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blinchik

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blinchik last won the day on December 31 2014

blinchik had the most liked content!

About blinchik

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    Double Shot

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  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    Biomedical Science

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  1. Can confirm, like Bioenchilada, that regional bias is definitely NOT a thing. We have a very diverse cohort in my year and others - students are from Brazil, China, India, and all over the place domestically (many are from Puerto Rico, California, etc. and many are from the Midwest area). We have a few from Pennsylvania, but many went to college elsewhere. In fact, I have a friend in Cancer Bio from the Chicago area! Also, the fact that Penn accepts a ton of people across the CAMB program doesn't really mean anything for your individual chances. Within CAMB, Cancer Biology and MVP are the most competitive programs with the most people vying for the fewest slots, so all bets are off, especially if you are international and therefore are not able to be funded via many federal grants. I understand you really wanted to come here, but I just wanted to clarify those points for you as well as others who are applying or thinking of applying.
  2. For those who are concerned about interview attire, business casual, which was the dress code for all the ones that I attended, isn't really that ambiguous of a term: if you wear mostly/all neutral colors (grey/black/navy/etc.) and nicer clothes, you'll be fine. I recommend nicer pants for men with a sweater or a collared shirt. We had our first round of interviews yesterday, and I saw guys wearing the above or wearing suits - either way, they looked nice and professional. If you are a girl, slacks and a sweater/blouse with/without a blazer is good. Also, don't be afraid of wearing skirts/dresses! I interviewed in cold climates, and my interview outfit was a grey closed-neck knee-length stretchy dress from Banana Republic with black leggings, suede boots, and a black blazer - I definitely did not look more casual than the cohort I was interviewing with, and I was warm and comfortable even in the snow. As many in the forum have said before, if you look like you have made an effort and don't look as if you just rolled out of bed, it will be well-received. Obviously, if you're interviewing in a colder climate, a parka and mittens will not make you seem unprofessional or anything. I'm sure people can still get in wearing jeans/T-shirts, but ultimately you only have one chance to make the best possible impression, so why let your sartorial choices hold you back? Edit: good-condition, nice booties/boots are fine, as is a whatever-colored tote/bag. I used a dark purple/black Longchamp or a black tote, depending on the interview. If you are on the fence, just ask yourself if you would wear this item if you were trying to impress someone/make a good impression. Some of you are definitely overthinking things - this is academia, not business. If you don't show up in heels, a suit, and a fancy-looking bag, it will not count against you at all.
  3. Hi - sorry to have not responded earlier, but unfortunately I do not know if more invites are forthcoming. Penn usually tries to snap people up for interviews fairly quickly, so if you haven't been invited yet for CAMB and other people have, my suspicion is that most likely, you were not in the mass-majority first round wave of invites. They are usually sent in the same few days, if not day. That being said, I would recommend emailing one of our admissions coordinators (they are usually great at replying quickly!), and letting her know that you wanted to inquire if more interview invites will be forthcoming.
  4. I got like almost all of my 6 interview invites the week of December 15-21 (?) last year, and some even on the same day. UAB was about a week later I think, but still definitely before the end of December. Great username, by the way Edit because I forgot part of your question: Absolutely, email and ask - it shows interest in the program and that you're taking initiative to be able to go to interview weekends. I absolutely did.
  5. It's really rare to have a program of that caliber (especially for infectious diseases, which is what I'm interested in) with such all-around nice and honest people. I definitely do not have buyer's remorse. Given your profile, I'm positive you'll be getting an interview invite - don't worry
  6. Hi guys, Penn CAMB will most likely be sending out most interview invites in the next two weeks (I got mine on December 15 last year) - hopefully that takes some pressure off. I'm not sure who is on the adcom this year, so I can't give the exact date. I'm planning to be involved in recruitment, so I hope to see some of you here!
  7. Also, one final tidbit of advice, which is probably obvious to most, if not all of you: do consider cost-of-living and stipend amounts/other benefits (e.g. subsidized housing) when considering where to apply - 25k+ will get you a lot farther in some cities than in others (I'm looking at you, NYC + San Francisco), and this is especially important to consider if you have dependents (family/pets) or even if you just want to save and enjoy a slightly higher quality of life for the 4-5+ years you are in grad school.
  8. Hi all! I'm a first-year student at Penn CAMB, and loving it so far. If my signature is still in tact (which it should be), you can see that I interviewed/was invited to interview at some of the places that you all are interested in applying to. A note regarding GPA/GREs: they are not the be-all end-all, and often times, strict cut-offs are lower than you think. That being said, they are important, especially if you're coming straight out of undergrad and do not have as extensive of a research background as some other prospective applicants. I was told quite frankly by faculty who were interviewing me at multiple institutions that they were impressed by my ability to manage my increased course load (I graduated in 3 years with a 3.8+), and that it reflected well upon me. Another note, although it is premature at this point as most apps aren't even due yet: if you have an interview conflict, manage it very, very carefully. I had multiple conflicts last year, and for one of them. making the two programs aware of the conflict (in a polite, carefully phrased manner after consulting my letter of recommendation writers/undergrad mentors) did not turn out very well for me. If you really want to go to a certain program (or think you do, as interviewing may very well change your opinion of the program!), make sure to reach out to them after enough time has passed and see when you can expect to be notified re: interview invitations. I was lucky in that the program that I loved the best and was the best fit for my research interests had no conflicts associated with it, but some programs are far more amenable to conflicts than others. With that, I'm off to prepare for an exam, but please feel free to PM me with any questions and I will do my best to get back to you within the week. Good luck!
  9. That's what I was going to say. Obviously, there are occasionally some studies that somehow get conducted without IRB approval and are unethical, but they are few and far in between.
  10. As an international student, I hope that you knew going in that getting into a good program and getting funded is rough, especially given that NIH funding has contracted even more recently. That being said, it seems that the top international candidates are still getting into good programs. I understand the frustration with the process, but I think that it is in your best interest to get constructive feedback from all the programs that denied you and reapply if you really can't see yourself being happy at this "lower-ranked" program.
  11. Also muggings/thefts during daylight in downtown DC (NW) aren't all that regular.... Keep an eye on your stuff, as in any urban environment, and you will be fine.
  12. Plenty of young professionals in downtown DC use backpacks and even wear sneakers on the Metro, for instance, and keep a change of shoes in the office, so while a messenger does look more professional, you certainly won't look out of place with a backpack so long as you look otherwise professional.
  13. I think you need to keep asking for specific feedback from programs and contact people to know why you weren't accepted. I don't know if you did this last year, but as others have said, if you didn't get accepted anywhere after 6 interviews, then there must be some sort of red flag, either in your general application or in the manner you came across to interviewers/others.
  14. I have one interview left - I had to reschedule it due to weather issues, but I have to say that after 4 interview weekends and an accepted students weekend, I'm honestly exhausted. I'm excited to see another city/program and meet awesome faculty, though!
  15. I think that I definitely tried to mitigate any weaknesses in my application and made sure I understood (more or less) what adcoms look for, which I believe helped my chances in this process. In my case, I am very young, so I asked my LOR writers if they felt it would be prudent to comment on my maturity/independence/self-motivation in their letters/assessments. Also, it is important to have very strong LORs - I was told by multiple interviewers at multiple programs that they really made all the difference in my application, so if you're reading this as an applicant, make sure to foster great relationships with potential letter writers and look actively for great mentors at your current institution!
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