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ViralCapsidGuy

Members
  • Content Count

    17
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About ViralCapsidGuy

  • Rank
    Decaf

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Man
  • Pronouns
    He
  • Location
    International
  • Interests
    Virology
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Biomedical Sciences

Recent Profile Visitors

208 profile views
  1. ViralCapsidGuy

    I do not have a plan B

    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? ?
  2. ViralCapsidGuy

    UNC-Chapel Hill MSW 19Fall

    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!
  3. ViralCapsidGuy

    Disconnect GradCafe from Facebook

    @TGCA thank you! I PMed you with my old account (ViralCapsidGuy), giving you the display name of my new account.
  4. ViralCapsidGuy

    Disconnect GradCafe from Facebook

    I need help with this too! I created this account via my Facebook, and even though I don't have my real name displayed here, if I do a search on Google with my name + "thegradcafe" my profile "ViralCapsidGuy" comes up...which, of course, I do not want!
  5. ViralCapsidGuy

    Fall 2019 PhD Interview Dates Summary

    Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences: 02/07 - 02/10
  6. ViralCapsidGuy

    Favorite Rejection Quotes from the Results Page

    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...
  7. ViralCapsidGuy

    Favorite Rejection Quotes from the Results Page

    2 out of the 4 programs I applied to in the US don't require GRE
  8. ViralCapsidGuy

    Favorite Rejection Quotes from the Results Page

    WTF OMG this made my day! Thank you hahahaha
  9. ViralCapsidGuy

    Did anyone tried to discourage you from pursuing a PhD?

    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
  10. 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?
  11. ViralCapsidGuy

    Post here to get your worries off your chest

    Worries: I'm an international student, which statistically speaking makes it more difficult for me to get into any program in the US. My GRE scores are mediocre (Verbal 73% / Quantitative 50% / Writing 41%). Out my 3 letters of recommendation, one is from a local professor who is not a doctor. I have 0 scientific publications at peer-reviewed journals. From the hardest to the easiest to get into (according to current publicly available statistics) the places I applied to are: Mayo Clinic, Northwestern University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Kentucky. I am afraid that elite programs such as those at the Mayo Clinic and Northwestern aren't even gonna bother looking at the application of a recent undergrad from Colombia. Excitement: I am an international student with a very good TOEFL iBT score (116/120), which levels me with local applicants on that matter. Out of the 4 places I applied to, only 2 require GRE scores (the University of Kentucky, and the Mayo Clinic). The average percentile of accepted applicants at the University of Kentucky is 50%, so I'm good, and I was already invited to the first interview weekend at the Mayo Clinic! My GRE scores don't keep me up at night me anymore. I think my letters of recommendation are very good, they all offer different perspectives into my worth as a potential graduate student, even that of the local professor. Even though I have 0 publications, I have given 11 poster presentations/scientific talks. I have 1 poster award. I've contributed to funded NIH grant proposals. I have conducted research in Colombia, the United States, and South Korea. I graduated with honors. I was awarded a distinctive research award by my city's Town Hall. I've talked to professors from Mayo, Northwestern, Kentucky, and other people with doctorates that I look up to, and they've genuinely told me that they are impressed by what I did just in undergrad and that they believe I have a very good chance of getting into the programs I applied to...The thing that excites me the most right now is, as I already mentioned it, the fact that I got called for an interview at Mayo Clinic! I seriously didn't think I would be called because Mayo is such a competitive place. But yay I'm personally gonna be there on February. I guess I did something right! One more thing that excites me: I'm presenting a poster at the Physical Virology GRC in Ventura, CA on January, before "interview month" (February is interview month in my mind), and I'll have the chance to personally meet one of my POI's from Northwestern ... *excited*
  12. ViralCapsidGuy

    That awkward moment when...

    You are checking one of your 4 already submitted applications and you notice that in one of them you assigned to your most important research experience the description of a meh summer session instead of the actual description...OOPS
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