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zapster

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  1. Upvote
    zapster reacted to Kamisha in Should you get a humanities PhD at all?   
    Without condescension, I’m curious about what prompted you to create an account today and post this? I would understand a bit more if you were a GradCafe regular who had developed relationships with members on this site, but creating an account simply to post this is interesting. 
     
    I understand that many individuals who are in the market or are getting ready to enter it are currently feeling the stress of competition and poor job prospects. It may be that your intentions are holistic and you sincerely feel inclined to steer others away from making the same choices you did. If that is indeed the case, why speak up in March after people have already invested their time and energy into applying? And if you just suddenly felt the urge to speak up today, what special thing happened to make it imperative do so? What I find particularly interesting about the timing of your post is that you seem to be speaking to those who are already accepted. You say, “...you should be asking yourself in this season of acceptances if you should be going to graduate school at all.” Why not warn individuals before they apply rather than wait until they are accepted? Rather than letting them enjoy success, it’s almost as if you are attempting to tear it away from them by telling them that an acceptance really means nothing in the grand scheme of things. You may think that true (and maybe you don’t...I’m just telling you what I see in the post), it is a bit cruel of you to do so. 
     
    The job market is absolutely bleak. I think most (if not all) of us who haunt GradCafe are aware of that. We know that most PhDs must search for 6-10 years before landing a tenure-track line (if they ever do). We’ve seen the statistics, been warned by faculty members, and have been cautioned by other GradCafe members. We are, arguably, the most aware of job prospects because it is pointed out to us daily in all contexts. I’m not meaning this is a flame at all, but I really would like to know the thought process of individuals such as yourself who feel as though it is their moral obligation to speak to those of us who are applying and caution us against doing so. Why is that your place? Again, I understand that the intention may be holistic in nature, but it still feels as though it borders on condescension. 
     
    Again, this isn’t meant as a flame. I’m just genuinely curious about the mindset and the motivation behind this post. If you want to PM a response rather than post it on the feed, that would work, too. 
  2. Upvote
    zapster reacted to TDazzle in Should you get a humanities PhD at all?   
    So just to be clear: you came to a message board full of people applying to English/Rhetoric/Comparative Literature PhD programs and decided that, now, in March, 5 months after applying, you will remind us of the news no one doesn't know and repeat to us the websites and stats our loved ones, family members, and friends harp to us constantly?
     
    Do you have a Kickstarter page so I can fund you to push kids off swings while telling them Santa doesn't exist?
  3. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from BCB in If I knew then what I know now...   
    Starting the SOPs earlier is great for one more reason...writing my SOPs helped me in selecting and finalizing the programs I finally applied to - the process provides unbelievable clarity and helps self-assess goodness of fit with the program. I thought I had a final list of programs ready after months of research on schools, rankings, departments, POIs, publications etc. - but once I started writing my SOPs, I eliminated half my list and added as many new ones !
  4. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from DHumeDominates in Asking out a shy (maybe introverted) guy   
    As he would by getting asked out....don't overthink it !
  5. Downvote
    zapster reacted to auspiciouslinds in Is a Ph.D. even worth it?   
    I'm a senior biochemistry major who has always wanted to pursue a Ph.D. because I've always had a thirst for learning more and doing cancer research (for personal reasons).
     
    I've been reading A LOT lately about graduate school life and post graduate school life. It seems that MOST people hate graduate school and some even end up hating research! After obtaining a Ph.D., the job market is TERRIBLE going into industry (due to lack of experience for people who jump right into graduate school after undergraduate) and EXTREMELY competitive going into academia.
     
    I can go into industry after I get my BSci, but the pay would may be the equivalent of a non-degree job. 
    I don't have money to fund a masters.
    I may want to go into academia.
     
    What's everyones opinion?
    What I've read on the internet about how dumb getting a Ph.D. is and the aftermath seems sort of biased.
    What about the good stories? 
  6. Upvote
    zapster reacted to child of 2 in thinking about a smartphone   
    here's why I don't care for facebook, flash games and all those fancy apps
     

     
    I'm at phase 4 now, and i'd rather keep at that before I become one of those smartphone cyber witches.
     
