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Everything posted by DevoLevo

  1. To be completely honest, it will definitely be harder to get a full picture and feel for a school over zoom interviews. That being said, the students and faculty putting together the virtual recruitment events are going to be putting a lot of time and effort into trying to make it the best experience possible, and including lots of more low-key non-interview-based events, while balancing zoom fatigue. When it comes to getting a good picture of what doing you PhD at a particular institution is actually like, current students are still going to be your best resource - and the vast majority will
  2. Happy to help! The way I did it was write up the personal and research statements first and then frankensteined them together until I was happy with it for the combo SOPs I had to do. And definitely happy to share my experience with Stanford Biosciences and give ya some perspective on the different home programs - just DM me any questions you like. Its been a great place for me so far.
  3. So as far as I can tell there are three types of essays for grad school apps: personal - often called a personal statement, sometimes framed as a diversity statement - want to hear mostly about your research trajectory and future goals in the context of pursuits outside of research. So maybe you talk about how you became interested in science, what mentors/role models you've had along the day, what major struggles you've had in your pursuit of your education/research, where you hope to end up in the future, and/or extracurriculars broadly related to your goals like TA-ing, volunteering, s
  4. Honestly, I wouldn't worry so much about the low UG GPA, particularly since your master's was great. Yes, its probably below average but with a good GPA in your masters you show that you have the capacity to do will in school and your research/publishing record shows you can do well in science. Definitely apply to some mid-tier programs you'd feel comfortable with, but apply to some reach ones as well. Multiple first author publications is nothing to scoff at - I still have a solid 0 pubs under my belt and managed to get into good schools with a 3.5 and a lot of time spent on my personal state
  5. I'm happy to give people feedback on application profiles as well as strategies I might suggest for how to strengthen weaknesses thereof. Also can give perspectives on Stanford biosciences - I do molecular/cellular/developmental/genetics type stuff so I can particularly give advice in that realm. I'm not the most active on here, so I'll be more responsive to direct messages! I know things are super weird with COVID and all right now - hope you all are doing alright and not stressing out too much!!
  6. Your GPA/GRE are very similar to mine & I also went to UW (go dawgs!) Your main potential weakness is probably on the research experience front because they're shorter in duration. If you can talk clearly and compellingly about that research in conjunction with your extracurriculars in your personal statements you should still have a good shot at the programs on your list though. Alongside strong rec letters hopefully!
  7. Applications and interviews will definitely still be conducted at most if not all places - but at most if not all places I would speculate that interviews may be virtual. My department is already talking a little bit about virtual interviews and the logistics of that.
  8. Honorable mention for me and can't apply next year. aw well. Congrats to those who got it!!!
  9. Current Stanford Biosciences first -year here - I'm not in M&I, but I know some of the first year cohort. Also have no info on UCLA, so can't really give any perspective on them. I am a big fan of Stanford and with hindsight absolutely made the right choice with it. Your two main worries with Stanford are the same ones I had when deciding - affordability and the PA bubble. Both are worthy of consideration, but both have been less of an issue for me so far than I had anticipated. While I am used to living in a city and miss that, I do find time to get up to SF and outside of PA fairly
  10. I feel you. I'd sort fo forgotten about it until I had a dream last night that the selection email had gone out...
  11. I would venture to guess that most offers have already gone out. They have at my school.
  12. current Stanford biosciences student here - if anyone has more specific questions, feel free to DM me.
  13. Seconding the above comments - I went to 8 interviews last year (which is what, like 40 different PI interviewers?) and didn't have a single interviewer that I felt was trying to trip me up or discourage me. I did have a couple PIs who posed thought-experiment type questions, but the purpose was more for their own curiosity since our conversation was already going well, and even when I didn't get to the answer I still felt the interview went fine. I have heard stories from others of the occasional PI who will try to trip you up, but I really don't think its necessary to plan for that, if
  14. My scores were rather similar (165 (96%), 154 (53%), 4.5 (81%)) and I figured they didn't really stand out enough in any direction to send them anywhere that didn't require them - worked out fine in my case
  15. This is what I do. follow-up emails I sent post-interview were addressed to Dr. Suchandsuch, even though most introduced themselves at the interviews by first name. However, if they then replied and signed with their first name, as many do, I address follow up emails to their first name. I agree its very department-dependent, but most places I interviewed at it definitely seems like grad students are on a first name basis with PIs, even if they weren't in that person's lab, and that kind of collegiality seemed to make for a better environment for the grad students I spoke with.
  16. I spent a LOT of time going back and forth between Stanford and Columbia, and I ended up going with Stanford in part because it was the safer bet (I'm not from the bay, but am currently on the west coast and have family in the bay). I don't think that a safer bet is necessarily a bad thing, especially if you felt better about the faculty and students at UCSF - as you say, UCSF and MIT are of very similar caliber in the bio field. I would spend some time thinking about what it is that makes you feel that UCSF is safer and how those factors would relate to your overall grad experience: safer in
  17. Cold Spring Harbor for sure has lots of conferences in the summer, but I doubt there's much going on in the winter; Cornell will give you the opportunity bonuses of being an actual college campus and not just a set of labs (which I would classify as being of greater value, but that's a personal preference). I would worry less about resume-building and more about which is a better fit for you research-wise: which profs were you most excited about working with, which programs seemed to have the best resources for comp bio, which group of students seemed more enthusiastic about the work the
  18. Man, you guys definitely should have gotten it back by now. The only one I'm still waiting on is the place I interviewed with in March. I would try reaching out to someone else in the program (Admissions chair or something).
  19. Echoing the others here in saying that your profile is top notch. It really seems like it's probably SOP and/or LOR-related - especially given the fact that you're applying to really top tier schools, who will get a lot of applicants who check all the boxes and need to sort them out by way of less than stellar SOPs and recc letters.
  20. Officially accepted an offer to come do my PhD with Stanford Biosciences - Now I'm trying to sort out the grad housing situation. We toured a few options when I interviewed but I would love to get some perspective on the differences in environment for the different buildings/areas from current students and/or other incoming students more familiar with the housing sitch.It seems like most people live on the EV side of things (versus Lyman, which seems nice but kind of isolated). In EV itself; How social are different buildings? How much does this vary for the high-rise options v
  21. I have narrowed down my list to two programs: Stanford Biosciences and Columbia Biological Sciences. Both programs are excellent and well-respected in my field and have a selection of great faculty that I would love to rotate and work with. Apart from that, the two programs are very different and I think that's why I'm having such a hard time deciding between them. Obviously there's the west coast/ east coast switch - I am on the West coast now so it would be quite a big move to go to NYC, but that in itself is not a limiting factor. NYC and Palo Alto are also VERY different ci
  22. Am I interpreting correctly that #4 means you're next on the waitlist? I would say that's a very solid place to be and you should ride it out at least until April 10th or so. Its your right to wait right up until April 15th if you want to and you should absolutely take advantage of that if this place is high on your list.
  23. Naw you should be alright. I have a D on my transcript and still got interviews-- if you made it to interviews and they liked you enough to give you an offer then they don't care much about your grades at this point unless you fail the whole semester, don't graduate, or reveal yourself as a serial killer.
  24. Not my field at all but Seattle is a really great place to live. I've been living here for the past 6 years and did my undergrad at UW and can't speak highly enough of the school and the city. The university as a whole is a huge research university, so there's no way that you'll have trouble finding research opportunities (and at least at the undergrad level, I know that the school of social work is well respected.
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