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Left Skew

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Left Skew last won the day on January 3

Left Skew had the most liked content!

About Left Skew

  • Rank
    Espresso Shot

Profile Information

  • Location
    Washington DC
  • Interests
    Psychometrics, Gamafication, R Programming, Applied Statistics, Validity Issues
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    George Mason, PhD Psychology (I/O)

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  1. Left Skew

    Fall 2019 Industrial Organizational Psychology PhD

    @londonbnd, I did surprisingly well applying to I/O programs last year. Please see the link below for some good info: Information Also feel free to reach out so I can give you more personalized advice. You can be the best candidate on paper but may not get an offer- don't let it get to you. Oftentimes, the candidates that get accepted are those that are the luckiest. Not to take anything away from them, they work hard to put themselves in that position. There are a lot of random effects involved. Focus on your GRE for now Resources Here. You have a strong GPA and strong credentials given your experience. Develop relationships, email the professors you want to apply to, be aggressive; your social influence will be just as influential as your application. Though keep in mind you will be competing with masters' students, students with 1st author in a high-caliber journal, or applicants that have 3+ years experience in large consulting firms. The fact you joined this forum and requested information means you're off to a great start. Best of luck
  2. Left Skew

    Jobs with a PhD/Masters' in I/O Psychology?

    Hi Spyester, I've been working in the I/O field for about 3 years and will be returning to academia to finish my doctorate (I have my M.S.). If I had to give you a general taxonomy of where I/Os end up it tends to be an intersection between people and work. Specifically: Internal consulting- I would say this is the most common area, not positive though. Many HR departments will hire IOs the develop and improve processes related to: hiring, benefits, performance management, compensation, training, hr analytics, etc. External consulting- your tasks are similar to the ones above, however, you work for a consultation firm that advises public agencies and large private organizations. Academia- pretty self explanatory, you should have your PhD Lesser know areas- Psychometrics, data science, and testing in general (I work in this realm) Message me if you have anymore questions. Best
  3. Left Skew

    Contacting advisor the summer before PhD starts

    As others stated, I feel it depends on your dynamic and personalities. I've already Skyped with my advisor numerous times to discuss research ideas, he has given me readings, and wants me to submit to a conference in August. I have a dull office job, and have a routine that allots me the convenience of being able to work on things. He will be a new faculty member and is chomping at the bit to get his name out there. Some advisors are really adamant about constant performance, whereas others are more relaxed (sometimes too relaxed). Regardless, your advisor chose you for a reason, you are not working "for" them but working "with" them. I was really motivated to reach out because I've been in the work-world and am afraid that I'll fall behind the others. I'm also terrible at time-management. He is a newer faculty that is highly motivated to publish, but he also understands if I have too much on my plate (I think hahah). That is our dynamic. I doubt your advisor will get upset that you are opening the lines of communication. "Torple was too conscientious and reached out to me in May, what kind of graduate student tries to get a head-start?!" You don't want to regret staying silent, especially if you feel you're the type of person that wants to start early and you have the means to do so. If they say, "hold your horses" hold them. In hindsight, the 500 pages you have to read in the first two weeks, stained with tears and wine, will be a lot easier to cope with- because at least you asked.
  4. Left Skew

    Data for 2019 Applicants

    All, It's that time of year again. Apparently time flies when you're filled with anxiety. I was an applicant in 2018, and I had quite a fruitful experience during the application process (a lot of it due to this website). However, that is not why I'm here. I'm here to provide you with information that, hopefully, will make your journey a little easier than mine. Here are some posts that may help: The things I wish I knew before applying Data on application trends Thoughts about interviews What do I look for in a program? Please feel free to reach out. A vast majority of you are clinical students, whereas I'm in Industrial/Organizational but I'm more than willing to give a general impression of the process. All the best, -Left Skew
  5. Left Skew

