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AP last won the day on December 24 2017

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  1. AP


    Back in the day when I used The Grad Café for guidance, I found the advice very helpful. I agree with @TMP BUT let me tell you that the interview I had in the place where I am now had absolutely nothing to do with what anyone had anticipated. They had thoroughly read my sample and asked me about methods, framework, and impact. Not in those words, of course. The questions were like: "We see from your writing sample that you are interested in national identity. What would the study of national identity in your area add to the field?" "We found this framework very interesting. Have you read X? [No, I haven't] Well, they argued blah blah blah. How do you see that informing your work?" What did match TGC advice was this: HAVE INTELLIGENT QUESTIONS TO ASK THEM. Mine were silly (one of the questions was 'what happens now?') Good questions can be (provided the responses are not online): What opportunities are there for exploring digital humanities? How do seminar/colloquiums look like? (eg: I would have loved to know that some require research papers while others, in addition, require as 'papers' grant applications or syllabi).
  2. The other day this topic came up in a conversation between postdocs that were surprised we interviewed. So it seems this program is more of an exception than a rule. It is also a smallish program so I don't think they get more than 200 applications per year for all fields.
  3. No, it evolved. But the titles were almost the same (minus some dates). I make this comment because I've seen several job talks on papers people have in their CVs and I asked around about this because I was a little embarrassed that my job talk looked the same as my previous presentations.
  4. AP

    Emailing Graduate Students

    This is IMPORTANT advise. And I'll paraphrase it a little bit: When you enter a program, you enter an entire field and all its networks. If you visit a place or contact people from a place you don't think you will attend, rest assured you will cross paths again. This is a very, VERY small world. You never know who will be in grant committees or job searches, so be professionally kind. In this line, I think I mentioned this elsewhere and I adhere to it here: You begin you graduate career the moment you e-mail the first POI. E-mailing grad students and chatting with them in campus visits is the part of your job were you do networking. Let me provide some examples: * I met a prospective student who was doing fieldwork where I lived. They eventually dropped out of the program but because of our connection I could recommend some companies where I worked. They got a once-in-a-lifetime job in one of these. * Through this previous person I got in touch with a ten-grad student working on a similar topic as I did. They are now helping me with job applications. * A POI in a program that accepted me but where I didn't go introduced me to another student working on similar themes as I did. When he got a tenure-track job, he invited me to present at conferences. We collaborate at least once a year. In conclusion: Be kind, be professional, be smart.
  5. I was accepted into to programs with no interviews. However, they were the minority. For all other programs I got interviews (six). So I don't know how true this statement is or how much AdComms have changed (I applied in 2013)
  6. In my discipline it is not frown upon. People do it a lot, especially in different contexts Eg, undergrad, then grad. I have a paper that have presented several times and is now becoming an article so it appears four times on my CV. Also, do not put in your CV that a professor presented your work unless it's accepted in your discipline.
  7. AP

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Yes, after the AdComm met. Ok, really, there is not a specific day for releases of responses. But probably not over the weekend!
  8. AP

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    This is great advice. I would another important aspect of professionalization which is how departments prepare students for jobs beyond academia (aka 'Alt-acs'). This is an important questions even if you are not interested in working in libraries, industry, or other organizations because it helps you measure how the department interacts with the reality of the market. The academic job market is a disaster, but that doesn't mean that departments shouldn't be doing anything. There are several people in my program who know they don't want to be academics and have pushed for changes in the professionalization options. This has forced faculty to rethink their position as trainers and broaden the scope of applicability of the skills they teach. Eg: Instead of being only about job talks, my department fosters presentation skills for the wider public. Instead of focusing only on research papers, an alternative assignment some professors accept are a series of Op-Eds. Ask these questions. Even if you don't care about the answer. They will tell you things about the department beyond the response.
  9. Do you have an offer? If you do, then the deferral is easier because you are–to some degree–"in". Now, in my program I've seen deferrals only when incoming students won fellowships and needed to postpone the starting of the doctoral degree. This was something the program saw as an opportunity for those students to grow intellectually and professionally, which is why I suspect they granted the deferrals. We've had many international students apply (myself included) but I've never heard of granting a deferral for long distance relationship issues. Furthermore, most of us conduct international research so most of us (married people with kids included) have to undergo the long distance at some point. This is clearly a conversation to have with your partner first (if you haven't already) about your professional goals and how to pursue them. And if not, it is totally fine not to go the distance.
  10. I wouldn't take it so defensively. Part of graduate education is to prepare you to teaching. It is nice that the DUS is devoting some time to help you chew through the evals and give you tips on how to improve them (probably not because they are low, but because evals are important for the job market later on). I sense this is more of a meeting from more experienced to less experience colleague on how to bump up their numbers effectively so that you have a good teaching portfolio when the time comes. I would expect/ask the following: * Precise examples on how to improve your weak points. Eg: if the feedback was that your voice is too soft, tips to improve projection. * Differentiation between you as a person and you as a teacher. * Suggestion on how to read between the lines students' evals
  11. In the humanities, you should see conference papers as work in progress. Plan to publish those papers at some point. Publications weigh more in your CV. However, if you get to the job market without any presentation, that will look suspicious as conferences are spaces for networking, discussion, and collaboration.
  12. AP

