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juilletmercredi

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juilletmercredi last won the day on July 6

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About juilletmercredi

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    Cup o' Joe
  • Birthday 07/09/1986

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    Pacific Northwest
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    Working in industry

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  1. juilletmercredi

    How do PhD students usually spend their summers?

    This is more dependent on your advisor and their expectations than graduate school as a whole. Some advisors have unreasonable expectations of graduate students, regardless of whether or not they are getting paid. Sometimes, students have to play along with those unreasonable expectations for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, most advisors are not like that. I did different things with my summers, although I was funded. I always conducted some research with my lab in the summers. Some summers I taught summer classes and worked in summer programs for undergrads - partially to make money and partially because I really like working with undergrads (especially those from underrepresented groups, which was the focus of the program I mostly worked in). One summer, I did an industry internship. The summer before my final year I worked on my dissertation proposal. My last summer I spent cleaning up my dissertation and planning my defense. I frequently did travel during the summers - I went to see family at least once a summer. Lots of other students used summers to take vacations as well. I do know some students who used their summers for research trips as well.
  2. juilletmercredi

    New to Adulthood? Welcome, you have come to the right place!

    I want to pipe in and say that despite having to pay attention to these issues, renting is not super difficult or scary. I've rented apartments and/or houses all of my adult life (and actually, my family and I have lived in rentals almost all of my life period) and have yet to have any significant problems with maintenance, things falling apart, landlords, etc. You do need to do your research, but I also don't want anyone to read all this advice and feel super overwhelmed! One of the most important things to ask for when renting is about maintenance and upkeep: namely, who does it? If you go with an apartment or townhouse that is professionally managed by a rental company, usually they have a full-time maintenance person (or persons!) who are responsible for repairing things that go wrong. At some places, the maintenance staff even does routine stuff like changing your light bulbs in hard-to-reach places. One of the reasons I love renting is because I don't have to call any plumbers or anything like that: if it breaks, I report it and they send someone to fix it! When you rent a house, this can be more variable; some houses are still professionally managed and have similar systems. But with some house rentals (especially if the owner is renting it themselves) they may ask you to find and pay for a repair yourself and then reimburse you later. Personally, I would not want any kind of arrangement like that (I wouldn't want to get into an argument with a landlord about whether or not I broke it...) but it works for many people. I definitely didn't open/check any pipes when renting, haha. But I do check for electrical outlets flush to the wall and wiring issues - one, because well-maintained outlets (or lack thereof) can be a good indicator of how well-maintained a property is; and two, because I grew up in a house with electrical wiring issues and it's a drag. Insects are also an issue - termites are the worst, of course, but you also don't want a fire ant colony under your apartment (learned that the hard way. How did they get to the third floor???) or, bizarrely, an entire clan of ladybugs (my family home had that growing up. UGH.) In large cities there are also rodents to think about; most people in NYC will have a mouse once or twice, but it's the persistence that's a problem. Laundry in the unit is the ultimate dream of summer, but in some locales that's not possible or feasible on a graduate student salary. In NYC, for example, having laundry in the building itself may be pretty unlikely. However, wash & fold services in NYC are a dime a dozen and cheaper than they would be in other cities, so I'd think about that as an alternative and whether it makes living in a unit without laundry in the build doable. If you can't afford either, look to see where the closest laundromat is. Lugging a bunch of laundry 10 blocks is the worst, but pushing it in a little cart 2 blocks away? That's not so bad. (I also do not go home during the dry cycle. I'd bring some reading. Waiting for your clothes to finish is a great time to catch up on reading!)
  3. juilletmercredi

    Workflow Preparation for Graduate School

    It's actually pretty hard to plan this out in advance, as you often have to test out any system that you plan and sometimes the system you select ahead of time doesn't really work for you. Learning how to use Zotero and OneNote ahead of time are good tasks so you're not wasting brain power doing that mid-stream. You may want to check out other reference managers to make sure Zotero is the one you want to go with (Mendeley is a common favorite). I'm not sure that LaTeX is necessary, although it depends on your work style and also what field you're in. (I have a PhD in psychology and did not find it useful.) I'll actually go out on a limb and say that you might want to spend this free time just relaxing and doing some fun stuff. Your time is about to become greatly constrained, and graduate school can be a very stressful experience. When you look back, I'm willing to bet you'll be more likely to regret not enjoying yourself in your last months before graduate school than you are to regret picking up some small skill that can be easily picked up in graduate school.
  4. juilletmercredi

