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About psykick

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  • Location
    Southeast US
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Clinical Psychology

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  1. Your LORs will be happy to hear of your acceptances regardless! They know you (smartly) applied to multiple schools because they submitted multiple letters, so it won't be a surprise and I doubt it will hinder your chances.
  2. In the environment of stress and uncertainty that is application season, it makes total sense this information is unsettling. However, since you have been invited to interview, the PI has already determined that you have the qualifications and other application materials to be a graduate trainee in their lab even without the "extra topping" of being a current lab member. Interview invites are not accidents, nor are they something that PIs typically throw out willy-nilly for fun or to waste applicants' time. They have explicitly decided to get to know you and how you'd fit within the program in person, just as you're having the opportunity to get to know the PI/the lab, and the program to see if they'd fit within your needs/long term goals. What kind of things get you pumped and feeling good about yourself? Bring those into the interview space and know you can be a pleasant co-interviewee and also have your perspective/contributions stand out. Hoping you have many opportunities to shine throughout this VERY imperfect process. Best of luck!
  3. Luckily this specific interview was facilitated by two graduate students. It was still extremely nerve-wracking to answer their questions in front of two other applicants for the same PI, but I didn't feel the same pressure as I would in a faculty interview. All questions were asked round-robin with Person A, Person B, and me answering and the rotation did not change for the entire 35ish minutes. I doubt that was purposeful either, but that taught me to always shake up the order sometimes. ? Not a big deal if you're in the middle, but I felt significant pressure to come up with something *distinct AND insightful* after two highly qualified people already answered and I'm sure the first person was feeling pressure to set the bar high. By the third question, my brain couldn't keep playing the comparison game and think of something thoughtful. Instead, I just focused on making eye contact with everyone (including the other applicants) when I answered, referencing some of their answers within my own (giving them credit of course) if it was a particularly good point but weaving it into a larger point about my fit/interest/whatever, and remembering that there was no way to keep a running tally of points we s"cored". It was clear in that space and time being overly competitive would've been not both obvious and unnecessary. It felt much more natural to just listen to them and respond in a way that still allowed me to bring my original thoughts to the table without performing the role of "best grad applicant in the room!!!!". Still, it wasn't easy then and is still not easy to in a group setting since most of the advice is typically about 1:1 interactions with interviewers. Quick side note. While meals/whole group meetings with the PI, their lab and all of their other prospectives aren't technically the same kind of interviews, they matter and dynamics can be really similar. It's a group of people with similar specific interests sitting around a table talking about everything from research to city life with different things at stake. It's very cool, but also stressful. I remember sitting at a dinner and even a "normal" question from the PI about our experience traveling to the school/staying felt like some weird way to evaluate my enthusiasm and ability as a grad student to go there. Not helpful thinking, and not true unless I complained or something equally atypical. In those situations and in group interviews, I'd say just breathe and remember you can to be quite impressive without being the wittiest/quickest/most interesting person at the table. You got to the interview for a reason that won't be dashed by not having the most comprehensive answer every time, but can easily be dashed by a lack of preparation, rudeness (to ANYONE- not just PIs/students), and letting this topsy-turvy/unpredictable process get too much into your head. Hopefully this helps, and feel free to PM me with more questions/concerns.
  4. https://www.amazon.com/STYLIO-Padfolio-Resume-Portfolio-Folder/dp/B01FDZ5D94 This is the first link I found for a padfolio that showed its inside, so know that they vary in color/shape/inside arrangements. It's basically a professional-looking folder with a zipper that most often comes with a lined notepad, pockets for business cards and papers, and places for pens. I recommend taking one because it's a handy place to take notes and store the many papers you often accumulate during interviews. I also placed copies of my CV in there for reference or in case someone asked to for a copy (which did happen!), knowing that I'd print out more before the next interview. Things that stayed in there the whole cycle was a printout of quick summaries of my past research experiences in case I forgot, an abbreviated list of questions I wanted to ask, and of course pens!
  5. Yes! I think it was more of a scheduling thing than a typical interview format, but I did have the experience of answering/asking questions with multiple applicants in the room.
  6. It varies, but I'd say orientation is a pretty standard summer activity. We were required to attend both a one-day departmental one and then the broader graduate school orientation with other programs. There was also a department specific coding bootcamp we had to attend prior to starting our stats sequence, but that was in-house and only a week long. Also, don't be too worried if there's radio silence about any commitments until the last couple weeks of July. I had moments of STRESS because I wasn't hearing anything, but it turned out to be better to just soak up the free-ish time since the semester kicked off so quickly.
  7. I wore a skirt/blazer combo and it was a-ok, especially since I followed the above tips. I didn't wear tights because my skirt was on the longer side (and it was HOT where I was interviewing) but that's an option too.
