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Everything posted by samman1994

  1. samman1994

    How long can you postpone a job offer?

    Hello everyone, So if anyone has read my previous posts, this is an extension to that. So I had 3 potential job offers, and was awaiting a response from all of them. I was told 2 of them would take 2 weeks, and one of them would take 1 week. However, I don't know if they really liked me, or just said two weeks so they had a workable timeframe, I just got a job offer from one of the 2 week ones. As per my previous post, this is from the small start up company for 40k/yr with benefits. I am awaiting another job offer next week (I don't think this will be better than my current offer), and another one in 2 weeks. The one in 2 weeks is the big pharma 45k/yr with stock options. My question now is, how long can I postpone accepting the offer? I think I can tell them I'd like to give them my decision next week (at this point I'll have heard back from at least on of the interviews), but is postponing for 2 weeks too long? Secondly, I told them this was my ideal job and I'd love to be a part of the company (which is true, this was my first pick until I received info regarding the 45k/yr with benefits and took into account big pharma could be a great resume builder), so would they be insulted/offended if I didn't accept it right away? I don't know if this is a factor, but they told me they also would like me to start immediately (Monday of next week). I've already called my current job and told them I'm leaving, but I don't want to lose this job offer, only to wait 2 weeks and find out the other company said no. It also appears to be a general concensus however the big pharma offer is a better deal. Thank you ahead of time, and sorry for all these posts! This is my first "big" job in the pharma industry and my future career, and I really don't want to burn any bridges or lost my chance to get my foot in the door. Just a bit more info: The current job offer is an R&D job at a small company. The Big pharma job is manufacturing. I do plan on pursuing a career in R&D after my PhD, not manufacturing. Finally, I do plan on leaving summer of next year for my PhD, so I'd only work for a little over half a year. This may upset the company, and if it comes down to burning bridges, I'd much rather burn the small start ups bridges than the already established big pharma company.
  2. samman1994

    Resignation/2 Week Notice Letter

    Hello everyone, So I'm in the process of writing my 2 Week Notice/Resignation letter, and I'm having a bit of difficulty. I've tried looking online for some simple formats, but they all seem too detailed and too long. I've talked to my co-workers, and I've gotten really mixed results. Some of them have told me to simply say thank you and goodbye (basically in one or 2 sentences), others have informed me to maybe write a bit more detailed thank you discussing the experiences I've had and the skills I've learned thanks to the job (like a paragraph or 2). So I'm having difficulty finding a in between since I have gotten such polarizing responses. I should also add, I've only had this job for 9 months, so haven't been here too long to write anything too in-depth. I had also told my boss and the company around 2 months ago when I would be leaving, so this letter is literally only a formality. Finally, I don't quite know how to give it to my boss. Do I email it to him or should I hand it in? Again co-workers give different answers. Some say it's better to just hand in the letter, others say it's better to email it (especially for record keeping for myself). Any thoughts or ideas? Thanks ahead of time!
  3. samman1994

    I need help choosing a lab!

    Depends on your personality really. It sounds like both Lab 1 and Lab 2 appear to be good viable options for you, although on one hand you seem daunted by Lab 1, but on the other you seem concerned Lab 2 is not as good as a fit for you as lab 1. A PhD is about innovating the field, adding to it, and becoming an independent researcher. To do so you'll have to learn new techniques, push out of your comfort zone, and come up with research and ideas no one else has done before. So the idea of something "new" or knowledge that you don't have, I don't think should ever be a deterrent, I think the main concern should be interest. I'm the type of person who actually gets excited at going into a field I'm not super familiar with, and have no problem going outside my comfort zone. So based off what you've told me, I'd definitely choose Lab 1. But again, it's based on your personality.
  4. samman1994

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Exactly. Idk, personally I find that type of deceit worse than the actual act of cheating. Furthermore, I'd find it almost near insulting, like, what type of girl does he think you are? Idk, these type of guys really irk me.
  5. samman1994

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Yeah, doubt he remembers a dream from a year ago. Sounds more like the guy just wants to cheat on his wife with you, but didn't want to outright say it, and wanted to see if you were cool with it so he made up some "dream" story to make it sound less shitty. I'd say that's probably worse than the actual desire of him to cheat on his wife.
  6. samman1994

