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juilletmercredi

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juilletmercredi last won the day on July 30 2019

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About juilletmercredi

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    Cup o' Joe
  • Birthday 07/09/1986

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    Working in industry

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  1. I know this question is a few months old, but still going to answer in case someone finds it useful. I went to Columbia for graduate school; for three years I lived in off-campus housing in Washington Heights and then for three years I lived in campus housing in Morningside Heights. Morningside Heights is very much dominated by Columbia - there's a 10-block radius from 110th St to 120th St, between Broadway and Morningside Dr (and, to a certain extent, extending to Riverside Dr) that feels like Columbia's campus/neighborhood. I am a woman and I always joked that I've walked outside in Morningside Heights every one of the 24 hours of the day, and I never felt unsafe. Public Safety is very good, and I got to know some of the officers and infrastructure at Columbia and I always felt completely equipped to reach out if I needed help from campus police. I never had to, though (not for myself...I worked in student services.). Actually, because I worked in student services I actually had exposure to the sorts of incidents that happen around Columbia's campus, and there's virtually never any violent crime against Columbia affiliates. I walked home from lab (or the libraries) late all the time. Living in grad student housing, IMO, is the way to go. You'd be hard-pressed to find an apartment anywhere in the city for the same price you can get it through Columbia, and if you can, it's likely further away than the grad student housing. I lived and attended school there from 2008-2014, so likely some things have changed, but for context: I split a 2-bedroom with one other person for $1850 a month on 172nd St. and Haven Ave., in Washington Heights, four blocks away from the Columbia University Medical Center and about a 20-minute subway ride to the main Columbia campus in Morningside Heights. (I was a dual PhD student - 50% public health at CUMC, 50% psychology at the main campus). We each paid $925, and it was a pretty decent-sized apartment by New York standards. Later, I moved into a Columbia graduate housing two-room studio (bedroom, bathroom, and another room that had the kitchen in it but also our desk) with my husband, who attended GS, on 119th and Amsterdam. I'd guess it was around 600 sqft? If that? We paid $1400/month for it. There is no way in hell you'd find a studio in Morningside Heights for that price. Both were in walking distance to a ton of restaurants, grocery stores, bars, and other amenities, and had two subway stops in close reach. When I was living there 5-6 years ago, the prices in Inwood and Washington Heights were rising but were pretty much the only neighborhoods left in Manhattan where you could expect to find prices comparable to Columbia's graduate housing (perhaps with the exception of some parts of Harlem, like East Harlem and Hamilton Heights). Otherwise, you were kind of stuck either going into the Bronx (which very few Columbia students do) or into Brooklyn (which more do, but you have to go pretty far out into Brooklyn to get something affordable these days. Which is baffling in and of itself - my mom grew up in Brooklyn in the 60s and 70s, and she's baffled that anyone wants to live there now, lol). There are also some further neighborhoods in Queens that might be more affordable...but they're going to be relatively deep into Queens.
  2. Personally, I'd consider about 7-10 years out to still be relevant. Because of tenure, academic departments are slower to change than many other institutions. If you're observing that from 2004-2010 graduates were placing into top departments but then - suddenly or gradually - after 2010 the prestige of those placements started to decline...that's data. Something changed.
  3. I work in this field. It's called human-computer interaction, or user experience research. A rhet/comp degree would be an unusual background; most people who come into this field have social sciences graduate degrees (psychology is common) or computer science-related graduate degrees (you can actually get a PhD in HCI). That's because the research techniques are social sciences methods, and are actually applied versions of psychological methods. However, with some programming skills, you might make a good UX designer. There are also design-adjacent roles like design strategist or technical architect that may work at some firms/companies.
