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Everything posted by TMP

  1. You can inquire but do so carefully as these talks are "behind the closed doors." You can write, "I have heard that you are making a new hire in my field. I am interested in learning more about this person whenever the information is ready to be shared." Savvy POIs will find a way to clue you in as a means of roping you into the program but so as long as you don't commit too soon! I suspect that this search will wrap up very soon and have an offer accepted within the next month (or so if there's a spousal hire involved).
  2. TMP


    To piggyback @Sigaba's usual wise advice, I completely agree with the phone. While we all can't stop checking our phones every two minutes or want to hide our nervousness behind the phone, having it out and being on it do send very strong signals to others. We had an incoming grad student who literally couldn't keep her hands off her phone during visiting weekend andI tell you, no one bothered to interact with her from there on, even though she came in the fall. My thought was, "So rude. Does she even care about being part of the program and getting to know us?"
  3. It does happen. I do strongly advise that you do not accept their offer without a full package and by that I mean at least 4-5 years of TAships, not just one year.
  4. Is UW the only school you applied to? Was your writing sample based on historical research?
  5. TMP


    Dressy/business casual. No ties/sports jackets are necessary. Just don't be a slob and do wear comfortable shoes as you'll be walking a bit.
  6. TMP


    don't be afraid to ask the SAME questions to multiple people to get different perspectives. Being a Jew myself, I'm passing along this joke, "Go to New York and ask 20 Jews the same question and you will get 20 different answers." But look for common patterns, at least. Going into my final year, I do think asking questions about all stages of the PhD program are important. To add the above: When you are with graduate students, do not be afraid to ask what kind of mental health services are available on campus. The stigma has weakened and caring for one's self is crucial, especially in the coursework and exam years when levels of stress are the highest. Take a close look at the TA stipend and ask the graduate students (and the graduate coordinator) how the stipend is calculated and how much it has increased over the years, and whether it keeps pace with the inflation. Ask about relationship between TAing and undergraduate enrollment. What happens if the course is underenrolled? Do you still grade? Or do you get assigned to an administrative or research duty? For public schools, how has the department budget been in the past 5 years? Has the department been able to maintain consistent level of support? (Red flag: When things get cut) My #1 advice? (I've recommended this for years.) Before you go, write down a ranked list of programs from top choice to bottom and write out a rationale for each one. Be reasonable and realistic. Share it with a trusted professor or mentor. Because I promise you, you will get emotional and overwhelmed during campus visit to think straight afterward and you will need a written reminder. I did rank my two programs and wrote out pros and cons of each, visited both campuses, discovered that I loved one campus so much that I wanted to commit to it, then my adviser knocked sense in me and reminded me of why the other program was my top choice. Eight years later, I'm glad she did.
  7. TMP

