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About leahallegra

  • Rank
  • Birthday August 5

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Cornell University
  • Interests
    Biomechanical applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. I study soft tissue mechanobiology using the mitral valves as a model.
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Biomedical Engineering
  1. Got the cryptic short list email as well. This is so frustrating. Got honorable mention for NSF GRFP and shortlisted here. I'm going nuts. Reject me or don't, quit messing with me and giving me goddamned pity awards!
  2. Well I had been having a very pleasant evening and now...well, it feels like I ate a tire iron. I think Im going to go take a nice shower and try and relax. One more hour(?)!
  3. I agree with SixFender above and think you need to weigh job prospects. While in this economy, nothing is certain, figure out what types of jobs and their salaries are available to you right now (and how happy you would be with those types of jobs) and figure out the salary difference between the MA and the PhD in those job opportunies. If the PhD offers you a job in the future with a significantly higher salary or a job you would be significantly happier in, defer the loans and enjoy the next few years!
  4. I agree. Take the jump. So long as its not going to crush you financially, moving is part of the academic experience imo. Its scary and complicated sometimes but moving (especially to the better ranked university which will give you the better looking degree) will teach you important life skills you would never get by staying home. One of my good friends had a reputation for acting incredibly immaturely but he upped and moved to a new state to start this really awesome prestigious post bach thing and he has become a whole new person. Its pretty amazing.
  5. Yes, this is definitely a factor. My GPA is very low I was quite surprised when I was waitlisted and not rejected almost everywhere and when Cornell actually accepted me-even for a masters. The masters degree may actually help me in my PhD pursuits by giving me some solid grades in a graduate program as a reference. Cornell has the better research fit by far. I applied to the other school, Montana State, because they have a decent environmental bioengineering program with a good focus on biofilm engineering and also because Im so in love with the area. While biofilms do interest me and
  6. Haha dont question it and just go! I had a similar experience in which I was rejected from my alma mater and safety school (Stony Brook) which is a great school but its not a top 20 but accepted at Cornell and waitlisted at a ton of other big names in the field. Go figure.
  7. I would go with the overall better fit. Even if the lab isnt perfect, it clearly has you interested enough to be considering it. If you attend a school where you dont like the environment it doesnt matter how good the lab is you wont be as happy. Keep in contact and follow the work of the better fit lab-you are a PhD candidate and will be free to pursue whatever interests you for your dissertation (within reason!) but you will not have the same flexibility in trying to fit the environment to you. Right now I am in a wonderful lab but I really dislike the area my university is at and if I could
  8. So I have two acceptances now and since its mid-March Im starting to really think hard about them. Im still hoping to see what comes of the schools Ive been waitlisted at buuuut for now lets focus on what I got. I have one offer for a funded PhD at a good but not really prestigious school and an offer for a masters at Cornell which has a reputable program. Should I bite the bullet and take the unfunded masters? This adds a few years to my education and you know, finances. I was thinking maybe I could take the Masters of Engineering over the Masters of Science since its only 1 year which makes
  9. Oh, and it wasnt some super short easy process. I more or less didnt sleep for about a month and a half while I did all the applications throughout December/winter break. I chose schools with January and February deadlines so I could have winter break to work on them hardcore. It sucked.
  10. I contacted professors from a couple of schools that I was very interested in working with but not for all. Several of my schools Im more or less going in blind on the applications process although I know the focus of the department's research. I did write individual SOPs for all the schools however I used one global template for them so I more or less changed out the name of the school, faculty, research focus, and changed the two/three paragraphs I had on why I want to go to this school in particular. But the background, research experience, interests, and goals stayed the same.
  11. Lol! Thats exactly what I did! I just adopted this very sweet and very pathetic older stray who is blind in one eye and has (thankfully asymptomatic) feline leukemia virus. Poor baby was dumped in Brooklyn and hasnt stopped purring since I brought her inside. Shes helping me keep my sanity : )
  12. 21 is an obscene number and that many applications becomes VERY difficult to keep track of. LORs were a nightmare and a half but as I mentioned above I really needed to case a wide net in my situation. I kept an Excel spreadsheet and checked off every piece of the application for all the schools to help keep on top of things. I also didnt really have a winter break since I was busy with applications 24/7. It sucked. Never again (I hope!)
  13. I was able to get the fees waived for about half of the programs due to very high GREs/serious disadvantage due to illness. I got two other fee waivers by getting invited to apply with an accelerated application because of very high GREs so I wound up paying for about 9 schools. Still pretty expensive- Id say around $1000. I needed to apply to that many schools as I am a complicated applicant with a very, very low GPA for a very good reason and the potential for discrimination based on disability which while illegal, still happens pretty frequently. I must mention my disability in order to exp
  14. Oh yeah, I am anticipating a TON of rejections based on my GPA. Luckily I cast a wide net and applied to 21 schools. I've already been rejected from three and knowing that I have SO many more chances is making this process a lot easier. Someone somewhere IS going to want me!
  15. I think most of us need a good whine at this point in the process and some of us need a good wine! Hur hur hur! Theres a reason I didnt go to clown college...
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