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    Pale Blue Dot
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    2017 Fall
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  1. In case you're considering McCourt/Georgetown and you're in the DC area, you could come to this recruiting event next week (pizza provided!): https://www.linktank.com/event/mccourt-school-s-dc-area-professionals-recruiting-event You'll meet director of admissions Adam Thomas, who's a pretty cool guy. Disclaimer: I'm a first-year McCourt student just passing the word along.
  2. Yeah, that's a tough place to be in. But I have found that unless you have concrete, definite plans, it's best not to give prospective employer a reason to count you out based on a vague potential. For most positions except the more senior ones, it is generally respectable to stick around the job for a year. More is generally good, less not so much. Something about the neat, round figure of one year makes transitions generally OK. Take your sick days all at once Or plan the trip on a Wednesday/Thursday, interview on Thursday/Friday, return on the weekend. Europe is a nice 8-hour flight and not a lot of jet lag.
  3. As others have said, work for a couple of years if you can. This will help you really figure out if public policy is for you, and if you decide it is, it will make you a more competitive applicant...work years can help you get into a program and once you're in, it can help you get more financial aid. Public policy programs are pretty big on work experience as opposed to law schools, which rely more heavily on the GPA/LSAT combo. Your pre-MPP work experience could also make you a more competitive job applicant post-MPP. Others have said enough about the increase in earning potential from am MPP.
  4. Prison Break and Homeland. You can hate me in return, but I'm kind of tired of the hackneyed story-line of the impossibly brilliant protagonist who is also messed up and keeps getting into a world of trouble, only to get out of it with their sheer brilliance. Every.single.time.rinse.and.repeat.season.after.season.
  5. That's very helpful, thank you. In the end of the day, there's no way but to tell it clearly and honestly.
  6. Hello everyone, I am in the dreaded situation of having to give notice to my boss about my departure to grad school. This would have been easier under normal circumstances, but mine aren't normal. Here's why: The boss, who is a VP at my organization, went out of his way to hire me as his second-in-command eight months ago The boss is a friend When I signed on, I was going through the application process, but I wasn't sure I would actually end up in grad school I didn't tell the boss I was planning to go to grad school I have only two weeks for the "notice" period (boss was away and I wanted an in-person chat instead of a text/email) I know there's no best way to break the news, but any tips would be greatly appreciated. I want to retain his friendship and goodwill even as I want to pursue my own next big move. This thread is perhaps a bit out of place, but I figured a lot of you already gave or are about to give notices to your own employers. Please help a friend out!
  7. That's impossible for anyone to predict, not least because your score depends on what difficulty level you get for your second Verbal section and how many of the questions you get right in that section. This link here shows how many questions you need to get right in each section to get a particular score (the link also shows your score by section-adaptive scores). There was a similar study done by someone who had a neat table of their findings, but I can't seem to locate it right now. As for what you can do to improve your reading comp score? A lot of resources out there. Read some of them and do what works for you, which you can only find out by trying a few approaches and tracking your score.
  8. By way of support, you are not alone in the sentiment of "I don't understand how I didn't see the signs earlier." A lot of parents and partners are surprised when they discover their children/spouses go from, say, turning religiously observant to turning up in Syria. That's a simplistic characterization and the radicalization is different to your husband's experience, but that is roughly a pattern that's observed everywhere and across the radicalization spectrum, from high school mass shooters to Taliban recruits. So you're not alone in missing the signs. Sometimes it happens glacially, so slow that it's almost imperceptible, especially with a loved one. Nobody has found a perfect way to deal with a situation like that. But I would suggest you seek support. See if you might talk to someone you are comfortable discussing this issue with -- a parent, a sibling, friend or coworker...someone dependable that can maintain confidentiality and has close rapport with him if it is necessary that they talk to him, though there's so much that a 'talk' can accomplish when it comes to radicalization/extremism. The idea is mostly for you to have support from a trustworthy source. Only someone like that, who knows the nuances of the situation better than us here, can help you talk through ideas and options. I wish you courage.
  9. Congrats! I suspected they wouldn't ask about the spouse visa thing. Enjoy the rest of your summer as you prepare for your PhD studies in the fall!