    Deadline for Recommendation Letters

    Schools don't have all the same requirements, meeting times, timelines. So yes, if you want to know until when faculty have time to submit, you'll to contact them individually. That said, if the deadlines has passed/is drawing closer, I wouldn't bother schools. Instead, I would send a reminder to your letter writers. I had a letter writer that did not write ANY of my letters. Fortunately, I had another one in line so I had options. Remember people are writing letters for you, other students, faculty, colleagues... be patient. And good luck!
  13. AP

    PhD A or PhD B?

    I am assuming that you haven't applied to either yet so you haven't been accepted to either? When your offer is in hand, you might want to consider: Prestige: I don't agree with the way you are reading it. Prestige is not the amount of resources/support that you have, prestige is the idea others have of your school/program based on other people. It is *highly* subjective and you cannot control who thinks what. Since it looks they are roughly the same, it is also useless to use this as a point for comparison. Advisors: what are the pros and cons of working with the same people? How can you benefit from being exposed to other faculty? What type of mentorship would you get in each place? What type of mentoring support would you get? Interdisciplinarity: I didn't understand what you meant by 'joint PhD'. I know this exists in some schools, but I don't understand how you would benefit from it if it is not 100% what you want to do (because otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation). I you do want a joint PhD, then go and get one! Certainly, this would outweigh everything else. I do encourage you to speak to people that have that degree. Research: it looks you have a research in mind and are worried that at Program B you wouldn't be able to stick to it as much. Bear in mind that seldom do we stick to our plans. Be honest with yourself about how important this exact plan is to you. The way you put it, it looks that you are invested in this project but a more interdisciplinary program would make it more difficult to carry out that research as is. What if, as part of your doctoral program, your project changes from being exposed to other theories, scholarship, and disciplines and becomes even more interesting? Not sticking to a plan that you designed during your MA could be a good thing. Similarly, what are the benefits from doing a project in one discipline (not joint)? Teaching load: I understand you want to gain classroom experience, but also you don't want to drown in it. Are you aware of the precise teaching responsibilities in each program? Other requirements: What other requirements do you need to fulfill and when? (Languages, training, ethics, TAing, internships, etc). Other opportunities: Are you aware of other ways in which you could make each program work for you? Are there, say, campus opportunities to present your work, support for conferences, diversity, etc?
  14. The epistemologies and methodologies of both degrees are very different. While you can rely on historical data for your PoliSci project, that doesn't make it a history project, and vice versa. Although you'd be versed in your field –beyond the discipline– to assess and comment on historical and current matters (like I do with issues of Latin America), that does not mean that the PhD will equip you in both disciplines. I second @Sigaba's response that no, you cannot combine a historical PhD-level analysis in a PoliSci dissertation. From what you said, it looks you are approaching this from a student's perspective. This is fine, except it is not helpful for the decision you are trying to make. Instead, think about the job that you want and the degree that you need for that. What skills do you need to develop (further)? Do you need any other skills? If you don't need a PhD, then don't get one. If you think a PhD will benefit you for applying for the type of jobs you want, then do it. Make the decision based on your professional aims (that is, not thinking as a student but thinking like a job candidate) and you'll notice that the question stops being about the the dissertation project and turns out to be about what you want to do in the next six years or so.
  15. AP

    Questions on GRE and SOP

    I also came from abroad and I aimed for a 5.5 AW score because of the same reason your friend gave you. Regarding the SOP, do you have any colleague already studying in the US? I sent mine to two people from my country who were already in their programs (not history) and they helped a lot. If you know anybody, reach out to them an politely ask them if it would be ok to send them your SOP. I didn't use a service.

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