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    I really thought my team might have a chance this year to progress to the Knockout Stage for the first time ever, sadly, it looks like we aren't going to make it this year either.
  7. samman1994

    Methods of Moving Items Cross-Country

    Yeah I calculated it out and checked out the reviews. Through Greyhound it's $111 for 6 boxes 3x3x3 (which is probably all I'll need), including 1k insurance. However, there are a lot of complaints and reviews that Greyhound is basically only good if you don't have any fragile items. It appears they are very rough with your items, and your items will probably get wet or potentially slightly squished in the move. Also, they have a habit of "losing" peoples items, to only have them show up weeks later. Through Amtrak it's $105 for 100lbs, unlimited 3x3x3 boxes (I don't have more than 100lbs of stuff), but they don't have stations where I"m going. I'll need to drive 2 hours to pick my items up (I can just pick them up with my own car). However, Amtrak seems to be pretty good in regards to transporting things undamaged. While I understand things can get damaged in a movie, it seems the "nightmares" are primarily from Greyhound. While sure, getting 1k insurance is nice, I'd just prefer getting my items safe and sound, even if I could buy it all new. I'm probably going to go with Amtrak if I can't find a better option.
  8. Hello everyone, I have finally picked out a place to move into and have decided that the cheapest and easiest way for me to move my stuff will be to actually ship them. I have never used Greyhound, Amtrack, or any other method to ship my items, and I was curious how your experiences were using these services to ship your items. From what I've found, Amtrack is the cheapest way to move items ($100 for 100lbs), followed by Greyhound ($200 for 100lbs), and finally shipping via USPS (a lot more pricey). Items being shipped are all pretty lightweight (clothes, miscellanious items, cooking items like pots and pans, heaviest items being books), and can be put into small boxes. Everything combined is definitely less than 100lbs. Time is not an issue for me, so I don't care how long either method takes to ship my items. Are there any other cheap methods of moving items cross-country? For those that may have used the above services, how did you like it? How was your experience?
  9. Hello everyone, This is my first actual move, so I am curious as to what items are fine to buy used, and what items should be bought new. I do plan on buying a brand new bed, new couch, and new pots and pans (cooking appliances). However, I feel as if buying chairs, dining room tables, kitchen appliances like a microwave, coffee tables, nightstands, vacuums, tvs, tv stands, dressers, etc. (Basically everything else) are fine being bought 2nd hand/used. Anyone have any tips or thoughts on things that should not be bought used? I plan only to ship clothing and books, so I am going to buy all my furniture in the new place I move into.
  10. samman1994

    Methods of Moving Items Cross-Country

    No, I'd be driving there not flying. I'd trust sending them via UPS or something, so I don't think they should encounter any type of damage there. Although, if the other methods are that risky, I'll probably just ship them via UPS or something. I definitely don't want my books damaged, nor any of my other items (or have clothes get wet).
  11. samman1994

    Furniture/Items that should be bought new

    Yeah, I was thinking along the same lines. Thanks for the feedback!
  12. samman1994

    Do I have a shot at Harvard?

    Harvard will look at your graduate program grades (i.e. your masters program), so no need to worry about your undergrad. What they really will care about is your publications and the work you have done, in addition to your GRE and GPA from your masters program (both of which are good). What I would say is more concerning is limiting yourself to one professor. There is no problem having an interest in a particular faculty member at a school, but I would not apply solely due to that single faculty member. If there are multiple professors you'd be interesting in working under, then I think you should definitely apply and have a good chance of getting in.
  13. samman1994