  4. I moved from the Southeast to the Northeast for graduate school, and then from the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest for my first job. The first move is more relevant - much like dippedincoffee, I scaled down significantly; I got all of my belongings into two suitcases. I agree with @dippedincoffee that buying new stuff where you go might be cheaper than shipping things. I looked into shipping my bedroom furniture (really nice stuff) from my home in the Southeast to the Northeast, but it was cheaper for me to buy an inexpensive but still good quality mattress and bed frame in the new location. If you have family that have larger houses, you might consider storing some of your precious but large things with them, and just sending for them when you've moved somewhere a little more permanently. But that also depends on where you're going - if you're going to a small college town you might be able to rent a larger place for relatively cheaply; in a large city, you may have to downsize. Renting a trailer is easy. UHaul and other companies like that rent them out. If your car can tow a trailer, you can get one. Hell, renting a truck is also easy - I did that moving from New York to Pennsylvania for my postdoc. Depending on where you live, you could rent a UHaul truck and park it in front of your place for a little bit, packing it over the course of a week or something. (My partner and I did this, but over only two days.) You could pack it yourself or you could probably pay people to pack it for you, maybe using a service like dolly or Bellhops (although I don't know how feasible that is during the pandemic.)
  5. I think this depends entirely on what the degree is in and what you expect to be doing - and how much money you expect to me making - after you graduate. If this was an MBA or an MPP or an MPA, I'd say that $70K isn't bad. That's how much good programs in those fields cost; they're prestige-driven fields, which means that a prestigious (expensive) degree can translate into a better job and higher earnings. But most importantly, I think a new graduate in those fields can expect to make a salary that's at least in that general range, and so would be able to repay that kind of salary without going hungry. An MBA from Harvard or Columbia or Chicago, for example, could expect to make $100-150K+ depending on where they go afterwards, with a good salary outlook from there on. MPA graduates from top schools can expect $70-80K to start. But if it's an MSW, or an MEd? That changes things. The typical social worker, even with an MSW, may start in the $45-55K range, and may struggle to repay a $70K loan balance. A teacher with a master's degree is also probably not going to be making $70K for several more years - and if they are, they're probably living in some of the more expensive cities in the country. Those are also not fields that care overly much about prestige, so getting a Columbia MEd may not net you a higher salary or a better job than getting one from your local public university (with the exception of teaching at prestigious private/independent schools, perhaps).
  6. If you have no research background, I think you'll find it difficult to get admitted to a PhD program. PhD programs - including this one at UBC - are primarily research degrees. Professors want to know that you know what you're getting yourself into, and that you truly enjoy research, are passionate about a specific area and are ready to commit 5 to 7 years of your life studying it. They also want to know that you're going to be useful in their research group, because they need you to do research for them. Another way to put this is...how do you even know you want to do a PhD if you have no research experience? Publications are a nice cherry on top, and I believe in some natural and physical sciences fields they've become increasingly important even for undergraduates applying to graduate school (which is insane to me). In the social sciences, they're still not necessarily expected, but they do demonstrate that you are capable of doing one of the core competencies of a researcher. They can help make up for weaknesses in other areas, too.
  7. There's really no minimum. Generally, when people say that, they're referring to two years of part-time experience as a research assistant - the junior and senior years of college, probably somewhere in the 10 to 20 hour per week range. But there's really no minimum - the impact of what you did in that time matters more, as well as what you learned and how well you express it. One student may be able to get admitted straight from undergrad with two years of part-time research experience, where another student needs to work full-time for three years after college to get into a program. Eight to ten schools is pretty average. You should shoot for the highest GRE score you can get. Don't take it more than twice, though; it's not really worth it. Get the highest score you can aim for, and then build yourself up in other areas - the GRE is probably the least important component of your application. (In psychology, a good target to aim for is a 155+ in each section.)
  8. As was mentioned, virtually all deadlines for PhD programs have passed; in fact, the decision deadline for most PhD programs has passed. Most programs will have their incoming cohorts set right now. The pandemic will only exacerbate things; even the few programs that have rolling admissions may be tightening their belts. Talk to the Director of Graduate Studies at your department first. There may be other professors in the department who have funding - either you could work as an RA in their labs, or the department may be able to cobble together some support for you. Also chat with your advisor; he may not have any additional funding for you but it's also partially his responsibility to help you find new funding so you can continue. You should also get comfortable with the idea of taking an official leave of absence from the program and trying to find employment, even if temporarily, in the interim.
