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About ViralCapsidGuy

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  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Biomedical Sciences

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  1. I was working on my undergraduate thesis under the advice of a successful and well-regarded physics professor in Colombia, whose main area of expertise was computational biophysics. I was really excited about working with her because she was the best person I could possibly be working with at that specific moment of my life. One day, in a symposium she organized, a co-advisor of my thesis presented my work with clearly very poor understanding on the subject. The situation made me feel terrible, it made me feel totally underestimated and looked down on. However, the co-advisor did give me credit for my work, but the presentation was so terrible, I felt like my work was worth nothing and that I was just wasting my time. I tried to contain myself but eventually emailed my two thesis advisors and left them know how I felt about the whole situation. I was as polite as possible. Nevertheless, they both took it personal and felt deeply offended. The well-regarded physics professor literally told me that my work was not contributing to the field in any way, and that she should probably just invest her time on her graduate students because that would be more productive for her, and that her graduate students were working on projects that would surely get published in very good international journals. Thankfully, I was about done with my thesis when this happened. I thanked my advisors for their time and quit my voluntary position in the physics professor lab. I finished writing my thesis, submitted it, got a honorific mention (I remember that only 4 out of 94 graduates that year got one of those), continued my work with a low profile professor in my university and then got a prestigious research prize that allowed me to travel to an international conference where I was given the chance to present my work, where I actually did include my thesis co-advisors as coauthors. The research prize also allowed me to apply to graduate school (the prize was a lot of money) and travel to the interview weekends I was invited to (I'm talking about international travels). Eventually, I got accepted at a top program in my field in the US 🙂
  2. This seems to be for the School of Medicine, which is not the same as the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences 😞 I guess I'll have to wait to July to meet my future comrades! Thanks for the info anyways!
  3. Hello everybody, It seems like the chances that other Mayo Clinic acceptees use this site are pretty low, but I thought I'd give it a try while I can't contain my excitement. I was recently accepted for the Ph.D. Program (Virology and Gene Therapy) at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I know that for my track there were 18 interviewees but only 3 spots. Since there were 3 interview weekends, it's possible that I didn't even get a chance to meet the other acceptees! The official welcome and orientation day is July 1! Are there any other acceptees over here (from any track)?
  4. I can only talk for Virology, they sent their acceptances on Monday last week. I also know that for BMEP the Admissions Committee was having a meeting on Tuesday last week. I think most tracks' Admissions Committees met last week to rank their applicants and send their offers of admission.
  5. Wait what? This can happen? How did you not get a visa after securing admission? Did the embassy tell you why they rejected your visa? ?
  6. Hey there! I did contact them again and received this email from them on 1/3/2019: "Thank you for contacting the BBSP at UNC Chapel Hill. We have sent out all of our initial invites for interviews at UNC. We do have a waiting list and the offers to those on this list should go out by mid-January. If you have not heard from us by mid-January it is likely that you will not receive an interview offer for the 2019-2020 school year. Thank you for your interest in the BBSP at UNC Chapel Hill. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns." I submitted my application one day before the priority deadline (11/26/2018). Honestly, I don't think they will contact me and I was probably rejected already. I think the process was a bit unfair since my application was only complete to be reviewed on 12/14/2018 because of the slowest TOEFL score matching process ever. Seriously, every other place I applied to matched my scores in 5 days max. By the time my application was ready to be reviewed, UNC had already sent many interview invites. As an international applicant, I personally see this as a red flag. Other places replied promptly to my every concern as an international applicant. To all of them, I manifested my interest and availability to attend in-person interviews in case I qualified for admission visits. Mayo sent me an interview invite on 12/13/2018...before my UNC application was even ready to be reviewed! So yeah, definitely a red flag. I honestly wouldn't wanna be part of a place that puts international students in disadvantage for things that are out of our control. Best of luck!
  7. Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences: 02/07 - 02/10
  8. OMG LOL this made me laugh so much. Btw I think I need help I'm just going through this entire page while I wait for news on my applications...
