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Everything posted by Sigaba

  1. To @AP's point, season after season across, disciplines and fields, members of this BB have lamented how professors' in person expressions of interest and enthusiasm in an applicant do not translate to offers of admission. My hunch is that this dynamic may increase this season as many continue to hunker down and to limit social interaction because of ongoing concerns over COVID-19. People are getting chattier. (I am definitely old school. I am not a fan of academic historians using social media. But since Kruse didn't ask me, I'll go back to yelling at the clouds.) @TheWitWitch
  2. Please read the fine print of your stipend to see if it covers any part of the summer IRT fees and tuition. You may be able to bang out some requirements and/or take classes that are offered rarely. Figure out a dollar value for the available benefits of being a graduate student including library privileges, shopping discounts, transit subsidies, and access to facilities (including parking). It's unlikely that you can cash out any of these benefits but their value to you may be high. For example, understand how many items you may check out at once and how often you may renew them. With th
  3. Some academics consider getting one's undergraduate degree and subsequent graduate degrees at the same institution as "incestuous." (A professor said this to me when I entertained the idea of going to my UGI for graduate school. At the time, I was eager to go somewhere else. Put me in a time machine, I may make a different decision and take my chances.) Wait. Where was I? Sorry. Right. One could ask professors directly, as @serpentstone suggests, or phrase the question much more subtly, or one could look at the CVs of people who have the kinds of positions you eventually want to earn.
  4. @AliasName FWIW, in the social sciences and humanities, graduate students can (but not always) qualify for a master's degree by banging out the required classes and/or preparing a thesis or a report and/or passing qualifying exams. If such options are available to you, you could earn your masters and then consider your options (stay and continue on or go elsewhere and start again). If you get a master's where you currently are, you may have the opportunity to get LoRs from professors at your current institution. (This is to say you could have LoRs from professors who can write on your abili
  5. It may be worth your while to spend some time studying why quantitative methods are not in favor, especially among Americanists. (R. W. Fogel, The Slavery Debates, 1952-1990, a retrospective isn't too terrible a place to start.) I also urge you to consider the potential benefits and challenges of a "big data" approach to a discipline that straddles the boundaries between the social sciences and the humanities. You don't want to end up being the House of Klio's version of Miles Dyson. (Or maybe you do! What's the worst that could happen? 🙃)
  6. FWIW, I satisfied my second language with statistics. Would you be interested in developing a stat-related skill set so you could crunch some data and make tables/charts/graphs for your research papers and (perhaps) your dissertation? Developing fluency in Spanish to the point where you could use it for both field and archival research is potentially ambitious, if not also perilous. If your primary area of specialization is going to be reproductive health, you could use a narrower approach as a graduate student then widen your reach (to include Spanish) down the line.
  7. IME, solving ambiguous problems under duress, completing projects on time and under budget, getting along with others, seeing the big picture while paying attention to detail have been relevant skills in jobs in three different industries over ten plus years. YMMV.
  8. I don't know that we're in disagreement, @Bumblebea and @merry night wanderer. The skills I described are cross transferable. However, IRT to forecasting the future of the workplace, there are data from the U.S BLS while some newspapers like The Economist have spent years and years projecting "the future of work." IRT the financial peril of the Ivory Tower, IME, it's the uncounted billions of deferred maintenance of certain components of the physical plant, especially public institutions. YMMV.
  9. Three very slight wrinkles to this outstanding post. First, if you seek work experience before going to graduate school, find a job that will teach you skills that will be relevant five or ten years from now. AI and ASI are raising the bar on technical jobs while simultaneously pushing many roles towards obsolescence. As an example, during and after the Great Recession, there was demand for "medical coding." Now, it seems that insurance company platforms have it all figured out. Knowing how to do more with ever less, how to manage projects and budgets and risk, how to get along swimmingl
  10. Drift on over when you get the chance... https://forum.thegradcafe.com/forum/38-history/
  11. For starters, I recommend browsing through The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era to see where its contributors and reviewers teach and also looking at the backgrounds of its editorial board. It may not be too early to start thinking about how your prioritize your interests. What is the first among equals? Are you a social historian who looks at a specific time period or are you a historian of a specific time period who uses different types of historical analysis to bring that time into sharper focus? You don't have to commit to anything for a while, but understanding how
  12. Congratulations on your admittance to Michigan. Please be careful with this plan of action. It can be hard to get up to pace from a full resting stop.
  13. Yes, with a touch of self-destructiveness (hint: never name names in an open forum) and a generous dose of defensiveness. Your admission that you're still seeking "a job that doesn't drive [you] crazy and gives [you] the comfort to pay my mortgage, go on vacation (...eventually), and pursue [your] hobbies and interests" suggests that you're no nearer to knowing the answer to the question "What am I going to do with my life?" than when you were in graduate school. The statement also suggests that you may not be as familiar with the demands of working in the private sector as you woul
  14. If your current program requires you to do an outside field and gives flexibility to the fields you're required to do in your department, you may be able to find opportunities to develop skills that will give you a competitive advantage when it's time to look for work.
  15. Sigaba

