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Randi S

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About Randi S

  • Rank
    Espresso Shot
  • Birthday September 28

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  • Pronouns
  • Interests
    sexual violence, feminist theory, gender conformity/traditional gender roles
  • Application Season
    2020 Fall
  • Program
    Social/Developmental Psychology

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  1. Yes, try to contact the grad coordinator for the programs you are interested in and ask. Many Pysch programs require a set of undergrad psychology classes, including a methods class, prior to admission. You may be able to take those through a local community college between now and next year to fulfill those requirements.
  2. This. If you want to do therapy with kids or adults, getting an MSW is the shorter, less expensive, less research-intense way to go. A LCSW is fully qualified to diagnose and treat therapeutically. You don't really need a doctoral level degree unless assessments are your long term goal. There are a multitude of MSW programs out there, and they may be much easier to apply and matriculate to than a PsyD or PhD.
  3. Ha! Stalking is a good word for it, isn't it? For me, I emailed my PI after reading through her more recent papers and asked her questions about her results and methods - full disclosure, I was also completing my honors thesis, and her papers were among my sources for my lit review, so I was pretty deep into the topic For other PIs that I did not end up going with, I read up, and had a handful of intelligent questions about their work, future directions, etc. All but one of the PIs I reached out to was very quick to respond, and more than willing to discuss their work. After I had established a conversation about their work, AND after I had confirmed at the university's website that they were anticipating taking on a student for the Fall (where possible, not every school does this), I shared that I would be applying, what some of my ideas for future studies were, and asked if they would like to see my current CV for review. In general, the profs were all very honest and upfront. My main takeaway would be, do the work to get familiar with their projects, and open with talking about their research. Make it clear that you are very interested in what makes them passionate. That way when you get around to asking about taking you on as a student, they are familiar with you, and you have established some rapport, you're not just another random email in their over crowded inbox! Oh! and don't wait til Fall to email. If you wait, your email could very likely get lost among the other hundred potential grad students AND all the other regular correspondence they get. I emailed potential PIs starting late Spring/early Summer (so, like, right now!), and it really did give me a leg up at application and interview time.
  4. Hey there. Your application is VERY competitive, on paper. Great job My only advise would be to remember that research match is the single most important factor in getting accepted. It doesn't matter how awesome your CV is, if you are not a great research match with the PI, you are very likely not going to get invited to interview, or get an acceptance. So make sure you are doing the networking now to establish relationships at the universities you want to apply to, and you do an amazing job writing personal statements that reflect how well your research interests matches up with the PI you apply to work with. It's all about research fit, and who you have established relationships with. Good luck!
  5. Check with each grad school's requirements - when I was applying, most of the schools on my list only allowed you to apply to one program per application season. So, I couldn't apply to both the PhD and Masters programs at the same school.
  6. As far as filling basic psych requirements and helping you pass the Psych GRE, yes, the classes through a fully accredited state university like ASU should suffice. Many universities are offering online BS/BA degrees now. Just don't waste money on classes through one of those online for-profit unis like U of Phoenix
  7. You may want to look for programs that focus on health disparities - UNC Greensboro has several profs who research health disparities, cultural influences, etc, for example. Otherwise, I would strongly suggest you go to the literature, and see who is writing about the topics you are interested in, and then track back to their university and see if they are taking students. Good luck!
  8. I spoke to my PI about this Fall, we haven't made any official decisions about Fall yet apparently, but I was told that whether it's online or f2f, all grad students are expected to relocate to the area and be available as of Aug 15.
  9. Honestly, probably not a good idea to apply until you've taken the basic psych courses first. Maybe you could take those online from home for now, and find a position somewhere that would give you some clinical exposure in the meantime so you make a more attractive candidate. Also, online counseling programs tend to be less than top quality. Many people get online degrees and then realize they can't pass the licensure exams, and/or can't find a clinical placement to get the hours in pre-graduation, because all the local places have established relationships with other, face-to-face programs. I would strongly recommend taking the psych classes and prepping for the application process in a year or two, and then find a program you are willing to complete in person. Just my two cents
  10. You can go about it a couple ways, but in general, the same way you would a POI. Get to know their work first, most schools post info about their grad students on webpages somewhere. I aimed to talk to people who were at least 2-3 years in, to get a real feel for the culture and attitudes there. Universally, I had no problems getting grad students to talk to me. Yes, they are busy, but I never had to wait more than a few days for an initial response, and once we started talking they were pretty quick to respond. And none of them had any problems shooting straight, you know? I had a couple of f2f-style Zoom meetings with some, which was a nice way to build familiarity. They also were my "inside" when I went for visits or interviews - they all freely gave tips on how to interview well, who likes what, things to think about, and I already had a friendly face on campus when I toured, so it was very much like already being part of a team. Grad students are an under-utlilized resource in this process, I think!
