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About Clinapp2017

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    Espresso Shot

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    Clinical Psych, Ph.D. 1st year

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  1. Oh, I definitely agree and advocate for emailing POIs. However, it is my understanding that most (if not all POIs) will rarely entertain more than email correspondence before interviews, at least in clinical here in the US. The conference thing was wonderful for me and a bit of a coincidence. I met the prospective mentor because they came by my poster, which I alerted them of during my email correspodence.
  2. Generally speaking, you will not be able to get 1:1 in person or Skype with prospective mentors because of the sheer volume of applicants. However, if you are going to a conference and you know they’ll likely be there, you can inquire about meeting them in person there. I did that with a POI last cycle and met her at a conference I attended last October. I got into that program but chose to attend a stronger/more well funded program.
  3. Giving Up on Graduate School Is Really Hard

    Out of curiosity, have you ever considered the possibility that the people you applied to weren't a good match for you on the basis of personality? You can be the best student matched with the best mentor, but at the end of the day one thing I think lots of people on the forums fail to realize is that mentors are picking trainees/collaborators for life that can and will also probably turn into a professional type of friendship. From my experience on the interview trail, there were some people I really could tell I would personally not work well with, and then there's my current mentor who has an awesome personality and work ethic that compliments mine (not to mention they are prolific in the field so I am thrilled to be with them). This may seem incredibly arbitrary if you think you are super qualified, but it's a fact about life that I think plays a HUGE role in the biases about hiring in any profession. *note: I am not saying you have a bad personality. I'm saying you may not match well with the people you applied to. Consider aspects of your applications that may portray negative qualities (eg self aggrandizement) that will almost certainly get your app thrown out immediately. Also, coming from someone who also self aggrandizes too often, I also recommend self reflection about the development of humility. To this day I'm grateful to my mentor for taking me on, as they had no reason to really do that because even the most experienced person is still an academic "peon" per se. I hope this was a pragmatic note that might actually be helpful versus stating the obvious or encouraging for the sake of encouraging.
  4. How helpful is my real-work experience?

    My background in a non-profit tied to directly my research interests (and undergrad research) was definitely viewed well by the university which I now attend for clinical - a highly respected program. It all just depends on how you sell your experience/talk about it on apps and interviews.
  5. Feeling lost

    R.e. all the comments about GRE quant not mattering... it very much does matter. (Source: my former mentor in undergrad was DCT of the clinical program). Having a good verbal is great, but if your quant is abysmal and other candidates with equally good experience (which MANY exist) have a better quant, you may get passed over virtually every time (as Kita notes). Clinical programs already have a stigma at many psychology institutions as being the "people who are bad at stats." Thus, some basic expertise in math, as evidence by relative success on the GRE, is important. (For reference, I had a 70th percentile score, so not great, but got into a wonderful institution for my Ph.D., so you don't need like an 85+ percentile score). Also, whether or not the GRE predicts success in graduate school is an issue up for major debate. It does, however, predict how people can do on standardized tests (of which you will take MANY as a clinical psych Ph.D. student on the road to your license and various accreditations). Also, if a program does not require a GRE for clinical psych, I can almost guarantee that it is not a program worth your time and you will likely pay $$$ vs. being funded. I would consider taking a class to help you learn how to take the GRE better... I am not sure how long you studied, but those have been proven to boost scores. If you can pass the 310 mark combined, you will be competitive for most programs based off your GPA and array of experiences (assuming, of course, you apply to programs where you actually match the research interests of your prospective mentors because match is so, so, so, so key). Further, RAships are a real crap-shoot, so keep applying and don't be discouraged!
  6. Clinical Psychology PhD Applications

    Here's my perspective as someone who just got into their top-choice PhD Clinical Psych program and as someone who worked closely with the DCT at my undergraduate instution. I applied to 10 schools right out of undergrad, interviewed at 7, and immediately accepted my top choice when they informed me of my offer of admission 1.5 weeks after my interview. (DM me if you want my personal stats... I don't like bragging about myself on here, especially as this advice is about you!) 1) GRE - the person you spoke with is not necessarily wrong, but a 314 combined is a good score. For the DCT at my undergrad, I know he told me (off the record of course) that he would never look at an application is the combined score was less than 310, and he was constantly looking for high GPA plus a GRE hovering right around 320+. It may ormay not be worth it for you to take it... hard to say without knowing your full application. However, taking it in mid-November is too late for this application cylce, as official (mailed) scores need to be mailed in by Dec. 1st (sometimes earlier for programs... I had a Nov. 15th hard deadline and "suggested" deadline at many schools. Take it mid-October at the very latest. 2) Research interests/GPA in CV - I did as a brief summary statement and explained my experiences in depth (which logically connect to my new interests). GPA, definitely yes. Coursework, probably not since you submit a transcript anyways... maybe if you took a special course or seminar that was worth CEs? Even that is a bit odd for a CV, personally. More importantly, show how your interests and background dovetail with the mentor at each institution to which you apply in your personal statement. You don't need to go wildly overboard and write completely different SOPs and CVs for each place, but definitely invest time in making those connections perfectly clear. Schools are making just as big of an investment in you as a student as you are in yourself/them, so you need to make their desire to take you on the obvious choice that will pay the greatest dividends. 3) Resources: I don't mean to be sarcastic, but Google is a wonderful thing. I found a TON of info about writing personal statements last year (most of which I promptly got rid of after the interview season was over because it was a "theraputic" cleansing of sorts. However, this is useful about things NOT TO DO. Here's a decent example of a good personal statement. I'm also happy to send you a redacted version of mine if you want to reach out to me over direct message... I am also happy to read what you have and provide feedback, provided that you send me a draft with at least a week to look at it. Hope this helps! It's a stresful time.
  7. Difference Between Psy.D and PhD in Clinical Psychology?