    Actually I think I might forgo the thought of getting a smartphone. the GPS kills the battery, and my old GPS is good enough to allow me to save locations and not get lost. My family pays $16 bucks/month for our plan...  also, I can afford to drop my phone, and not give a shit. Thanks for the help though
  7. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from acarol in Summer Slump   
    Some slump-beaters that have worked for me, can't explain why some of them work though!
     
    1. Change the time of the day/night you work - really flip it around. For example if you are normally a late sleeper working late into the night, try sleeping early and waking at a weird 4am for a few days, or take a 3 hour nap say from 10pm to 1am and then start working - something you would not normally do. You don't need to persist with this - just do this for a few days, enough to get out of the slump.
     
    2. Start a new mini-project, something that might be useful in the long run. Forget about your existing work to bring back the excitement of "starting" something new. Once you're excited enough - get back to reality [ ]. This way, your time-out is not really wasted.
     
    3. Work in micro-sized bits - make a list of say half a dozen things to be done, and keep skipping around all of them. It does not even have to be concrete work - just read a bit here and there, think through what needs to be done for a certain task etc. I have no idea why this works (any theories?) but usually gets me going pretty quickly. 
     
    4. Find your "switch / triggers" - certain music/TV programs/activities somehow seem to get me into a mood for working. Many have the opposite effect - know which one is which!
     
    5. Try to talk about your work, setup lots of meetings or find new people to discuss ideas with. "Socializing" my work or simply talking about it has been the most effective way for me to get out of vacation-mode.
     
    6. Try fuzzy's way - this has worked well for me as well - although I have not always had the ability to completely take a few days off.
     
    7. Perhaps the most ridiculous one - start thinking about your research and then extrapolate-fantasize it into game changing breakthroughs that will completely rock your field - quite motivating (if not a wee bit embarrassing, but what the heck!)
  8. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from lafresca in Summer Slump   
    Some slump-beaters that have worked for me, can't explain why some of them work though!
     
    1. Change the time of the day/night you work - really flip it around. For example if you are normally a late sleeper working late into the night, try sleeping early and waking at a weird 4am for a few days, or take a 3 hour nap say from 10pm to 1am and then start working - something you would not normally do. You don't need to persist with this - just do this for a few days, enough to get out of the slump.
     
    2. Start a new mini-project, something that might be useful in the long run. Forget about your existing work to bring back the excitement of "starting" something new. Once you're excited enough - get back to reality [ ]. This way, your time-out is not really wasted.
     
    3. Work in micro-sized bits - make a list of say half a dozen things to be done, and keep skipping around all of them. It does not even have to be concrete work - just read a bit here and there, think through what needs to be done for a certain task etc. I have no idea why this works (any theories?) but usually gets me going pretty quickly. 
     
    4. Find your "switch / triggers" - certain music/TV programs/activities somehow seem to get me into a mood for working. Many have the opposite effect - know which one is which!
     
    5. Try to talk about your work, setup lots of meetings or find new people to discuss ideas with. "Socializing" my work or simply talking about it has been the most effective way for me to get out of vacation-mode.
     
    6. Try fuzzy's way - this has worked well for me as well - although I have not always had the ability to completely take a few days off.
     
    7. Perhaps the most ridiculous one - start thinking about your research and then extrapolate-fantasize it into game changing breakthroughs that will completely rock your field - quite motivating (if not a wee bit embarrassing, but what the heck!)
  9. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from ArtHistoryandMuseum in Summer Slump   
    Some slump-beaters that have worked for me, can't explain why some of them work though!
     
    1. Change the time of the day/night you work - really flip it around. For example if you are normally a late sleeper working late into the night, try sleeping early and waking at a weird 4am for a few days, or take a 3 hour nap say from 10pm to 1am and then start working - something you would not normally do. You don't need to persist with this - just do this for a few days, enough to get out of the slump.
     
    2. Start a new mini-project, something that might be useful in the long run. Forget about your existing work to bring back the excitement of "starting" something new. Once you're excited enough - get back to reality [ ]. This way, your time-out is not really wasted.
     