  9. 2 out of the 4 programs I applied to in the US don't require GRE
  10. YES! Currently, I'm just waiting for interview invitations from the places I applied to. So I did it, I applied to doctoral programs despite people in general being discouraging and not understanding why I want a PhD. For context, I recently finished my undergraduate program in biomedical engineering in a top university in Colombia. The academic culture here is VERY different from that of the US (I can compare the two because I've been involved in academic life in both places). In Colombia, most people stop at undergraduate level education (if they get any). If they choose to go further, most of them do "specializations", which are 6-12 months programs that are valid only in Colombia. Others, however, go for a masters degree, which is very costly and of course time-consuming. I guess many of the same worries some people in academia have in the US can be seen in Colombia as well at this level: "Will I get a job if I have only professional titles instead of experience?", "Will I be overqualified?", "When will I start making money if I keep investing even what I don't have in more education?", "Will there be a job market for me?", and the list goes on. All of this is just for the masters level! Now imagine you want to pursue a PhD. If you want to do this in Colombia, then you're probably gonna have to pay a lot of money (yes, most doctoral positions in Colombia are not paid, you are the one who pays and it's not cheap). On top of that, the job market really is discouraging, you will likely be overqualified and end up having to leave the country. Besides, in Colombia, people use to think that you cannot get a PhD without a masters degree (I know professors here who don't accept PhD students unless they have a masters degree), which makes the academia lifepath even more expensive and time-consuming than I personally think it needs to be. All of this being said, just imagine the look on the faces of people when I was just finishing my undergraduate program and told them that I was applying to doctoral programs in the US. "But you don't have a masters degree", "Are you ready to make a decision that will affect the rest of your life?", "Isn't that too expensive?", "What if you get in and then you don't like it?", "Are you sure you're qualified for that?", and the list goes on... I had a very close friend who seemed to really enjoy going against my desire of pursuing a PhD and doing so just after finishing my undergraduate degree. This friend used to say that doing a masters first was better because that would give you more experience and increase your chances of being accepted into a PhD program. This friend also used to say that it was pointless applying to top-level doctoral programs because we're just recent undergrads from a third-world country and we just don't have the set of skills or the mindset to get into any of those miserably competitive programs. Another thing this friend used to talk about a lot was how expensive just applying was: GRE is over $200, TOEFL is also over $200, then you have to ask for transcripts which are around $70, then sending everything is a lot of money as well, and on top of that you have to pay the application fees; this friend also used to say that if you get an interview it's better if you personally go there, which means international airplane tickets and, of course, a Visa if you don't already have one. I won't deny that it is indeed very expensive applying to graduate school abroad as an international student. But that was honestly my problem, not my friend's, and not anyone else's. Sadly, friends were not the only ones that seemed to try to discourage me (I like to think that people did this unconsciously). One time, my parents told me that they were not happy with my decision of applying to more than 1 doctoral program. They didn't understand why I was applying to places that were not the University of Kentucky, my "safe" place, where I did a 1-year internship. Fortunately, I worked as a tutor and my city's Town Hall funded me...and I also got help from an amazing American friend who blindly believed in me, so my parents didn't have to spend a cent on my applications. Money can really be a straitjacket, or better yet the lack of it. Thankfully, I managed. Not everything was discouragement though! People whose opinions I really cared about encouraged me to apply to doctoral programs ASAP! This includes my research advisors in the US and in Colombia, I'm talking about PI's, postdocs, professors or group leaders. Logically, I chose to listen to them, which is partly the reason why I ended up applying. As for the pointlessness of applying to top-level doctoral programs, I think that was pure BS (sorry). I decided to apply to the Mayo Clinic's PhD Program. I recently got an email inviting me to interview weekend in February. Yes, I am personally traveling to the US for all interviews, thanks to my city's Town Hall who also chose to believe in me instead of being like "No way, PhD's are too expensive and not for you". I'm sure I'll struggle with some things, but so what, I'm choosing a PhD not because it's easy. Graduate school is where I wanna be and nothing's gonna stop me. I think discouragement only encouraged me even more
  11. I connected my Facebook to The GradCafe so that I could post things because I'm a little lazy with accounts and stuff. Why does everybody here use nicknames instead of their full names? Does anybody connect their Facebook to this site?
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