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_kita

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  1. Upvote
    _kita got a reaction from louise86 in Is it worth applying with an extremely low GPA?   
    You can also discuss what you learned about yourself, and systemic problems you want to professionally address, as you went through the mental health system - how you learn, barriers to recognizing and getting appropriate help, etc. That can actually be a powerful personal story that shows a lot of appealing traits to the adcom.
  2. Upvote
    _kita got a reaction from RunnerGrad in Lack of Research Experience: Worth Applying to PhD Programs?   
    Before I attempt to answer your question... May I ask, why a PhD, which is traditionally research heavy if you have not had a lot of research experience? Do you enjoy and want to work in research?
  3. Like
    _kita got a reaction from LolJustAdmitMe in Super nervous about my chances of being admitted. How did you all get through waiting on university decisions?   
    Job applications and other work responsibilities mostly. I was actively applying and interviewing for non-grad school back-up plans. I also continued reading academic literature within my research interests, etc., to prepare for academic interviews. 
    It was honestly easier (but by no ways easy) waiting for the grad decisions than company promotional decisions because there are more tangible career-driven tasks I can occupy myself with. 
  4. Like
    _kita got a reaction from LolJustAdmitMe in Super nervous about my chances of being admitted. How did you all get through waiting on university decisions?   
    Job applications and other work responsibilities mostly. I was actively applying and interviewing for non-grad school back-up plans. I also continued reading academic literature within my research interests, etc., to prepare for academic interviews. 
    It was honestly easier (but by no ways easy) waiting for the grad decisions than company promotional decisions because there are more tangible career-driven tasks I can occupy myself with. 
  5. Upvote
    _kita got a reaction from kristincas in How to stand out in a group setting?   
    **Oops... just realized this was a topic a while ago. But in case anyone else asks**
     
    I love group interviews. You can size up the competition and illustrate why you're a better fit for the job. You can also demonstrate problem solving and collaborative skills all at once! If you're the candidate that gets the other candidates talking, it says a lot about you being personable and relatable. Furthermore, the interviewers struggle more with keeping a straight face. You can begin to tell what they're looking for about halfway into to.
    Strategy: bounce off of what another candidate says. "I really like the point that X said. I used a similar technique when I encountered X problem and I did X to solve it" or "I see where X is coming from, but I think I would use a different approach. I would X." And another interviewers favorite, I don't think I heard anyone say this, but I would do X." Write down the name of the other candidates.
     