  10. Hi @skwaat, the struggle is real and we all know it. I did the GRE when I was 28 as well. Except Cliffsnotes, I got all of the other books you mention. I found taht the ETS books are really not that helpful from the standpoint of learning concepts. The quant review in the beginning of the book sometimes made me feel even more stupid because it was written just so...unhelpfully. The ETS Practice Questions books are only helpful for you to get a sense of the difficulty level of the questions, how they are worded, the traps, etc...and to get some practice on the real stuff once you're familiar with the basics. I wouldn't use them very early on in my training. For one, you need to know the basic concepts before you can practice the questions, and two, you will run out of real practice questions if you do them too early. All good prep companies give you a math grounding, starting from the very basic. I used Magoosh and watched all the math videos, some of them two or three times. It was pretty comprehensive and I felt prepared. I wasn't a 160+ student on quant, and Magoosh was very helpful for my prep. (I was a 160+ student on verbal, so the content there seemed OK, if you're wondering.) Magoosh was very, very affordable compared to other prep companies, and its videos are light and can load easily on poor internet connections (I live overseas where the internet is very bad). I also used Manhattan's math and verbal flashcards. The verbal flashcards come in three sets ("essentials" and then two sets of advanced). I found the two latter sets useful...more useful than Kaplan flashcards. The quant flashcards were very useful too...they essentially gave you more quant questions using intermediary concepts (factorization, circle properties, etc. that would be one part of a bigger package in a question), so you get stuff drilled pretty well. There's a lot of time between now and October, so you can rest assured that you can improve somewhere between 5-15 points, maybe more if you put in the hard work. The thing about quant is that you learn by doing...watching concepts and other people solving questions doesn't work. Best of luck!
  11. I'm also going to grad school this fall. I have friends in the city as well, and I wouldn't go out of my way to make new friends. I hope it will happen on its own, which could save me the feeling of being totally "left out" of the grad school social circle for things like commiseration and reinforcement that only comrades-in-arms can offer, lowdown on how to deal with difficult professors, workarounds for the departmental red tape, etc. - the useful stuff you usually get through informal settings. And for the record, I don't do bars very well either...it's too frickin' noisy for any normal human conversation to take place in it. As an international student, I spent many precious years of my life looking for "quiet" bars but then gave up. Quiet bar is an oxymoron.
  12. My fiance and I have been long-distancing for a while, starting with before our engagement. It is not easy, but we feel us pursuing our grad school/career for the time being can give us a solid foundation for a long, fulfilled life that includes professional gratification for both of us. I know 9 p.m. is pretty late, but I have lived in countries where people routinely have dinner at 9 or even later. This is particularly true in the summers when the days are long and people stay out pretty late. In your case, it would be tough maintaining the stamina after a full day's work and grad school to then have a late dinner and be "with it" for your partner. And there might be the commute home after school. But if your husband can pick you up after school every day, you might then commute back together or get dinner nearby. It'll be a very late dinner, but if there's solace in numbers, millions of people around the world do it
  13. As someone who studied on an F-1 visa and later ran a program for students who came to the US on F-1 visas, I would say you should remain optimistic. The two of you are serious, bona fide scholars with competitive scholarships for five years from renowned universities. You probably have publications, etc. You are not using the F1 visa as a shortcut, easy way for immigration to the US because you can't get to the US any other way. You are both going to the US for a serious, legitimate scholarly undertaking. The US is better for attracting highly qualified people like you from around the world. The visa counselor will probably ask if you have any relatives in the US. They may or may not ask if your husband is also going to the US (they usually don't ask that in my experience ). But if they do, answer that truthfully. If they ask why you didn't book a group visa appointment, answer that truthfully as well (some people just don't know that this option exists - I didn't know about it myself for a long time). Visa counselors are trained to apply the law uniformly, but sadly, their determinations can sometimes be wildly divergent...part of how a counselor decides on a visa petition appears to depend on the counselor's personal disposition or how they feel that day. I have seen some legitimate visa applicants denied, while people with no apparent chance in hell were granted visas...all this is to say that the experiences you read online are indicative of how things work for some people but not representative of how they turn out for the broader visa applicant pool (for starters, people who are rejected are more likely to post to online forums). Best of luck and let us know how it goes!
  14. Hi, @Asthashah - I might not be able to speak about employment prospects, but about scholarships at Australian universities, I know a thing or two...unless you come through an Australian government-funded program like Endeavour or Australia Awards, or you find a niche scholarship program, don't expect any financial aid or scholarship in Australia. Universities (or unis, as they call it there) treat international students as cash cows that can pay handsome money to help the universities balance the checkbooks because Australian students pay so little directly to the university. As a result, getting into Australian universities is very easy for international students compared to admission at US universities...this is one reason why it is common to see well-heeled international students, particularly of Chinese origin, at most Aussie campuses. Having said that, if you already are a qualified dentist, you might come to Australia using its skilled immigration system...they publish a list of wanted skills each year, and STEM jobs are always there. If I were you, I'd look into this option.
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