    Transferring Phd Programs

    I do not have direct experience with transferring. I had a colleague in my PhD cohort who transferred to our program after finishing three years in a different program. He had to start over - literally, start over. He finished with me in my cohort after six years. Your advisor passing away, and no one else in the department to adequately advise you, is probably a situation that warrants transferring. But there may be other options that you can quickly consider. You said that you got a new advisor that helped you, but they were unfamiliar with your topic. Is there another advisor in your department who is at least a little more familiar with your area and/or your work? If not, is it possible that someone in the department can serve as your nominal advisor for paperwork purposes, but you could have an outside person with expertise in your area serve as your actual advisor? This usually only works if you have an established relationship with an outside/external researcher, though. If none of those is possible or feasible, then transferring may be your best bet. Many PhD programs may make you repeat some coursework, though. You do need at least one person (and preferably, two people) from your current department who can vouch for you, though.
  5. Michigan has great name value and resources as well. I work for a large tech company and we have more new hires from Michigan than we do from Columbia. Part of that is sheer size, but most of it is because Michigan has an excellent reputation as a research university that prepares great tech talent. I would not enter a master's program with the intention of transferring. You should either enter a program with the intent of staying in it, OR you should wait a year and reapply. The reason is because 'transferring' at the master's level is rarely a straightforward transfer - usually, graduate programs will accept up to a semester's worth of credit from the other program, and sometimes not even that. So you spend a whole year (and $$$) on your classes and then you only use half of that or less in your new program. Plus, the business analytics program at Columbia is only three semesters, so it'd be a waste to transfer when you could just spend one more semester and be done. The only way I would even consider this is an intra-university transfer - for example, going from Columbia's business analytics program into Columbia's data science program. The chances that you can use most of your existing coursework in the new program is much higher. (And actually, looking at it, it's really not - there's no overlap between the required first-year courses in the MSBA and the required core courses in the Columbia data science MS.) But I still wouldn't attempt it, personally - I'd say that if you 100% knew you wanted a data science program, then choose Michigan or wait another year and reapply. I was trying to do a straight comparison between the programs, but it's difficult. At first and second glance, the Michigan program seems more technical and more of a straight/traditional data science program. But Columbia's industrial engineering/operations research department is very technical and well-respected, and a lot of the classes that have names that seem less deep in statistics actually might be quite deep and technical. I think it's probably mostly dependent upon the electives you choose to flesh out your Columbia program - you could theoretically take really technical coursework (like Bayesian Modeling & Computation, Applied Multivariate Statistics, or Data Mining for Engineers) or less so (like Managerial Negotiations, or U.S. Healthcare System, or New Product Development). Michigan doesn't have as many diverse electives - the ones you can take are all clearly focused on statistics and computer science. I think a lot of this is also dependent upon the type of internship you do over the summer, because that's where you'll learn the tools and skills to solidify the knowledge and make you more appealing to employers. But you could get a great internship from either place.
  6. juilletmercredi

    How long would an employer be prepared to wait?

    For posterity, this depends on the employer. Most employers aren't going to be willing to wait more than a few weeks. But employers/teams that are used to hiring academics and PhDs are sometimes willing to wait a little longer, although usually not more than a few months (2-3 max, usually). Four to five months would be too long for most employers, but this is a university, and they might be more or less expecting you to start on an academic year schedule anyway.
  7. juilletmercredi

    Deciding between 4 schools-MPH

    My PhD is in public health. Yes, JHU's school of public health is ranked #1 in the field, but different schools and programs have strengths in different areas, and I wouldn't automatically go to JHU just because it's number 1. I chose Columbia (#4) over JHU because of its strengths in my research area, and I didn't even bother applying to Harvard (#2) because none of its concentrations or research appealed to me. However, if expense is your primary concern, that doesn't seem to set JHU apart. UPenn's MPH tuition is easily $40K a year, which for a 2-year program will come out to $80K (not including living expenses). JHU's 11-month MPH program is $70K. They're not that different in price. Drexel and Temple are both considerably cheaper for their whole program. If you intend to live in Philadelphia after you graduate, there's also something to be said for the local networking/connections you can make there if you stay.
  8. It's not even just the prestige (and with the prestige of Oxford, I really don't think you'd have an issue breaking into the academic market stateside) but it's also the fact that your research doesn't match at Toronto but does at Oxford. Who are these people who are suggesting that you don't move to Oxford?
  9. Yeah, I'm going to agree with the above sentiments - it doesn't sound like your daughter is shying away because it's too hard; it sounds like she is not interested in economics and doesn't want the emphasis on economics at JHU. The economics won't 'enhance' her career if she doesn't want to do anything economics-related. I'm also kind of curious about your thoughts on what makes a school "transformational". International experience alone doesn't do that. George Washington has one of the best and most well-respected public policy programs in the world. I certainly wouldn't characterize GW as "easier". I do not agree that a top-notch institution doesn't matter after undergrad (on the contrary, your graduate degree matters a lot more than your undergrad degree, especially in certain fields), but GWU is definitely top-notch in this area.
  10. juilletmercredi

