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IRdreams

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  1. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from amam in If I knew then what I know now (Officially Grads version)   
    I really have to agree with the competition advice concerning your cohort. As a direct from undergrad, my first year was fairly difficult because I placed a bunch of added stress on my self when I thought about students who had masters or life experience. The former I even took to calling "false first years." A lot of grad school in the first year is learning how to play the game which experienced grad students will simply be better at. This does not reflect poorly on your aptitude if you are playing catch up in this arena...3 years on there is rarely substantial differences between undergrad admits and others.

    Taking criticism also resonated with me. It is hard. For many people, grades have been a source of self validation. In grad school, they suddenly become fairly meaningless in a lot of programs. At the same time, the actual critical reflection of your work goes substantially up. I still have to remind my self not be defensive during q/a during a presentation. My advice here is probably of a narrow focus, but I think if you are an externally motivated individual (ie gauge your self worth by the views of others) grad school will be an important place do develop more of an internal focus and it will also be a place of a lot of hard knocks...but they might be good for the soul.

    Department politics: I'm still bad at this. My first year I didn't think there was a lot of distention in the department. My second year: I see it everywhere. Be very mindful when Professors ask you about their peers as it is hard to be certain of their motives especially if you do not fully grasp your department's politics.
  2. Like
    IRdreams got a reaction from RedBird in If I knew then what I know now (Officially Grads version)   
    One last thing...


    Research Seminars and Meeting Visitors: My first year none of my cohort regularly attended our department's research seminar in which we invited high profile visitors to present their work. Big mistake. Yes first year is busy (I called it "First Year Grad Hell"), but this is an invaluable forum to network with the academic community you will be joining. If possible, read the paper thoroughly and have trenchant comment. If the department offers an option for informal grad meetings with the visitor, take it up even if the person is only within your broad subfield. You never know who will have an interesting insight on your project. The other advantages of these meetings is that different programs focus on different things in critiquing research and this is a good place to suss out what students at different schools are being told. This can be invaluable knowledge about the field come job talk time. Do be aware that these meetings can be incredibly awkward: it's not your fault. Academics are weird people and sometimes the conversation doesn't go well. I was really stressed about this and worried I had made a terrible impression on a very prominent member of my field. One of my advisers emailed me a few weeks later to tell me that he had actually brought up my research and was rather impressed. So awkward town does not mean that the meeting is a bust.
  3. Like
    IRdreams got a reaction from HanZero in If I knew then what I know now (Officially Grads version)   
    I really have to agree with the competition advice concerning your cohort. As a direct from undergrad, my first year was fairly difficult because I placed a bunch of added stress on my self when I thought about students who had masters or life experience. The former I even took to calling "false first years." A lot of grad school in the first year is learning how to play the game which experienced grad students will simply be better at. This does not reflect poorly on your aptitude if you are playing catch up in this arena...3 years on there is rarely substantial differences between undergrad admits and others.

    Taking criticism also resonated with me. It is hard. For many people, grades have been a source of self validation. In grad school, they suddenly become fairly meaningless in a lot of programs. At the same time, the actual critical reflection of your work goes substantially up. I still have to remind my self not be defensive during q/a during a presentation. My advice here is probably of a narrow focus, but I think if you are an externally motivated individual (ie gauge your self worth by the views of others) grad school will be an important place do develop more of an internal focus and it will also be a place of a lot of hard knocks...but they might be good for the soul.

    Department politics: I'm still bad at this. My first year I didn't think there was a lot of distention in the department. My second year: I see it everywhere. Be very mindful when Professors ask you about their peers as it is hard to be certain of their motives especially if you do not fully grasp your department's politics.
  4. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from TITX in If I knew then what I know now (Officially Grads version)   
    I really have to agree with the competition advice concerning your cohort. As a direct from undergrad, my first year was fairly difficult because I placed a bunch of added stress on my self when I thought about students who had masters or life experience. The former I even took to calling "false first years." A lot of grad school in the first year is learning how to play the game which experienced grad students will simply be better at. This does not reflect poorly on your aptitude if you are playing catch up in this arena...3 years on there is rarely substantial differences between undergrad admits and others.

