juilletmercredi

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juilletmercredi last won the day on October 22 2016

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About juilletmercredi

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    Cup o' Joe
  • Birthday 07/09/1986

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  1. It is a factual statement that people of color are underrepresented in history. For example, only 4.6% of the history PhD recipients in 2015 were black (and only 7.7% were Hispanic/Latino). The academics who study slavery and African-American issues are a minority in history as a whole.
  2. researching a disease you have

    Your motivation needs to be a genuine scientific interest in the unique research/scientific challenges and questions that this particular disease provides, and not only an interest in trying to solve some of the problems or cure the disease yourself. Otherwise you'll be super frustrated.
  3. Qualitative and Quantitative Jack of All Trades ???

    It's quite possible. One of my friends did a dissertation with both a quantitative and qualitative component. (My advisor wanted me to do one, too, but I refused because I knew it would take me a lot longer to finish.) My department also required both qual and quant training. I originally took the qual training kicking and screaming, as I was a quant person all the way and only wanted to do quant work. It ended up being really useful in my eventual non-academic job, where I am one of the few people on my team formally trained in qualitative research methods and serve as the expert on it.
  4. Tips for transferring to another PhD program?

    Yes, most of the time changing programs isn't so much 'transferring' as it is simply leaving one program and starting over somewhere else. Usually when you are coming from one PhD program what you need is a strong recommendation from some faculty in that program. This will be doubly true for you since your undergrad advisor is now your doctoral advisor. So at some point, when you're ready and have decided for sure, you will need to tell her that you are planning to leave the program so you can secure a letter from her. It probably would also be good to get at least one other letter of recommendation from someone in your department who knows your work and can verify that you are not leaving the department because you didn't get along well with others or do good work. (The third letter can be someone from your undergrad, but having a third one from your current department wouldn't hurt either.) Typically when you are explaining why you want to switch programs, addressing fit is fine but the fit needs to be research/professional fit. So you would frame it in terms of trying to find a better fit for the research and professional interests you have - more faculty support in Area Y, more coursework, a special program or concentration in that area, whatever. So basically, a polished up version of reason #2, with parts of reason #2 (particularly the lack of autonomy in your research interests). Reason #1 is a good reason to leave a program but not the kind that you talk about in your statement of purpose. Consistent 14-hour days is a ridiculous and unrealistic expectation. The way you do it is frame it in terms of what you want, rather than what you are running away from. So if you don't have enough autonomy in selecting your research interests, you say something like "I am interested in Department X because of the flexibility and autonomy that students have in designing their own research programs and interests" or whatever.
  5. It's not true that you should NEVER talk about any negative issues in your personal statement - if there were a string of bad grades in through your junior year, or a gap in your studies due to time taken off, sometimes not addressing it will raise more questions. There's a finesse to these things. However, I agree with the first comment that this is something you absolutely don't need to address. You have a very high GPA and are otherwise a strong candidate, and a few Bs and Cs in your freshman year are not the kind of thing you want to try to explain or even need to.