  8. The ETS website always has two free full length practice tests and other free materials such as a comprehensive bank of writing section prompts (https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare) which I used to supplement Princeton Review materials. I practiced outlining answers to those prompts for like 10 minutes a day for about a week, and felt solidly prepared to remember some of the examples I used. My score in Writing improved by 2 points! Princeton Review can be really costly (I was lucky to have it provided through a summer program), so more specifically I'd recommend its online component. It's useful, allows you to hone specific skills, and has more practice tests/sample questions than I thought possible. A free and low-key vocal review resource is the VictorPrep podcast http://victorprep.com. It's fairly short (11-20min) and reviews about 4-6 words per episode with a review of 40+ words every few episodes. It's nice to listen to in the shower, on a commute, or simply while doing another "mindless" activity. I can't recommend it enough. As a side note, Take practice tests in an environment as close to the real one as possible. That means clearing the table, turning off your phone, and once you schedule a test date, taking them at the time you will then. Doing practice tests at 8AM with no distractions was Trash INC., but I sure as hell was used to it by the time I was in the actual room. -
  9. That outfit sounds perfect! I wore similar outfits during interview season (shout outs to my Walmart blouses) and didn't feel out of place. You'll be fine as long as everything fits, is clean, and looks professional. Being well-dressed for the interview is important, but thankfully it's not the only (or main) thing that matters. I'd be shocked if a PI/lab completely disregarded a candidate based on their suit quality.
  10. Congrats on your interview invites! Since it's still early in the process and you've been offered to interview with them both, I'd focus on interview preparation. PIs in similar sub-disciplines (especially those who closely collaborate) are fully aware students will likely apply to their programs and that of their colleagues. For that reason, I believe they'll assume you at the very least considered applying to their colleagues elsewhere. I've also heard it's somewhat common for some PIs to discuss overlapping applicants anyway. Regardless, I don't think it's necessary to disclose that info and agree with the poster above that it may indicate something unintentionally.
  11. I cycled between black and tan blazers during interviews so I was worried about this too, but then saw some color diversity in other interviewees' suit choices as well. As a person who can't walk well in heels, I was also worried that flats were "unprofessional" too but that didn't matter either, I felt professionally dressed. I'd be more hesitant about wearing something uncomfortable (like shoes) or a SUPER bright color. If you end up going with black, there will be plenty of people of all genders in all black suits / shoes.
  12. Highly recommend bringing the damn black pad folio @gasmasque mentioned to carry notebook paper, copies of your CV and the various papers/folders that come with in-person interviewing. I also stuffed some printed copies of questions I wanted to ask in there too, but honestly reviewing it beforehand would've been fine. If possible, bringing a bag that can fit these accumulated papers inside is ideal. The information is great but it can get tiring to carry around an entire clinic manual and a welcome folder for the rest of the day. I also dressed somewhat more casually for the dinners and social events. Sometimes that just meant changing my shoes or as @buckeyepsych suggested wearing some jeans alongside the blazer. Sending all of you best dressed and accessorized vibes!
  13. As the poster above said, you know yourself and your ability to function best! However, there are some significant benefits to staying with a graduate student. The most advantageous is being able to chat with a current student more informally. While the conversation from the airport all the way until the end of the weekend won't be 100% about the school and program, it's a more calming environment to ask questions, hear about someone's experience, and get a small glimpse into what life is actually like there (e.g. where are grad students living? where do they get their groceries? distance from campus?). Saving the money is also a huge plus. Interview season is relatively expensive and cutting costs by staying with a graduate student could make it possible to spring for an extra comfortable journey home. I've had grad students offer small snacks or even bagels in the morning before interviews, though I wouldn't say that's universal. More logistically, it's nice to have a graduate student host who can direct you to where you need to go for interview and social events. Depending on the layout/location of the school, it can be overwhelming navigating transportation and "simple" things like building room locations on your own. It was significantly less stressful having someone who kept an eye out for me, let me sit in their office on a break, and was there to show me how to navigate an unfamiliar bus line. Coming onto campus from a hotel can get expensive and may be confusing unless you have very detailed instructions, which I have to admit is not always the case. In short, I'd recommend it for the insight, the cost-cutting, and stress reduction.
