StemCellFan

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About StemCellFan

  • Rank
    Caffeinated

Profile Information

  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Biomedical Science PhD
  1. Interview Prep

    So most of my interview invite information has been pretty straightforward. Tours, meet with students, dinners/lunches, meet with faculty (whom you share interests with, some not), and maybe a social event or two. One program has indicated they want their interviewees to give a 4-5 minute research experience presentation in front of a committee. I'm in the fortunate situation that I am 5 years out from undergrad and have been working as a technician in multiple laboratories, and I also have 2 labs I worked in as an undergrad. That's a lot to condense into 4-5 minutes. Does anyone have experience with this? Any advice? I give powerpoint presentations about once a month for lab meeting and a yearly seminar for the whole department, so I'm pretty comfortable talking in front of others, but those are also pretty informal and unrehearsed.
  2. UNC BBSP vs Scripps?

    I normally say to go for as many interviews as you think you can manage. This is tricky since I can see from the past and have heard that Stanford is typically late with their invites. Have you contacted the coordinator for Stanford to see where they are in the process? Are you positive there isn't an additional Stanford weekend? If you aren't crazy about Scripps, you could probably still cancel and not purchase the ticket. But it would suck if you did that, didn't get the invite from Stanford, and then you have UNC. Does UNC have another date you could go to? I would contact Stanford to see if they can give you a timeline. If not, evaluate the number of interviews you have currently and cancel Scripps (since you don't seem too interested in the structural stuff) if you really think you'll get the Stanford invite.
  3. 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Hmm. It's not even mid-January yet. I think there's still time to hear back from programs. I also know there's a set of programs with January 15th deadlines and later February/early March interview weekends. Stay positive and I hope you hear back soon!
  4. Got interviews in Midwest. I'm from Texas. How do I dress for weather?

    I'm not planning on wearing a hat unless it's in the single digits and I'm doing a significant amount of walking outdoors. I'm a long-haired female though and usually my hair is enough to keep myself warm. My husband wears a beanie, but he's bald and kind of has to. I think you would be okay with a beanie, but if you're worried about hair, maybe there's a headband you can wear or earmuffs? I know they make mens headbands, but they're mostly for athletic purposes. Otherwise, I don't know if your coat has a hood or an attachable/detachable one, but you could use that if it has one.
  5. How Many Interviews?

    I think that's a good idea. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't apply to any other programs. I do think 3 is enough. For some people, just 1 interview is enough for them, and I know people that only applied to two programs, got interviews at both, and then admitted to both programs. I also know someone who had 3 interviews and didn't get in anywhere (after waitlists), but they also mentioned not feeling like they were engaged in conversation enough when they met with faculty and had okay-ish stats going in. I don't know how much faculty actually go back to GRE/GPA after an interview, but I like to think that person didn't portray their enthusiasm for science enough and that's why they ultimately didn't receive an acceptance. I have heard mixed remarks about that, though... so I'm not completely sure. Maybe someone who knows more about the process can weigh in there. At this point, I would work on communicating your research, reasons for wanting a PhD, and make sure you are able to show your love of science. You should be alright if you're able to do that! Good luck!
  6. How Many Interviews?

    That's a tricky question because I don't know what the post-interview acceptance rates for those programs are. I want to say that 3 is still a good number of programs to interview at and putting your best foot forward you should get into any of them. I don't know if programs have a list of candidates they have preference for or whether everyone is more or less equal on interview day. I'd like to think all candidates have an equal chance of a post-interview acceptance once they are there and then everything is contingent on a positive interview and evaluation. But again, I don't know if all three of those programs have a 40% post interview acceptance rate or somewhere closer to 70-80%. If there are programs you are interested in and want to send out a couple more applications that's up to you. The fact that you have interviews at 3 good PhD programs right now, I don't think you need to apply for a Masters unless you really want to do one. If you don't get in this year, I would just look at the parts of your application you can improve on (do you need to retake the GRE? More research experience? Take a graduate level biochemistry course?) and focus on that and apply next year.
  7. Emailing PIs prior to interviews?

    For my programs, I was advised against contacting faculty ahead of time. Admission isn't contingent on a faculty member accepting you and lab selection is based on rotations that last a semester or two. So I didn't contact anyone before sending out my apps, and I'm not planning on contacting anyone before interviewing. I wouldn't unless you corresponded with anyone beforehand and if you want to know if they will be available to meet with you when you visit the program.
  8. Should I interview with a PI I have worked for?