    Advice for I/O psych program

    Hey AppliedCogPsych, You may have the credentials to apply to a single school and get accepted into that school (LA Tech) but I would definitely look more into where you can find a professor that fits your goals. I feel like you may be interested in Quantitative Psych and Measurement as well. I've attached a list of programs that may align with what you want to do. If you have the resources, apply to more than 1 program. 1) I can't speak to this directly, you may want to reach out to a student with similar interests currently in the program. 2) I/Os tend to have few true quant professors in the departments, so keep this in mind when looking for research support. Big areas in the field: Psychometrics, automation, statistical computing/programming, gamification. Coming from cog/neuro I feel you will have a novel perspective. A lot of companies are creating assessments, simulations, and games to hire people, but have they validated the cognition used in their assessments? I/Os love to measure cognitive constructs but may struggle with their behavioral manifestations (e.g., Employee Engagement- just because I say I'm engaged doesn't mean I'm showing up to work early every day). 3) You have your M.S. in Cog/Neuro so you will already be unique. If you can get some I/O related research on your CV you'll be set. Send emails to professors asking if they need help coding or running participants, this will help you. I'm also a big proponent of gaining a working-knowledge of R. You can go to SIOP or regional conferences to get your name out there. 4) I took some time off and am currently working. I got my MS in I/O and now I'm going back for my doctorate (starting in the Fall). Thus, I can't speak to a doctoral level position but I consider my current role similar in terms of what I do, maybe not so similar in terms of pay. There is actually an I/O PhD that has the same job title as I do, and I'm the most tenured in a department of solely PhDs. Pay is only the real difference and maybe professional growth. However, I work in psychometrics for a medium-sized credentialing company. So I/Os can get in so many areas: Testing, HR, even Data Science, it's all how you market yourself. Let me know if you have any more questions. IOStatsMeasProgramList.csv
  6. Left Skew

    I/O Psych Job Hunt Experience

    Hi Bassach, I hope you're doing well. I'd love to answer your questions (given this is just my experience), but know this may be highly contingent on where you want to work and what type of program you went to (highly applied MS or a theoretical MA etc). Note im also biased as many are when speaking about their career fields. What was your experience looking for jobs after completing the I/O Psych Masters? Is the degree recognized across the nation, are the positions highly competitive, etc.? I had a fruitful experience. I had 3 job offers a month after my graduation. Of the 12 students in my cohort 100% of them were employed within 3 months of graduation in relevant positions. 50% had job offers prior to graduation. The degree is gaining popularity by the day. However, it's in a bimodal place: areas like Washington DC the types of jobs are very eclectic, whereas a place like Columbus Ohio tend to be in the human resources capacity. Every company has an HR department and IOs do well in those jobs just know you may start (salary-wise) a little lower. What are some suggestions you would offer in terms of what skills companies are looking for in an entry-level position? From my perspective, coding, programming, and statistics are what will allow you to outshine others. Coding and programming specifically are not things that are easily developed in academia, so treat this as a hobby. In the workplace you will be doing things over and over so automating your work will help you tremendously. At school your tasks may be very novel and dynamic so writing an R script to clean data and run an analysis isn't as fruitful if you only run that analysis once. Also the ability to present your knowledge to nonexperts. You are trained to be a science-practitioner so don't lose the science side of yourself, but don't be so research oriented that others consider you too impractical and thus ignore you. From your experience, what are some mistakes you made while looking for jobs, that you think could have been avoided? If you only takeaway one thing from this post it should be this: social capital is the name of the game. I spent countless hours uploading my resumes to application portals and writing cover letters. Stop wasting your time doing the formal application stuff. Put your resources into contacting people. Look up alumni from your program, go to networking events, look for emails of employees in the HR department, do the Assessment Center at SIOP. Don't be ashamed to send people emails, many people want to help you. Your journey will be far more fruitful if you leverage people. What was your opening salary for an entry-level I/O Psych position? Also very dependent on where you go. You may end up getting 55k in the Midwest whereas in DC you can start right under 70k. It's been 3 years (so I don't know how inflation has influenced this) but I started at 67k base. I'm at 79k now, keep in mind I'm going on 2.5 years at my job and I was promoted. Most of those in my cohort are around 80k after 3 years. What skills are highly sought after in an employee with an I/O degree? This is related to the second point but statistical programming. You can start to cultivate this on the job. I don't know what you're doing right now but you should try to take up R as a hobby, if you can't no worries. I know it sounds nerdy but if you can start to get familiar with the lexicon of terms and start to build a basic knowledge this will allow you to automate your work. One huge benefit you provide is that you have a theoretical background in statistics whereas a comp sci person may not. Once you get comfortable, you can then leverage that skill set to make yourself more marketable. For example, one of my good friends that graduated with me learned R. Then, he realized how underpayed he was working in HR given his skillset so he moved to sales analytics. Mind you he has an IO degree but that move got him a pretty raise. Any regrets? Yeah: not learning about IO sooner. Best
  7. Left Skew