  14. Here are some of my thoughts! I've experienced every type of interview for grad apps and hope this insight is helpful. These interviews are undeniably stressful, but as other posters mentioned, by getting an interview invite the PI(s) have determined you have the qualifications to succeed in graduate school. This next step is giving everyone involved more insight in your specific fit all more insight into your potential working relationship and your feel for the place! General Question Advice: First, double checking the answers are not on the department website/lab page/etc are the way to go. There are lists floating around with some awesome questions, so I recommend searching Twitter, this website or application guides. Main topics besides the biggies about the program, culture, and climate are things like financial aspects in the program like the stipend (including summer funding), funds to support research/conference travel, and more. It felt a bit awkward asking students about these at first, but it's an important factor to consider and most students (would not ask faculty) are more than happy to share their thoughts. Asking about practicum opportunities and institutional support to everyone is important too. I was most prepared and knowledgeable about my primary PIs research and ongoing projects, though you should expect to get at least a brief rundown when you speak with them anyway. I also prepared responses linking my past experiences/interests with the work they're doing now. Prepare, but remember there's no way to fully know everything until you're there. I had more than one PI share a research direction that I wasn't aware of on the interview date. For faculty I interviewed with besides my POI, I was familiar with their area broadly and generated only a couple questions about their research. I prioritized asking them more questions about the program overall such as their thoughts on collaboration, training philosophy, culture of the dept and city. Most interviews begin with asking about your background and interests, so go ahead and sharpen that spiel up and be prepared for them to ask follow-up questions, especially if your work is WAY out of their wheelhouse. For example, someone asked me to explain a key theory I used in research whereas my POI did not. Be aware of the tone/wording of your questions! It helped me to write most down, then it became a routine at different institutions. General Interview Advice: Breathe, and feel free to take a moment or two to THINK before you respond! It's hard to not start replying as soon as the question is asked, but it's better to pause than trailing off/not making sense. I learned this the hard way. I waited until an interview passed before ending an email filled with questions (even though this is truly a preference, either way works). That way you'll be able to hear a verbal (and likely longer) response to your highly prioritized questions (e.g., their mentorship style, research expectations, opportunities in the program) and can ask quick clarifying ones on the backend. It's especially useful if if they mention not knowing a full answer or you run out of time Emphasizing the suggestion to not be afraid to ask the same questions to different faculty, students, and other folks that you meet! I know it's sort of a "Duh!" piece of advice, but I spent way too much time trying to think of lots of witty and original questions at first. I gained the most information when I heard different perspectives because it allowed me to notice patterns in responses. For example, I asked the textbook "What are the strengths and areas of growth in the program?" question which resulted in some really insightful answers. After the interview, take 10 minutes to write a reflection with your first impressions, lingering questions, anything you think will be helpful when considering your decisions. I got this advice early on and thought it was EXTREMELY helpful to have when trying to remember a vibe of a place/how I felt in the moment. I Phone/Skype Interviews: I agree with all things mentioned above, especially writing down questions/notes and outlining main topics! Having your CV up is also a great idea too. Test out your connection/video prior to the actual call. Even if you pick an ideal place, avoiding an awkward video angle and a spotty Wifi connection is crucial. While most PIs will be prompt starting and ending the interview, make sure there's buffer time on both ends. They're humans too, so at times they may be running late, their connection is spotty, or the most ideal - your conversation is so engaging it runs over In Person Interviews: Interviews do vary in a lot of ways, but a common element is some sort of campus tour that in my experience is always done very quickly. For that reason, I recommend folks of all genders wear comfortable shoes that are okay for campus terrains (bricks, sidewalks, etc.) to avoid any discomfort and make sure you keep up up with the group. Be friendly and gracious to everyone you meet, including the admin staff coordinating the interviews/meals/transitions. It'll be obvious if you're saving all of your niceties for faculty and grad students in your potential lab(s), plus those admin folks are the ones who keep the department running. As noted above, it's especially important to leave a good impression with your hosts. I've seen applicants complain the entire time and it does get back. On a related note, engage with other applicants too. A pleasant surprise for me was how cool it was to talk with other applicants, especially if they had similar interests. These are likely your future colleagues in some capacity, might as well build the relationship now. Protect your energy! Don't be afraid to take some space to gather your thoughts, your breath, and basically decompress. I had some angelic grad student hosts who recognized how draining interviews can be and encouraged me to sit in the room with the lights off in between events to recharge. If you're feeling overwhelmed on the actual day, it's well within your right to nicely ask for a private space to regroup! A possible option is a grad student office or an upstairs bathroom. It's also okay to leave some social events relatively early. Write/record a reflection! You get so much "data" from these in person interviews that may slip through the cracks even a week later. Bullet point, write paragraphs...whatever works for you. Endorse bringing a bag filled with essentials (including snacks!) I got peckish during the day and having a granola bar saved me from some discomfort. It's awesome how gracious, welcoming, and genuine interviewers can be. Most recognize you're under a microscope (all day, if it's in person) and are typically trying to do their best to present their institution as somewhere you can feel comfortable/thrive. As everyone said but I didn't believe until the end, you're interviewing the program too. Wishing all of you the best on this ride, I'm welcome to any PMs and follow-up questions too!
  15. psykick

    Charlottesville, VA

    Could I have this question answered? I'm coming from a place with a similar history/climate as UVA, but would like to hear any other thoughts about life there as a LGBTQ POC.
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