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About dragontime

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    Gates Cambridge
  1. Gates Cambridge 2017-2018

    Sure! I graduated with a 3.8 from a top 100 but not anything near a top 50, 25 or 10. In fact, my University has placed only one Gates scholar other than me and that was 15 yrs ago. I have national achievements (both in undergraduate and in my career). I also have a pretty extensive history of leadership and achievement in my leadership capacities. I have taken a few international fellowships on a range of social justice oriented issues. I have been working in my field for 3yrs.
  2. Gates Cambridge 2017-2018

    Congrats on getting into Cambridge and receiving an email to interview for Gates- these are both huge accomplishments. I interviewed on the social sciences panel. I would say that the only two things you CAN expect in the interview is that they will want to know that you have deeply connected why you want to be part of the Gates community with why you want to study at Cambridge and then they will want to know what both of those have to do with your larger goals. <--------------- that exact linear connection is what 40% of my interview questions surrounded. The other 60% were so incredibly specific to my application that they would be of no use to you- They pulled them from curiosities they had about my proposed research, my resume, my entire Cambridge application and my career plans. Then there were questions that were asked that I had nowhere near prepared for- for instance, I was asked by one of the interviewers "you have been described as a movement maker and I would have to agree with that description, tell me what your response is when you are described that way." <--------- here, is a question that I TOTALLY did not expect and there was not really a right or wrong answer. I just had to be emotionally and intellectually present in the interview so that I could be flexible enough to answer questions that surprised me. Honestly, I think the best preparation you can do is to try to anticipate, alongside some folks from your University, the questions that your specific application might garner and be prepared to answer those questions you know they will ask everyone (like what I mentioned earlier). My interview was incredibly specific to the materials they had from me (literally- they had my entire application highlighted and written on in front of them), thus, I know they could not have given the next person the same interview. Which is incredible; it speaks so highly of how much work they do in choosing recipients and preparing for the interviews. However, this "tailored" way of interviewing definitely means that the content of my interview will tell you very little about yours. Trust me, bring your passion to the table, review your materials to anticipate their questions, prepare for questions you know they will inquire about, and be emotionally and intellectually present in the interview- there is not much else you can do. I wish you luck in the process It's going to be amazing.
  3. Gates Cambridge 2017-2018

    Okay, I told myself if I won, I would be certain to leave the web with more useful information than I have found. Here are a few tips for future applicants. These are my personal tips, based on my journey; I encourage you to sift through, find what is useful and chuck what you think is not. 1. From the moment you start your application you need be aware that you are tailoring it for two different audiences- the department you are applying to and the Gates Cambridge committee. These audiences are looking for some of the same things as far as academic excellence and leadership (this, after all, is what will get you moved to Gates), but Gates is incredibly mission-driven and in this way it may differ from your department. Your application needs to take into account the Gates mission and needs to deeply tie the Gates mission with the work you plan to do long term and the program you plan to pursue at Cambridge. 2. Practice your interview- I am not one who struggles with interviews at all, but I found that there were many "blind spots" I had not considered when preparing for my interview. This is where practice interviews with my undergraduate institution were incredibly helpful. They were able to ask me questions and raise my awareness of even small things like word choice. It is useful to get a different set of eyes on your interview preparation. 3. By the time you get to the interview- everyone is excellent. We are all equally yoked as far as accomplishment, intelligence, department support, and mission. Thus, the interview is a chance to stand out from the pack. It's a chance to sell your passion for both the work you intend to do and also for becoming a part of the Gates community. Be sure that you are prepared to speak to both. Gates Cambridge has a youtube page which you may find useful and of course, you should be LIVING on the Gates Cambridge website. You are mainly trying to prepare yourself to convincingly argue that you are an amazing fit for not only your program, but for Gates. 4. Have fun- the interview IS going to be an amazingly friendly and personable interview. Be personable, passionate, informed and friendly. Come ready to enjoy the dialogue. 5. Take comfort in knowing that you are now incredibly competitive for other University/college funding- I was told that funding entities tend to like to pull the names of Gates interviewees who did not win- they do so because they can be certain of the quality of applicant.
  4. Gates Cambridge 2017-2018

    I got it !!!!!! I am so excited I literally cried.
  5. Penn GSE

    I don't know the timeline for certain, but I applied to one of the M.S.Ed programs in late October- I heard back earlier this month with an acceptance letter and a scholarship offer; I think April is the deadline for rejecting/accepting the offer. I don't know if this information will help with knowing what is up with your app, but I figured I would share.
  6. Gates Cambridge 2017-2018

