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About enginerd

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    MS/PhD Mechanical Engineering

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  1. I appreciate the replies. I am taking in both of you guys optimism. I just feel burned and disappointed. I will not be leaving abruptly unless they never pay my bill and I get administratively purged from my classes which may soon be forthcoming. Under those circumstances only will I crawl back under the rock from which I came. In the meantime though I think it's a good idea to keep my options open.
  2. I just want to vent here for a moment. I was admitted with full funding in the form of a RA position guaranteed for one year. I have this in writing with the exact dollar amounts for stipend and fee remissions. The offer was from my particular group and not a specific professor. When I got here, none of the professors in that group would accept me as an RA claiming there was no funding available. So now, I am stuck TA'ing for the semester without a research project to work on, no desk or lab to work in and I have to TA a section of 50 students and hold office hours every week in my invisible office. I am sorry, but picking Berkeley was a huge mistake. I should have went with a school where I was offered a fellowship or gotten a more legally binding contract that was signed by both parties, not just an offer letter. I want out of here. And of course I am just finding all of this out when it is too late to go anywhere else. In addition, my bill still has not been paid, so my housing is being threatened since the bill is overdue by a week and thus I am not "officially registered" at Berkeley which is a requirement of my housing contract. Also, I cannot go to the clinic since my insurance is not effective, so this abscess will have to wait a little longer for a root canal. I don't have any money or any other resources. Berkeley sucked me in because of it's promises for a fair stipend, full health and dental, research projects that I wanted to work on. I passed up so many other excellent opportunities for this. I am so angry, and so disappointed. I made such a big mistake. Maybe they promised in writing knowing that when they reneged that I wouldn't have the means or resources to do anything about it. I am going to start researching the possibility of going elsewhere, maybe applying again to those places that offered fellowships. I hate my life right now.
  3. I feel like the OP did this to kind of stir up the pot in grad cafe forum and then leave us all hanging, desperate to know what actually happened. This is for sure mischievous.
  4. I think it is against the law for them to discriminate on the basis of age. I know in an interview it is illegal for them to even ask you how old you are (even though you usually put your DOB on stuff so it doesn't make sense, but that doesn't matter I guess).
  5. That is fascinating, though I have absolutely no idea which would be better. I think I will keep this tidbit of information stored away for future reference. Very interesting, thanks!
  6. I applied to Berkeley, where they require you to write the diversity statement. There request was a little bit more specific with one of the things they ask being something like, "What do you do to further or help minorities in education.." or something remotely like that. I don't remember exactly. But you could also include any service work that you do or organizations (like society of women engineers etc). I didn't have a lot to put for that but I wrote about what I would like to do to encourage underrepresented people to pursue engineering. Just an idea.
  7. I went to the visit day this past weekend. I loved it. I will definitely be going in the fall. The place was delightful.
  8. I do think I would really like to go to Berkeley. I am going to their recruiting visit in a couple weeks. I plan on asking about an increase in stipend. All they can say is no I guess. Not really sure how to approach that conversation. I have read some stuff on the internet but I think I will ask my prof here for some advice on having that conversation. I really hope it works out. I really want to go there.
  9. I'm leaning rather heavily towards choosing Berkeley, but I won't decide for a few more weeks. There is something so alluring about this place.
  10. It is for 12 months, not 9. Thats why I am a little worried. so more like 1500-1600 per month, but even less than that after taxes. It will be difficult.
  11. enginerd

    Berkeley, CA

    Possible to survive here on a 19,000/yr stipend? Ten years ago, I totally would have been fine renting someones living room or sharing a bedroom with 2 other people. Im old now though, 30, this sounds horrible to me. 19k/yr...that is a 12 mo stipend not for 9mos, that is just terrible. Thoughts? Do i need my car here?
  12. No, its for MS/Phd. I just put the MS there because thats the one Im starting with. I only have BS.
  13. ================================================================ Undergrad Institution:Unranked, pretty crappy but ABET accredited Major(s):Mechanical Minor(s): GPA in Major: 3.94 Overall GPA:3.97 Length of Degree: 4 Position in Class: #1 Type of Student: white female american GRE Scores: Q:770 V:570 W:4.0 Research Experience: 6mos undergrad research, CFD, no publications Awards/Honors/Recognitions: some scholarships, nothing fancy
  14. So I was investigating stipend awards and that sort of thing. I have two offers at present that I hadn't realized how different they were until I followed someones advice on one of these forums about using the cost of living calculator. What I discovered is that Berkeley's offer of 19,000/yr is really, really bad. GATech pays 24,000/yr, when you compare this with the Cost of Living calculator, this is equivalent to 44,000/yr at Berkeley. They offered me only 19,000. That is so bad. Of course 44,000 is not realistic at all, but housing cost in Berkeley is over 300% of the national average. I have a few questions for you engineers here. Is the reason why my offer was so low because I am maybe not as strong a candidate as other students? Or is Berkeley just cheap? I am going to recruiting visit on the Mar 3rd. Should I ask them if the stipend is negotiable? On a similar note, I have seen posts where people were guaranteed funding for multiple years. I haven't gotten any offers of more than one year. Again is this maybe because I am just not a strong candidate or is it customary for engineering to only get offers guaranteeing one year? I am also interested in hearing about the amounts you guys were awarded, just to get a better feel for what people are being paid in engineering.
  15. I have similar concerns Kaushik. I was offered funding in the form of RA for one year only. None of the offers I got are guaranteed for more than one year, but I keep reading all these people announcing that they got funding for 4 even 5 years. I am in engineering and I wonder if it is just my field or maybe I am just not that attractive of candidate. I don't know.
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