    Funding the move

    While the credit card or loan idea may seem enticing, it is one I try to stay as far away from as possible. I don't know about your program, but you probably won't have an additional income outside of it, and at least as far as I'm concerned, the budget/plan I've laid out is already cutting it close in regards to how much I'll actually be saving at the end of year. Point being, there is a high probability I won't be able to pay off that credit card/loan after my move (when my income is entirely my stipend). I took a year off just to work, and now have a nice savings cushion that I'll personally be using for my move and first months rent; however, the other grad students that are moving with me, many are going as cheap as possible (e.g. there are a lot just crashing couches for a little while till their stipend kicks in). My recommendation wouldn't be to take out money, but try and budget your move to be as cheap as possible (i.e. see if you can just crash a couch till your stipend kicks in, potentially carpool so don't have to pay for that, so your main focus would just be physically getting to the place your going to and food). Maybe only take the bare essentials like clothing for now, and move the rest of your stuff later once your stipend does kick in. Depending on where you move, you could potentially bus it if you don't want to burden the persons couch your crashing for a ride or something. If you have basically taken the cheapest route possible, tried all other options, and you still don't have enough money, then take out a loan or use a credit card. But again, I would only use that as a last resort option.
  14. samman1994

    Weak GPA strong GRE?

    While each case is different, and I don't know much about the field of Sociology, in general, a high GRE can counter-act a poor gpa. However, what's more important is which portion of the GRE you score well on. For Sociology, I would assume scoring strongly on the Verbal and AW is more important than scoring well on the Quant section.
  15. samman1994

    Applied Chemistry and Chances of Acceptance

    No problem and Good luck! In terms of the instrumental, that description doesn't mean much. You guys could be covering just NMR and IR, or could be covering a wider range (i.e. mass spec, maybe column chromatography, TLC, etc.). Regardless, any type of instrumental analytical technique you learn will be beneficial.
  16. samman1994

    Applied Chemistry and Chances of Acceptance

    Hmm, what does the instrumental analysis include? Honestly by the sounds of it, for a PhD, I'd definitely say your application is weaker than the general chem student. However, a few things to keep in mind: 1) Your GRE scores will show quite a bit, and in this case, I might even recommend a subjects test. If you do well on it, that should show you know the material and don't need the classes. 2) The schools you apply to will matter as well. Some schools have lower barriers for entry (e.g. some don't require the GRE), and other schools give weight to different things (maybe all the committee will care about is your grades in ochem+synthetic chem). So maybe all the above missing classes and research experience won't matter, as much as your GPA and GRE scores. 3) Your networking and basically SOP/LOR. The rest of the pieces of your application are sometimes as important as your GPA and GRE (in conjunction with #2). If you have good networking, either via professors or even personal, then the missing classes shouldn't mean much since you have someone that can vouch for you. The overall theme here is, you are missing some supplemental knowledge for organic/synthetic chemistry (mainly pchem for the instrumentation, and analytical for the chromatography). The main point is we want to show that you are still a good asset for the school and research despite that lack of knowledge (this can be done via the GRE, or through your SOP/LOR or networking, etc.). However, depending on the lab you want to join, the priorities each school/committee has, etc. etc. etc. you may not even need to worry about any of these. My personal advice would be to first find out what type of research you even want to do. Maybe these classes are really unimportant for that type of research, or they may be crucial for that type of research. Then determine what type of program (MS or PhD) you'd like to join (all the above is basically for a PhD, so if you go for a MS, you really won't have to worry that much about the above). Once you have determined those 2 things, then I would worry about everything I stated above. Your research interests might even change once you start looking at different schools and labs seeing what each one is doing. Edit: One final thing I forgot to mention, while I understand you are trying to gauge the competition, and see where your weaknesses are so you can improve them. I'd say be cautious comparing yourself to the competition. Don't let your competition psyche you out or direct the path you choose to pursue, and compare yourself only to yourself. When I first joined a biochem lab as an undergrad, I didn't even know what a protein was (when my PI asked me what do you know about proteins I responded "They're colorful squiggly lines that you eat to build muscle...I think"), whereas my competition were biochem majors already in their 3rd and 4th year. Yet, my PI took me on because I was interested in actually learning and doing research (whereas a lot of the other students wanted a quick LOR or fast research research experience). Now at the time, I was completely oblivious as to my competition, and if I had known how severely below the competition I was, I may never even have pursued research in that lab (at least not until I had taken some biochem classes or something). And yet that same research experience is what helped me determine what I want to do for my PhD, and helped me actually get into a PhD program. My point is, use the competition to help you strengthen your weaknesses and stay informed, but do not let it hinder you, and becareful you don't psyche yourself out.
  17. samman1994

