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applecat

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  1. As mentioned in a few posts, non-chemistry majors can be admitted to programs; this was my case. Actually, your story sounds very familiar to my own experience. I graduated with a biology degree in cellular/molecular biology. I too found that I enjoyed being able to apply chemistry to the biological systems that seemed interesting. I'm now in a group placed in the organic division, but I would truly label the group research as primarily bioorganic (synthesis of substrates/inhibitors for enzymes that are purified in our own lab, expressing new enzymes to use in asymmetric synthesis, etc). I didn't have PChem when I was accepted, but I did have to take it during my first fall. I'm sure I wouldn't have done great on the GRE Chemistry subject test if I had taken it, which is why I opted not to. If you have any other questions, let me know (as I hope I can help someone going through a process that brings up many questions, uncertainties, and any other odd things that come to mind). -Applecat
  2. applecat

    when does everyone start????

    I actually started June 1. My summer was spent in the lab (nearly 60 hours a week!). That was definitely a change for me at the beginning but I've adjusted. Now that I'm excited everyday to be working up a reaction, purifying an enzyme, or simply doing some paper research, its time to start school! Being a TA as well as taking classes will definitely make it tougher to get into lab! I'm nervous but excited to see how it all shakes out. I suppose I need to just find a good routine (of which I hope I slide into fairly quickly). Since I have done everything but answer the question, I begin Monday, the 24th as well.
  3. applecat

    daily life of a phd student

    Sorry about that! I'll offer my daily breakdown in the summer if you'd like, but I'm betting youre more interested during the school year (I also would expect the days to be much different between my first summer and the summer of those in later years). However, here is a daily breakdown. 7AM: Wake up, eat, shower, etc 8AM: Leave to school 830-9AM: Check emails of various sorts and review daily plans 9AM: Set up first reactions or check the previous nights finished product 10AM: Calculations, computer modeling, 11-1: Most variable part of day between lunch, finishing a reaction, setting up other projects or more computer time 1-5: Literature searching, reactions, learning about other related group-mates works, talking, etc. 5: Eat dinner 530: Set up any finals things for the day Til leaving: Computer modeling, chat with others Though I feel busy each day I've been in lab, the following breakdown makes me feel like I'm really not doing much at all! Ha. I suppose I'll keep that in mind this week and pay attention a little more closely to what I'm actually doing! Hope this helps just a bit.
  4. applecat

    daily life of a phd student

    Well I certainly won't be able to go into the depth and detail of others; however, I just started Monday and this was a breakdown of my week. Monday: 9AM-10PM (meeting at 6). Tuesday: 9AM-8PM. Wednesday: 8AM-7PM Thursday: 9AM-6PM Friday: 9AM-5PM Satuday: 10:30AM-5PM Sunday: Relax and watching a full season of "Big Bang Theory." I'm in a biochem lab so its a lot of hurry-up-and-wait type work. Set up some reactions or other procedures in the morning, look at recent stuff been done by others in the lab while the reactions are going, etc. I'm putting in as much time now as a I can so that I can get all the experience/knowledge/etc down while I have no classes or teaching. I'm up there all day but have a lot of time where I'm eating or even goofing around on the computer. It isn't so much that I'm DOING something while I'm up there all the time. Rather, it would be pointless to leave for an hour and come back. I'm glad I'm starting now so that I can not be AS overwhelmed once school starts in the fall.
  5. applecat

    Summer expectations?

    I will be beginning a PhD in chemistry. After being extended an acceptance letter (only applied to one school ha ha. But I guess if you konw where you want to go, there's no need in trying others, right?). Back to topic.... They offered me to come this summer (June 1st) to take an early rotation and get a feel for the lab and be less overwhelmed when fall comes around with class and TA'ing. I felt that this was a good opportunity and agreed to do so. However, now that I'm about 2 weeks away, I'm curious as to what will be expected out of me and/or how it works in the summer? I know the best idea would be to email group members/professor which I have already done. He said I will be working alongside other members and assist on an already on-going project. I know I won't be expected to know how to do everything initially when I get there, but what WILL be expected out of me? How many hours will I likely be in the lab per week? I understand summer is probably one of the best times to get work done (since there are no classes or things of that nature), and I also know that work time will vary from group to group. If you had to take a guess, what do you think I can expect time committment wise? Will I sort of ease into it? Or will it be monday morning and start in 10 hrs/day? Since it IS like a 1st rotation, I'm assuming it will be quite a bit per week, but will it be MORE since it is in the summer? I still feel I made a good choice to get acquainted with my group/professor some more in the summer as well as prepare myself for my upcoming years. I'm just nervous for the fact I'm not sure what is actually going to be expected of me upon arrival! If anyone can offer any advice or input, it would be appreciated! As mentioned, this will be a chemistry program. Thank you!
  6. I don't believe this is similar to any other questions which have been answered here, though there may be some carry over. This past weekend, I was on a campus interview/recruitment which went great. Though they didnt officially offer me (and I know you cant assume til you have it in your hand), the admissions chair said everyone was impressed and that I could expect a letter later this week. Using this information, I decided to approach my coach (football) and discuss my situation. He is very supportive of people as long as they truly back their decision. I had another year of eligibility left to play, but told him I was ready to further my education and pursue my future. He was disappointed, but understanding if that makes sense. If it all plays out that I DONT get into that school, I still feel I am ready to be done with football and continue on a different path. It was tough, but I'm happy with my decision.
  7. applecat