    Fall 2018 I/O Psy

    I read up on this as well and a few of the articles lead me to question their methods. Not to be too critical but these rankings do influence the programs people apply to. I think SIOP should get potential applicant impressions before releasing these to the world. A field that prides itself on being rigorous shouldn't throw things at the wall and see what sticks. There are a lot of great elements in the content but some applicants may just look at the rankings without seeing the fine-print. I was one of those applicants. You can quickly realize that the "best school" and the 10th best school statistically don't differ more than chance, or that a lot samples are based on self-selection.
  8. Left Skew

    Fall 2018 I/O Psy

    As I mentioned I'm an older applicant (28). From my perspective, I did well this cycle because I had more experience than a lot of the candidates. I've already got my MS in IO, I've been working in Psychometric Consulting for 2.5 years, I had time to prepare for the GRE without other coursework distracting me. I'd be far less compelling if I didn't have that seniority. At the schools I applied to research was the name of the game (something I lack). If you can contact faculty on your down time to see if they need help, present at your company or at a board meeting, or have them send you to a conference so you can present applied research...all of these things are important. I was a unique candidate in my research interests: psychometrics. If I were to do leadership or work-life, I'd probably not have received an interview.
  9. Left Skew

    Fall 2018 I/O Psy

    I decided to roll with George Mason. Good news for me, bad news for all those at George Mason. Those of you that got offers congrats! Those of you that didn't get an offer your app is stronger from the process. As an older applicant time was on my side, I didn't transition straight out of school (undergrad and masters) into a PhD. I worked for a little bit to develop personally, salient research ideas. This will provide with a valuable perspective going in. Every cohort needs an OG, every Fellowship needs a Gandalf. It's almost over....
  10. As someone that has scraped the Results survey for data I praise you. The suggestions need to be cleaned or converted to a standard list. I feel like programs should be tagged as well. There are programs like social school psychology that are hard to aggregate. Great post.
  11. Left Skew

