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About schenar

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    Quantitative Psychology; Non-professional: guitar, stage drama
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Quantitative Psychology

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  1. Trying to understand the PhD life in US

    To follow up on the working hour discussion by @rising_starand to broadly touch on the questions raised by this post, I really think while there is some practical advice on navigating the graduate life that people generally follow, the specific choice is ultimately determined by the individual and the program. I have heard about both people working 40 hours and 60+ hours a week in graduate school, and it suggests nothing to me more than a possible range of hours I could see myself spend in my upcoming graduate life. Some of my friends go to lucrative investment banking and consulting jobs after undergrads and they have no choice but to follow the suit and work 60+ or even 70+ hours a week to keep the paychecks coming. The good thing is that in graduate school there is relatively more autonomy. So there is no set standard to follow. This brings up my second point, that while OP is doing the right thing in looking out for helpful suggestions, OP might want to ultimately make a decision on his/her own, based on the specific program context. There is no stereotypical "PhD life in US." I see graduate school as the beginning of my career, an apprenticeship phase, where I have to decide my own path, including things like area interests, courses, work hours, travel or not. Questions like "why do you choose to do a PhD,“ "is it going to be stressful," "can I travel," and "what are some nice options after the graduate school" do not have a normative answer or a common trend to identify; these are to me choices to make, or trade-offs to handle, as I make the commitment to grad school, like many other things in my on-edge out-of-undergrad adult life. These are also in my opinion things to be mentally prepared ideally through research done before one even starts to apply for grad school. I know some of the non-academic outcomes the PhDs in my field have achieved in the past, and I think they are good. I know the scientific importance my field has to me and to my discipline, and that is why I chose my field. Again I think there is no set answers but only personal opinions to many of the questions in the original post, and it is likely an exaggeration that these opinions represent "PhD life in US." It might appear that I am having opinions on the way OP raised these questions, and I apologize if it does. I am also an international student holding the F-1 visa and I am speaking out of my sincerity here.
  2. Hey thanks for your input! I have reached out with questions along this line. Their current students seem fine, and I just wanted to make sure. I did come into the application season thinking that 5-year guarantee wouldn't be normal...but an earlier offer I have has a presidential-level fellowship that makes it more secure on paper. This also makes me really torn because both are great programs, but they have different sizes and cultures; the "less secure" program has an adviser with a closer research interest fit. I guess more thoughts need to be put into the decision making process.
  3. Hello. I hoped people who have knowledge or thoughts about this scenario could help me to clarify a bit. I received an offer that included only the funding level for 2018-19. It notably does not have any term like "guarantee funding for five years," but there is instead a paragraph about how the students have "routinely received financial support for five years" and that the "financial arrangements are made on a yearly basis". This is unlike any other letters I have seen so far. Is it just my paranoia or is it typical for some schools to do yearly "financial arrangements" and/or use implicit instead of assertive terms in talking about funding? Despite of the "routine," theoretically the school can cut off a student's funding after the first year right? (I have not heard of any, but say an unexpected fiscal austerity comes...) Should I view the finance aspect of this offer as thus less secure? (They also do not have summer funding.) I have reached out to the current students about how they discuss their funding for the next year, as I did not realize this during my interview. I have reached out to the program about this as well, but any perspectives from the forum would be uniquely helpful! Thanks.
  4. Fall 2018 Quantitative Psychology PhD Applicants

    Nice and congrats. I am sure it was hard-won and totally worth it. Looking forward to hearing about your decision as well!
  5. Fall 2018 Quantitative Psychology PhD Applicants