  11. All of this Research fit is everything. Every. Thing. It doesn't matter how awesome your GRE score is, or if you have a half dozen presentations on your CV, if the research fit isn't there, you're not likely to get an interview, much less an offer. Relationships are next. No one likes to hear it, but it's true in life, and it's true in applying for grad school. Reach out to POIs well before the application cycle starts. Don't wait to email til you submit your application. When you do reach out, have something to talk about besides asking if they will be accepting a student. Do your research, read a few of their papers, find out what they study and indentify how it matches to your interests. Have a couple of intelligent questions about their studies to ask. Be able to carry a conversation. Talk to your letter writers well in advance too. Discuss the program and POI with them, and make sure they are going to write the glowing letters you need. Give them every tool you can to write the best possible letter - your CV at the very least, but maybe they could use some descriptions of the research you've been doing, or the populations you want to work with, anything to give them some real depth to write about Talk to grad students in the programs you want to apply to, before you apply. I was able to remove a couple programs from my list before I paid all the monies to apply after chatting with grad students and getting their perspective on the department, lab or university culture. This also helped me prepare for interviews and visits, because I already had a friendly face who was somewhat invested in seeing me do well. Grad students see everything, take advantage of that. When you get an interview: Be social and friendly, but not obnoxious. Get to know the other candidates. You never know who might end up in your cohort, but you also should remember that academia isn't that big - you will likely be bumping into these people again and again in other places. Don't leave a bad taste in their mouth because you feel the need to be uber-competitive. As for the actual application materials- write them, set them aside, and then revise them. And then do it again . Go to your mentors, your letter writers, a trusted GA, and ask them to tear it up for you and make suggestions. Then seriously consider their suggested edits - after all, they clearly made it into grad school, so something must have worked right Before you submit your personal statement, have someone outside of your field read it. Does it make sense to them? Does it read intelligently? Most importantly, does it "sound" like you? Your personal statement needs to be an accurate reflection of your personality as well as your research interests. A personal statement that is painful to read will get your application sent right to the garbage bin. Oh! And don't accept an offer that is not fully funded, at least not for PhDs! If they want you, they will pay for you. Don't sell yourself short. You are a brilliant scientist with worthy ideas, and do not settle for less than fully funded. There is no reason to take on tens of thousands in debt (in America at least) for a job that will very likely never pay you that much! This process is emotionally grueling, not to mention expensive. Don't waste money and energy on programs that aren't a great fit, have a difficult culture, or won't communicate with you. You're going to spend the next 4-6 years with these people, so set yourself up for success from the get-go.
  12. Yeah, no.... None of the schools I applied to/interviewed at wanted students to pay a deposit upon accepting enrollment. Now, all of them do require students to pay a small amount of fees each semester (tuition waived), but those are just paid each semester. Maybe deposits are required for students that aren't receiving tuition waivers?
  13. i agree - you can always ask for an extension, and maybe with all the COVID weirdness School A might be open to it. But, it would be extremely poor taste to accept School A and then ask them to release you after April 15. This pandemic won't last forever, and the psychology network isn't that big. You don't want to That Person who backed out of an offer after the April 15 deadline. All schools know the deadline for acceptance is April 15, so I'm really surprised that School B is telling you that interviews won't happen til after that. If you're really not feeling the research at School A, decline the offer and see what happens with School B. The wait lists are long, and with schools cutting back on enrollment for Fall, someone else out there would most likely gratefully snap up your spot in a heartbeat.
  14. Hey! I'm also moving across country, though not for the first time. When thinking about what to pack, my main suggestion is purge, purge, then purge again! Don't move anything you haven't worn, used, etc in the past 12 months (or less). As for furniture and such, do a little research into moving costs - it may be cheaper to replace your furniture when you get where you're going vs moving it. If you can, I would say email a current grad student or two wherever you are headed and ask about things like technology requirements, or suggestions about where to live, shop, etc. They are more likely to respond sooner, and have a better idea about how to live on the stipend Congrats on your acceptance!
  15. So true. I'm coming from the Midwest, and what I pay $900 for here is well over $2000 in the less expensive parts of Miami. I have friends out in Cali and in NYC and I would never want to pay those rents! I'm glad it's a positive for you!
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