    3. Work in micro-sized bits - make a list of say half a dozen things to be done, and keep skipping around all of them. It does not even have to be concrete work - just read a bit here and there, think through what needs to be done for a certain task etc. I have no idea why this works (any theories?) but usually gets me going pretty quickly. 
     
    4. Find your "switch / triggers" - certain music/TV programs/activities somehow seem to get me into a mood for working. Many have the opposite effect - know which one is which!
     
    5. Try to talk about your work, setup lots of meetings or find new people to discuss ideas with. "Socializing" my work or simply talking about it has been the most effective way for me to get out of vacation-mode.
     
    6. Try fuzzy's way - this has worked well for me as well - although I have not always had the ability to completely take a few days off.
     
    7. Perhaps the most ridiculous one - start thinking about your research and then extrapolate-fantasize it into game changing breakthroughs that will completely rock your field - quite motivating (if not a wee bit embarrassing, but what the heck!)
  10. Upvote
    zapster reacted to danieleWrites in How Would You Grade These AW Answers?   
    I've been teaching Comp 1 and Comp 2 for several years. As a comp teacher, I would give you a C- on the news program prompt and a B on the national curriculum prompt. AS a GRE scorer: not a clue.
     
    The news program response has a few simple fixes. First, your thesis statement is blandly vague and doesn't actually say anything. The sentence prior to that does give you the meat of the argument, but your response uses that as introductory material and never addresses it. You need to combine the idea that correlation does not mean causation with the idea that more evidence is necessary. Your main points do not address causation directly and clearly, or how the lack of correlation between complaints/revenue loss means they need more local stuff. Your thesis statement should be focused. It should make a specific claim with reasoning (more evidence is needed because correlation does not mean causation), rather than just a blank claim (more evidence is needed). Vague. The second problem is a problem in both responses. Your word and syntactical choices. You needlessly complicate your responses with big words and funky structure that relies on passive voice. Example: "There is much that needs to be elucidated." The phrase "coterminal events" is so Talcott Parsons. You sacrifice clarity for GRE buzz words. You sacrifice your credibility for fancy words. As Strunk and White so sagely advise: never use a big word when a normal word will do. Do not say precipitation when rain will do. Worse is passive voice. Passive voice has its uses, but it's difficult to read and, more importantly, it's boring. The GRE graders will be reading reams of these things. Do not bore or confuse the GRE graders for they will downgrade you for it. And they will be correct to do so.
     
    Now, you do have some strong things happening in your responses. You have a thesis in both of them, and the thesis statement in the national curriculum is a strong thesis statement. Your main points clearly, logically, and reasonably support your thesis, which clearly expresses the central idea of your response. Your evidence is logical and you give a strong argument with it. You have obviously strong language skills, though you don't apply them correctly to the rhetorical situation. Analyze the prompt carefully. Note that the news program prompt says "our news program", meaning that your response is to be aimed at someone involved in making decisions at a local station, not at the GRE grader.
     
    Suggested reading: William Zinnser's On Writing Well (I like the 30th anniversary edition). I think it's better than Strunk and White, though a little Strunk and White goes a long, long way.
     
    Caveat emptor: I have never graded a GRE paper and I never will. I know nothing about their grading rubric.
  11. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from La_Di_Da in CV question   
    Re: Addendum - probably not the technically right word I used . Basically just a separate sheet added at the end of your CV, can be titled something like "List of relevant coursework <and skill sets XYZ> undertaken". Organize by key sub-themes depending on your area of specialization / skill sets etc. (For example, Quantitative Coursework/Skills, Programming Coursework/Skills, Sociology Coursework/Skills, etc. etc.)
     