  6. First of all, there are other ways to become licensed and qualified to help people with mental illnesses other than a PhD in clinical psychology. You can get a master's in mental health counseling or a master's in social work and becoming a licensed clinical social worker. Most mental health therapists are actually master's degree-holding professionals. That aside, you are in a pretty unique position and really, your best advice is going to be talking to some clinical psych professors at departments you might be interested in attending. Clinical psychology is very competitive - as competitive or more competitive than medical school admissions, depending on the year. The typical competitive applicant for top clinical psych programs has a high undergrad GPA (3.6-3.7+), 2 years of psych or closely related research experience in undergrad PLUS an additional 1-3 years of psychology research experience as a lab manager, research coordinator, or research assistant/associate after college; and usually, some experience doing clinical volunteering at a mental health clinic or hospital. The research experience doesn't have to be clinical psych in nature, although it can help. I think how competitive you can be depends really on how you pitch yourself and what your interests are. If you have research interests that lie at the intersection of biology and clinical psychology, and are applying to programs where there are faculty doing that kind of research, then you may be competitive right now without any additional preparation. I would imagine that your biggest hurdle would be explaining how you came to be sure that clinical psychology is the field for you, particularly since it sounds like until now you've only read about it. You can mitigate that concern by learning more. For example, is there a clinical psychology PhD program in your university? Learn more about it, talk to the students, maybe some professors. You can do this casually without revealing that you want to switch, at least at first - visit some lab meetings or maybe get involved in a project or if the opportunity arises. If your research interests are completely unrelated to biology and are a complete switch, then you may run into some additional difficulty without further experience. One thing I do want you to be wary about is that if you are a scientist in academia doing research, you're not necessarily any 'closer' to helping people with mental illnesses in psychology than you are in biology. Doing research as a clinical scientist in academia is similar in concept to benchwork - not actually at a bench, but similar in that it's a super academic field that doesn't necessarily have direct impact on clinical practice or policy unless you take the kind of job where it does. So before you do make the switch you need to get super clear about what kind of career you want and whether your ideas line up realistically with what's actually out there. Again, talk to or observe some of the psych professors at your current university. Or, if you have the funds, visiting an American Psychological Association convention may be a good way to talk to a lot of psychologists and go to panels where you hear about academic and research psychology. The next one is August 2018 in San Francisco. There are also regional psychological associations (like the Southeastern Psychological Association or the Western Psychological Association) and APA divisions (Division 12 is the Society for Clinical Psychology) that meet in smaller conferences outside of the big APA one. But yeah, this is something that will require a personal touch and communication with the appropriate PIs.
  7. I actually think your assumption is incorrect in another way. It doesn't actually strengthen your application in any impactful way to have a light-touch, cold-open communication with a professor. Most professors get dozens of emails between August and October from students who hope to be admitted to their PhD programs. Without an actual relationship with you - some standpoint from which they can judge your work or conclude that your prior GPA doesn't reflect your actual abilities - why would they go to bat for you? This is something you can't easily come to understand simply from some cursory emails. Are you applying to PhD programs or MA programs? You may need to try for MA programs first, and/or try volunteering in a lab/research group if you re in the sciences.
  8. Overlap in degree programs