    Fall 2018 I/O Psy

    I just rescinded my offer at GW with (TB), hopefully someone gets a call very soon. Best of luck,
  12. I realize the application season is far from over for many of you, but I felt it's a good time to be retrospective. I wanted to share some of my anecdotes and qualitative data in hopes that it will help those in the future. Before I begin: this is based on my subjective experience and is not meant to be interpreted as prescriptive. I applied to a combination of I/O Psych and Measurement programs, thus this may be less relevant to some of you- I don't think that will be the case. Here are some thoughts looking back: Grad Cafe The beauty of Grad Cafe (though cliché) is the journey. Many applicants will not visit this place, many will avoid it like the plague, many will lurk. The exceptions provide invaluable information, they empathize, and even sympathize. This process is one that validates and demeans, it's not clean, knowing that you're not alone does so much. You learn about your "competition"- that they are just as smart and accomplished as you; they also are kind and helpful, I found solace in the fact that a deserving person was accepted when I was not. You start building your network here. These people may be in your cohort, may see you at a conference, or may score you a job in the future, so make it count. Clean the Results Survey... I did a project a while back trying to crowd-source some data to help those applying. I quickly realized that the results survey is a garbage-fire. All of the open-ended text boxes (i.e., program, school) are very unclean. It does have a predictive component but if someone types something incorrectly others will start getting that as a predictive option. It is also hard to find particular hybrid programs, so I think a tagging taxonomy would bode well. I've emailed the admins about this. The benefit of Grad Cafe can be improved by cleaning the user-experience. This would be a good place for sourcing how grad students deal with rejection or giving particular programs a profile in terms of when they respond to students. You'd need to control for self-selection, but I see this providing a huge benefit to society. Admins clean up the response strings and make the tag structure more defined....constructive feedback, don't delete this post. Initial Email -The most underestimated part of the application process Most of us are highly conscientious so bugging a person we don't know may be excruciating. Funding is the name of the game for many programs. If you apply to the wrong lab it doesn't matter how strong of an applicant you are. Take the time to send an email to figure out who is planning on taking students. I also find that emailing the current students is both less intimidating and more insightful so do not shy away from this. Another thing this will help is your personal statement. I spent so much time specifying advisers just to find out that some of the programs don't want you working with just one person. The program websites are always filled with obsolete information, get current information from those living it. GRE/GPA - A perfect GRE/GPA score will not guarantee your acceptance If this was the case no program would have an interview portion nor would you have to submit CVs and Personal Statements. Obviously, programs will use the quantitative metrics (GPA and GRE) when convenient, so in the beginning when the pool is large. Programs may get 300 applicants so selecting 30 to interview would be tedious without a common scale. The first filter will be a quantitative metric and if you aren't above average...none of your other qualifications is going to fix that. You can't change your GPA but you can improve your GRE. I've heard all sorts of metrics: (Quant + Verbal) * GPA, sometimes programs will weigh verbal more or quant more, you never know. You want to make the first cut, so don't think you need the highest score because chances are you won't have it. Shoot for that 75th-80th percentile. Some of you may think that it is impossible but it's not, this is coming from someone that increased their GRE score by 20 points in a short amount of time. If you're struggling go here. The GRE is based upon adaptive Item Response Theory (IRT) so focus on increasing your mastery of the more difficult questions. Personal Statement - Don't overthink it I spent most of my time doing these. I'm a terrible writer. There is no special sauce, no formula. Just don't tell a 2-page story about your grandma dying. I do suggest demonstrating that you know how to craft a research idea relevant to your person of interest. Also if you see research that they've done where the findings relate to an experience you've had....golden. I asked over 20 professors (from different programs) if they had to choose just one: GPA/GRE, Personal Statement & Recommendations, or CV and Research experience to select a candidate, which would they choose? No one said personal statement. Once again I'm in the area of I/O, so other areas may differ but none of us are in Creative Writing. Research/CV -You do research in a PhD program, so research experience is critical This is the area I lack. My estimation is that it is why I got rejected from places, and is what sets apart the candidates after the GRE/GPA hurdle. I would really love to see the stats for applicants that got 75th percentile on the GRE with publications versus an applicant that is in the 99th percentile without research experience. A vast majority of the professors I spoke to said if they had to select a candidate based on 1 metric that they would choose CV and Research experience. It makes sense because students will be doing research. Don't underestimate how you layout your research experience on your CV. If you can get on MTurk and code someone's data or if you can present to a small clinic or non-profit, do it. Interviews & Recruitment Days - It's all about the questions. Don't be vanilla. I didn't dress the best. I'm sure I creeped out all the current students and applicants, but they remembered me. Ask good questions, I can't emphasize this enough. 100% of the interview/recruitment days I went to accepted me afterwards. I definitely wasn't the smartest person there, but I asked good questions. Don't ask things you can learn from a follow-up email or on the website. Act like you're about to marry them, or that you're on a Tinder date 4 glasses of wine in. Some examples (all of which I've used): For students: What would you improve about your program? What class was a waste of time? What are 3 things your adviser can do better? If you had to punish someone deeply, what professor would you handcuff them to? How much time have you spend off-campus with those in your cohort? How much of your weekend is spent doing work? My favorite: If all of the faculty participated in the Amazing Race with a clone of a generic student, who would you put your money on? Who would drop out? For faculty: What are three adjectives your students would use to describe you? What is a unique skill you offer that the other faculty do not? If you could add a course from the core-curriculum, which would you pick? In your opinion what proportion of a PhD student's time should be spent in the following areas: Assistantship, Coursework, Research, Personal Life? From your perspective what is the biggest social challenge? emotional challenge? and financial challenge? a student faces in grad school. One love... Thank you all,
  13. All, I posted this poll a while back in the psychology sub-forum, and now I realize how appropriate it is here. It helped me look at the things that others are looking at; I'm now more confident in what matters to me. SEE POST HERE
  14. I would ask them to make a list of pros and cons of both. You do the same, they read yours and you read theirs. When people write down their thoughts it makes the problem more manageable. One thing you don't want to do is go to grad school for other people. It's hard psychologically and not being passionate about what you're doing may influence you to drop out. Then you and your parents lose. At the end of the day it's your life. I'd ask your parents to do more research on psychology because their remarks seem to undermine how dynamic the field is. I would strongly suggest you research industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology. It's one of the fastest growing fields and takes aspects from clinical psych as well as OT. It would allow you to follow your passion as well as keep your parents at bay. Or you could just threaten your parents by saying, "when you get older, I'm putting you in a home." Works for me. Best,
  15. Left Skew

    Fall 2018 I/O Psy

    Yeah, I'm trying to draft an email to reject some people. I feel fortunate but part of it sucks because you don't want to burn bridges. If you listen to Adele's Someone Like You, and change "you" to "your program" and "someone" to "another program" it's actually a great start.
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