    There may be many reasons why this is useful over and above a transcript:
    Transcript has details of too many courses, making it difficult to identify the courses most relevant to the area of interest Transcript has courses specific to an area spread over various semesters etc - a single sheet provides a comprehensive view of courses in specific areas Transcript may have names that do not describe the actual content of the course  It signals that you are aware of what sort of underlying coursework is relevant and important You can add supplementary information not available in a transcript to pose a comprehensive view - e.g. any courses undertaken outside your university, summer courses, online courses, self-study courses, etc. as well as any additional skill sets you have acquired, research or programming tools you have learnt etc. For students where some semesters are still to be completed, you can even mention key courses you expect to take.
  12. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from music in Should I memorize words?   
    I disagree slightly with most opinions here - I think the best way is not to memorize ready word lists. A much much better way is simply to practice a lot of the verbal sections on various practice tests, and every time you come across a word you do not understand (whether it forms part of an RC passage, or one of the multiple option answer choices etc) note it down and check the meaning. Over time you should develop a reasonably long list of words that you can keep browsing over. After a few days, you can start knocking off words that you are comfortable with so you maintain a rolling list. Yes, in a way, this is also "memorizing words", but I think how this is done makes a massive difference....gives you more practice on Verbal sections, you have a smaller and rolling list of words (a few hundred vs say 5000!), you get to learn meanings in context, which is very important, and the process is far more manageable.
     
    Also more generally, in my opinion the benefit of memorizing huge lists of words is very very marginal in the actual GRE - most questions seem to be contextual, evaluating logical structure and argument etc.
  13. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from sarab in CV question   
    Re: Addendum - probably not the technically right word I used . Basically just a separate sheet added at the end of your CV, can be titled something like "List of relevant coursework <and skill sets XYZ> undertaken". Organize by key sub-themes depending on your area of specialization / skill sets etc. (For example, Quantitative Coursework/Skills, Programming Coursework/Skills, Sociology Coursework/Skills, etc. etc.)
     
    There may be many reasons why this is useful over and above a transcript:
    Transcript has details of too many courses, making it difficult to identify the courses most relevant to the area of interest Transcript has courses specific to an area spread over various semesters etc - a single sheet provides a comprehensive view of courses in specific areas Transcript may have names that do not describe the actual content of the course  It signals that you are aware of what sort of underlying coursework is relevant and important You can add supplementary information not available in a transcript to pose a comprehensive view - e.g. any courses undertaken outside your university, summer courses, online courses, self-study courses, etc. as well as any additional skill sets you have acquired, research or programming tools you have learnt etc. For students where some semesters are still to be completed, you can even mention key courses you expect to take.
  14. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from Sigaba in Should I memorize words?   
    I disagree slightly with most opinions here - I think the best way is not to memorize ready word lists. A much much better way is simply to practice a lot of the verbal sections on various practice tests, and every time you come across a word you do not understand (whether it forms part of an RC passage, or one of the multiple option answer choices etc) note it down and check the meaning. Over time you should develop a reasonably long list of words that you can keep browsing over. After a few days, you can start knocking off words that you are comfortable with so you maintain a rolling list. Yes, in a way, this is also "memorizing words", but I think how this is done makes a massive difference....gives you more practice on Verbal sections, you have a smaller and rolling list of words (a few hundred vs say 5000!), you get to learn meanings in context, which is very important, and the process is far more manageable.
     
    Also more generally, in my opinion the benefit of memorizing huge lists of words is very very marginal in the actual GRE - most questions seem to be contextual, evaluating logical structure and argument etc.
  15. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from Quant_Liz_Lemon in CV question   
    Re: Addendum - probably not the technically right word I used . Basically just a separate sheet added at the end of your CV, can be titled something like "List of relevant coursework <and skill sets XYZ> undertaken". Organize by key sub-themes depending on your area of specialization / skill sets etc. (For example, Quantitative Coursework/Skills, Programming Coursework/Skills, Sociology Coursework/Skills, etc. etc.)
     
    There may be many reasons why this is useful over and above a transcript:
    Transcript has details of too many courses, making it difficult to identify the courses most relevant to the area of interest Transcript has courses specific to an area spread over various semesters etc - a single sheet provides a comprehensive view of courses in specific areas Transcript may have names that do not describe the actual content of the course  It signals that you are aware of what sort of underlying coursework is relevant and important You can add supplementary information not available in a transcript to pose a comprehensive view - e.g. any courses undertaken outside your university, summer courses, online courses, self-study courses, etc. as well as any additional skill sets you have acquired, research or programming tools you have learnt etc. For students where some semesters are still to be completed, you can even mention key courses you expect to take.
  16. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from Quant_Liz_Lemon in CV question   
    Definitely include titles related to your subfield. You could also include a few others if they signal something important (familiarity with a methodology or area of knowledge that may be relevant etc.)
     
