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hopefulgradstudent999

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About hopefulgradstudent999

  • Rank
    Decaf

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  • Location
    Boston
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    Immunology/Microb umbrella

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  1. hopefulgradstudent999

    School recs

    Dartmouth has a pretty solid faculty list studying early developmental bio/genetics, I would give them a look.
  2. hopefulgradstudent999

    How much is industry experience worth in grad apps?

    I applied after 3 years in industry and I will second victorius secret's recommendation on not getting all of your LORs from your current job. I did the person I knew best and knew would write me a strong LOR from my job, my undergrad thesis advisor, and a second undergrad professor that I took multiple classes with. I was specifically told I had strong LORs from two separate program directors. This could be happenstance, but I do think going with a combination is your best bet. As for gpa, I had a relatively low gpa (3.3) and mediocre GRE scores as well (like 60%/81%/85%) and I found that I drastically underestimated how competitive my application would be. That being said, there is so much random chance to all of this. I got outright rejected from schools that were ranked 60 spots lower than schools that offered me admission+fellowship. I think strong letters from undergrad and a strong, focused SOP will go a long way. I would shoot for schools in the 20-60 rank about that have research that you like. Don't be afraid to reach out to faculty either because I found that the vast majority of researchers DO NOT update their websites and there is only so much to glean from their recent pubs. I cannot believe how many interviews I had prepped for only to sit down with the faculty and discover they had not worked on their website stated stuff in over 5 years. You need to figure out which schools seem like a good fit both research and culture wise. Program websites are typically a good tool for this.
  3. hopefulgradstudent999

    2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Having gone through the process twice I am very curious to see how your application will fare. It is difficult to predict not knowing the rigor of your undergrad curriculum. That being said some of the programs seem very specifically focused e.g. immunology and I know some of them like UC Denver I applied to with stronger stats than you and did not get an interview. I also did not have any publications though so who knows; there is a lot of chance and luck to this whole process. I will be interested to see how you end up doing! Wish I could be more help!
  4. hopefulgradstudent999

    2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Were all 3.5yrs of your research experience in the same undergraduate lab?
  5. hopefulgradstudent999

    Apply for 2018, or wait for 2019?

    Yeah I think we are all actually getting at a pretty lesser talked about lesser recognized problem concerning the inter-undergrad grad schools years, namely, academic tech position vs. an industry position. I think the spectrum that both of the respective work environments vary wildly from being a dishwasher in an academic lab (low end of spectrum) to running an independent project and getting it published (high end). In industry I think even entry level researchers are brought on and immediately expected to contribute to the team they are a part of and possess or learn the technical abilities to do so. Industry also, typically not always, has almost zero regard for money thus they tend to have the absolutely cutting edge instrumentation and equipment to support conducting cutting edge R&D. I basically do no subscribe to the idea that spending the inter-schooling years in an academic lab holds any significant advantage over an industry job and, anecdotally, I think there does not exist an academic tech job that could've prepared me for graduate school like my industry job.
  6. hopefulgradstudent999

    Apply for 2018, or wait for 2019?

    While I agree that working in an academic lab will make the likelihood of getting published higher, I think publications and abstracts etc. are by no means necessary for admission to a competitive program so long as you have a solid application and good letters of rec. I also think working in industry allows a lot more opportunity to meet and talk to people from many different disciplines and forge meaningful working relationships that will broaden your technical horizons. Obviously all of this is company dependent but I am not convinced academia is any better or worse than an R&D position for bolstering one's application.
  7. hopefulgradstudent999

    Apply for 2018, or wait for 2019?

    Just curious as to why you said preferably in an academic lab? I think industry is perfectly acceptable route to bolster an application before applying to graduate school, plus the added benefit of making a legitimate salary.
  8. hopefulgradstudent999

    2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    With your stats I do not think you are going to have to do much explaining. I would even throw a few more top-10 programs onto that list assuming you have a strong match with the Pi's at said programs.
  9. hopefulgradstudent999

    2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    You have extremely similar stats to me when I applied last year. I applied to over 15 schools in all different ranks and plotting those against where I was invited to interviews and later gained acceptances, I think paints a pretty distinct picture of where I ranked nationally. That being said, I think Harvard, Yale, etc. may be a bit of a stretch. You should definitely still apply to those schools however if you think there is a good research fit because if the experience told me anything it is that anything can happen with grad school admissions. I would recommend looking at schools in the 30-45 and on rank that would interest your research goals as well and throw a few of them onto your list as safety schools. Do not apply to a program if you do not plan on attending should you gain admission, this could be one of the first questions you get asked during a phone or Skype interview. Let me know if you have any more questions. Also, I have no idea how much it may affect your results but I did not apply with minority status.
  10. hopefulgradstudent999

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I think you should definitely retake the GRE at a minimum and see if you cant get your quant score up even a little bit. I think even 3 or four points would make a lot of difference in that regard. That being said, I am not familiar with what the curriculum looks like for an infectious diseases BS, and I know grad committees look at that as well, so while your gpa is high enough for some of the schools you listed, I wonder if an equivalent gpa but in a more focused degree e.g. biochem, chem etc. would be more heavily weighted. All of this being said I do think Weill, Baylor, and Columbia might be a reach. I definitely think you should still apply to all three however, because there is a lot of chance to this whole process and if they are you're dream schools you could definitely still get into one of them. I do think you should have a few more mid-range programs on your list as well.
  11. hopefulgradstudent999

    concerned about my application for 2018

    I mean some of the programs you have listed like UCSF are probably going to require elite scores at or above 80% I would guess. Some of the others you could probably get away with scores in the 55-65% range but obviously the better your scores the more competitive you will be. That being said, I would not put too much stock into GRE scores. From what I have experienced and what others have said the GRE is typically used as more of a minimum. Your letters of rec, publications if you have any, and research experience is really what will be heavily evaluated. Please take all of this with a grain of salt, I was just accepted recently but did go through the process twice.
  12. hopefulgradstudent999

    concerned about my application for 2018

    With the stats that you've listed and a possible publication I think you will be competitive at most of the schools you've listed. I was accepted to some of those schools with worse stats than you.
  13. hopefulgradstudent999

    Research Technician positions

    Hello, I was in a very similar position to yours a few years ago. I ended going into industry and getting a well-paying job during the interim but I was voraciously applying to tech positions as well. In my experience, a 2-year commitment was not out of the ordinary but it also was not the norm. I can understand why PI's do it though, a year of mostly training is a lot to put into a person just for them to leave seemingly immediately. That being said, what made the biggest difference for bolstering my application was definitely forging a working relationship with a colleague of mine who was a PhD level scientist. She ended up writing a strong letter of rec for me and I think that, along with another year of research, was what put me over the top and made me able to get into my dream school. Sorry if this wasn't too helpful but I could expand on things if you'd like.
  14. hopefulgradstudent999

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Hey there, I just wanted to give you an FYI lest you advise too many more people on this site. Mainly I must say that due to the nature of this forum there is only so much you can possibly know about a potential grad student. With that being said, I think everyone (you especially) may want to exercise some extreme caution when telling people where they should/could apply or get accepted into. If I had listened to your advice god knows what school I would be attending this fall. Thankfully I had already submitted all of my applications by the time of reading your comments so my fate was sealed. Point being I would just be careful what was said because from this forum one can only know so much about a person but can have profound effect on their confidence.
  15. hopefulgradstudent999

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Well thanks a bunch for really helping calm my nerves. I feel like Dartmouth truly is a great fit for me, having gone to a very similar style, size, oriented school for undergrad.
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