    Rejection Advice

    It's hard and devastating to strike out the second time. I had that experience too. I definitely went into that dark, dark, dark, dark corner that took a long time to climb out of. Self-care is incredibly important. I put everything relating to grad school admissions away for a while and focused on things that I knew would make me happy (volunteering a therapeutic riding center, which of course, had a double benefit of having horses back in my life making me happy and not feeling judged) and working as a camp counselor, where I got work with entering first graders who really challenged me and brought a lot of self-satisfaction in seeing them grow. Then it was back to work in the fall. I was very fortunate to have landed an internship at a museum, where my colleagues with PhDs offered unbelievable support for me to try again. It was incredibly hard but the level of support was so high that I just couldn't say no. And I'm glad because I did get into two wonderful programs on my third try. I don't know what are your field and end goals. You mentioned that you aimed very high, which is fine, but are there potential POIs who are stars but not in tippy top programs that you could hae applied to? It is also worth reaching out in March/early April once you have official rejection letters, to find out how your applications were received. Be specific-- what were the strengths and what could be improved for the next cycle. You should be able to some feedback. If it seems like you were on spot but there were simply other applicants with better fit, there is nothing you can do expect.... just try again if you want the PhD this badly.
  8. You'll see those letters all the time once you're in the PhD program and apply for fellowships and jobs
  9. @snackademic Your friendly reminder.
  10. I'd like to add that if you have an offer from a "top 10" program and are upset that you got "rejected" from "lesser" programs, it says so much about how you control your ego. Such a "rejection" actually signify that your application is so strong that the committee is actually afraid that you won't come if you have a "better" offer. Without actually reassuring the POI in the early stages of application that this so-called "lesser" program is a top choice (i.e. you would actually go to this program over Berkeley), the committee can't be sure, especially if it's a public school. In these days when Graduate Schools are looking to encourage cuts in a program, it is in the department's best interests to choose applicants who it strong believes will 98% accept the offer. The more offers accepted, the better chance of preserving the cohort numbers for the next cycle.
  11. What do you mean too cursory or shallow? How did you phrase your emails?
  12. I am a bit lost here. What are you looking to accomplish by going to the US for your PhD if you're looking to get more courses released? The coursework is a very big and important component of achieving breadth and depth in training. You will be asked to choose a minor field (or two, depending on the program) to complement your field in European history. Your exam committee members will likely give you new books to read for your exams in addition to what you have read at your current program. Since you are fluent in three languages, i would not worry about the language proficiency exam at all- your adviser will likely check off boxes right away so you can focus on the coursework. Moreover, coursework at your chosen PhD institution will give you an opportunity to get to know faculty members' areas of expertise and learn from them how they think about the questions they're asking and get feedback from other students with similar interests (well, for most part they will). A course in German history with someone like Geoff Eley will be very different from a course in Germany history with, say, Dagmar Herzog. Likewise for French history between Alice Conklin and Mary Lou Roberts. At the end, it is up to your potential adviser how *much* coursework you really need (and I wouldn't argue with them until you've passed your exams).
  13. Unless they specifically told you to contact them around a certain time, refrain from emailing them. You will always be waiting for things: TA assignments, fellowship decisions, answer from your committee whether you passed your written exams, a decision from a conference, etc. etc. Use this time to work on building your level of tolerance and patience from molten lava to steel.
  14. @Marier Know you're coming from abroad, I'd ask your POI (and the DGS) how they will consider your MA coursework. Will they transfer all of the credits? Some? What about the thesis? Every program is different. But definitely try to get out of the thesis requirement if you can, or at least, ask to re-use your thesis (if you plan to use it for the dissertation) and use the time to revise it into a journal article. One PhD program (which I turned down) said they'd transfer my MA coursework but would have to look into whether my MA thesis requirement could be waived. My current PhD program accepted everything and let me get right to the coursework. My first big hurdle, thus, then were the PhD exams, not MA thesis/exam. Still, I did 2 years of coursework, took a year to prep for the exams, and moved onto the dissertation stage. It was just nice not to have to stress about a MA thesis/exam (while everyone else was...). Do ask about post-5th year funding and whether the program has been consistent in awarding such funding (budget cuts do happen at state schools). Anticipate applying for external fellowships that will allow you to extend the life expectancy of your guaranteed funding package. Speak with your adviser's students and find out how they finished and whether the adviser is committed to securing funding for you until you can graduate.
  15. Don't be afraid to be upfront and remind the Department that you're coming from the UK, which means going above and beyond the typical cost of a plane ticket. See what they can do for you. Most of other aspects of the visit will be covered (food, willing to crash on a couch in a current grad student's apartment, accepting rides to/from the airport).
  16. The answer is no and not something to sweat about.
  17. You can make plenty of hard cider while you're at it!
  18. Honestly, this practice varies from program to program.
  19. Just be honest. Tell them straight up right away that you are sick without a voice. Hopefully they'll accommodate you. If you have an interview without a voice, you're just wasting everyone's time, including yours.
  20. Congrats! From your previous posts, I have a pretty good idea of your POI is. PM me with any questions about OSU.
  21. No. But be sure to stress your interest in Rice and ask how the waitlist will work-- is it ranked? If so, where do you fall? It's okay to ask those questions. When you email the DGS, be sure to CC the person you're interested in having as an adviser.
  22. I wouldn't worry about being focused on Irish history as being "too niche". You will have a major field in Modern Europe, which will prepare you for applying to any "Modern European history" job. You will have themes in your work that you can apply for thematic-focused positions as well. I have seen several posts for Irish history here in the US and in the UK. Your goal is to demonstrate the importance of Irish history and why historians should not overlook it. You will be fighting an uphill battle but your passion for it will gain you some recognition and respect.
  23. Honestly, this is not worth fretting over. You don't know how many of those applications are actually competitive.
  24. Truthfully, if you believe that your description is too vague when there are well over 200 European historians in various PhD programs, no one can really answer for you. Use the search function for "how do I find an adviser?" and the like and there have been excellent suggestions such as looking at whose books you're reading and enjoying thinking about. This is a very good exercise for developing independent research.
  25. What exactly is your end goal with the PhD, first of all? What kind of jobs do you want? Do look into European history more generally and find folks interested in material culture and culture of memory. There are a LOT of them out there. Then find programs that have a "minor" field in Public History.
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