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Everything posted by bugabooo

  1. Update: grapes! (they're fermented. it's actually wine. often with bendy straws. It's fine.)
  2. Just got an acceptance email from the director of the I/O MA program at my current top choice: Roosevelt University! A blog post with more details can be expected within the next few days. Good luck, everyone!
  3. ...I bought nine bags of half off candy at the store the day after Halloween and it's almost all gone now. I'm an adult, promise.
  4. Yeah, I feel odd about them... But I have an interview with them soon too. Can't hurt to give it my best shot!
  5. Not official, but I received an email this evening from the assistant director of admissions at Elmhurst College notifying me that I will be contacted about an "admissions interview" soon, after my final file is reviewed. I've applied to their I/O Masters program. I will update here and on the results page when I have an official interview request! Oh, and to anyone interviewing for the BA Masters, BATS Masters, OR the IOBM Masters at Western Michigan University, see you there! All of those are listed as being present at some part of interview weekend according to my itinerary.
  6. I've never been one to sit back and wait. It's frustrating and feels distant. I'm nosy by nature, and I figure that my future university should know me as well as possible anyway. I think the universe is tired of me nosing around, because things just started moving really quickly. I've seriously applied to three schools, grudgingly to one, and have more casually submitted partial applications to others. Let's talk about me as an applicant in general, first. I'm female, 21 years old. I'm Hispanic and from a military family. I have a "learning disability" that seriously impacts my life. I have a good employment history with occasional promotions, and have worked at a large bank for the past two years. I've been named to the Dean's List 6/7 semesters, but my first semester of freshman year (the time I was not named to the Dean's List) was also when I was going through the testing and diagnosis process for my aforementioned disability. I currently have a 3.6 cumulative GPA and 3.8 Psychology GPA. I studied using Kaplan's 2015 GRE prep book and took the GRE this past November. I received final scores of V: 162/ Q: 152/ A: 4.5. I found the book and accompanying materials helpful, and used the Kaplan GRE Vocab app on my phone to go through flashcards frequently. My minor is Communication Studies, but I've also taken courses on Criminal Justice, Business, and am a student researcher in a Neuroscience Lab on campus. I was in a community musical theatre company from ages 5-18. I talk way too much. I'm from a rural area in Michigan, and have gone to my hometown University. I have no family history of graduate education, and am a second-generation American. Great, moving on. Next, schools. First, there's Western Michigan University. Though it's in MI and I'm in MI, it's farther away than my other schools. WMU does have in-state tuition, which I obviously qualify for. I've applied to their IOBM Masters program, but they also offer a PhD. According to SIOP, they accept an average of 7 students into the IOBM MA each year. On 1/11, Western called to offer me an interview for their program, and the weekend event is Feb 4-7. I will be hosted by a current grad student, but because I'm a wimpy scared baby my parents will be driving there with me and staying in a hotel nearby during the interview weekend. I mean, they offered, I'm not about to say no to anyone offering to keep me company on a long road trip! My academic advisor knows one of the professors in I/O at WMU, and thinks I'd be a great match for her. Western seems to have a great program, and I've heard only good things from the few current students I know. I'd be able to get a nice apartment for a very reasonable rate, and staying in the state is nice for insurance and blah blah blah. However, the city of Kzoo is less than perfect for I/O, and my current employer does not have a presence in lower Michigan so I would not be able to remain with the company, no matter what. Oh, and as I was writing this I received the detailed schedule of interview weekend. It seems that IOBM, BATS, and BA will all be present. Also, my grad student host just emailed me, and she's under the impression that she has to pick me up from the airport. Like I said, I'll be driving. Whoops! Someone gave her some bad intel, friends. Next on my mind today is Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. I've applied to their I/O M.A. program, and am currently working on getting my LoR gathered for the separate application for graduate assistantship and scholarships. RU does have a PhD as well. My employer has solid presence in the Chicago area, and I would very likely be able to transfer to a convenient location and continue my part time employment while attending RU-- especially because RU holds classes in the evenings. My advisor is "old friends" with one of the IOBM professors at RU, and I'm emailing him back and forth to arrange a time when we can skype or chat on the phone. That'll be sometime next week. Now, a little update. I logged on to my applicant account for RU, and today there was a new document required: official college transcript with degree. Since I haven't graduated, that's difficult to provide and the application for assistantship is due Feb 1st. So, I called their admissions office. More confusion. I spoke to a woman who was very confused about my undergraduate transcripts, and after some investigation she realized that my records were weird because my application is already pending a decision. WHAT. Like, excuse me, hold on, no. What? So I expressed my shock to her, but she assured me that I should proceed with the assistantship app as I am. I asked some questions about sending in my LoR, all good. It'll save me some postage the way I'm doing it anyway. I have to mention: I have a feeling about RU. For some reason I am drawn to their program, and feel like it would be a great fit for me. My limited exposure to Chicago has been wonderful, and weather isn't a concern of mine. It would be a huge change, but I'm not afraid of that. The third serious application I've sent is to Elmhurst College, just outside Chicago. Their I/O Masters is highly rated by SIOP and within my preferred application area. Elmhurst doesn't seem to have an application fee, but they also seem to have extremely limited funding opportunity and no graduate housing resources. Their application process has been the most strange so far. I've been told I sent my GRE scores to the wrong office and that I'd have to pay to resend them only to have the scores found in the correct location later. I've gotten rather curt emails from their admissions office, and later was contacted by the assistant directer of admissions who asked me to send further correspondence directly to him. Checking my email just now, I found a new message asking me to activate my Elmhurst Technology Account that I've just been issued. What in the world does this mean? Why do I need this? Have I been quietly accepted, and the emails were sent in the wrong order? Besides, I haven't even sent my LoR to them yet. Let's recap this, because my head is spinning and a lot has happened today. 1. Interview at Western. My host for WMU interview weekend thinks she needs to pick me up at the airport, even though I've indicated that I'm driving. 2. Roosevelt already has me listed as "pending" a decision to accept or reject me, and the application for assistantship/scholarship is due Feb 1st. 3. Elmhurst issued me a Technology Account that leads to a "campus portal" and the email said that they hope I "will be an active member of the Elmhurst College community," but I haven't even sent them my LoR yet and haven't been officially accepted or rejected. Confusing. Today has been REALLY weird. I think there's Netflix and wine in my near future.
  7. bugabooo