  9. I got my PhD in psychology from Columbia (from GSAS, not from TC). It's not putting down another program to factually state that the psychology programs at Teachers College are not as well-regarded as other top psychology programs; it's just factual. That doesn't mean that the program is not good; or that OP should not go there. It just means the program is not as prestigious. It's important to go into any program with one's eyes open about where one's program stands relative to other ones, as unfortunately it does matter in placement (especially in academic placement.) Most rankings of clinical psychology programs demonstrate that TC's program, while good and a great fit for many students, isn't necessarily considered prestigious. In the U.S. News rankings, clinical psychology at TC is ranked in the 70s. It is also true that clinical and counseling psychology doctoral students at TC are not always funded, and when they are funded, it's not always fully. I knew some unfunded students in those programs. I also knew students who were funded; they had lower stipends than the students in most other doctoral programs across Columbia, including in the humanities and social sciences. They also were not eligible for a lot of the internal funding/fellowships that other doctoral students at Columbia could get because they were not in GSAS. HOWEVER! The OP is talking about Science Education, which is one of the fields TC is very strong in, so that's all a moot point. That said, OP, I'd strongly advise against attending an unfunded program. Education is a field that it is more difficult to get funding in, perhaps, but I have a few people I know who have gotten funded education degrees. As you've noted, New York is incredibly expensive. Columbia is also incredibly expensive. Even if we were generous and said you secured funding by your third year (which is not guranteed), you'd still probably be about $150,000 in debt ($45K tuition and fees + $30K living expenses x 2 years) by the time you get there. I would stay at your school, teach one more year, and reapply to more programs with the hopes of getting funding.
  10. This, I think, is kind of a different question from not being a good writer. I find it difficult to believe that, as someone who completed a doctoral degree and has secured a postdoc, you don't have an analytical mind. I'm betting that you do, and you're mostly apprehensive on whether or not you are 'good enough' to produce what your postdoc requires. You probably are, but a postdoctoral fellowship is in part a training opportunity - your PI is supposed to be helping you grow into being an academic. So if you're having issues turning your ideas into papers, set up some time with your PI (or hopefully, you have regular 1:1s) and bring your ideas and talk through them. Get input from your postdoc advisor on how to shape these ideas into good projects. I would think of them not just in terms of papers but projects. A good postdoc project will yield more than one paper. Same thing once you are ready to put together an analysis plan. Presumably, you are also not the only postdoc in your research group or department? Make friends with some other postdocs and workshop each other's work!
  11. Your advisor doesn't have to know what you do in your spare time. You don't have to tell your advisor everything that you do. Therefore, it won't necessarily raise red flags with your advisor. However. I did marching band in high school and considered it in college, and am friends with lots of band geeks. Whether or not you can do this successfully depends entirely on the kind of marching band you are attempting to join. My husband was drum major of his university's marching band, and it was a pretty low key affair that only played at home games and didn't practice every day. That kind of commitment would probably be fine and doable in graduate school. But if we're talking about one of the big D1 or HBCU marching bands? They practice every day for several hours a day and travel to away games during football season. (My HBCU's marching band practiced M-F from 5-9 pm and also on Saturdays. That's why I chose not to join.) I think you would find it very difficult to do that along with graduate school, especially in your first year. I'd wait until you decide where to go to grad school, and then I'd contact the marching band and ask some questions about practice schedule, travel, expectations, etc. That'll help you decide. There are lots of other music-related hobbies you can do - you can play in the orchestra or concert band, or an ensemble, or a community music group in the city you're in that's built for working adults.