    Taking criticism also resonated with me. It is hard. For many people, grades have been a source of self validation. In grad school, they suddenly become fairly meaningless in a lot of programs. At the same time, the actual critical reflection of your work goes substantially up. I still have to remind my self not be defensive during q/a during a presentation. My advice here is probably of a narrow focus, but I think if you are an externally motivated individual (ie gauge your self worth by the views of others) grad school will be an important place do develop more of an internal focus and it will also be a place of a lot of hard knocks...but they might be good for the soul.

    Department politics: I'm still bad at this. My first year I didn't think there was a lot of distention in the department. My second year: I see it everywhere. Be very mindful when Professors ask you about their peers as it is hard to be certain of their motives especially if you do not fully grasp your department's politics.
  5. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from Bayesian1701 in If I knew then what I know now (Officially Grads version)   
    I really have to agree with the competition advice concerning your cohort. As a direct from undergrad, my first year was fairly difficult because I placed a bunch of added stress on my self when I thought about students who had masters or life experience. The former I even took to calling "false first years." A lot of grad school in the first year is learning how to play the game which experienced grad students will simply be better at. This does not reflect poorly on your aptitude if you are playing catch up in this arena...3 years on there is rarely substantial differences between undergrad admits and others.

    Taking criticism also resonated with me. It is hard. For many people, grades have been a source of self validation. In grad school, they suddenly become fairly meaningless in a lot of programs. At the same time, the actual critical reflection of your work goes substantially up. I still have to remind my self not be defensive during q/a during a presentation. My advice here is probably of a narrow focus, but I think if you are an externally motivated individual (ie gauge your self worth by the views of others) grad school will be an important place do develop more of an internal focus and it will also be a place of a lot of hard knocks...but they might be good for the soul.

    Department politics: I'm still bad at this. My first year I didn't think there was a lot of distention in the department. My second year: I see it everywhere. Be very mindful when Professors ask you about their peers as it is hard to be certain of their motives especially if you do not fully grasp your department's politics.
  6. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from PhiloStorian in If I knew then what I know now (Officially Grads version)   
    I really have to agree with the competition advice concerning your cohort. As a direct from undergrad, my first year was fairly difficult because I placed a bunch of added stress on my self when I thought about students who had masters or life experience. The former I even took to calling "false first years." A lot of grad school in the first year is learning how to play the game which experienced grad students will simply be better at. This does not reflect poorly on your aptitude if you are playing catch up in this arena...3 years on there is rarely substantial differences between undergrad admits and others.

    Taking criticism also resonated with me. It is hard. For many people, grades have been a source of self validation. In grad school, they suddenly become fairly meaningless in a lot of programs. At the same time, the actual critical reflection of your work goes substantially up. I still have to remind my self not be defensive during q/a during a presentation. My advice here is probably of a narrow focus, but I think if you are an externally motivated individual (ie gauge your self worth by the views of others) grad school will be an important place do develop more of an internal focus and it will also be a place of a lot of hard knocks...but they might be good for the soul.

    Department politics: I'm still bad at this. My first year I didn't think there was a lot of distention in the department. My second year: I see it everywhere. Be very mindful when Professors ask you about their peers as it is hard to be certain of their motives especially if you do not fully grasp your department's politics.
  7. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from Assotto in If I knew then what I know now (Officially Grads version)   
    One last thing...


    Research Seminars and Meeting Visitors: My first year none of my cohort regularly attended our department's research seminar in which we invited high profile visitors to present their work. Big mistake. Yes first year is busy (I called it "First Year Grad Hell"), but this is an invaluable forum to network with the academic community you will be joining. If possible, read the paper thoroughly and have trenchant comment. If the department offers an option for informal grad meetings with the visitor, take it up even if the person is only within your broad subfield. You never know who will have an interesting insight on your project. The other advantages of these meetings is that different programs focus on different things in critiquing research and this is a good place to suss out what students at different schools are being told. This can be invaluable knowledge about the field come job talk time. Do be aware that these meetings can be incredibly awkward: it's not your fault. Academics are weird people and sometimes the conversation doesn't go well. I was really stressed about this and worried I had made a terrible impression on a very prominent member of my field. One of my advisers emailed me a few weeks later to tell me that he had actually brought up my research and was rather impressed. So awkward town does not mean that the meeting is a bust.
  8. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from Taeyers in If I knew then what I know now (Officially Grads version)   
    One last thing...