    I'm in a similar situation. I work at one of the programs I'm interviewing at, but I don't have a desire to work in any previous labs as a graduate student. I don't think there is any expectation for you to interview with them. If you want to meet with them, you can see if the program will let you, though.
  9. 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I don't know if you will need to pay for the non-refundable ticket. Unless you are 100% alright burning bridges with that school, I would still go to the interview if they already paid for your air fare and everything. If you don't mind, then you can contact them to see what your options are. It's one thing to decline an invite, but I would give all the schools and programs I'm meeting with the chance to recruit me, even if I have a list of schools ranked in my mind already. If you were to interview everywhere and that is the only school you got into, would you still go? On the other hand, if the program hasn't sent out its rejections and there is enough notice, you would give someone a chance to interview there. I don't know if that is the case or not at this stage in the process. That's just my 2 cents
  10. Can I even get into any molecular biology/biochemistry PhD program?

    I think you're plenty qualified, but that is a low GPA. If you work on gaining more research experience and have some great recommendations going into your applications you should be ok. Some schools have lower GPA cutoffs (one of my schools has a 2.75) And I would look into those. You could also take a couple graduate level courses to demonstrate to admissions you can do well in the coursework needed for any graduate program. It will be an uphill battle but with hard work I think you can do it. Good luck!
  11. 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Northwestern DGP rejection for me as well. Their loss and I have other great schools I'm interviewing at. I've heard back from everywhere now!
  12. 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I've been trying to solidify my choices for interview dates with one school (I'm hoping they respond soon because only one weekend of the two works for me) and sending information for flight reimbursement to another program coordinator and haven't heard any responses from them. It's possible that everything is moving a little slowly now due to the holidays wrapping up and a lot of coordinators probably have to play catch up. It's also possible that staff may be out sick since there's a nasty and persistent flu going around right now.
  13. Chances of Acceptance After Being Interviewed

    I do second not getting boots that are really nice. I'm in one of the states you're interviewing in right now and I keep having to wipe salt off my black tall boots.
  14. Chances of Acceptance After Being Interviewed

    Shoes are tricky... if you're wearing slacks, I think a low heel boot would be alright. Thicker, nice loafers should be fine also. Thicker flats should be ok, but I've found most don't have the best traction and if it's slush outside, your feet will get wet. Don't worry about getting really nice shoes because salt can destroy stuff. Some amazon links of footwear I like: https://www.amazon.com/V-J-Driving-Moccasins-Loafers-VJ6088-HE95FBA/dp/B06XRX599H/ref=sr_1_19?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1514468286&sr=1-19&nodeID=679337011&psd=1&keywords=women+loafers https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MSM6Z45/ref=twister_B01MTNNM98 These are more like a flat, but I like the bottom on these: https://www.amazon.com/Aerosoles-Womens-Ultrabrite-Ballet-Black/dp/B071F41T48/ref=sr_1_32?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1514468642&sr=1-32&nodeID=679337011&psd=1&keywords=women+dress+shoes Some black booties: https://www.amazon.com/City-Classified-Womens-Closed-Zipper/dp/B07449ZH7J/ref=sr_1_38?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1514468745&sr=1-38&nodeID=679337011&psd=1&keywords=women+black+booties https://www.amazon.com/Premier-Standard-Womens-Strappy-Buckle/dp/B076DXBV8Y/ref=sr_1_26?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1514468745&sr=1-26&nodeID=679337011&psd=1&keywords=women%2Bblack%2Bbooties&th=1 For indoors, I know I'd be too warm with leggings under slacks. I think you'll be fine if you have something covering your legs (even sweater tights or fleece-lined tights/leggings are warm enough in this climate with a skirt or dress). For a raincoat, I would check the weather because it can be unpredictable in Wisconsin. I don't know how thick the raincoat is, but it wouldn't be warm enough if it's under 30 or 40 degrees outside. I'm a fan of thick wool coats and if you find one that is lined, you should be warm enough. Mine is keeping me warm right now when it's just under 0 degrees and in the single digits. Otherwise puffer/down coats and parkas are pretty warm. Hats/gloves/scarf are a must! Congrats and best of luck to you on your interviews!
  15. Got interviews in Midwest. I'm from Texas. How do I dress for weather?

    Yes! How could I forget about unpredictable midwest weather? Please check and feel free to bring back up clothing in case the weather is wacky.