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About crackademik

  • Rank
    Espresso Shot

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Washington, DC
  • Interests
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Bioengineering PhD

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  1. That makes a little more sense actually. Programs in the UK are usually more specialized and require a detailed proposal. It's still weird that they grilled you like that. Even in my UK interview they didn't ask much about my proposal. Have you talked to other people who have done interviews for the humanities in the UK? Either way I would try not to beat yourself up about it. It might not have come off as bad as you think.
  2. That is very unusual. I had 3 interviews and none of them ever asked detailed questions regarding my areas of interest. I've also never heard of this happening. When you say you proposed your own topic, do you mean that you did so in your SOP or at the beginning of the interview?
  3. I'm in the exact same boat. I absolutely love the school I'm going to be attending but I still haven't heard from two schools. I have this internal conflict of "was my application so bad I'm not even worth a rejection?" and "this school is crap for being disorganized". I spent a lot of time on one of the applications (more than the rest) for one of these schools. I even wrote an additional essay to give the admissions committee a better picture of my background. I've emailed and called both schools multiple times and they've done the equivalent of giving me the bitch button. It's so unbelievably frustrating.
  4. You definitely have a right to be angry. I agree with others that you should see if you can make a case for a refund. I had a similar situation with another university that clearly just wanted to extort potential applicants for money.
  5. Here is a list of things (gathered from personal observation throughout my own application process) that you can do to stand out: 1. If you can afford it, take graduate level courses at a nearby university in chemistry or biochemistry (it's better to do them at a different school than the one you went to for undergrad) It's especially good to do this in the subfield of chemistry that you are looking to do. 2. It will definitely help to get that research position. Even if you can get a job in industry, it would help. You may also find the added bonus of getting a third recommender by going this route. 3. Have some career goals that are well described in your SOP. and how grad school will help you achieve them. Admissions committee look for people who are going to grad for a reason, not because they don't know what else to do to kill time until they become a real adult. No one really knows what they ultimately want to do, but having a sense will go a long way in the admissions process. Try to avoid cookie cutter things like "I want to do synthesis because that's what I did in my undergrad research". 4. Try to contact your POI ahead of when you submit your application. Never underestimate the power of human interaction and networking. If you are going to a conference, try to talk to the POI at that conference. 5. Get involved. Join ACS if you're not already a member. Go to local meetings. Ideally if you get a job, they will pay for you to do this. Hope this helps! Edit: Getting a Masters is an incredible investment that allowed admissions committees to overlook my low undergraduate GPA. Getting a masters also means that you will not need as much time (generally speaking) to complete your phD
  6. HAHAHA please tell me that is a reference to the south park episode where a symptom of "smugness" is smelling your own farts.
  7. I was not in industry for 20 years but I've been in position in my field for 2 years now and I have had the exact same experience as you. At my last company, I was the lab manager so I also got close to 100 emails a day, many of which required swift responses. I constantly check my email from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, so the inability for academics to respond to emails in a timely manner drives me insane! I've actually roasted (in a professional manner) a few programs regarding their disorganization and inability to communicate during this process.
  8. Well unless you are certain that you will get funding from Oxford, I would immediately remove that from your list when you have other fully funded options. The other two are in two different countries so if you've decided that the research, reputation, and quality of people are the same, I would make the decision based on what country you would like to spend time in.
  9. I feel this on a spiritual level. I've had my fair share of roommate drama from a low-key drug dealer (who was the son of the landlord) to a friend who ended up stealing over 400$ from me. I've had roommates from off of craigslist and ones that I've known well before, and it never has worked out well. Even when I didn't have crazy roommates, I've definitely experienced passive aggression from "leaving bread crumbs on the counter" per se. I've also had the opposite side of spectrum where I've found myself scrubbing slime off of my roommate's george foreman to mitigate the foul stench of the kitchen. Even if you screen your roommate there are plenty of other things that can go wrong. From my own experience, I notice that landlords who rent multiple rooms to college kids tend to be sketchier than those renting apartments (obviously there are exceptions). For example, I had a landlord who didn't screen potential tenants prior to visiting the house, so it ended up getting burglarized by criminals who scoped it out and used fake emails and names. I've also had landlords who have refused to fix things or deal with pests. I've had a much better experience with renting my own apartment from a reputable company. TL;DR screen screen screen the roommate if you can't afford to live alone If you can't live alone for financial reasons, living with a significant other is a good option if you're at that point in the relationship.
  10. I would just gauge it by the personality of the PI. Some PIs really like to be in contact with their students but others are very hands off. I would talk to other students in this person's lab if you are unfamiliar with your PI's stance on communication. Also, when you say "communication" are you referring to productive research questions/potential projects or are you wondering if it's okay to say "Hi how are you doing?" The latter is generally unacceptable even if you are already working in the lab. Your PI is a boss not a bestie, even if they seem to be a really cool person. Hope this helps!
  11. As somebody who faced a similar dilemma (in terms of revealing personal information to account for a shortcoming) I would strongly advise against it based on feedback I got from admissions committees. From what I've learned from the admissions process, the improvement in your GPA speaks for itself and you may not even need to include your old transcript on your application if it was for the same degree level.
  12. I've heard that knowing if you have other offers gives them a reason to not extend you an offer (i.e. they think it'll make you less likely to accept even if you say it's your top choice). I was told this directly during two of my interview weekends. Edit: In addition to hearing this from graduate students from the two schools above, I was directly asked what schools I was accepted to in my first interview (super unprofessional) and I didn't want to lie or be sassy and tell them that it was an inappropriate question and I was waitlisted by the school.
  13. I also had an F on my transcript in a course unrelated to my major that I didn't address. I was in a motorcycle accident and withdrew that semester and the professor refused to allow me to submit work to change the incomplete once I resumed classes, which caused a default F. If I were you, I would not address it unless they ask you first because honestly I really doubt they will. Let the improvement in your transcript speak for itself because it will.
  14. For some reason, this program is so small that the secretary I've been in contact with throughout this process actually does know a lot about what is going with admissions. She was initially the one to tell me I was waitlisted before I got the official notification. And thank you! I know it's stupid to be worrying about waitlists but I'm admittedly a control freak and don't like open ended things. Until I've officially accepted an offer, I'll probably be freaking out no matter what.
  15. I just emailed the secretary to check my position. Unfortunately there are almost zero results for the program at which I was waitlisted so I can't really gauge it off of that
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