  12. I am assuming that you're in an American-style program, with ~2 years of coursework before comps and dissertation. I will say that I felt kind of similarly in my first two years of graduate school; the challenge was the volume of work I was being expected to do, not the type. I went to a small liberal arts college where close reading, deep discussion, and analytical writing were expected parts of the curriculum, so doing these things in graduate school was not a challenge. I definitely did grow and learned a lot of new material, but I didn't necessarily feel like I had to quickly ascend to a new level of understanding or anything like that. I did get the distinct feeling that some of my colleagues had different educational experiences and that there were areas in which the seniors at my undergraduate college may have excelled, also (particularly the writing and analysis). I also don't think graduate school felt like getting into depth on a narrow topic until after my coursework. I didn't feel like I was delving really deeply until comps, honestly, and my dissertation was really the pinnacle of that. A doctoral program is largely self-directed, especially after year 2 or so. So if you want to dive into things more intellectually, set yourself up for that. Take an independent study with the theorist in your department, or work on a collaborative project with them that might result in an article/monograph. Work on your own projects that are more theoretical and intellectually deep in nature. There are programs that will allow you to take a semester at another university to work on such a project. Or you can start a cross-university collaboration with a researcher in a related area. A lot of the intellectual fulfillment you'll get will be independent work. Developing a close working relationship with advisors is also self-directed. I don't think choosing to do another PhD is a good idea necessarily. Remember that a doctoral program is also customizable and tailored, so if you want to take classes or work with someone in the philosophy or history department at your own university...arrange that. Also, most programs will not admit you for a second PhD if you already have one, unless it's in a wildly different field. but being on a grad stipend for another 5 years certainly beats working outside academia. Hoo boy, I would strongly disagree with that. But I think it depends on your values, wants, and needs. By the time I was nearing the end of my doctoral degree, I was real tired of living on a grad student stipend. But autonomy and theoretical analysis were not important to me (on the contrary; I much prefer applied work). If it is super important to you to do theoretical work, that may be different for you.
  13. The coordinating official (CO) is the final word on this. There's a section in the Administrative Guide on stipend supplementation: Each Fellow is expected to devote full time to advanced scientific study or work during the Fellowship Period. However, because it is generally accepted that teaching or similar activity constitutes a valuable part of the education and training of many graduate students and such opportunities may arise during a Tenure year, a Fellow on Tenure may choose to undertake a reasonable amount of such activities without NSF approval. It is expected that furtherance of the Fellow's educational objectives and the gain of substantive teaching or other experience, not service to the institution as such, will govern these activities. Compensation for such activities is determined by the GRFP Institution and is based on the institution’s general employment policies. Fellows are required to check with their GRFP Institution about specific policies pertaining to the GRFP Fellowship and paid activities. Fellows are permitted to solicit and accept, from NSF or other federal and private sources, support for research expenses, such as laboratory supplies, instrumentation usage fees, field-station usage fees, travel expenses, conference/registration fees, workshop expenses, or subscription fees. For Fellows on Tenure, support for living expenses associated with off-site research activities will require approval by the CO. Fellows are required to check with their GRFP Institution about specific policies pertaining to acceptance of any non-federal fellowships. If your CO's final decision is that this is not allowed by GRFs, then there's your answer. You can talk to them and show them the Administrative Guide and show that support for living expenses is not necessarily barred if the funding is not technically a federal fellowship. Occasionally, coordinating officials have outdated information or are not aware of updates to the Administrative Guide. (I developed a close relationship with my CO because I was always doing something I maybe wasn't supposed to be doing and was an annoying Rules Lawyer, lol.) But you may be unsuccessful, since the definition of supporting graduate education of individuals is broad, and can definitely include work as a research assistant - particularly if you would be getting research credit for doing it, but even if you're not. Research activities definitely constitute part of graduate education, so an RAship can be interpreted that way. Arguing that it's simply a "job" or "paid work" that's external to the university is not very likely to work, both because of the nature of the work and because of the NSF's poliices on paid work: Outside employment is not governed by the NSF. Fellows should check with their CO about specific institution policies. So basically, we're back to "the CO is the final word on this." They could very well mean that at their institution they don't allow NSF fellows to get stipend supplementation from federal sources. You can always ask if you could pursue the RAship without the pay.