    Research Seminars and Meeting Visitors: My first year none of my cohort regularly attended our department's research seminar in which we invited high profile visitors to present their work. Big mistake. Yes first year is busy (I called it "First Year Grad Hell"), but this is an invaluable forum to network with the academic community you will be joining. If possible, read the paper thoroughly and have trenchant comment. If the department offers an option for informal grad meetings with the visitor, take it up even if the person is only within your broad subfield. You never know who will have an interesting insight on your project. The other advantages of these meetings is that different programs focus on different things in critiquing research and this is a good place to suss out what students at different schools are being told. This can be invaluable knowledge about the field come job talk time. Do be aware that these meetings can be incredibly awkward: it's not your fault. Academics are weird people and sometimes the conversation doesn't go well. I was really stressed about this and worried I had made a terrible impression on a very prominent member of my field. One of my advisers emailed me a few weeks later to tell me that he had actually brought up my research and was rather impressed. So awkward town does not mean that the meeting is a bust.
  9. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from Cesare in If I knew then what I know now (Officially Grads version)   
    One last thing...


    Research Seminars and Meeting Visitors: My first year none of my cohort regularly attended our department's research seminar in which we invited high profile visitors to present their work. Big mistake. Yes first year is busy (I called it "First Year Grad Hell"), but this is an invaluable forum to network with the academic community you will be joining. If possible, read the paper thoroughly and have trenchant comment. If the department offers an option for informal grad meetings with the visitor, take it up even if the person is only within your broad subfield. You never know who will have an interesting insight on your project. The other advantages of these meetings is that different programs focus on different things in critiquing research and this is a good place to suss out what students at different schools are being told. This can be invaluable knowledge about the field come job talk time. Do be aware that these meetings can be incredibly awkward: it's not your fault. Academics are weird people and sometimes the conversation doesn't go well. I was really stressed about this and worried I had made a terrible impression on a very prominent member of my field. One of my advisers emailed me a few weeks later to tell me that he had actually brought up my research and was rather impressed. So awkward town does not mean that the meeting is a bust.
  10. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from Cesare in If I knew then what I know now (Officially Grads version)   
    I really have to agree with the competition advice concerning your cohort. As a direct from undergrad, my first year was fairly difficult because I placed a bunch of added stress on my self when I thought about students who had masters or life experience. The former I even took to calling "false first years." A lot of grad school in the first year is learning how to play the game which experienced grad students will simply be better at. This does not reflect poorly on your aptitude if you are playing catch up in this arena...3 years on there is rarely substantial differences between undergrad admits and others.

    Taking criticism also resonated with me. It is hard. For many people, grades have been a source of self validation. In grad school, they suddenly become fairly meaningless in a lot of programs. At the same time, the actual critical reflection of your work goes substantially up. I still have to remind my self not be defensive during q/a during a presentation. My advice here is probably of a narrow focus, but I think if you are an externally motivated individual (ie gauge your self worth by the views of others) grad school will be an important place do develop more of an internal focus and it will also be a place of a lot of hard knocks...but they might be good for the soul.

    Department politics: I'm still bad at this. My first year I didn't think there was a lot of distention in the department. My second year: I see it everywhere. Be very mindful when Professors ask you about their peers as it is hard to be certain of their motives especially if you do not fully grasp your department's politics.
  11. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from Gwendolyn in for those accepted into grad programs straight from undergrad   
    I think senioritis is pretty inevitable, or at least it was for me. And I don't think it is connected to what classes you are taking or the fact that you left the most boring requirements to the end. I had a terrible case of it even though I was working on a thesis I had invested much blood, sweat, and tears into as well as taking upper division astronomy classes because they sound and were in fact amazing. Anyways, it clears up when you start your grad course work so just float on now if you need to with the conviction that you will be moving on to bigger and better things.