    Los Angeles, CA

    Hi, @foxfire123 ! Here's a link to UCLA's Transportation organization. Here's a link to the system map for the Los Angeles metro system. The routes in red are Metro Rapid lines that run more frequently during peak times and have fewer stops. If you were to identify areas of overlap of those lines and routes in orange first and then start looking at neighborhoods served by multiple lines. Please understand that COVID-19 has turned public transportation a bit sideways. It remains unknown how things will look when L.A. reopens and things get "back to normal." Please understand that some
  16. Have you considered pursuing a doctorate in history with your outside field in political science, using statistics to satisfy one of your language requirements, and using one of your fields in history to focus on political science? Your coursework and your dissertation could center around ongoing efforts among some historians to bridge the gap between political science and history.
  17. IDK if this standard is realistic. Who among us has not had those moments when we're sure that either we and/or the person who wrote a well received work doesn't know WTF history is about? @apotteba, I would suggest that you understand that it's going to take thousands of hours of work to get to the point where you understand history well enough to spend thousands of hours more work to create new knowledge. Along the way, you will face make or break tasks. Throughout, you will be competing for resources, funding, and support against other aspiring historians--some of whom will have been
  18. FWIW, I did my outside field in educational cognitive psychology. Although the professor I studied under did not have a Ph.D or Psy. D., the professor once indicated that he had worked as a clinician. As this professor was something of a really big deal with decades of work in the private and public sectors in addition to higher education, he may done that work before standards were changed or under circumstances where qualifications were less important than outcome.
  19. IMO, yes, you should think this opportunity through very carefully before making a decision. Can you provide a little more information? What's the firm's overall workforce culture? Does it have a lot of "lifers" or do most people move on after a few years? Will you be eligible for pay raises based upon merit or cost of living? What does your benefits package look like (generally)? Are you eligible for performance bonuses? Does the company have a national or international presence that would allow you to transfer once or twice? What are the opportu
  20. @lelick1234, FWIW, ICYM here. AHA Letters of Introduction/Courtesy Requests It is sometimes difficult to gain access to institutions while doing research. This is why the American Historical Association provides Letters of Introduction to assist researchers in gaining access to foreign research facilities, special collections, and government archives. Courtesy Requests for independent historians (scholars without formal affiliation with academic institutions) seeking access to archives, colleges, or university libraries in the United States or abroad, for research purpose
  21. Sigaba


    If you use this tactic, it is crucial for you to understand which works your examiners feel fall into the category of essential / must read / "ignore at one's peril." And even then, @ashiepoo72's guidance is great. Keep in mind that quals are not just for your professional development, they are also a ritual designed to make you suffer. Do what you can to focus on the former and to compartmentalize the latter. If you've not done so already, try to talk to ABD's who have taken their exams with members of your committee. They can offer great insights. Also, if members of your committee
  22. Black Women in STEM on Twitter may be of interest. Maybe also Blk + In Grad School and the accounts listed here. Also, one can not go wrong reading posts by juilletmercredi, a moderator on this BB, especially this one.
  23. I would interpret the offer as an invitation to communicate with the person intermittently and, initially, to ask for small favors -- a recommendation for a book on a given topic, an opinion on which professional conference to attend. I would not consider the invitation to be open ended (anything/ever), especially if the offer was made by an academic historian. (Three qualifiers. If professors/departments have recently experienced a lot of "ghosting," the offer may reflect a sense of pleasant surprise over your professionalism. If the person making the offer also went to H. as an un
  24. Late to the dance. In circumstances like this one, I recommend asking about the parameters of the exam rather than the purpose. IME weirdness and anxiety can combine to set the stage for asking questions about purpose with an odd tone. Conversely, questions about parameters of a task provide opportunities to appear calm and engaged and to receive information that can be used to answer the "why" question.
  25. Hi, @cryloren. I recommend that you take two to four weeks off from thinking about graduate school so you can depressurize. When you jump back into things, I recommend that you find ways to improve your writing. I also suggest that you think about how you define yourself as a historian. In regards to the latter, you have a wide range of interests (history, politics, medicine). That wide range may have worked against you in your SOPs. Are there ways to bring them all together as potential areas of interest? @scarletwitch my two cents are that you would be well served by developing two
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