt were some of my strongest fits, I was feeling discouraged.
    1 point
  12. I'm not sure what's got hold of me lately. I feel my PhD has been a waste. I'm close to the end of my fourth year. By September, it will be my fifth year in the program. When I started in the lab, I was assigned four different projects, all were outside of the lab's expertise (and of course I wouldn't have expertise either). I didn't really think much of them besides seeing them as brand new challenges, new opportunities to learn and explore. As time goes on, things were tough, and inevitably some projects came to dead ends. The surviving projects are one high-throughput screening I single-
    1 point
  13. Folks, I think I figured it out. I look at the people who are in programs and doing things I want to do. Fuzzy Suessian, Resurgence(ZN), etc and I notice a particular thing they have in common. They’re all above 200 internet/reputation points. THAT’S what you turn these in for, an acceptance! I dunno how the adcomms figure out who is who but they’re sneaky… good thing you have me here to keep them honest. Muwahahaha all I need to do now is post more puppy pics and I’ll be in for sure! *ring ring* Hello, Berkeley (BARKley?)This is Bowties – my puppy pics are trending and I’ve got
    1 point


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