lemma

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About lemma

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    Caffeinated

Profile Information

  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    PhD

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  1. Wait, if you have a leave of absence, do you have to explain it? I sent off an application yesterday which didn't address it at all. I only took a semester off, and graduated two months later than originally scheduled.
  2. Will I be too old to start a PhD?

    Provided I get in, I'll also be 25-26. I don't see it as an issue - to the contrary, I feel that my experiences outside academia will enhance my studies as well as provide soft skills that aren't necessarily nurtured while doing a PhD.
  3. To put it like this: it is statistically more competitive to get into a top investment banking analyst program than to get into a top PhD program. Once you're in the door though, it's a different set of skills. I know many professors who wouldn't pass probation in investment banking, and know plenty of investment bankers who would drive themselves crazy by the end of a semester of concentrated research.
  4. Share Your Story

    This is an interesting exercise. I think that everyone has a valuable story to share, with challenges and obstacles they've faced in their personal life, irrespective of how typical or unusual their public story is. I probably fell more into the stereotype the OP was mentioning. I won my first national prize when I was ten, got my first university qualification as a high school sophomore, was successful across the board with undergraduate admissions and got reasonably good grades once I started. However, I have had my share of challenges, especially with a serious mental health diagnosis that leaves many people in long-term care or on disability. This is not something I discuss professionally, but has taken huge efforts to manage, entailed significant sacrifices from those who love me, and has reshaped my outlook. You would never know it from my resume though.
  5. Definitely don't do it. US schools are terrified of having students who could be suicide risks on campus from a legal perspective.
  6. Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    I'm just so, so tired. Trying to balance PhD applications with full-time work and part-time study is taking it out of me. I wonder whether it's worth it. The university isn't used to having people with my background apply, so I've been going through mountains of red tape to make my case for eligibility. The department wants me, and truly believes I should qualify, but the final decision may not lie with them. If I get rejected based on this technicality, I'm not sure what will be going through my mind. Maybe I'll sleep, finally.
  7. Things have changed dramatically in recent years regarding employer sponsorship. A few years ago, investment banks and management consulting firms had no issues hiring international students - along with tech, these were the main employers that international students could access. The expectation was that you would use your year of OPT, and then enter the lottery for H1B. If you missed out - no big deal. The firms would transfer you to another office abroad. Things have changed dramatically since then. Most of these firms no longer hire international students because of immigration woes, even though they can in theory. This means the competition for the remaining couple of firms in these areas among internationals is crazy, because few options remain.
  8. Big schools or smaller schools?

    Interesting question - I'll digress to talk about types of schools in general. At the moment, I only plan on applying to two programs: one is global top 10, the other is global top 15, but neither university is ranked near that overall. I'm only applying to two programs because they're the only two programs where I genuinely see myself being happy for the next few years. In this process I've had some mentors hoping that I would apply to brand names - classmates with less research experience, lower scores and easier coursework were admitted to Princeton, Caltech, and Cambridge, to name a few. Part of me feels like I'm letting them down, especially the mentor who has never sent a student to institutions like that, who invested so much in me, who really wanted me to go. I went to an Ivy for my undergrad, and I wouldn't want to go to a similar school for graduate studies. I had an amazing education and I have zero regrets about matriculating there. Culturally though, it was hard. Everyone was trying to appear perfect all the time - and so busy! - if only to justify the sacrifices made to send them. This made it a lonely place for me, even though I know that I had a good circle of friends. How I perceived the culture was likely influenced by some mental health issues that were either undiagnosed or not responding to treatment at the time, and I'm sure I would have gotten more out of it if I were there today. Anyway, somehow the last few years has made me reflect critically on what makes me happy and gives me meaning. People might question my passion and dedication if they look at my shortlist (a very short list!), but it's not about that. For me, it just comes down to solving interesting questions with approachable and engaged supervisors, at a university with good access to data, in a city which gives me what I need. Oh, and funding!
  9. Prone to anxiety – what jobs should I go for?

    Everyone has different preferences of how they would like their life to look, so if you think you would be happiest in a certain geography, it's no one's place to tell you otherwise. However, if the decision is fueled by anxiety and avoidance... ... I would really recommend seeing a professional if your anxiety is getting in the way of you being able to do the things you would otherwise want to do. There are plenty of treatments which don't require medication (CBT would be the most common), and the purpose of going on medication is so that you can perform at your best, rather than being weighed down. It doesn't always work that way for everyone on the first prescription, but you would have complete control of your treatment - if you feel that something isn't helping, you and a doctor can work together to try a different script or remove all medications. In terms of jobs which don't require a lot of travel, some jobs in education spring to mind too, but this may not be interesting for you. If you want to live in a major metropolis, there are some finance-based jobs that like certain PhD graduates. Some more research-heavy positions involve little travel, and in these cases where travel is required, it's usually done in teams. Have you considered a domestic or state policy position related to your field?
  10. US vs. International PhD Programs

    This is a little late, but from when I was an undergrad to now (few years of industry experience) I considered programs primarily in the US, the UK and Australia, as well as some programs in continental Europe and in Asia. One thing I would say is that with some non-US programs, you can't generalize about the requirements and the structure. Some require the GRE, whereas other universities in the same city don't. I'm not in biochemistry but I've heard that the University of Melbourne is great for biomedicine.
  11. I'm applying to a couple of finance and economics programs (I have a pretty specific area of interest) in the next few months, and was wondering whether anyone else is going through the process?
  12. PhD after a JD - profile evaluation

    Like the other posters, I think spending a couple of weeks (if you have that luxury) thinking over your motivations and what you'd like your career to look like (including plan B and plan C) would be valuable. I know a little bit about Yale's econ department, and I think you should dig deeper and learn more about the MA before you sign up. Some things to consider would be: What flexibility do you have in choosing classes and electives? Would you be able to take core mathematics classes in the math or engineering department (engineering would be sufficient and possibly preferable the way Yale runs these classes)? You would want to take calculus, linear algebra, ODEs/PDEs (even as a combined class) and analysis if you can. You already have an economics degree, so what sort of courses would you have access to, and when would they be in the degree? Would you be taking classes with the econ PhD candidates? If so, your math would not be up to scratch. The undergraduate program has several streams and to be competitive for graduate studies, you would need to be taking the more mathematical stream, but the competition and workload will be tougher than the more qualitative stream. What sort of preference would you have getting into seminars, presuming that undergraduate courses are open to you? Yale's economics undergraduate program is overenrolled and you may not be able to obtain a place in the more popular classes, especially if graduating seniors are given preference, as they usually are. If you're supposed to take general undergraduate lectures (PhD seminars are a different story, so ignore if that is the case), the lectures will be huge again, and it may be difficult to build a rapport with professors.
  13. I was never going to do this - I don't know where you got this impression. Another poster raised this possibility. All I wanted to know was whether it would be harassing the letter writer if I asked for her to fix two grammatical mistakes that are obvious.
  14. No, the only way I can submit it is by uploading it online myself, which it states on each referee form as well as in the portal. It's not an American university so practices do differ from what many people on this board have experienced.
  15. To make things clear - my intention was never to alter the letters. I was only asking whether it would be worth asking the professor to do so - if they don't do it, no changes will be made. It's actually not a case of the professors showing me the letters on request or because they feel like it. The university actually requires me to submit it myself and will not accept direct submissions from the professors. It even says so on the form they fill out. I would rather them submit it directly because it would make me far less anxious - I don't want to know what they're saying. I lost so much sleep while I was waiting for them to send it back to me.