    Has anyone who is interviewing found any useful resources?
  7. Gates Cambridge 2017-2018

    They would obviously HAVE to look at costs. The Gates Cambridge Trust is a funding entity and all funding entities look at costs because they have a budget. The Gates Cambridge Fund is a $210 million dollar donation from the Gates Foundation. According to the Gates Trust, they aim to get around 90 scholars a year and are aiming to build as large, strong and diverse of a network as possible. That would mean, as supported by the Gates Cambridge Trust notes, that budgeting that $210 million would be something they would have to take into account. In order to have that $210 million fund as many cohorts of scholars as possible (thereby creating a large network across the years), I hypothesized that the trust would likely consider the percentage of MPhil vs PH.D's because different compositions of cohorts would differently impact the budget. A class of 90 PH.D's would dramatically impact the budget and thus dramatically reduce the number of future cohorts who could be fully funded for Cambridge study. So, to extend the donation for as many cohorts/years as possible, I HYPOTHESiZED that the Trust likely had a sense of the percentage of MPhils and PH.Ds they were looking to have in each cohort. If this explanation does not suit you and you still don't understand what I am saying, then let's call it a moot issue and simply agree to disagree.
  8. Gates Cambridge 2017-2018

    The problem is, that's not what I said. I said "I wonder how they decide the percentage of MPhil vs PH.D. I simply pointed out the costs of the different programs as evidence to support the notion that they likely at least consider percentages for each program given the difference in the number of scholars they could have in the cohorts depending on the degrees scholars are pursuing. I never said that they were "not choosing people" because of how much they cost.
  9. Gates Cambridge 2017-2018

    I certainly do not think that selecting based on merit and being mindful of the "make up" of the cohorts are mutually exclusive; they are more than likely doing both. Given that they intend to have around 90 scholars a year, it's doubtful that they would bring in a cohort solely made of doctorate candidates or one solely made of masters candidates, no matter what the merit were of the group. The Gates Cambridge annual board reports seem to suggest some sense of intentional pattern and not simple happenstance. In 2014 the cohort was 48% Doctorate and 52% Masters/MPhil. In 2015 the cohort was 45% Doctorate and 55% Masters/MPhil. And a simple look at years prior to that show similar patterns. Even the board reports suggest patterns in percentages of scholars according to discipline. So, I doubt there isn't some flexible method they use to ensure cohort diversity (in degree pursuits).
  10. Gates Cambridge 2017-2018

    Then I suppose another thing to consider is how they decide the percentage of those who will be on an MPhil route vs Ph.d. route. Considering that, for the same amount of money they can host 3 MPhils or 1 doctorate, I am curious as to how they are factoring granting MPhils vs Doctorates. I would even question if they have a certain quota by which they will accept 2nd time Gates winners. There are just tons of curiosities on my part.
  11. Gates Cambridge 2017-2018

    Take what I have to say with a grain of salt and maybe even less. Although I am not sure, and of course could not be certain, my understanding is that applicants from all disciplines have likely been notified within the same time frame. My primary reasoning for having this inkling is because the deadlines are tight- we are talking a deadline to confirm by the 19th and (as far as I know) notifications began on the 15th. If we take into consideration that the Gates office closes for the holidays and all U.S. applicants will interview within that same 3-day January window, I can not imagine that notifications are significantly staggered based on discipline. That being said, I have NO CLUE and am only sharing what I have gathered from the little information I have been given. It is still possible that some staggering has occurred and perhaps early January will be the conclusion of all notification letters. It's also possible that people who choose NOT to accept their interview, leave a space for an alternate to be contacted after that deadline of the19th. I know from corporate America that deadlines are often "softer" than they seem. Again, whatever I have said that feels logical to you, take it and process it. If it feels illogical, chuck it as mere speculation.
  12. Gates Cambridge 2017-2018

    Social sciences
  13. Gates Cambridge 2017-2018

    I did not receive an email from the faculty alerting me that I had been competitively listed; thus, I was following this thread with great trepidation. Today, while cleaning out my junk box, I happened upon the invitation for the Gates Cambridge interview. In format, it looks quite like the Cambridge acceptance letter, but it was not signaled as high priority email and thus ended up in my email dust-bin. Consider checking your junk-box. The email went out today (December 15th). One of my greatest fears in this process was going until January not knowing anything. While this may or may not mean ANYTHING, for your notification, it's clear that invitations have started to go out and that the Gates Cambridge office is going to be closed for the holidays so invitees are required to solidify interview acceptance by December 19th. This information is regarding the American portion of the Gates Cambridge.