    Regrets and "if only's"

    I basically second this. I had similar concerns since my GPA was a 3.0 and my GRE scores were basically average, and yet I was looking at above average programs for a PhD in a field that was outside my undergrad major. Lot of similar stories on that thread. At the end of the day, it comes down to you. Forget your GPA and all your scores, those don't matter in applying. It doesn't matter if you qualify and to where. What matters mroe is why you're applying.
  18. samman1994

    Applied Chemistry and Chances of Acceptance

    Do you guys have no analytical chemistry classes? Depends on what you're going for as well, PhD vs. Masters. While Calculus is important for the analytical and physical aspects of chemistry, it is not something your average synthetic chemist will usually use (unless they are a PhD attempting to understand how an instrument works). As a Masters, the physical chemistry (and thus the math classes) probably won't really matter to them. However, as a PhD, those things might be of more importance to them. Outside of that, the next important thing is what researched are you focusing on. For some fields of Chemistry, thermo/quant might be important than synthetic chemistry (especially inorganic chemistry). For other fields like synthetic, it's not as important. Secondly, it's also important how much research you have. All the shortcomings above can be circumvented by research experience. I.E. I got a chemistry degree, but am now in a Biochem PhD even though I've never taken a bio class in my life. My research however helped me understand more Biochem than most actual Biochem majors, so it helped outweigh the lack of "classroom knowledge" on my application. If you're looking into synthetic chemistry, and you have a bunch of synthetic chemistry experience, then all the above mentioned probably won't matter that much to any committee. Again, my bigger concern is analytical chemistry/chromatography. That is incredibly important for finding a job in the field, and for the field of chemistry. I find that class to be far more important than any physical chemistry+math classes you would/could take.
  19. Hello everyone, At this point, I think I have a pretty good idea of where I'll probably be going for grad school, it's gotten me thinking about some future planning. As the title states, how early is too early in moving to the location of your grad school, but how late is too late? Now each location/area will be different so I'll give some brief description of my situation. I would be moving basically across the country (West Coast to East Coast), and I'm planning primarily to take clothing, books, sheets and whatnot, some gaming systems, cooking supplies, and potentially a TV. I don't intend to take any furniture. I think it'll probably just be cheaper if I buy some cheap sets when I get to my grad school. Budget is a huge priority for me, so I'm looking basically to find somewhere cheap. I've had issues with upstairs neighbors for sometime, so I'm also looking to get on the top floor of whatever apartment I get into (for this, I am willing to spend a little more for). The school itself is in a rural part of town, but their is a major city (the capitol) that is basically a 10-20 minute drive away. While housing is short in the town, I'm assuming it shouldn't be short in the big city nearby, and it is someplace I'm willing to live in. Finally, I start Fall of 2018 (so I'm assuming sometime in August of this year). I'm not looking for exact dates/times, just a general timeline. I.E. I'm assuming 4 months is too early to move there, but I'm assuming 1 month is too late. I'm thinking it'll take sometime for me to find some place affordable/cheap (especially since isolating my search to top floors of apartment buildings will really limit my options), and then I'll have to move stuff in, spend sometime looking around finding out where the markets are, learning the public transportation system, getting situated into my apartment once I do move into it, etc. etc. etc. all before I start my PhD. It'll also give me time to get to know some grad students, and basically network a bit before I really get busy. Thank you ahead of time as always!
  20. samman1994

    Yellowstone or Colorado?

    I had thought about the Arches, but this trip is already going to be 2-3 weeks long, and Moab and the arches will be a decent day or 3 day detour. So sadly I'll have to skip out on those. I do plan to stay at least 2+ days in yellowstone in the slough campground if possible and hike around.
  21. samman1994

    Yellowstone or Colorado?