    And they're off!

    So, here's the thing. I didn't grow up as a special snowflake. I grew up knowing that I'd better work my butt off to get what I want, because there's always going to be someone on my heels hoping they can beat me. That's not a bad thing, because that other person is just trying to get what they want, too. Everyone is. I'm currently a senior, and I'll be graduating at the end of April. I'll graduate with honors, and my family is very proud because I'm the first, ever, in my entire family to finish an undergraduate degree "on time," or in four years. I have family in two countries and (after a recount) at least six states who will be at my ceremony in April. I need to start stockpiling kleenex. Not surprising at this point, but no one in my family has ever considered grad school. It's just... not part of the world they know. My Abuelita and Abuelito have less than a full high school education between them, and the other side of the family has very limited college education. This is more foreign than the moon, to my family. I'm sure I'm not rare in this-- my family is so proud, right? But they can't relate, and a lot of the time they seem to think that getting into grad school is just like undergrad. Same thing at work. "Didn't I already write you a letter of recommendation? Why do you need ANOTHER one?? Can't you just go to that school I already wrote to?" I've never lived on campus, and I never really got into my university's culture, so I feel limited there as well. The thing is that I don't totally know what I'm doing at any point, but I'm trying to keep the ball rolling. I have very limited human resources to draw from, and I'm never quite sure where I stand. I'm the only student at my university who is going into I/O. This blog is about me figuring this out, for now. I mean, I'm still figuring this site out, actually. In future entries I'll discuss my GRE and prep for it, where I've sent applications, and any updates I have. I encourage readers to comment their similar experiences, ideas, or notes. Curtain for now.
  8. bugabooo