    Rejected, but have now received external fellowship

    Yes, I would absolutely contact your programs of interest and ask if that changes things. POIs for sure, but I'd also contact the departmental secretary in each department and they can direct you to the appropriate person who can officially reconsider your application.
  11. No, unless the program explicitly says otherwise. The purpose of a deferral is not for you to eliminate any risk to yourself while you shop around for other options. The purpose of a deferral is for you to hold a spot that you know (or are reasonably sure) you intend to take while you take care of either unforeseen circumstances or something that will enhance your studentship. For example, lots of students defer to complete military service; others defer for medical or family reasons; still others might defer because they got a Fulbright or into the Peace Corps. If you defer for the first reason, you're tying up a spot that the university could grant to another student when you're not even sure you will go (and actually, are pretty sure you won't attend, unless you get nothing better). Now, whether or not you do it is a different question. But that's not what deferrals are intended for, and is the reason some universities actually limit the reasons you can take a deferral.
  12. juilletmercredi

    Small vs. Large Program (Princeton vs. Harvard for MPP)

    Look at the curriculum and required course sequences. There may be 10+ courses in human rights at Harvard, but how many of them will you actually be able to take, after you factor in required courses and any divisional or special requirements? However, I will also say that I wouldn't take size as a sole determination of how personalized your experience will be, especially at well-resourced universities like Harvard and Princeton. Harvard may have more students, but they may also have more faculty members, greater personnel numbers in the career center, bigger spaces, etc. You may get just as much or even more personal attention at Harvard as you would at Princeton as long as they have the resources for that. I also wouldn't assume that accessing things may be harder, because your classmates' interests may be much more diverse. For example, Harvard may have 200 MPP students but they may make up their class so that you've got 50 interested in human rights, 30 interested in public finance, 70 interested in development, etc. So for the human rights-related stuff, you may be competing with the same amount or fewer students as you would at Princeton - but for more resources. Also, 200 is still a small enough number that I don't think you'll get "lost in the crowd" unless you are an especially timid, shy person. If you're not going into any debt I'd say it's really up to you and your preferences. Both are competitive and excellent programs. $18K is quite a bit to leave in your savings, but it could be worth it for you. Personally, I know that for a master's program I would prefer a bigger program with more opportunities - more networking, and more chances to really personalize my experience.
  13. What do you want to do? Work in industrial engineering? What I'd suggest you do is check out the prerequisites for master's degrees in industrial engineering at several different colleges/universities. What do they require? If all of them require that you have a bachelor's in engineering, you have your answer: you'll need a second bachelor's. If they don't require that you have a bachelor's in engineering BUT they require so much engineering coursework as prereqs that you essentially need a second bachelor's, then you should also probably just go for the BS. But if there are some good programs that will admit you after taking some math, science, and engineering classes, it may make sense for you to take those as a non-degree student and then try an MS program.
  14. juilletmercredi

    Emory vs BU vs UMich vs Duke

    In academia...not really. It's going to be more about the university and program itself; Duke is pretty well-respected in health. In industry/job market - maybe a little, although where you go outweighs that. For example, Johns Hopkins offers MHS degrees instead of an MPH for their applicants with no experience, but it's also Johns Hopkins, so few people care that it's not an MPH. I'm from Atlanta, and I went to undergrad there. I also got into Emory's MPH program (and only turned it down because I got into a PhD program at Columbia; otherwise I totally would've gone there). Atlanta is a great city - vibrant with lots to do, but not outrageously expensive (yet). There are so many young professionals in the Atlanta area to socialize with and make connections. And of course, there are tons of public health jobs in Atlanta, which makes interning and networking easier. It is quite spread out and a car makes everything easier; I wouldn't advise living in Atlanta without one, personally. Michigan also has an excellent MPH program. I have lots of friends who went to Michigan and they all love Ann Arbor; half of them are trying to get back there in some shape or form, including a couple of Michigan alumni I know who said they want to retire there lol. It is a college town but there are business and companies that have outposts there because of Michigan. I don't know much about Boston - never been - but BU does have a great MPH program too.
  15. juilletmercredi

    Research vs Everything Else?

    These are all very personal decisions and considerations. It's really up to you what you think is most important, and it depends on your level of tolerance for certain things. I know people who would rather live in a hole in the wall in order to do the exact research they want to do, and others who are more willing to make compromises so they can live somewhere exciting for five years. But let's dig apart your impressions. I am having some difficulty understanding how you say that you like the school and program at School B better than School A, when you had great interviews and love the research at School A but didn't like talking to the faculty at School B. In graduate school, your department basically is your experience; the overall university matters a whole lot less and is mostly important in terms of resources to allow you to do your degree (e.g. libraries, facilities, connected departments). What is it that gives you the impression that you like School B overall better? As for the degree program - I'd need a little more information about that, because it might not matter depending on what the coursework is. For example, one could be a PhD in organizational behavior and the other could be in industrial-organizational psychology, but at the core the coursework, research, and post-graduation opportunities might be nearly identical. So it wouldn't matter than the exact program name is a little different. But you might have something like "business analytics" vs. "data science," which could be functionally very different even though they have some similarities - where a data science degree typically gives you more technical education and prepares you for different kinds of positions than a business analytics degree. As for your concerns about safety - most big cities in the United States are actually quite safe, and concerns about safety in specific areas are often due more to unfamiliarity than anything else. Not saying that your concerns are not valid, but I'd talk to some students who live in the area to get their thoughts.
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