    On relevant coursework, you could include them as an addendum to your CV - line by line is obviously easier to read, but do not exceed one page. You could group them by sub-areas and then include all courses within each sub-area para-style.
  17. Downvote
    zapster reacted to avicus in Advice for a first year PhD student   
    Thank you so much, juilletmercredi. Like TakerUK said, awesomest.post.ever.
  18. Upvote
    zapster reacted to Eigen in Timeline for grad school   
    A lot of grad school applications are highly discipline specific, so I'd suggest separating things out into at least Humanities/Social Sciences/Bio & Physical Sciences. 
     
    Overall, I'd say the timeline is a bit late. 
     
    Personally, I had decided on first round schools by May-June, took the GRE early August, and had my first apps done in September. 
     
    This is also discipline specific, but I had 2/3 offers in hand by November, and did my school visits in December. 
     
    Contacting professors is one of those things that's very discipline specific. It's really rare in STEM fields to do it until after the application process is partially through. 
     
    As mentioned above, in other areas it's crucial to make those connections early, before you apply. 
     
    Also, no offense, but referring people to Peterson's Guide and Princeton Review is, imo, a really, really bad place to start for research grad schools. Those group by reputation, and "ranking". In general, for grad school applications you should be going by interest. Read papers, see where those authors are, search out similar research and similar authors. Do the footwork and talk to your faculty and get word-of-mouth suggestions. Go to conferences, and see people talk in person. 
     
    Similarly, I'd say 2 mos of GRE prep is overkill for most people. Take a practice test. If you do decently, don't spend much time studying- that time could be better spent in working on almost any other part of your CV or application, as GRE scores are only really helpful up to a certain point. 
     
    You have learning about professors research in August, but as I mentioned above, it should be the professor's research that is drawing you to the school, rather than deciding on the school and then looking for interesting professors. 
     
    I'd give way more time for SoPs- those are arguably the most important part of your application, and you want to have time to write, write, and re-write. 
     
    I'd also recommend starting an application at a school as soon as applications open for the year, and immediately requesting transcripts from your school. Nothing delays an application like unanticipated bureaucracy! You want to have an application started so the school has your name on file when GRE scores and transcripts arrive.
     
    Not exactly sure what "Get your finances in place" is in February- frequently, financial offers won't go out until the offers do. 
     
    Also, April is really late to be getting acceptances. The 15th is the latest you can accept, generally, and I'd anticipate getting letters in Feb-March, and making visits to schools in March and April. 
     
    You also left out interviews and visits- I'm not sure if they're not typical for your discipline, which is again why I suggest discipline specifics. 
     
    In the sciences, not getting a paid visit to the school would be a huge red flag- most have accepted student weekends to visit, and many also do interviews. 
     
    Anyway, just my thoughts. 
  19. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from nugget in Need advice on doctorate program in HR while working full-time   
    In which case then I do not think considerations such as an Ed.D possibly being inferior, or the degree being in Technology Management should be an issue at all - go with the degree whose content is most pertinent and aligned to your interests.
  20. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from sarab in Should I memorize words?   
    I disagree slightly with most opinions here - I think the best way is not to memorize ready word lists. A much much better way is simply to practice a lot of the verbal sections on various practice tests, and every time you come across a word you do not understand (whether it forms part of an RC passage, or one of the multiple option answer choices etc) note it down and check the meaning. Over time you should develop a reasonably long list of words that you can keep browsing over. After a few days, you can start knocking off words that you are comfortable with so you maintain a rolling list. Yes, in a way, this is also "memorizing words", but I think how this is done makes a massive difference....gives you more practice on Verbal sections, you have a smaller and rolling list of words (a few hundred vs say 5000!), you get to learn meanings in context, which is very important, and the process is far more manageable.
     
    Also more generally, in my opinion the benefit of memorizing huge lists of words is very very marginal in the actual GRE - most questions seem to be contextual, evaluating logical structure and argument etc.
  21. Downvote
    zapster reacted to christophermccandless in Letter to world class Grad Schools From a desperate person   
    Good morning America,
     
    I hope you'll read my email with much attention, 2 minutes of your time means years of my life, it’s not a complaint, it’s just an experience sharing which is very important for every academic institution.
     