    On a related note, I always get transitional depression which fuels my senioritis lack of motivation. This might be something to consider. You are planning on making a pretty substantial change in life plans. I also remember senior year sucking for this reason and the fact that there were so many unknowns. Would I get a job? Would I go to grad school? Which grad school would take me? Will there be funding? Will it be in a good city? What will my cohort be like? Will I have a good adviser and committee? Am I really cut out for grad school or were the schools that rejected me right? Ect ect ect. Maybe it is just me, but it is pretty hard to be motivated with that much existential angst hanging around.
  12. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from kingspeech in Friend's Grad School Rejection   
    So I combined suggestions. We day drank at a brewery tasting and then hit up a whisky bar and saddled up with the four horsemen. No tears so I think it was successful.
  13. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from ArtHistoryandMuseum in Friend's Grad School Rejection   
    So I combined suggestions. We day drank at a brewery tasting and then hit up a whisky bar and saddled up with the four horsemen. No tears so I think it was successful.
  14. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from pears in Friend's Grad School Rejection   
    So I combined suggestions. We day drank at a brewery tasting and then hit up a whisky bar and saddled up with the four horsemen. No tears so I think it was successful.
  15. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from biscuits in Friend's Grad School Rejection   
    So I combined suggestions. We day drank at a brewery tasting and then hit up a whisky bar and saddled up with the four horsemen. No tears so I think it was successful.
  16. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from Panama Slim in Friend's Grad School Rejection   
    So I combined suggestions. We day drank at a brewery tasting and then hit up a whisky bar and saddled up with the four horsemen. No tears so I think it was successful.
  17. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from ZacharyObama in Friend's Grad School Rejection   
    So I combined suggestions. We day drank at a brewery tasting and then hit up a whisky bar and saddled up with the four horsemen. No tears so I think it was successful.
  18. Upvote
    IRdreams reacted to MPPgal in Friend's Grad School Rejection   
    Im from Mexico so I will stick to Mezcal (same cactus as tequila, lots more alcohol) in here tequila makes you cry, mezcal makes you cheerful, it worked to make a friend happy when she got rejected from all her PhDs. So get some mezcal, cut some oranges and smile! 
  19. Upvote
    IRdreams reacted to pears in Friend's Grad School Rejection   
    the four horsemen, of course: jack, jim, jameson, and johnny. equal parts, all together, because apocalyptic levels of bummed-out-itude call for apocalyptic measures.
  20. Upvote
    IRdreams reacted to snowblossom2 in GRFP and Project Outcome Reports   
    No. Just your yearly Fellowship Activities Report
  21. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from poorgrad in The Games People Play   
    I'm not in your field so take my advice with a grain of salt. In my field if you are waitlisted, the chance that they will offer you generous funding is low anyways. Thus, if I wanted to secure admission, I would definitely tell them recognizing that they are unlikely to top up the award very much if at all. I wouldn't worry to much about the tuition fees issue. The department admits you and with a fellowship you look like a free or cheap researcher and TA...something departments love.
  22. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from Andsowego in The Games People Play   
    I'm not in your field so take my advice with a grain of salt. In my field if you are waitlisted, the chance that they will offer you generous funding is low anyways. Thus, if I wanted to secure admission, I would definitely tell them recognizing that they are unlikely to top up the award very much if at all. I wouldn't worry to much about the tuition fees issue. The department admits you and with a fellowship you look like a free or cheap researcher and TA...something departments love.
  23. Downvote
    IRdreams reacted to almondmilk in NSF GRFP- Any successful appeal stories?   
    Hi all. I received an honorable mention in the NSF GRFP competition this year, and my reviews have only left my baffled...

    I got glowing reviews, except that two reviewers said that I didn't connect my project to existing literature.

    This is baffling because.... I did. The entire second paragraph in my proposal does just that. It's like they somehow just completely missed that part of the proposal. It just doesn't make any sense, and I don't even know what to think.

    I would really like to somehow bring this to the attention of the program officers in hopes that they could perhaps give my application another look?

    Normally I wouldn't be one to appeal a decision like this, but since the only criticism I got is an objective matter that I can refute/correct by simply pointing them to the correct portion of my proposal, I feel like it is worth a shot.

    Does anyone know of any successful appeal stories? Or should I just accept this as one of those times when life doles out a crappy hand?

    Any advice/insight would be much appreciated!
  24. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from UnixGuy in Very stupid question, but...   
    A friend of mine who works in human resources disagrees. Many people put GPA on the resume and if he doesn't see your GPA he assumes you graduated with poor marks. This is not necessarily an assumption you want floating around. GPA is especially important on resumes when it is your first job after leaving a degree program and it is easier to remove for subsequent jobs since education is less important in the hirin process then.
  25. Upvote
    IRdreams got a reaction from lurker_and_lings in The Games People Play   
    I'm not in your field so take my advice with a grain of salt. In my field if you are waitlisted, the chance that they will offer you generous funding is low anyways. Thus, if I wanted to secure admission, I would definitely tell them recognizing that they are unlikely to top up the award very much if at all. I wouldn't worry to much about the tuition fees issue. The department admits you and with a fellowship you look like a free or cheap researcher and TA...something departments love.
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