    Blogging 2016

    I'm interested, if needed.
  9. I'm in the same boat. Interview weekend early next month, no idea what I should wear. I feel more comfortable rocking a pantsuit than dresses or skirts, plus their current students are overwhelmingly male... I normally dress way more "girly" than usual for interviews or formal events, but I suspect that's not the right plan of attack here. So far my ideas include: Nice dress, similar to this one from the same brand. Nylons and low heels. Possible interview outfit, also contender for the more formal dinner event. Charcoal slacks, navy and teal silk blouse with black knit cardigan. Low heels or black leather flats. Possible interview outfit. Nice dark wash jeans, leggings and t-shirt for pajamas (I'm staying with a grad student aka total stranger), and some decent blouses. I'm going to pack a "going out" outfit only because I may meet up with an old friend who is a current student for drinks while I'm there. Every time I've asked, people have told me to go one step down from a suit. As a female, I believe that gives me more outfit options but more room to mess up.
  10. Even though most of my applications have been sent in, there's something bothering me. I tried to search for a similar and active topic, and did not find any. Applications tend to ask "diversity" questions. For example (using myself as the applicant), all of my schools know that I'm female and that I'm a minority. Most applications I've seen ask about military status (I marked dependent if the option was present, otherwise I would mark non-military), some ask for religious affiliation or if you identify with the LGBTQ+ community. Now, this type of question is frequently optional, which makes sense. What doesn't make sense to me is that none of my applications asked about disabilities, even as an optional question. I am not physically disabled, but am diagnosed with what legally qualifies as a learning disability, and it's a huge part of my life. Obviously. This is part of the reason that I had mediocre grades right up until I was diagnosed and began treatment, which is when my grades (and, frankly, quality of life) skyrocketed and stayed high. I have a small section of my SOP that touches on this by naming the diagnosis and explaining some of the near-magical results gained through proper treatment. Part of the reason I felt I needed to talk about it is because there's a very obvious difference in my academic and professional life before and after diagnosis. My life is, without exaggeration, almost entirely different. I don't mean to "play a card" to help me get an edge, but it is an extremely important part of my life and who I am. If I'm going to be a good fit for a university, this detail might matter. So I'm a Hispanic female who is a military dependent with a disability that is not physical. Did I make a huge mistake? Is this going to haunt me? Does it even matter? Can anyone else share similar experiences? Anything?
  11. Great points. Reminded me to mention for commuters: I keep extra gloves, a scarf, hand warmers, flashlight, socks, and a pair of dark flats in my car at ALL times during the winter. Plus, since it's cold, I can leave food like a frozen meal in my car for long days on campus. Car/ wardrobe/ emergency kit/ freezer. This thread makes me glad I grew up in this weather because I know how to deal with it, but also glad because this is probably my last winter here!
  12. I've spent over an hour trying to shorten my SOP for my first choice school. Taken it from 4 pgs to 2...and three lines floating on a third page. Uni's site states "no more than two pages double spaced" and I have steam coming out my ears. UGH.

    1. MarkMc


      Yea - no it's no fun, but they the time you shrink it down it does make it more "readable" for others.  One of my applications required a 10 page statement.  It was enough to drive me to drink.  One of my favorite topics to talk about is myself - but that was a little excessive.  I can't imagine that anyone will want to read a 10 page paper on how interesting I think i am.