    I'm in master degree at a university somewhere in the forgotten side of the world and my dream is or was to get in such a top of the world university as yours in a PhD Program, but let's be honest it's just a dream, and with all the brilliant and perfect applications you get from the best brains from the greatest universities from all around the world my application won't even be considered despite I have a good score in GRE which puts me in the 95 percentile and also in TOEFL.
     
    But those were the only good points in my portfolio the sides that I can control let’s discuss the weaknesses, the sides that are out of my contol.
     
    GPA
     
    my GPA is far below your minimum which is 3.0 I've around 2.4 and it's the case of all my classmates and in university in general the best GPA is 2.6 not because student aren't good but because it's the tradition of professors here maybe to maintain the quota of students who get the degree every year to not increase the unemployment rate in the country, and I'm quite sure that those grads don’t show our real intellectual level.
    Universities here give only one copy of official transcripts no more and not in english so a student here can send the official ones.
     
    Letters of recommendation
     
    Okay you say that recommendation letters can compensate the weakness of the GPA, but seriously, how can it be true if the recommender himself might not be accepted if he applies to your program because all his degrees are not from what they call well “standing universities” of Europe or north America so practically he isn’t really a recognized academic who has an estimable opinion that can make you not consider the weakness of the marks.
    And also what if the professors are not english speakers so they refuse to write letters of recommendations most of time I guess to hide their English problems.
     
    Application fee
     
    Some countries don’t have credit card option to pay in a foreign country so you have to think about a substitute.
     
    University Ranking
     
    My university’s ranking is around 6.000 so how realistic is expecting to compete with student from top 30 universities for 10 or less full funded places and if you don’t recognize its quality of education you have to not recognize its grading credibility so a student with a 1.5 GPA can be better than a 2.5
     
    Writing Sample
     
    Some Universities request a writing sample it’s a positive side and for desperate cases like mine it’s a good thing as it gives me a very little chance to expand the attractiveness of my portfolio even if it won’t be sufficient to enter in contest with others who have the “luck” to get transcripts with high grads from highly ranked schools
     
    In shade of all this painful facts I thought that maybe I have to complete à PHD in my home country to have a little hope to get in a second PhD program in your University, it’s hard but I couldn’t give up and let down my dream easily, till I asked my cousin who just finished his PHD in finance at Duke University with a full fellowship because he had the luck to be born and raised in USA, and his undergraduate GPA was 3.8 but I know people with much more brilliance but who would never get accepted in Duke only because they have a 2.1 GPA and were graduated from low ranked university, back to my cousin who told me that “ it’s hard to get in a full financed PhD if you already have one because in the point of view of universities it’s pointless to get a second PhD and it’s better to give the chance to a new student who never got it” it was the kiss of death for all my dreams. Also my Puerto Rican friend who’s now in a PhD program at University of Berkley was asking me to help her on her essays in “public choice” so I translated an essay I already presented in here, and her professors gave her very good grads the while I got for the same essay in here 11/20 (2.2) and she asked me to apply for one of the good PhD programs in USA but she didn’t know that the essay that was awarded with an A in Berkley had a C in here.
    Now and the while I’m writhing this email a person is next to me got his bachelor from University of Central Florida economics department, with a 3.75 grade and said that he’s preparing himself to get in some good university but his knowledge in economics and his background of mathematics is really low but in fact his GPA in those subjects is good maybe he’ll get a lower GRE but still in better position than me, UCF is recognized, good GPA, good letters of recommendations from professors who’re also recognized, a credit card to pay his application fee, The typical Road for the glory and full funded PhD.
     
    So I finally woke up and realized that I can’t get in a top PhD program with my master degree nor with my future PhD.
     
    Thank you for reading this, I don’t complain or criticize about your policy your university is such a universal treasure and one of the most credible in the world and I know that the admission must be equal for all the applicants it can’t be equitable and you can’t satisfy the whole world, but if I could never send an application as an applicant it’s still a honor for me to send a mail as a fan of the high quality and top of the world academic institution that you are.
     
