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About hbhowe

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  • Location
    New York
  • Interests
    US History, nineteenth- and twentieth-century history, labor history, citizenship issues and the study of immigration
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Global/International History

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  1. I really can't stress how important having a few good mentors was for me. When I started I was on this forum a decent amount, thinking I could mostly do things on my own, but once I realized how much some professors really are willing and enthusiastic about helping out a pretty driven student, I leaned a lot more heavily on their advice and left a lot of the more conventional, undergrad application-type resources (books, school advisers, etc) more or less alone. Show your mentors multiple drafts, and when you get those commented drafts back, follow their advice, even if it means scrapping huge parts of your SoP or re-writing some of your sample. This also shows them that you actually value their input. Listen to your mentors when they suggest POIs, based on your interests. Every single one of my POIs at programs I was admitted to are scholars that my mentors either suggested or green-lit. Reach out to POIs as early as (reasonably) possible. You never know how the conversation will go, what they might warn you about, or what help they might offer--the programs I was admitted to were the ones where I had the most contact with my POI and I have to imagine that's what made the difference. Also, when possible, I would say you should try to think strategically about who's writing your recommendations in terms of the programs you apply to. Two of my recommendations were written by professors who had strong connections with my top two schools and I know for a fact that this helped me a lot at at least one school. It feels a little like cheating, but academia is an insular place and potential advisers will be more likely to take a chance on you if their friend from back in the day tells them you're a good bet. That said, the first priority with recommendations is still that they actually know you and are willing to write positive things about you. Basically: applications are a lot more about interpersonal and academic relationships than you might think. Use the contacts you have.
  2. hbhowe

    Applications 2019

    Definitely, if I can find out when it is! Looking forward to it!
  3. hbhowe

    Applications 2019

    I just spoke to a Harvard grad student I knew through work/other channels who said the Harvard stipend was "fine" and that there was a lot of money available in grants, etc. from different centers and institutes outside the history department--not a ringing endorsement but definitely not as dire as I've heard students at other schools paint their stipend situations.
  4. hbhowe

    Applications 2019

    Thread originator back from the dead, mostly to say that it's the first week of the semester here at NYU so I'm willing to bet most advisers either sent out acceptances already or are still busy with beginning-of-the-semester stuff. Prof Diner especially (who I seem to remember you wanted to work with?) has been busy lately, I wouldn't sweat it. I got same from Harvard and was told by my potential adviser that only once in the history of the history department has the GSAS not admitted someone recommended for admission so...congrats!
  5. hbhowe

    Applications 2019

    Upon further thought, I'm adding to this a little--anybody have any thoughts on Georgetown, Kazin/Benton-Cohen/McCartin?
  6. hbhowe

    Applications 2019

    I might PM you if you want to hear more about Goetz--she's currently the director of undergraduate studies in History here and I have some experience with her. Not as an advisor, obviously, but it might still come in handy. Good planning to be done already with the GRE! I'm very jealous.
  7. hbhowe

    Applications 2019

    Hi everybody! I'm jumping the gun a little bit because this thread for the 2018 cycle was born about two weeks from now last year, but I've had several cups of coffee/spent the day staring at grad admissions sites so what the heck. I'm relatively (extremely) new to the forum but I'm looking forward to getting to know you through the next few grueling months! I'm a rising senior at NYU, applying to PhD programs in US History with an interest in the intersection of labor, immigration, and citizenship practices at the turn of the century. Currently I'm looking most closely at Columbia (Ngai, Katznelson), Wisconsin (Michels, Enstad maybe), Cornell (Glickman, though I've heard their placement is not great), and mayyyybe the University of Minnesota, because of Erika Lee and their Immigration History Research Center. Also dreaming about Princeton and UChicago. I'm in the process of thinking heavily about my SoP, polishing my writing sample, and studying for the GRE. What about y'all?
  8. Thanks for all the advice! I do have a few people in mind who've written some pieces that have been particularly inspiring for me, and I guess the main thing would be to get over my hangup of asking somebody whose work I really admire for help. I'm getting together with my two closest/most helpful professors in the next week, and now I know to add this to the list of things to ask them about.
  9. I'm a rising senior doing my undergrad at NYU, and I'm somewhere in the middle of gearing up to apply to PhD programs in US History. I think I have a pretty decent application (3.9 GPA, decent writing sample I'm going to edit, some letters of rec lined up, GRE tbd) but just about everywhere I look recommends that I find and get in touch with potential advisers before I apply. I am extremely skittish and don't really know how or when is appropriate to just out-of-the-blue email somebody asking them to be a huge part of my life for the next five or so years. My questions are 1) how does one go about finding a good prospective adviser besides just looking for giants in their field, and 2) how do you then reach out to that professor in a normal way, without some kind of introduction (or should you only do it if you have an in through an adviser, former prof, etc) and 3) what kinds of factors, in your experience, make a good adviser? Thank you!!
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