  14. I don't know if you've sent the email yet, but for posterity, here are my thoughts. I am a hiring manager in industry. 1) The entire email is unnecessary. They haven't forgotten that you interviewed, and if they have not contacted you yet, that means that you haven't gotten an offer (yet). The best thing to do after having already sent a follow-up thank-you email is to move on until/unless the company contacts you. 2) If one insists on sending a follow-up email, it should be short. If I'm hiring for a position, I am doing that on top of my already demanding job, and my time for reading emails is limited. Not going to lie, if I opened this one, I'd very quickly scan it then immediately close it. (Or if I have time, I might respond with a quick "Thanks for your contact, no decisions have been made yet, sit tight until we reach out.") I know that this is contrary to what a lot of career sites say, but in my experience as an actual hiring manager, these second follow-up emails are never helpful. I already know that you're qualified for the role; we interviewed you. I don't need people to reiterate the skills that they would bring to the role especially after we've already interviewed them, because we've already made a judgment on that either way. Presumably, all this was either on your cover letter or resume when you applied and/or we talked about in your interview. Ironically, the only thing that is useful in the mail is hearing that are you still interested and excited in the position (e.g., you don't have another offer that I have to worry about competing with somewhere else, or that this is still a role at the top of your list.) If you insist upon sending a follow up, I'd suggest that you cut it to this. Dear [INTERVIEWER 1] and [INTERVIEWER 2], I hope you had a great weekend! Thank you again for taking the time to meet with me on [DATE] and for considering me for the [NAME OF POSITION] position. I wanted to follow-up regarding my interview. I so enjoyed getting to know your team and learning more about the role; I am really excited about the prospect of this position. May I inquire as to when you might have a decision? <- because let's be real, this is what you really want to know. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions! I can be reached at [PHONE NUMBER] or via email at . Thank you once again for your time and consideration. Sincerely,
  15. I work in industry. While a postdoc won't hurt you, it's certainly not necessary for the vast majority of non-academic positions. There are some non-academic positions that function pretty similarly to academic ones, and some of those might prefer a postdoc (think think tanks or policy institutes). But for the vast majority of non-academic jobs - especially if they are not research roles - not having done a postdoc is totally fine. Second, if I want to gain industry experience while still in graduate school, what might be some recommended ways to go about it? My research focuses on questions of development in Latin America so I'm considering incorporating ethnographic fieldwork not only at my research site but with NGOs/development agencies working in my geographic area of interest to see another side of things. Would this be the best way to go about it or should I consider internships as well? Both? This doesn't have to be an either/or; if you are considering non-academic careers, you should get any kind of industry experience you can in graduate school. Working with NGOs/nonprofits/other agencies while doing your fieldwork is an excellent way; you can build connections and demonstrate your research skills. I know several people in social sciences who have gotten non-academic jobs this way. But you should also consider internships as well. Lastly, and maybe this is more personalized to different jobs/fields, but for any of you who are now working outside academia, do you feel that you're still able to do enough research, apply the skills you learned through your PhD, etc. in your non-academic position? It's definitely dependent on what you do. I'm a research manager at a tech company, and I definitely apply the skills I learned in my PhD - both the "hard skills" of statistics, research methodology, etc. and the "soft skills" of critical thinking, time management, planning and executing on a giant project, prioritization, communication, conflict resolution, etc. I would say that the latter set of "soft skills" has been FAR more important in the long run for my success here, and I actually work in a direct research role. I do less research myself now that I am a manager - I manage other researchers - but my research skills are still necessary so that I can advise them and direct their work for maximum impact. I also do research project planning that can be multi-year and cover large strategic areas of the business, so that research agenda planning that your PhD teaches you (perhaps indirectly) - that's super useful, too. Surprisingly, grant-writing was useful, too. Not because I write grants here, but because learning to budget what you need to get your work done and learning how to ask for money and resources that you need is a generally useful skill in business, and I now do that all the time.
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