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    Villa Bourani
  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
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  1. Hi, I used to work in finance: equity research, m&a, and recently corporate access within a middle market bank you've heard of. I am applying to several Near/Middle Eastern Studies masters programs with the hope of doing an English/Comp Lit/NES PhD depending on how my interest in postcolonial theory and Arab language and literature evolves. I would say there are distinct challenges that we face coming from Wall Street. (Although one caveat - I had a single major in Middle Eastern Studies, and I only took stats and fin acct in college). The first is one of dedication. A PhD is a long and grueling process and takes a huge amount of stamina and dedication in your very niche subject. Do you have an intellectual fire that will sustain you through those very financially modest years? I'm sorry to say that a single minor in English might not qualify you for the PhD, and I think a masters in English or in another subject within the humanities will help prove that you're dedicated. It will also help you narrow down your interests and help you realize whether the PhD is something you want to do after all. A lot of people go into a masters thinking that they will all go into a PhD program, but you would be surprised how many end up in the working world instead. It's sort of how everyone applies to law school saying they want to change the world and work in Public Interest, but then they end up in Corporate. (Okay kinda bad example but I wrote it and now it's too late). Anyways, I can empathize with you. My personality has matured over the years (well, er....I hope that's what it is), and I have realized that I can't work a desk job in a hierarchical environment anymore. I want to produce my own ideas, write my novel, teach, explore, travel, repeat. It might not be the most lucrative way to live my life, especially compared to finance. I'm only 24 now, but I believe that by the time I finish a prospective PhD, I'll be 32, and that's without a post-doc of any kind. Most of my current friends in finance will have mortgages, diversified investments, children. I might not have any of that, but I know my mind will be a more interesting place than it is now, and I'm planning on heading to the table this fall to role the dice. If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me!
  2. Thank you so much! If anyone else could please chime in, it would help me out a lot.
  3. Hi, I was wondering if anyone could explain FLAS to me? I am an American citizen applying to Middle/Near Eastern Studies Masters Programs. Do schools automatically award candidates at time of acceptance? I have heard that it's department dependent, but not sure if its true. Also, is it up to the student to apply for funding? Does the student apply when they're already in the program (second year) or do schools include the FLAS fellowship in the scholarship package? Do American citizens automatically get considered? This would really help out. Thank you all.
  4. This was incredibly helpful. "Functional" is a good word and I'm going to carry that with me.
  5. Wow I'm sorry for my absence! I think you raised an honest point because the research that I would like to do is quite interdisciplinary (read: it's not focused yet), and I have yet to hone in on a thesis topic. Of course, English programs in general are not a good fit. But there are specific programs such as Princeton, Columbia, UCLA, among others, that do have a strong poco department that try to pull in area studies/comparative literature. With that being said, here is my question: what do I make of comp lit? Spivak spelled its death as everyone knows, and I feel as though a lot of Comp Lit programs are being absorbed by English programs. For example, at Columbia, those departments are pushed together. I privately ask myself if doing a PhD in English, rather than in Comp Lit or Area Studies, will be a 'safer' decision in the sense that I have anticipated that those departments might not exist anymore, or that they do exist, but not as they did in the past (less funding or 'winding down'). I also feel that I need to take advantage of my interests in a way as well. If I am interested in post-colonial theory, then nursing that interest in an English department versus Comp Lit might be the more 'responsible' career choice (am I a grown up now for using that word?). I should make myself more clear. It's not that I despise Keats or other Romantic Poets, it's just that I would rather be reading Hafiz as I find that it does more for me. Thank you guys!
  6. That is very disheartening, but I am glad you were direct with me. Do you know how much your score counts compared to the GRE? I'm trying to shoot for all the schools you listed (depending on who does Poco or not....I'm sure you can tell from my username!!) and I believe I have the GRE (164V/ 165Q). Also - it seems that I need to know a lot of 16 or 17C British Lit, but that's not my research focus at all and I actually do not enjoy what people would traditionally assume is the English canon (Milton/ Shakespeare....). What do you, or others, advise here?
  7. Hi All, Does anyone have a comprehensive list of top schools that require the subject test? There are some websites where they make it almost impossible to know in a concise fashion what you need. For example, for Princeton English, do you need the subject test? Thanks, ThirdSpace
  8. Hi All, I was recently accepted to Oxford's MA in Modern Middle Eastern Studies. I got my BA in Northeast America and my absolute preference would be to receive an American PhD in either Comparative Literature or Middle Eastern Studies. My question is whether going abroad is better or worse than staying stateside if my end goal is to get an American PhD? I received offers from American MA programs in MES/NES as well. My gut feeling is that I should stay in the states if I want an American PhD. Are the British standards any different? Is American BA to British MA to American PhD harder than just staying in America for the entire course? I have to say I applied to Oxford on a whim because it sounded nice but was not prepared to really delve in the thought of a "foreign" even if western education. Thanks!
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