    Congrats! My professor got a call from them earlier this week, but I haven't received an interview invitation. Must be a really selective process. Good luck!
  6. Finding quant finance internship without a relevant degree (financial engineering) or demonstrated research experience in quant areas (Physics PhD) is relatively hard. It's easier to use your CS skills on certain supporting roles in a securities firm in your domestic country or some smaller US fintech firms/regional investment management companies, and it could add relevance to your resume.
  7. Hey this is OP. Huge thanks to everyone who shared his/her thoughts under this thread! The discussion here is very informative and helpful to me. There are too many posts to reply at the moment, but I've liked all the comments! I agree that the question POI raised could have been quite stressful, by asking about a preference that has big implication but not enough information to support yet. On the other hand it is completely reasonable that POI would want to improve his return on investment (offer acceptance rate), and as an applicant in the process it is better off for me to unequivocally provide that information. I have not sent out my email @TakeruK. I realized that it has to be more decisive and reflecting my situation. I will have to revise it based on the suggestions many of you gave here. Many thanks again! Edit: I just want to give "like" to posts as a token of "thanks for sharing", as people are helping to advise on my situation. I can't seem to like posts more than a certain times a day, but I will do it over the next few days. If this is not fine, Moderator please feel free to let me know.
  8. I thought this would be an interesting case to share. Please feel free to share any comments or suggestions. Background. I had a pre-interview phone call with a POI over the weekend. I learned a lot about his research and the program, and he agreed that our interests and goals are a good match. Case. POI invited me to a campus visit and interview, but the date conflicted with another interview visit I committed to last month. I checked the gradcafe forum, learned that this is not uncommon, and requested a rescheduling of the visit. POI replied with something like "not sure" and "if you found that you liked the program after the visit, would it be your first choice?" POI then said if that is not the case the visit would not be "worth it." Response. I recognize that asking for a rescheduled visit is only a request of mine, and that it is not unreasonable to deny this request given certain constraints of the university. I acknowledged this in the email response I drafted and also admitted that it is too early for me to assert whether the program is my top choice. (It was not when I first made the school list...) And then I said I would respect any decisions or suggestions POI would make regarding my visit. I have not sent the email yet. It would be great if I could receive some thoughts from the forum regarding how properly I handled the situation. While I know I was the one who's giving them a hard time, it just stood out to me that the POI would try to "game" the visit, or is it just my overthinking?
  9. Fall 2018 Quantitative Psychology PhD Applicants

    Yeah this forum gives out application updates on a variable-interval schedule. It's hard to resist checking it from time to time... I am not sure about the specifics of Notre Dame either. There is nothing yet about the schedule or who I will be talking to, now that my POI won't take students. I guess I won't have much expectation on this one. For UCD I was told that a part of the event includes applicants for all psychology areas, and that the evening gathering is student-only. At least these parts of the interview might not be so evaluative. There can still be some stakes, but it's just that for me consciously treating something as all-or-nothing has not been very helpful. The interview is an opportunity to present one's qualification and ideas of fit, rather than to (drastically) swing the odds of getting in I think .
  10. Fall 2018 Quantitative Psychology PhD Applicants

    I've seen posts on this forum saying that OSU used to send out decisions without interviews. I am not sure about ASU or UCLA either. The preparation turns out to be taxing for me as well. I am constantly concerned about how my profiles and answers would be received and evaluated during the interview. I have Notre Dame in February but my POI said he's not taking students this year, so I am not sure how this one should go...I had a pre-interview call with U of Washington, and it made me think that the amount of my past psychology research projects was quite limited. In any case I don't think you have to treat the UCD interview as an all-or-nothing event. It seems to me the visit is quite informational and interactive.
  11. How to Deal with Rejection

    I was a business and psychology double major for my undergrad and went through business internship/job hunting for almost four semesters. I would say during those days my thought process, some of the questions I asked myself, were quite similar to those OP listed. Eventually it comes down to keep trying something I think could increase my chance or achieve my goals resist taking it personal and recognize that there are many environmental factors in the process besides what I was doing, and while I put in my efforts, my strategies are also subject to re-evaluation and re-focus have some reliable sources of support from other people. I think the thoughts posted in the other replies above are all great and applicable. In the end the results of the application will certainly neither doom us nor guarantee us anything. With consistent motivation (maybe also some reasonable up and down), reflection and adjustment, something would emerge eventually I think.
  12. Fall 2018 Quantitative Psychology PhD Applicants

    No that's fine. I am just not sure if I have enough questions to ask them, and I am worried that if I don't ask enough questions they might take it as a negative signal, but it's true asking questions about the program could help to understand it better. I will prepare for this more
  13. Fall 2018 Quantitative Psychology PhD Applicants

    That's great! I wondered is it typical to have the candidate lead half of the interview with questions? I.e., is it possible that the fit of the candidates is evaluated through the questions they asked as well?
  14. international students

    I guess a convenient way to get some perspectives is to look into the gradcafe result page. There is a column indicating if each of the applicants is from an international university. It's more useful to filter by your choice of programs.
  15. Fall 2018 Quantitative Psychology PhD Applicants

    lol right I didn't know about your offer until someone told me to take a look, and I've probably spent too much time on forums :p. Congrats again! I am sure the funding would work out eventually.