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About HopefulPHD14

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    Double Shot

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  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
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  1. 8 Months? That is crazy. We will be LD from June - Mid September. In September she will move back in with family while she looks for a job. Luckily I will only be about 45 minutes away at that point and hopefully much closer once she starts a job. But yes. Wedding drama hasn't started yet but I am sure it will begin shortly.... Hopefully we can get most of it out of the way this summer before grad school starts for me.
  2. Oh don't scare me like this! I just got engaged and will have to plan a wedding in my first year of grad school while my significant other finishes her last year of a masters program. We are hardly going to have time to see each other let alone plan a wedding.
  3. Maybe it's a good time for some of you guys to take a break and relax and come back in a few days.... These poor 2017 applicants are going to have to read through all of this.
  4. So by now, many of us have decided on a program and are getting ready to start in the fall. (Congrats by the way!) Now that the application season is done, I wanted to hear from you guys about what you are doing to prepare for Grad School. Or, if you are not preparing and you are just going to take a mental break to relax for the summer, I want to hear about that too! Is anyone planning on doing any studying/reviewing this summer to get ready (Especially those of you like me who have been out of undergrad for a few years)? Do you have a reading list that you want to get done by the fall? Is anyone just going to clock out for the summer to take a mental break before jumping into the next 5+ years of studying? Is anyone traveling? Is anyone going to be working? And even more importantly, how are you guys going to pick your rotations? Will you be contacting PI's this summer or waiting until the fall when you can talk in person? I know many of you probably have a primary lab or two that you are already interested in based on your applications/interviews, but Is anyone going to make lists/spreadsheets of other potential labs to join? If so, what things will you be looking at and how will you pick? Will you be reading literature this summer? Is anyone planning on attending conferences? Tell me what you are doing to get ready for the fall!
  5. We have pretty similar stats. I had a slightly higher GPA, nearly identical GRE, 2 years of undergrad research and 1.5 years of industry research with 3 strong letters of rec. You can see from my signature which schools I got into. I think your 2 years of research at an Ivy are stronger than my post bac research in industry, but for the most part I think we are pretty similar. I would keep those programs but also pick one or two fallback schools just in case. Good luck.
  6. Good news, @sarahjc and @Ferroportin. I actually heard back from my school today! They gave me tons of info about housing and start dates and summer prep and how to get on the payroll and everything. Hopefully you guys hear something soon as well.
  7. @sarahjc, Same! I know they have a lot going on, but I just want to start figuring out next year! I haven't heard hardly anything since accepting my offer. And I know the on campus housing sign up deadline is in less than a month now, so we better get info soon! It is nice to know my program isn't the only one that has been quiet.
  8. My buddy is in grad school and he runs marathons, so I know its possible. And I am planning on finding a climbing gym close to my school so I can climb a few days a week. Honestly from what my friends tell me grad school becomes a time where you really just have to get good at managing your time and making priorities. If your hobbies are priorities then you should certainly make time for them.
  9. At first I was planning on quitting in july and starting in august and not doing anything at all....but recently I decided I am going to be adventurous while I can. I worked hard for a few years and saved up enough money that I can enjoy myself this summer. So...I am backpacking in yosemite for a week, going to Belize for a week, going to Haiti for a week, working at a summer camp (that my friend is a director at) for a few weeks, and probably visiting friends for a weekend here or there. I also plan on reading a lot, probably binge watching some netflix, and spending some time with family. Get out and have some fun! (as long as you can afford it!)
  10. Every school I talked to did it different. Most seemed to have you "employed" for at least the first year meaning that you will get paid a week or two into starting. Some programs did pay a stipend up front and then additional stipends either biweekly or monthly after that.
  11. It might depend on your program. I don't think that its bad to contact them now to show interest, but it also probably isn't necessary. I know at my school during the first week before classes start they do an orientation. Part of the orientation is that all of the PIs looking for rotating students do a 15 minute talk on their research. Then, at the end of the week, everyone writes down their top 3 choices and the PIs get to see those and pick which students go where. In that case talking to them before might help, but it also might not matter at all. Obviously this only works in a smaller school setting. My incoming class will be around 15 so this won't be too hard. If you school is different or if they don't do an intro/orientation type week then it might help to contact them sometime before classes start.
  12. I live in the East bay (Hayward) but my gf lives in SJ and goes to school at SJSU. I will give you her experience: 1. SJ is expensive no matter where you live, sorry. Try to find a group of people to live with or a room to rent out. SJ is pretty spread out so expect to have to commute to campus. 2. Luckily there is actually a pretty good public transportation system. If I were you I would take advantage of this! She uses the light rail (VTA) and it drops her off right by campus. I think its even free for students... So if I were you I would look for something near a VTA station. 3. The nightlife/culture isn't great anywhere in SJ but it isnt bad either. There are things to do all over (mostly downtown and in other nearby neighborhoods....Campbell comes to mind). But luckily you really are close enough to anything you wanna do. SF, the beach, any sport you like, music, good (or ok) bars, hiking/outdoors, are all within an hour.
  13. Every school I went to asked me which schools I had applied to, who I had interviews with, and who had already accepted me. I was always honest with them because... well why not. Also I wanted the schools I was interviewing with to be honest about my chances so I figured I should be honest with them about their chances. I still got in at every school I interviewed at. I think it may have even helped me that I was upfront and honest. Anyways, I told one of my schools I was interviewing at that I had an acceptance from another school. It was actually during my interview with the program director. He even made a comment that I am going to have tough decisions to make (big vs small school, traditional university vs institute, location....). It actually turned into a very good conversation about what is important to me in a grad school and what I want in life. He was able to tell me the areas that his school was a good fit and the areas that the other schools were a good fit and was really upfront and honest with me. Then, they pulled me aside later that day (while I was still at the interview) to tell me that I got in and that they really wanted me and that they hoped I would pick them for reasons a, b, and c. They said they knew I had a tough decision but they really thought I was a good fit for the program. They told me since they know I have a tough decision to make they wanted to let me know ASAP that they were interested in me so that I had ample time to make my decision. I was encouraged to think it through and call them if I had any additional questions or concerns.
  14. Yes and no.... 1. Don't get a Ph.D. just to get one. If you are doing something you are not happy with then...well...you won't be happy. That a. wont be fun and b. probably makes it harder to be motivated to graduate. 2. With this being said, the research you do in grad school isn't the most important thing in your life. If you can do any sort of neuro you will be equipped with the tools and knowledge to study something different in the future. Many people do post docs on different types of projects. Find a project that you will like and that will help you for the future. 3. "Understand that your interest might change" (or so I've heard). This is the number one thing people have told me during my application and interview process. I have been told time and time again to not settle on a lab or project because things change and in a year or two when I have to pick a lab I might not have the same interests or goals or whatever. 4. Find a school where they are doing something similar and bring your interests with you. I was talking to a guy a few weeks ago who was interested in mRNA. The lab he joined studied pathways of tumor suppressor genes. He brought his interest in mRNA into the project and is able to study modifications to mRNA that influence those pathways. There can be some flexibility in your research and your adviser (although in some labs this is also not possible...sometimes you are just given a project to work on). Keep looking! Read papers and find things you are interested in and then look at the labs that are producing the research. You might end up in a neurodegeneration lab....or a neuro lab that helps your interests....or a lab that studies degeneration of non neurological systems...or something completely different.
  15. I know Monica Carson at UC Riverside does some neuro research that relates to degenerative diseases. You probably won't find a lower tier school that has a focus on neurodegenerative diseases, but you can probably find researchers at schools that do that. Look for multidisciplinary programs or umbrella programs that have a researchers that focus on neuro.
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