    At the moment, I can only think of a few truly reputable Psy.D. academic clinicians (as Psy.D. puts far less emphasis on research training). Ditto to 8bitjournry on going to a reputable program and that there are other ways to be a therapist than to pursue a doctorate.
  8. PhD Fall 2018 Applicants

    Maybe I am confused, but why are you posting in the psychology forum if your interest is history? It's possible this thread may span forums but I am a bit lost...
  9. Opinions wanted

    I would agree with everything being said here EXCEPT that a 150 Q is an acceptable score, because it is not. You will see that the average successful candidate at mid-range to great Ph.D. Clinical Psych program scores about a 315 - 320 combined. 150 Q is 39th percentile. You don't have to be stellar at math... I certainly am not. However, I was able to get a 158 Q and (along with my other credentials) I was admitted to my top choice schools which is arguably one of the strongest programs in the country. Study hard for the GRE. It's a gatekeeper test that is crucial to getting your app considered seriously (connections or not). Best of luck!
  10. Switch from OT to PSYD? Need Advice

    I don't think you can't switch necessarily. However, from a pragmatic point of view there are some questions you probably need to ask as someone in your 30s: -If you want to pursue a PsyD or PhD that is going to be at least 4-5 years of full-time schooling with a clinical internship for a full year after that before licensure. Is that worth is versus a Masters degree with which you can also practice? -Are you interested in research? If yes, pursue a PhD. If no, pursue a PsyD. (This is a bit of an exaggeration as I've met research-oriented PsyDs and clinically-oriented PhDs, but in general this is how things separate.) -Do you have a family/are you geographically restricted for your applications? If so, getting into a good program may be extremely difficult for PhD/PsyDs? -What draws you to psychology versus OT? You say OT "doesn't feel right to you" but you don't really explain why helping people with mental health problems is a higher calling for you. Some elaboration for yourself may be good. Perhaps you've already thought this out a lot... I just didn't get a lot from the post. Hope this pragmatic view helps.
  11. Sorry the last application round(s) haven't treated you well. What are your clinical research interests, specifically, and your career goals? From what I've see here, you have a lot of experience, but these are two pretty big problems you need to address: 1) Your GRE score. As mentioned, most schools won't even look at someone below a 300. What you even see at most "good" programs is an average ~320 among the applicants who are ultimately chosen. 2) You said it yourself that you've "tried many fields," so why is clinical psychology a logical field to be in for you? Pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psych (assuming you want to go the academia and research route) is an 8 year minimum journey (grad school. internship, 2-year post-doc) until you are employable as a low-level faculty member. It is not a small committment, so faculty may see your experience and jumping from field to field as something of concern. Your passion and committment to clinical psych would have to be portrayed extremely well in your statement of purpose and letters of rec.
  12. Fall 2017 Clinical Psychology Applicants

    Well, the range of programs I applied to had 100 to 700 applications. For the 100 application program, the accpetance rate is actually about 20% (it's not clinical - it's HDFS). All other programs I applied to were clinical programs. I'd say the interviews have to be intensive because these programs are investing in you, so they really want to be sure they are talking the 8-10 applicants out of hundreds who they want to work with and who they think will bring the best name to the program during their studies and in their future endeavours.
  13. Transfering schools multiple times

    Depending on the reason for transferring away and then back, you may want to talk about it for a brief statement in your statement of purpose. I would not do this if it's overly personal or something... (big red flag, at least in clinical programs, is too much self disclosure in applications). Prima facie, It probably isn't an issue. I'm not faculty, though.
  14. How important is "fit," really? Any advice/input welcome.

    You've gotten a plethora of advice, but I figured I would add my two cents. For me, fit was the core of my choice. The program I will be attending is one of the most competitive in the country, so I didn't even expect to get invited to interview there (much less get an offer to attend). However, I thought from the day I applied that my research interests and goals aligns unbelievably well with my PI. Furthermore, the research they are doing is world class and considered the hallmark research in my field. When I interviewed, I told my PI directly that if they make an offer, I'll accept. They did and I did. The fit is phenomenal... Academically and socially. I can imagine myself working great with my PI, and the students all seem happy and close because they all have different angles on the same general research problem, so the vibe is supportive and not competitive. I'd be lying to say other factors weren't at play in my choice (e.g., location, generous stipend, prestige of the program), but in the end of the day it was my PI that drew me there and our fit it what's important. Just my two cents, but if you don't have an interest in the new research direction of the PI, it may not be worth attending. I know I'm pretty dead set on my goals - sounds like you are too! Probably finding a clinical or RA job (or both like a VA or research hospital RAship) would be a good plan... That being said if your research is obscure this may not be feasible. I do wish you the best, and hopefully you'll be afforded the chance to make this choice!
  15. Fall 2017 Clinical Psychology Applicants

    If it's your top choice, just say that. It doesn't hurt to be honest at all. I'd email the POI and CC the DCT saying something to the effect (more formally) of, "Hey! I hope the applicant process is working out well for you. GIven that I was waitlisted and your univeristy is my top choice for XYZ reasons, I am wanting to contact you one final time to inquire about my position on the waitlist. I am holding onto another offer currently, but I'd accept your offer if one was made to me." I'd wait until AT LEAST April 10 to send this email. There's no reason to put the cart before the horse when the process may be sorting itself out as we speak. It is very conscientous, though, of you to think about the person in line potentially for your spot at the program you are holding.