    ^Yes, the above. You can answer many research questions from different fields; often what differs is the kind of approach that you take and the methods you use to investigate it. It's also possible that in the same application season you may apply to multiple different kinds of programs: so at one university maybe you apply to the social work PhD whereas at another you apply for the communications PhD program, based on the professors and resources and other factors. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you have a good personal reason for each and every program you apply to. Another pragmatic consideration, particularly if you want an academic career, is where you will teach. Although this is changing, it's often easier for people in disciplines (e.g., sociology, psychology, political science) to get jobs than it is for people with interdisciplinary PhDs (communications, social policy, etc.) The rationale is that while a communications department would hire, say, someone with a PhD in political science who studied political communication, a PhD in communication would be a hard sell in a political science department. Most universities won't let you design your own PhD program, BUT most PhD programs are pretty flexible. A social work PhD student could easily take courses and do research with professors in criminology or communications as it suited their needs. In fact, it may be a good idea to look for universities that have strong resources in all three fields.
  9. Masters in Clinical Psychology

    1. A master's degree in clinical psychology will NOT license you to practice psychology in the United States. There are MA programs in clinical psychology, but generally speaking they are designed for preparation for PhD programs. If you want to get licensed to practice therapy in the U.S. at the master's level, you want a master's in mental health counseling or a master's of social work (at a program with training to become a licensed clinical social worker.) In clinical psychology, the PhD is the minimum qualification for practice. 2. Yes, it is possible to apply to doctoral degrees straight from undergrad. However, these days the most competitive clinical psychology applicants tend to have 2-3 years of experience after college as a research lab manager or research assistant/associate, either at a university psychology lab or some other organization. 3. Better is subjective. There's really no need to do the master's; personally, when giving advice I would only recommend the master's in a few circumstances. If you have a low undergrad GPA and need to prove that you can achieve at the graduate level, doing a master's may be a good idea. If your undergrad degree was in something other than psychology and you need foundational coursework, a master's may also be a good idea. In some cases, if you are not sure that you want to go all the way to a PhD, doing a master's degree first may illuminate some things. Psychology master's degrees usually are not funded, and they are expensive. Since your major is in psychology, assuming you have a good GPA I'd advise to skip the master's degree and try straight for the PhD (that is, if you know you want one). If you are lacking research experience, you can work as a research assistant/associate/coordinator after college to prep. 4. A PhD is a type of doctoral degree. Other types of doctoral degrees are PsyD, MD, JD, ScD, DO, DDs, PharmD, DrPH, DNP, DPT, AuD, you get the picture. The list goes on. All PhDs have doctoral degrees, but not all doctoral degree holders have PhDs. 5. Some programs do. Check each program's website to see if they require the Psychology GRE.
  10. What to infer from professors' replies?

    Yeah, don't read too much into this. It's a social nicety reply - it means nothing about your chances of admission, only that you have interests that overlap with the professors' and maybe an interesting profile. They're all pretty neutral in valence - maybe "your profile looks good" is slightly positive. Also, of course really reputed programs still need to promote and recruit students.
  11. ever feel like you're wasting away your youth?

    I definitely did feel like I was wasting my youth in grad school - I started when I was 22 and finished right after I turned 28. Part of that was because I didn't have a good understanding of what it meant to be my 30s (meaning I thought, at the time, that 30 sounded impossibly old). Part of that was because my friends who didn't go to grad school were doing the same thing, especially all of my friends in our school's master's program who graduated when I was a second or third year and started having real work lives and more free time than me. In fact, some of my friends started after me and finished before me (I became friends with a different set of master's students in the beginning of my fourth year of grad school. But part of that was me, and at the beginning of my fifth year I made the conscious decision to slow down, prioritize my non-work life and enjoy my twenties. Best decision I ever made - my fifth and sixth years of my doctoral program were way better for me, mentally, than any of the other years in grad school. I taught myself to bake; I started running; I deepened some friendships and made some new ones; I explored New York much more fully than I had since my first year in graduate school; I took a few trips with some friends. You have to pace yourself and remind yourself that you're a human, and this is your real life and the only shot you've got. Now I'm 31, and most of the time I think the delayed gratification was worth it. My PhD led me to an excellent job I couldn't really have without it, and I love my job and my new city and the friends and lifestyle that I can afford now. The 20s are overrated; the 30s are really where it's at. That's not to say that you should ignore your comfort and happiness for the sake of your PhD (see above). In fact, I have mixed feelings about whether I would do it all over again, given the chance. There are some things that I regret not doing with my 20s - like taking a few years off before graduate school to live abroad, maybe on a Fulbright or something.
  12. Leaving PhD program - reasons and advice

    ^I came to see the same thing as above. The departments and professional spaces you move in will only become less and less diverse as you climb the ladder. We PhDs of color are pioneers, and part of what comes with the territory is that we're often the only one in the space. There won't be more of us unless more of us continue to get the education and move up. I'm going to be frank and say that while as a black woman I totally understand wanting to be in a place with lots of other people of color if we can choose it, I think sometimes we also need to shed the expectation that there WILL be lots of people of color especially in industries in which we are severely underrepresented, like academia. Somebody's got to be the first. That said, though, there's no saying that the first has got to be you, especially if it's negatively affecting your mental health. Before you attempt to leave I'd see if you could visit a counselor and get your mental health in order enough to stay where you are, if you like it otherwise. But if you're still feeling bad enough that you can't stand it, there's no shame in leaving. Also, one of the directors in my department disliked me for some reason (I barely interacted with her. I'm not imagining it either, as my advisor, a few other professors, and several classmates commented on her particular dislike for me). I ignored her, did my work, fulfilled the requirements that were set down, graduated with my degree and kept it pushing. Unless the director is actively creating a toxic environment for you, you can do the same.
  13. Share Your Story