    Hello everyone, While this isn't related to anything academic, outside of being a road trip to my new program/city, I thought I'd ask your opinion on here and hope to get some feedback on people who have gone through these places. I am going from the West Coast (California) up to the North Easy (Conneticut), and I am planning a little road trip on the way there. My route for the eastern side is planned out already (Chicago to Detroit, to Toronto, then back down to through New York to Conneticut), but my plan for the Western half isn't. There are 2 potential routes I am thinking of, but I've never traveled through these areas, and don't know many attractions there. It's important to note, both these routes go through vegas up to Utah, but diverge in Utah. Route 1 (YellowStone): This route would take me through Salt Lake City (Utah), up through eastern Idaho to Western Yellowstone. From there it would travel through Southern Montana and North Dakota, then down through Minneapolis (Minnesota) and Wisconsin down to Chicago. I don't know what there really is to see in Southern Montana or North Dakota though. I have been to Minneapolis and that is pretty cool, I also have a friend who has a great cabin in Wisonsin right next to Minneapolis that would be great for a day or 2 break from the road trip. But the aspect of seeing Yellowstone and Salt Lake City is pretty cool. Route 2 (Colorado) This route goes through Utah to Denver, Colorado. From there it cuts through Nebraska, and Des Moines (Iowa) to Chicago. Everyone I've talked to has said I should definitely visit Denver. However, I don't really know if there is anything to do in Nebraska, and I have been to Des Moines, and don't really have any interest in visiting it. It would be interesting to see some of middle America though. Outside of just different cities/states, the only other difference is time. Route 1 is ~8 hours longer than Route 2; however, this isn't really that big of an issue for me if the cities and sites in between are worth the extra drive to see them. I have not been to any of these places, nor through most of these states, so I don't know which route is better or more interesting. While I like big cities, I'm more into nature. So waterfalls, rivers, trees, rocks, anything with cool geography would interest me. Any recomendations/ideas? Thank you as always!
  22. Something you may also want to do, try and contact the grad students themselves. I've already talked to a few who said it's fine for me to crash their couch for a few days while I tour apartments in my time there. Now you're discussing a week or 2, but you may be able to crash their place while you look for your apartment. That should be enough time to find a place hopefully.
  23. I have been asked this before, but jokingly. It was jokingly because I wouldn't even have a say who goes on the paper and in what order, at the end of the day that is up to my PI. If I did put another lab member on a paper, my PI would immediately ask me why, and it would raise a lot of questions. I have also had people ask me if it's possible for me to do so (giving them the benefit of the doubt their question is simply for curiosity reasons), and I've just told them I have no say on who's name goes on the paper at the end of the day. So you could choose to take the responsibility of your shoulders that way if you wish (unless you do have a say). Personally, I would just tell them straight up no, and explain you did all the work, and they didn't. This way he understands you have a different value system than him, and he understands not to bother you about these sort of things again in the future (hopefully).
  24. I'm planning a road trip that'll take 2 weeks or so. So I plan to send the pod around 2-3 weeks before I actually arrive to my new place. But thanks for the heads up!
  25. Thank you for all the help and advice! I have decided to move in around a week or 2 earlier before my program starts, however I plan to sign the lease either a month or 2 beforehand (if they hold it for that long). I have currently narrowed my list down to 15 apartments, 10 of which I do plan to tour within a month (which will be 60 days before I move in). Availability for most of these places will be early June, late July, so when I visit, if I can get my #1 choice right then and there, I plan to sign same day (or following day). I already have my list of top 10, the tour is just designed for me to be able to concretely organize the list. I don't think housing is super competitive here, but it is still a bit competitive from everything I've seen so far, so I do plan to look at the paperwork ahead of time and go prepared. In terms of furniture, it really depends on the place I get. I have decided on an apartment, but the size is important (i.e. small studio vs. big 1 bedroom). If it's a small studio, I plan to buy all my furniture there (and that means everything, chairs, tables, beds, tvs, etc.). I will probably just ship my sheets, pots and pans and whatnot via greyhound or something. I actually like sleeping on the ground, so that's not an issue for me. If it's a big 1 bedroom, I am thinking of getting a pods and having everything (furniture and all) shipped out there. Pods delivers same day you arrive, so I should have no issue with furniture there. Plus since I'm moving in a week earlier, I should have plenty of time for any required adjustments. I have also not really been asked/told about any references from these places. I assume they will tell me these things when I actually plan to sign, so I will have that prepared ahead of time. Thank you again for all the help and advice!

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