    Question about Interview/Campus visit

    I returned her message this afternoon and talked to her for quite a bit. I'm not aware of proper etiquette but decided to ask her a few questions. What I found out is that they typically review 250-300 applicants and bring in approximately 35-40 for campus visits/interviews. She said they accept 20-25 students each year. I forgot to ask if the 20-25 is from the visiting 35-40 or if they admit maybe 15 automatically w/out visits and then the rest are fillled through the interview process. Either way, I feel like its a good step in the process given the numbers she provided. Now my question is...do you think the 25 students are from the interviewees or perhaps only 10-15 are from the interview? Thank you. (I didnt know if this process is different between the sciences, liberal arts, etc).
  8. applecat

    Interview/Campus visit question.

    I'm very sorry--each time I tried to post those messages, I received an error screen. I was not able to take the time to check as I was rushed to class. How can I delete these messages? Sorry to all for clogging board space!
  9. I submitted my application a few weeks ago to a few schools--I received a call from one today asking if I would want to come on a Thursday night/All day Friday visit where I would meet faculty and take a tour as well as interview. I looked online and I hadn't been fully 'admitted' nor in the call did it say I was accepted. The call came from the Chemistry department admissions lady (not just the grad school). My question is if this is something they would extend to anyone or if its a sign that they will be extending an acceptance to me? I don't really know how it works so if someone could provide some insight, that would be much appreciated. Thank you!
  10. I submitted my application a few weeks ago to a few schools--I received a call from one today asking if I would want to come on a Thursday night/All day Friday visit where I would meet faculty and take a tour as well as interview. I looked online and I hadn't been fully 'admitted' nor in the call did it say I was accepted. The call came from the Chemistry department admissions lady (not just the grad school). My question is if this is something they would extend to anyone or if its a sign that they will be extending an acceptance to me? I don't really know how it works so if someone could provide some insight, that would be much appreciated. Thank you!
  11. I submitted my application a few weeks ago to a few schools--I received a call from one today asking if I would want to come on a Thursday night/All day Friday visit where I would meet faculty and take a tour. I looked online and I hadn't been fully 'admitted' nor in the call did it say I was accepted. The call came from the Chemistry department though (not just the grad school). My question is if this is something they would extend to anyone or if its a sign that they will be extending an acceptance to me? I don't really know how it works so if someone could provide some insight, that would be much appreciated. Thank you!
  12. applecat

    Recommendation from College Coach?

    Thank you for the replys, everyone. I have decided against asking my coach. There are actually two reasons for this: 1)From the input on this board which seems justfied, and 2)I feel awkward asking for one from him since I will be forgoing my Senior year of eligibility for the opportunity of graduate school (Not too many people on the team have ever done that! Ha, I dont know if anyone has ever went to grad school for sciences, to be honest). Most of my teachers assured me I should have no problem getting into the schools I have chosen to apply to. I know they are not as elite as what many of you have applied, yet I feel the schools are right for me and will fit me well! This has been a great site for me to come learn and to gather information from. Thanks again for all the input!
  13. Question that I couldnt find addressed anywhere else: I have been an active participant (letter winner + conference awards) in a nationally competitive football team. Is this something worth mentioning at all on an application? I know it does not directly relate to science or aptitute in research down the road; however, I do feel it can be important to demonstrate time management, cooperation with others, etc. I would like to mention it in part of my SoP because it is an integral part of who I am and what I have accomplished (also part of why I wasn't able to accomplish some things as well.) What about having my college coach (nationally recognized coach of the year a few times) writing a 4th letter for me, or possibly even just my third. Though he isn't active in the science community, he is well worded, thinks highly of me, and would be a great advocate of my work ethic and other qualities since he is around me daily. Any input and comments are welcome, thank you. (PS. I know this is done often.....but just curious how my numbers would hold up in an application- 3.7 GPA with 1200 GRE (730Q + 470 V) + 5 AWA. Will contain strong letters of recommendation. I'm applying for ChemPhD). No need to comment on the last part though. More curious aobut that last letter of rec and my SOP, thanks!
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