  22. Upvote
    zapster reacted to sarab in Letter to world class Grad Schools From a desperate person   
    I really hope you are not sending this letter to them if you want them to consider you for their programs regardless of your problems because there are things here that you can definitely overcome.
     
    First, you can get certified translations for both the transcripts and the letters of recommendation. You may need to check with the university about specific guidelines regarding this, but it can usually be done. Second, they are not asking for the recommenders to be qualified to enter their program; they are asking for letters of people who can attest to your qualifications. Third, are the universities you're applying to really considering your university rank? Usually they will take into account your personal qualifications and achievements, not the ones of your university. Plenty of people who attended low ranking universities have been accepted into high ranking programs. Also, regarding your writing sample, you don't need to explain to them that that is a good thing for them to have because they know that already, and that's why they require it. Lastly, you don't need to compare yourself to others and explain how some do well in some cases and some don't in others.
     
    I encourage you to pursue your dreams of going to graduate school in the U.S. Maybe consider universities that aren't so high-ranking, but you can definitely do it. You can explain in your CV your university's average GPA. For example:
    University of Ibiza (or whatever) GPA: 2.4/4 (University average 2.6).
     
    Also, you can write on your statement of purpose that you have been able to get a degree in a country that is struggling with unemployment which has affected how grades are given at your university. Make your experiences into something positive and something that will make you stand out. Avoid writing contractions (such as isn't or don't and write is not and do not).
     
    Lastly, email the admissions office and ask if they receive alternative methods of payment for the application fee.
  23. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from Sigaba in Summer Slump   
    Some slump-beaters that have worked for me, can't explain why some of them work though!
     
    1. Change the time of the day/night you work - really flip it around. For example if you are normally a late sleeper working late into the night, try sleeping early and waking at a weird 4am for a few days, or take a 3 hour nap say from 10pm to 1am and then start working - something you would not normally do. You don't need to persist with this - just do this for a few days, enough to get out of the slump.
     
    2. Start a new mini-project, something that might be useful in the long run. Forget about your existing work to bring back the excitement of "starting" something new. Once you're excited enough - get back to reality [ ]. This way, your time-out is not really wasted.
     
    3. Work in micro-sized bits - make a list of say half a dozen things to be done, and keep skipping around all of them. It does not even have to be concrete work - just read a bit here and there, think through what needs to be done for a certain task etc. I have no idea why this works (any theories?) but usually gets me going pretty quickly. 
     
    4. Find your "switch / triggers" - certain music/TV programs/activities somehow seem to get me into a mood for working. Many have the opposite effect - know which one is which!
     
    5. Try to talk about your work, setup lots of meetings or find new people to discuss ideas with. "Socializing" my work or simply talking about it has been the most effective way for me to get out of vacation-mode.
     
    6. Try fuzzy's way - this has worked well for me as well - although I have not always had the ability to completely take a few days off.
     
    7. Perhaps the most ridiculous one - start thinking about your research and then extrapolate-fantasize it into game changing breakthroughs that will completely rock your field - quite motivating (if not a wee bit embarrassing, but what the heck!)
  24. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from pepegna90 in Profile Evaluation: from Psych to Econ, am i crazy?   
    Marketing is an option as well....but again, you need to select the programs carefully - some programs are quite strong on behavioral and JDM coverage, but remember that Mkt programs are going to be very applied and narrow compared to a BehEco or CogPsych program. You could IMHO move from a BehEco / CogPsych PhD to a Mkt program faculty but not vice versa. So you need to be sure that your applied interests lie in marketing (even though there are a fair number of theoretical papers produced by MKT depts).
     
    If Mkt per se is not what you are interested in, I would not recommend looking at those programs for doing your PhD simply because they have a high JDM orientation. Look at publications from the departments in detail.
     
    Also, I forgot to mention Indiana amongst the good CogPsych programs covering this area above.
  25. Upvote
    zapster got a reaction from Monochrome Spring in Text: justified or left-aligned   
    I switched    from justify to left-align....IMHO the   skewed inserted    spaces made for   a bad read. 
     
    Really.
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