    But that's not what she said. It is true that most of the people who tend to go to graduate school tend to have been smart kids who achieved near the top of their class at some point - because those are literally some of the qualifications for getting into graduate school. Furthermore, the point of her comment doesn't seem to have been to denigrate those who didn't get honors in high school. The point is that by the time you make it to grad school (or to college, frankly), nobody really cares about your honors from high school (or lack thereof) and bragging about it seems crass and annoying.
  14. Which car is the best suitable for new drivers

    I'm not sure that there's any particular make or model that's especially good for "new drivers." One set of things you may want to consider are safety features that help people (especially new drivers), like rearview cameras and/or sensors, collision avoidance, warning, or mitigation systems, lane departure warning systems, etc. Those do tend to drive up the price of the car and are only found on later-model cars that tend to be more money (rear view/backup cameras are a bit older). I've read that midsized sedans are recommended for new drivers (think Toyota Camrys, Honda Accords, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima, etc.) They're big enough to offer safety protection in a collision but not big enough to worry about handling or rollover like SUVs. Some sources also recommend small SUVs (like the Honda HR-V or CR-V, Mazda CX-3 or CX-5, etc.) for the same reasons. Several outlets advised against smaller cars because of less protection. I would also take this advice with a grain of salt. I'm willing to wager that most new drivers probably get compact sedans (Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla) or midsized sedans and do just fine. This Edmund's article recommends some cars that they say are the best for new drivers, but I think the list is subjective: https://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/top-10/10-best-cars-for-teen-drivers.html. Keep in mind that outlets like Edmund's and U.S. News are trying to sell cars (and new cars, especially) and some of them have advertisement deals with certain marques. I like Consumer Reports' more comprehensive list a bit better, and I think for money's sake you can probably look at older models of these same cars as well: https://www.consumerreports.org/new-cars/best-new-cars-for-teens/ I drive a Nissan Sentra. It was the first car I drove on a regular/daily basis, and I bought it when I was essentially a new driver (I had been licensed for several years but only drove sporadically before now). It's fine. It has a backup camera but no sensors, which I wish I had when I was newer but don't really need now. A forward collision warning and/or mitigation system (where the car either warns you when you are about to hit something in front of you, or warns you AND applies brakes if you get too close) is also a nice touch for a newbie learning to drive, especially when you're first calibrating how to slow your car down to a stop behind other cars particularly in stop and go traffic or in places with lots of stoplights. It takes a bit of trial and error to learn how to slow your car down to the desired speed without yamming on the brakes all the time.
  15. Why do you come (What keeps you coming back) to the Grad Cafe?

    I came to GradCafe when I was applying for graduate school, back in late 2007/early 2008. I had heard from someone that there was a place where you could see people's stats and whether or not they were accepted to the same programs you applied to. I (correctly) guessed that there wouldn't be many for my program, and the information wasn't super useful to me anyway, but I did find the forums (apparently in late 2008) and have been here ever since. For me, it's about the community. I've been a member and more or less active on the forums since 2008 when I joined...in the beginning it was connecting with other nervous new grad students and learning about grad school from advanced students; as I got more advanced myself, I wanted to give more advice - about applying, about navigating graduate school, about finding funding, about surviving to the end. I remember when I searched the Internet for each of these topics it was really hard to find that information provided by anyone else and so I wanted to connect with others who could use at least one perspective. Now I've finished my PhD and a postdoc and work as an industry scientist, but I'm still drawn to come back. Part of it is the same - providing that support and advice for students and those making the transition. I've got a new perspective as someone who has successfully secured both a postdoc and a job, and I've got a less common perspective as an industry scientist who has made the jump from academia to industry (which is not as uncommon as people might think! There are tons of us!) Sometimes in advice forums and communities the ones who have "made it" tend to leave and I wanted to be a presence along with some of the other old heads who are done and working in our careers.