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Everything posted by Sigaba

  1. And also, if you find that the program at B.U. does not suit your interests/aspirations, you can always "transfer" after earning a M.A. As @Psyhopeful points out, you'll have to follow the curriculum of your new program but you won't have the debt if you go to Columbia. I would strongly advise you not to go into any doctoral program with prior thoughts of transferring to a better school.
  2. It's impossible to say what skills and experiences will make job applicants more competitive years from now, not the least because the growing capabilities of AI- and ASI- driven technology may revolutionize how data are processed and analyzed. However, what you can do is to do research on the backgrounds of individuals who have positions similar to what you see yourself doing in the future and also keep looking at job descriptions for positions currently available. If you find that quantitative methods-type skills are commonly held and sought, you may want to to focus your efforts there. But again, you could find yourself learning skills that have a limited shelf life. Another alternative that you might consider is developing other skillsets that might make you a more competitive applicant. What ever path you decide to travel, IMO, you'd do well to avoid the "path not taken" looks over your shoulder. They can be debilitating. (Or so I've heard.)
  3. I very strongly urge you to transition away from a metrics-based approach to thinking about the craft of professional academic history and that you not think in terms of "padding" this or that. Academics can tell when an aspiring graduate student is a true believer in the craft or someone who is playing to the numbers. This isn't to say that metrics are worthless. What I'm trying to convey is that in your OP you offer zero information about your interests or your skills. You also present a view of personal professional relationships that is, at worst, cynical ("I am trying to pad my application a little bit....") In the strongest possible terms, I suggest that you rethink the relationship you have with the professor who offered you guidance on your paper. It's my hunch that you're on a different page, if not in a different chapter. That is, while he's talking about advancing the historiography of a field in a way that's beneficial to you as an aspiring professional, you're hearing "Here's a way to punch my ticket to a top twenty program."
  4. I recommend that you stay with the activities you described above with one modification: study your advisor's work, don't just read it. A challenge you may encounter is making the transition from hoop jumping at work to hoop jumping in the Ivory Tower as a graduate student. You will likely find yourself in situations that are counter intuitive, counterproductive, nonsensical, frustrating, if not also idiotic and insulting. You might benefit by preparing a basic set of tools for dealing with such events--ideally, the basic tools will not include practices that undermine your performance (e.g. excessive drinking). You may find useful information in threads in this forum and your specific discipline devoted to the background and experiences of non traditional students.
  5. Please keep a very close eye on the flow of paperwork you need to have on file until you receive written confirmation that your offer of admission and scholarship are secure. As @telkanuru points out, it is the summer --a good time for administrators and worker bees to lose a bit of focus. (But I'm not bitter.) With all the bad turns in this ordeal, Murphy's Law could easily rear its head one last time. ...And as much as it may turn your stomach to do so, send your examiner a note that expresses an appropriate amount of thanks. Double check your note for unintentional irony. (I would recommend not reading the latest round of comments until you've had the time to rest, recover, and reflect.)
  6. @erebuni2 welcome to the Grad Cafe. You may have better luck finding answers that will help you get to where you want to go if you search in the History forum. https://forum.thegradcafe.com/search/?q=writing sample&type=forums_topic&nodes=38
  7. I recommend that you spend some time researching the guidance/instructions offered by health professional programs. For example, https://www.marquette.edu/pre-health-advising/institutional-action.php advises applicants as follows: The best strategy for students is to be completely honest about conduct issues, academic or otherwise. Any misrepresentation will hurt you far more than the underlying offense. It is clear from the wording in the common application services' instruction guides that the intent is that you report ANY action, regardless of whether or not the record has been expunged. It is a matter of personal responsibility and integrity how you choose to answer this question. Other institutions offer similar guidance. MOO, you have it in you to overcome the two mistakes you describe in your OP. By disclosing both events, you will have the opportunity to put those mistakes behind you and to go on with your life and your career.
  8. To dovetail with @ohsp's guidance. If those who had written your LoRs had provided support during your "weird year," and you've grown during the year, I would sound them out to see if they want to rewrite the LoRs. This is to say that relationships can remain the same as informed opinions of your ability to succeed as a graduate student may improve.
  9. @bhabhafk, I think that you are offering strongly worded guidance without providing an adequate amount of background that allows readers to understand the basis for that guidance.
  10. As an alternative, an apartment hunter could make two lists. The first list would be of features a unit must have. The second list would be of amenities listed most preferable to least. This second list could also have price ranges one is willing to pay for each amenity. This alternative approach would allow an apartment hunter to make an informed, calculated decision to stretch the budget for certain features like laundry facilities on one's floor or in one's unit, central HVAC, complimentary basic cable, a staffed front desk, and so on.
  11. Sigaba

