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orst11 last won the day on November 12 2011

orst11 had the most liked content!

About orst11

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  • Birthday 02/21/1986

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    Outside academia: tennis, traveling, cooking, languages
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
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    Political Science

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  1. So less than a month until the big move. I'm both excited yet freaking out at times. This whole process is about to finally end and a new journey will start and hopefully it ends as well as this one. Anyways, as many obstacles it seems like a person confronts with this whole process they must not forget the journey isn't over until you are really there. I say this because some of the things you don't think about when applying become harder once you have made a decision. Finding an apartment has been one of these particularly difficult things I have encountered. Unfortunately, this is somewhat my fault given I simply couldn't afford to make trips back and forth just to look at places. I was finally able to work with a real estate company that has rentals which helped dramatically. I would definitely recommend this to anyone especially if you are moving more than a few hours away. This was after the fact that I had found a place and basically was screwed over. Unfortunately, at many universities on-campus housing is unreliable and most grad students can save a lot money by finding a place off campus, I know from my experience I am saving roughly 200 dollars every month, which is a lot on a graduate student's budget. Overall, I am relieved that I will at least have a place to sleep when the move finally comes. Secondly, I am all registered for the fall. A few things may change, but I will see when I actually get to my orientation and talk to a few professors. The big thing I have to confront with this is time conflicts with my required methods courses and a course I really was just looking forward to taking. I knew this may be a problem when I made my decision to choose a smaller program over a larger one though, so still I am excited to get started. Thirdly, the thing I am most excited about is starting my assistantship. I think after having worked so hard to get to this point I feel like I can bring something to the table really, at least I hope. I am honestly just happy to be making some money even if the majority of it is going towards my living expenses as well. I wanted to finish this blog for the time being by noting more of my background. I applied for PhD programs in poli. sci after a year off of school. I did okay on the GRE but not spectacular like most of the people on this forum. My undergraduate gpa was pretty good at around 3.8, which I definitely believe helped with my less than stellar GRE verbal score. My research focus covers a number of issues, including energy politics, ethnic issues, and more broadly security within Central and Eastern Europe. I do have some experience in the region which I thought helped narrow my research focus, but I don't particularly believe this set me apart from others. Overall, if I had recommend anything to anyone about this whole process, it would be to only apply to programs you would actually attend. Lastly, you don't want to have any regrets about the whole process, applying for a given program is a lot less expensive than what you will be spending after you make a final decision.
  2. ^Agree with saltlake and brent09 for this issue. Both UMN and UCLA are household names. I think UMN definitely isn't quite at the same level UCLA is yet, but UMN's main competition comes from schools like WIsconsin, Illinois, etc. so basically they are on a different playing field. I will add if you are going to dabble into or even thinking about working with political psych, UMN is a hard school to turn down. Just be warned to buy a pair of boots. Last time, I was in the TC they had over 2 feet of snow on the ground. Ultimately, you have two good choices I don't think you would go wrong either way.
  3. Yes, I understand a lot of this, as many others probably do as well, because we are picking schools based on where we think they will be when we do end up on the job market. I think maybe you will want to consider research productivity at each place like saltlake suggested. Often less senior faculty are more eager to take on students and this can help you, because you gain a lot more insight both with research and the profession as a whole. On the other hand, look at the connections you would gain from each place. Also, remember to look at the age of the department, meaning avg. age of senior faculty, because this can end up being a factor later down the line if it does take you longer than you hoped to finish your degree. Look at recent hires of the department and ponder on what they are bringing to the table that may be a factor in your decision. Truthfully, with political theory I would almost always say choose the better ranked program and this is coming from a person who loves the Midwest. Financially it may be tougher at the one now, but it may be better for you in the long run. Either way you can do great work at either one just remember that. Good luck you will make the right decision for you.
  4. First congrats on such a great admission season. Now onto the issue, while I think some people will simply say to go to the program where money doesn't seem to be an issue, I think what you need to consider is, will the money be enough to get you through at both places. I think when it comes to political theory, obviously ranking seems to be an extremely important factor, because the field is more competitive than other subfields. This ultimately means with comparing the two offers program B has to compensate somehow and they obviously are doing so with money. Overall, Program B definitely has offered you a better package, but I think what you need to ask yourself now is where would you be more comfortable. I say this because you mentioned that both places have people working on your research interests and while this probably was a huge factor before it isn't a huge factor in deciding between the two now. Have you taken a look at placement and such? Have you visited and felt more comfortable at one of the programs? Seriously you can now even look at some simple(well maybe not so simple) things like weather, safety, housing, etc. that weren't a huge issue when researching where you applied, and these maybe factors in comparing if there are differences. As a person who chose a program much lower ranked than some of my options I would say consider the latter because they could have an effect on your ambition/sanity while you are in the program. Do you ultimately think you could be more productive in the field if you went to one program over another?
  5. orst11

    Carbondale, IL

    While I haven't lived there I did check them out when I visited. It seemed like there were a lot of undergrads there and honestly the rent is a little on the high side for Carbondale, but you basically are paying to live in an apartment that has been renovated recently or will be renovated soon. With that said I know they switched management companies recently and the apts were formerly known as Lewis Park apts. They have pretty bad reviews on apartmentratings.com, but obviously with management changes they may honestly be wanting to change.
  6. Can't make a decision! :(

  7. Marina, I just now saw your comment. First off, yay another Russian speaker. Obviously, I just know a little Russian. How is the whole waiting going? Any good news?
  8. For many people, I think a significant other is drawn into the equation, so while the list definitely is good this is another thing to consider. The list could almost be doubled when you also consider picking up and moving them with you. On another note saltlakecity2012, I personally love the edit.
  9. orst11

    The Hardest Part

    I actually did almost the same thing you described with the spreadsheets and what not. Really with this choice funding came into play as well as a number of other variable such as ranking, contact with POI"s, location, etc. Truthfully, I thought it was somewhat greedy of me to hold on to three offers when I can only choose one in the end. In all honesty the program I declined didn't have any expertise in regional aspects of my research which to me play a crucial role. I will PM you my research interests. I actually was going to mention these once i made a decision but truthfully all i am doing now is waiting for my cycle to finish up.
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