    2. bugabooo


      Ha! I do wish it were more universal. I had one school ask for 500 words. How can you learn anything worth reading about someone in 500 words? 10 pages would be too much, I agree. I immediately thought of this image when I read your comment: 


    3. MarkMc


      Agreed.  I just realized that part of my other post was unreadable.  "but by the time you shrink it down."  Sometimes being more concise is award winning.  500 words?  Yikes.  Someone give me construction paper and crayon.  I'll make an impression and it won't be a good one

    4. Show next comments  6 more
  13. Nope! You're not too far off, though. They get more snow than I do, actually. Tech is nice, and they do tend to dole out good funding packages especially for females and minorities. They've gotten to be much more diverse, which has been great to see.
  14. My plan B is to stay where I am (I go to school in my hometown), possibly attend my university's general psych masters program and keep working in the lab I'm part of. Continue living in my apartment, or move back in with my parents if I need to. I could maybe get my part time job increased to full time, MAYBE. I would probably take the GRE again, just in case I could improve my scores, and I'd apply to my original schools plus as many more as I could justify. And I have no idea how I'd do it. I have a good support system, but I also have a lot of toxic managers and coworkers who would ask loudly and often "so what did you screw up?" type questions and otherwise humiliate me unintentionally or intentionally. I'm the first person in my immediate and extended family to have finished a bachelor's in four years, and the first to apply to grad school of any kind. I have 5+ states and two countries where people brag about me, which makes me uncomfortable even when I have GOOD news. I can't imagine if I had BAD news. Relocating isn't really an option for me unless it's to a university for school. This is my first application cycle, as I think may be obvious.
  15. Hi everyone! It's winter for 7-8 months of the year where I am. I HATE cold and snow, unfortunately, so I've learned to do a lot of things to deal with it. Getting to class takes longer in the winter because you can't really cut through parking lots or grassy areas, so you learn to leave for class earlier. Also, I always try to get to class a little earlier so I can peel off my numerous layers of cold protection and settle in. Dress in layers, abandon trendiness and focus on utility. I wear tights under my pants if I know it's going to be below zero while I have to be outside. I frequently see faculty teaching in their winter boots, and most just throw their coat/other winter gear on a spare chair near their podium. In one classroom that was unusually cold, my professor wore a puffy-ish, north face type vest. Students wear hats and scarves during class especially if they've just come in from outside, and as long as it's actually cold enough to warrant that, most professors don't mind. I've heard of people having hats or scarves stolen, but nothing like an actual coat being stolen. There are a lot of organizations around that provide cold weather gear for people who can't afford it-- on campus and around the community. My university doesn't cancel class unless it's -35, so we're all completely used to everyone having lots of cumbersome coats and other winter stuff. That goes for public places as well. I usually stuff my coat and things into my cart when I'm shopping if possible.
  16. I used Kaplan's 2015 edition GRE prep book. It came with a CD (which I never used, since I don't have a disc drive) and some other useful features. Kaplan also has a GRE vocab flashcards app for iphone and android- not sure if windows has it. Anyway, since I only took the GRE once I can't say really how much it made a real difference, but I believe that it helped me prepare well. The vocab app was great, especially when I was at work or just waiting around anywhere.
  17. School Name: Western Michigan UniversityDegree: M.A.Type: I/ONotified via: Phone call followed by emailInterview Date: Feb 6th
  18. I was just invited yesterday to interview at Western Michigan for their IOBM master's. Super excited, but very nervous. I'm trying to apply to Elmhurst, but their office of admissions has been close to rude in our email conversations, at one point saying I failed to send my GRE scores to the correct office, and then blaming a clerical mistake when they finally admitted that I had done my part correctly. I was told that an adviser would be in contact with me after submitting my application, but that was in November and I've heard nothing. Yikes. (They DID send me a christmas card, though...?) I've been contacted by a few other schools and am applying to a few more on top of that. I'm especially interested in Roosevelt University. I've been on my Uni's dean's list every single semester, have a 3.7 cumulative GPA and will graduate w/honors in April. My GRE-V is 87th percentile, GRE-Q is 52nd, and GRE-A is 80th. I'm the ONLY student at my university with an I/O focus of any kind. I really don't know what I'm doing, but I found this forum today. So, here I am. Sending good vibes!
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