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About kinseyd

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  • Birthday 09/10/1995

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    PhD Microbiology

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  1. Has anyone got any news yet? My UMN app has switched to "under final review". Do they do a final review of all applications or just ones that are considered strong candidates? It's so nerve-wracking knowing that my top school will be sending a decision soon. But, I guess it's good that I haven't been out-right rejected yet!
  2. Ugh that's the worst! One of my LORs didn't get in until a few hours before it was due (to my top choice, no less) and that was only after I bugged him incessantly. Do you have a phone # for your recommender? I found that they checked their voicemail more than their email inbox, if that helps. @DGD4L Great schools! I also applied to Loyola's microbiology program! and: University of MN - Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology University of Iowa - Microbiology University of Colorado-Denver - Microbiology and University of WI - Madison - Microbiology I'm from MN and it isn't really within my budget to travel to a coast-school, unfortunately
  3. Exactly! I hate having things so out of my control! I don't know about you, but my parents totally don't get how stressful this whole process is! What programs are you applying for, if you don't mind me asking?
  4. Thanks for the kind words. My parents have no idea about the process/how stressful it is (I'm first-gen) and I unfortunately don't have many friends and the ones I have don't really say anything beyond "you'll get in, don't worry" which doesn't mean much considering they're not in my field, though the sentiment is nice. Going to play video games tonight and stop checking program's websites. Good luck in your application season, as well!
  5. I'm a first-generation college student so I think that means I'm eligible to apply, at least at the ones I've quickly glanced at (Mayo, Baylor, U of Iowa). It's nice to have a back-up if things don't work out Though, I assume PREP programs are pretty competitive as well since there are so few spots. Maybe I need a plan C, in addition.
  6. Yes, I've been looking into some today and it definitely seems a plausible option if I'm not admitted to a program. There's even one at the Mayo clinic focusing on immunology/virology which would be great. Glad to know there's another option if I'm rejected.
  7. Thanks for your input! I forgot to mention, I'm on trimesters currently so we are on winter break from Thanksgiving to New Years (great, I know!) so it is really hard to get in contact with my recommenders. Especially since 2 out the 3 are hard to reach under normal circumstances, anyway, let alone on a deadline. So I feel kind of shut out from applying to more programs at the moment. Do you think, if I don't get accepted anywhere, applying for a PREP post-bacc program would be most influential in making my application stronger? This would add another year of research experience.
  8. So, I'm sure a large portion of everyone here is experiencing this horrible anxiety regarding their applications. I've never had problems like this with other applications (for REUs, undergrad, etc) before but honestly every day is torture. I was initially confident about my application as I really did everything that I could during undergrad to prepare for a doctoral program (I graduate w/ a degree in Biology with Honors in June 2017), but upon looking at the selectivity of the schools I applied to and just spending an undue amount of time on this sight, I can't help but deeply worry that I won't get accepted anywhere. My only option really, if I don't get in, is to apply for some type of NIH PREP program to give another year of research experience to get ready for another application cycle. I would actually apply to more schools before the Dec 15th common deadline of a lot of programs, but my 2 of my most important LOR writers are very hard to get in contact with (we are on trimesters and currently on vacation from Thanksgiving to New Years) so that option is kind of moot at this point. Anyway, my real question is what are your strategies for chilling out more during this application process and not succumbing to an insurmountable amount of dread/worry?
  9. I'm interested in bacterial and viral pathogenesis, as well as host-cell interactions (immune suppression). I also think molecular therapy through gene editing is super interesting as well. I remember reading a super interesting paper last year regarding the insertion of CRISPR into human T-lymphocytes to target HIV capsids to prevent HIV replication so I'd be interested in learning more about that, as well. It's hard to narrow a specific topic down, which why I'm super excited to do lab rotations and figure out what I'm most interested in (if I get into a program ).
  10. I'm not sure how competitive the programs you're applying to are, but I think a 160V for the GRE is good! Especially if you have other good areas on your app (writing sample, publications, honors, letters of rec), lower scores can be overlooked anyway because they're not always the most accurate representation of your abilities. I can't speak for your TOEFL, though, since I'm not an international student. That is the general impression I've gotten along this application process, though I am applying for a microbiology PhD, so the requirements/stress on scores may be different.
  11. I can't even reread my SOP because it stresses me out too much, haha. I know I made a typo when referring to the application of a technique but I'm hoping it's so minor that they won't even notice. I honestly hate writing about myself so it was not a fun process. Turns out making sure all my LORs got in on time was more stressful, however. This waiting game is the worst! I also worry I didn't apply to enough schools (5), but I didn't have the funds at the time to pay for more application fees and it would be financially irresponsible of me to go to move across the country anyway. Basically, I'm second guessing everything but at the same time I know I was very diligent during undergrad and took as many research opportunities and teaching assistantships as I could fit while getting good grades (dean's list, honor society, etc). It's really hard, it seems, to definitively say whether an applicant will get into a program or not because it seems like so much depends on whether the admissions committee believes that you 'fit' the program (which I understand). I guess now all we can do is reassure ourselves that we worked as hard as we could and wait for an email! Thanks for reassuring me that I'm not the only one freaking out lol, and good luck to you, as well!
  12. True, I will be checking my email constantly for the next few weeks, it seems. I see that you're already attending a program, how rigorous were your interviews? I'm usually very good with them and I love talking about research but it's hard not to be super nervous about everything.
  13. Yes, and definitely it would be difficult to adjust to the climate of the south compared to Minnesota haha. I will continue to take a look at some other programs. I really appreciate your input, it helped assuage some of my worries for the time being.
  14. Is 5 considered too few schools? I mainly applied to schools in the midwest due to family reasons and affordability (I was considering U of Chicago in addition to Loyola but my undergrad is in Illinois and don't wish to spend the next 5+ years there ) and I avoided the Ivy leagues due to the fact I don't believe my app is competitive enough in the amount of research experience I have.
  15. Yeah, I was concerned about that, too. But the only real LOR regarding my research experience I got get was from my Honors/REU advisor and my academic advisor, and I am not really close with the other biology faculty at my school since they are mostly ecology/evolutionary biologists. I figured my art history prof knows me the best on a personal level and can attest to my work ethic (since he was a professor I had when I was ill sophomore year) and I've done well in all his classes. The other choice would be my previous orgo prof, but I found that class to be insanely hard and she didn't like me very much. Thanks a lot for your input! Do you know if U of MN is considered a competitive program? I can't find admission stats on their website.
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