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AnUglyBoringNerd

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About AnUglyBoringNerd

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    Espresso Shot

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  • Location
    New York
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    East Asian History

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  1. AnUglyBoringNerd

    EALC / EALAC / EAS 2019

    Aww definitely! My wonderland and gingerbread house it is! So glad to hear that you are doing great!
  2. AnUglyBoringNerd

    Questions on GRE and SOP

    Fellow East Asian and former applicant to History PhD programs here. No need to retake GRE unless a program specifically say your score must be over a threshold. (Honestly, GRE is the least important part in your application, and speaking for myself mine score wasn't any better than yours, and I still got in my top choice) Also, being a non-native English speaker eventually isn't the biggest challenge you'd encounter when you write the SOP. I highly recommend that you go over the relevant threads, e.g. Fall 2017/2018/2019 Applicants, and check out the advice offered by advanced PhD students. This is, in my own experience, so not true - I did my first round of application while I was studying in South Korea (being non-South Korean). If you may, please consider to examine the information on programs' websites, ask your professors for advice, and do some search online (e.g. this forum is a fantastic source). Also, I'd caution against applying to any PhD programs that don't have a decent placement records, though the US News ranking isn't really accurate.
  3. AnUglyBoringNerd

    EALC / EALAC / EAS 2019

    As have been explained before, they are not nearly as important as SOP and WS. Plus, there is not any way you can change your GPA. Focus on SOP and WS.
  4. AnUglyBoringNerd

    EALC / EALAC / EAS 2019

    ^I've actually never taken IELTS so I only had TOEFL scores to send. Either way, I was told that those scores only help you to pass thresholds, e.g. if the school says 100 is enough, then 101 is enough. What matters almost never is this kind of scores.
  5. AnUglyBoringNerd

    EALC / EALAC / EAS 2019

    Modern Japanese history with a focus on gender and sexuality My experiences (yep, in plural ..) with PhD application can be found here, if anyone is interested:
  6. AnUglyBoringNerd

    EALC / EALAC / EAS 2019

    I remember that U of Toronto asked for a no more than 500-word articulation of "a feasible program of study"... lol I felt like participating in the Three Minute Thesis competition...
  7. AnUglyBoringNerd

    EALC / EALAC / EAS 2019

    I did the same with my application. Both Harvard (HEAL) and Columbia (History-East Asia) have this kind of joint program. And I appreciated the opportunity to study at an area study department (which can be more open to interdisciplinary approach and background) and eventually get a PhD in History.
  8. AnUglyBoringNerd

    EALC / EALAC / EAS 2019

    I wouldn't say this is very true for those who are applying to PhD programs. I'm Chinese and when I was applying all of my senpai kept reminding me that SOP and writing sample are the most important material which one uses to demonstrate credentials and potential. Like lordtiandao said, there is nothing you can do about your GPA. And although I didn't have a GPA issue that warrants an explanation, I've seen more advanced graduate students on this forum advise against using the limited space of your SOP to "justify" GPA, which may actually ends up bringing negative attention to it.
  9. AnUglyBoringNerd

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    I'm only a first year PhD student but I feel that one's supervisor can also be tremendously helpful. Generally speaking, my supervisor and I discuss my status + performance for around an hour every week, and my supervisor has been offering advice regarding when to take which courses (especially those offered by other departments), which workshops I might want to attend, and which email lists I might want to be added to, etc, this whole time, and now I gradually come to see how my supervisor's advice is really tailored to my needs and making my first half semester such a wonderful experience. While I also benefited a lot from and really appreciate advanced graduate students' advice, the impression I get from my interaction with my supervisor is rather something like "Ok, someone's got my back". I do enjoy independence but it feels really good to have this level of support and to have someone tell me something as specific as “you are doing good at this stage of your PhD". So, in short, while I agree with ashiepoo72, I somewhat feel my supervisor knows more about the potential pitfalls and opportunities than some of the advanced graduate students in my department simply because my supervisor knows more about my specific situation than any of my fellow students. And..to make this post more relevant to the 2019 application - I didn't get in anywhere during my first cycle of PhD application, and if I did, I wouldn't have got my current supervisor (I didn't apply to my current program the first time). So...to all the applicants, especially the not-my-first-time applicants out there, good luck to you all!!!
  10. AnUglyBoringNerd

    Is getting a PhD worth it?

    ....Columbia is gonna charge me nearly 1300/month for rent, and the rent on average for furnished apartment share is $1220. (source: http://facilities.columbia.edu/housing/types-accommodations) But I still think it's doable. My impression is if I use my (9 month) stipend for the entire year (and saving my summer funding only for research trips), I'd probably have around $600-700 left for food etc. every month after tax and rent. BTW, I'm actually moving to NYC this Sunday ~ Regarding something more relevant to this thread, I actually can envision myself doing other things I absolutely love (e.g. being an NGO researcher, which is my previous job) other than doing a History PhD, but training to become a historian will make me a much better NGO researcher while being an NGO researcher can hardly help me become a professional historian, and I want to be a historian a lot more than I want to be an NGO researcher. Also, my work with NGOs is related to my research interests in History (human rights, gender and sexuality, and international relations) So, in short, I'm very grateful that my PhD supervisor takes my NGO experience seriously (tbh, I didn't expect this), and that my NGO supervisor has always been supportive of my getting a PhD. Does this rationale make sense?
  11. AnUglyBoringNerd

    EALC 2018

    Congrats!!!! Which program if I may ask?
  12. AnUglyBoringNerd

    MA in East Asian Studies 19fall

    I don't know that much about Sociology, but PoliSci and History are very different programs to apply to, e.g. in terms of preferred methodology and focus, the understanding of which you will need to demonstrate in your SOP and writing sample. Speaking from personal experience, I wouldn't just casually decide between these two and start applying. I once had to write two different writing samples, one for PoliSci programs, another for History programs, the results weren't good at all and i was quite torn apart in the process. The following part may not apply to your situation, but if you studied PoliSci in mainland China/Japan/South Korea, the PoliSci you studied can be quite different from the PoliSci in the US. I'd highly recommend that you read through some of the works recently published by professors from the programs you are interested in, and see if you truly wanna apply to PhD programs in PoliSci/History/Sociology. Best of luck!
  13. AnUglyBoringNerd

    A NONPROFIT Employee Going Back to School

    Hi there, I have also been working in the non-profit sector. I agree with ExponentialDecay, being a non-profit employee wouldn't get you special treatments at graduate school. That said, I don't know which specific issue area is your focus, but if your work pertains to human rights, inclusive/sustainable development, democracy etc, you might be able to find grants created to support specific research/advocacy projects and/or individual researchers. Maybe you can combine what you are gonna study during your Master's program with your current nonprofit work, and try applying for this kind of grants? You mentioned that you work for a nonprofit under a big national brand, so maybe you'd want to talk with your colleagues who do outreach work and have more connections for information about this kind of outside funding opportunities. In short, there might be more funding opportunities for you from the non-profit sector than from graduate school/academia. Just my two cents.
  14. AnUglyBoringNerd

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    I second this - I was actually lucky enough to receive this piece of advice from @AP last year when I was applying and it helped me a lot!
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