    Los Angeles, CA

  12. @vesperalvioletta before negotiating, double check to make sure that you can work a part-time job and still be eligible for the stipend. Also, unless you receive a regular pay check from your part time job, you're earning wages. The distinction is especially important for a graduate student in your situation. Were good ole, @TakeruK still a regular poster, your OP would likely re-spark a long running discussion over different ways graduate students can view the work they do as assistants. As he's not here, you might profit from reading some of the discussions he's participated on over the matter. When you project the costs and benefits of each position, please make sure that you take into account the "suck factor" of each as well as any hidden costs--like a substantially more stringent dress code, or the time it will take you to decompress from work, and so on. #HTH
  13. More prestigious schools have the "pick of the litter" of applicants. In many cases, graduate students at prestigious schools are competing against / collaborating with others who were also the pick of the litter. In some cases, applicants have been benefitting from this dynamic since prep school. Also, a newly hired Ivy Leaguer brings prestige to her new department, school, and parent institution, which helps with getting a "better" pool of undergraduate and graduate applicants and donations from alumni. Consequently, newly minted Ph.D.s from prestigious schools have a quintuple advantage -- support, training, name recognition (as an applicant), peer group, and name recognition (as a hire). For those of us who will never get academic jobs, it kind of stinks, but if we'd gotten into Happyland University, would we be as upset?
  14. I recommend that you focus on being "in the moment" of your first year of graduate school, at least for the fall term. If you focus on getting a sense of the debates driving the historiography of your fields of interest, you will probably start to see certain names (rarely to frequently). From there, you may find intellects that you're drawn to (and repelled by) as well as styles and approaches to the past that resonate. After that, during the spring term, you might start digging deeper into the backgrounds of the historians that piqued your interest. I urge you to be patient and deliberative your first term--if not the entire year. Your immediate tasks (preparing for the comprehensive exam, your coursework, and the language requirements) should be at least as important to you as getting your ducks in a row to apply for doctoral programs. An emphasis on the immediate tasks will help you develop your skills. In turn, your developing skills will help you to figure out how to assess the merits of doctoral programs and potential advisors.
  15. Try searching around there ==> https://forum.thegradcafe.com/forum/32-engineering/
  16. @gordian5668, given the specifics of your circumstances, I recommend that you look into the on-line MA program. Check to see if the instructors will be able to help with your development and are motivated. I also recommend that you make sure that you understand the full benefits of your new position. What is your access to the school's library system (databases, ILL, archival sources)? Can you enroll /audit classes on-campus and adjust your work schedule so that you can attend? Do you have opportunities for an alternative work schedule that would provide additional opportunities for attending classes at another campus? What kind of campus-related activities (departmental mixers, lectures, and what not) could you attend? You could also reach out to the person who supervised your undergraduate thesis. Explain your objectives and ask for feedback on your plans to revise it so that it can serve as a writing sample down the line. (Note, I am suggesting here that you develop the plans before initiating the conversation.) FWIW, I don't know if I agree that you should wait a year or two before applying to graduate school if going to graduate school is something you really want to do -- it sounds like you have the kind of job in which one sees the years fly by.
  17. When you talk and ask about funding, be subtle. Questions like Do you know of any opportunities to secure funding for travel? will get you more traction than a comment/request that comes across as "I need $500, gimmee."
  18. The way it was explained to me is that a thesis is a more comprehensive work than a report but that over time the difference between the two is diminishing in terms of perceived value. FWIW, my report was a revision and expansion of a research paper. The report ended up being about 19k words of text with around 210 footnotes--I was told that it was long for a report. For your specific situation, I suggest that you make a choice based upon the requirements of each option and what you plan to do with a master's degree, how a report or thesis supports that plan, and the relative prestige of each option The prestige can be gauged by what your current professors recommend and which option was pursued more often by academics and graduate students at your destination of choice.
  19. Welcome to the Grad Cafe. As it happens, your situation is not unique. https://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/14637-addressing-seeming-lack-of-focus-in-sop/ Arguably the best poster in the history of this BB walked a similar path.
  20. The arrival of code-writing AIs and ASIs will likely change the pay scale of OP's industry. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1703.05698.pdf
  21. As you develop your go/no go criteria, see if you can expand the opportunity by getting in a day or two earlier and visiting people/places that are relevant to your personal and academic interests. Simultaneously, see if you have within reach similar opportunities closer to home. Or if the funds could be used in ways that are more likely to improve your standing as an applicant--visiting campuses, buying GRE study aids, buying books/resources, earmarking the funds to pay for applications, and so on.
  22. I suggest that you stay on your current path to earn a MS in CS. If you're required to do an outside field, look into taking two graduate-level history classes: a reading seminar and a research class. Ideally, the history classes will allow for some overlap with CS. If you're not required to do an outside field, try to find a way to specialize in CS as it may relate to the craft of history. Either way, work on developing relationships with professors in your current program so that you can earn strong letters of recommendation. If you apply to a graduate history program with a MS in CS, do seek admission as a doctoral student. (You'll likely be required to earn a master's one way or another before reaching candidacy) For your outside field, do more CS work. For your language requirements, if you're an Americanist, see if you can get a computer language to count as one of your two slots. If you want to make money, find a niche in which you can bridge the gap among boosters of "disruptive" technology, venture capitalists, and municipalities. There's a lot of snake oil being sold out there right now. You can make a good living by selling more oil, or venom, or anti-venom.
  23. I recommend that you see what you can do about improving your relationship with your current advisors. Bad chemistry doesn't automatically mean that both will respond to your request for a LOR unprofessionally. (FWIW, there are a few threads on this BB with posts centered around ways to get a sense if someone is going to write a strong, tepid, or weak LOR.) Simultaneously, continue to develop your relationships with the associate professors who've provided various levels of support. Do the best you can to think/act as if the destination is the journey--as if you could take or leave a LOR were one offered. Concurrently, circle back to the professors who supported your application into your M.A. program. I don't think that you should ask any of them for a LOR except as a measure of absolute last resort. I am making this suggestion so you will have the opportunity to interact with people don't act like a-holes. (And also, once they get wind of your situation, they may offer timely guidance. Finally, I recommend that you do all you can to avoid going down the path of comparing your supervisors to what you'd prefer or what others are experiencing. What's happening to you stinks. While it is vitally important to accept the legitimacy of your feelings, those feelings could potentially keep you from having the best revenge of all -- living well. Whatever path you decide to walk and wherever it leads you, please come back from time to time to let everyone know how things are going.
  24. FWIW, in my experience, a combination of two apps, a pass, on-line shopping accounts, and the selective use of TNCs, make vehicle ownership unnecessary. If you go to Southern Cal, you'll have access to enough options to get you where you want to go soon enough--sometimes almost as fast as you would if you were to drive.
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