     
  6. Upvote
    _kita got a reaction from Dart123 in Should I even apply?   
    I suggest making a life change, but graduate school might not be the best one for you right now. Look at getting some biology research assistant jobs and get yourself into a lab. Grad school is not something to undergo if you are already exhausted thinking about the work you'll have to do.
  7. Like
    _kita got a reaction from Crimson Wife in Was Joan of Arc crazy?   
    ^ This ^ Psychology is becoming a increasingly rigorous scientific field. Your question seems more a philosophical and spiritual based one than psychology based one.
  8. Like
    _kita got a reaction from eternallyephemeral in Maybe I'm alone in feeling this way but doing a PhD has destroyed my self worth...can anyone relate?   
    You aren't alone. The rate of anxiety and depression among grad students is astonishing. You need to prioritize your mental wellness and learn your own "self care" plan. This can be anything from making a point not to sacrifice sleep, exercising, eating healthier, counseling, to do lists, positive affirmations/grateful lists, journaling, seting aside "you time" for a favorite activity, talking to advisors about types of feedback you need, etc.
    If you're at a loss how to even start, counseling is a great first step. Remember that anything you do or change isn't you being lazy, immature, or whatever other negative thoughts you may have about yourself. It is about making sure you are healthy so you can give more to you work.
    Take care!
  9. Upvote
    _kita got a reaction from Clinicalpsych111 in Personal Statement for PhD in Clinical Psych - Need Advice!   
    Personal mental illness can be crafted in a way that's not a kiss of death, but you don't need to worry about it unless you really want to. From what I see of your profile, you are the ideal candidate (as long as you fit really well with the program). You have strong grades, strong GRE scores, relevant experience (both work and research), and I would assume strong references. I don't see the two 'W's being a problem for you. If I was on the adcom, I would assume that you had time-management or personal life conflicts that took up your time so you withdrew. Additionally, freshman year B's & C's indicate normal freshman, so again nothing you really need to defend here. I see a lot of love for LGBT social and clinical psych on your profile, and I suggest crafting your statement around your current accomplishments.
    However, if you insist on adding your personal history into the statement, ask yourself why it is so important to you. My assumption is that your experience has molded your research and professional perspectives. Maybe it's helped you see the field in a new way and consider questions that need to be explored. If you're going to talk about mental illness, talk about those perspectives and research ideas. 
    And congratulations. It takes a lot to accomplish what you did both professionally and personally. Good luck!
  10. Upvote
    _kita got a reaction from UrbanMidwest in Did you enjoy grad school?   
    You really aren't alone though. I can remember being reticent and uncomfortable initially. My concerns didn't ebb until I experienced the program and interacted more with my cohort.
    Overall, I enjoyed graduate school. I adored 1 program and thought another program was okay.  My enjoyment really came down to the people (how much did they motivate and inspire me), classes touching on questions that interested me, and opportunities for professional and personal development. My first program was a bit subpar with a lot of that, but provided enough that I knew what I wanted to do next. The second one blew away my expectations.
    On the negative, I agree with a lot of @UrbanMidwest's experiences. Some of my classes felt like the professors lived in their "research lab" bubble or their 'normal people' counseling bubble. I worked with serious mental illness and severe developmental disabilities. So when I heard professors paint a rosy picture without touching on the types of cases I saw daily, it was frustrating. It felt like if I didn't agree with a specific approach, my comments were either dismissed or unwelcomed. I learned to write the notes, and be more cautious with when I added to a discussion... or at least when to be dissident. Good news! I had an amazing cohort, so several of us would share our interpretations and experiences after classes if it wasn't welcome during class-time. 
     
     
  11. Upvote
    _kita reacted to rising_star in Leaving PhD program - reasons and advice   
    @buttercup8d, I don't think anyone said that POC should just suck it up. I think it was more of offering the counterpoint that the grass isn't always greener. I have friends in the corporate world who go through the exact same BS that POC academics talk about. It's definitely worth being aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each so that you can make an informed decision about where you want to be and how you want to spend your life. I recommend deep introspection and loads of informational interviews to help as you try to figure that out.
  12. Upvote
    _kita reacted to TakeruK in Is it inadvisable to request programs for feedback of a statement of purpose?   
    I think this is a bad idea. Unless explicitly stated on the website, the contact person for grad application isn't meant to be an advisor to applicants. It's not their job to give specific advice on each person's application package. If that person is a professor, they are likely very busy and their main role in applications is probably to answer questions about the process and/or convene the admissions committee. If that person isn't a professor (more likely when I see a contact person listed) then they wouldn't be able to help you. 
  13. Upvote
    _kita reacted to rising_star in Is it inadvisable to request programs for feedback of a statement of purpose?   
    I wouldn't do this. Instead, I'd try to find friends or mentors in sociology who could read your SOP if you really think you need that feedback. 
  14. Upvote
    _kita reacted to fuzzylogician in Scare of an academic meeting   
    Okay, so there are relevant facts, irrelevant facts, and speculation. You'll do well to distinguish those in any official conversation: 
    Relevant facts: 
    You were on track as per your last meeting.  You were asked by your advisors to divert your attention to writing a manuscript, which you did.  This led to a slow down in dissertation writing.  At some point there was a money problem that led to a delay in the manuscript writing. Everyone agreed that you should re-focus on the dissertation.  You have been doing that, with good progress again, and a planned submission date by the end of the year.  Irrelevant facts: 
    Anything to do with happened to that other student in the committee meeting.  That A called B names or vice versa.  All the business with authorship on the paper.  Speculation: 
    Anything to do with delaying your graduation time for any nefarious reason (e.g., to wait for another funding cycle).  Anything to do with how you interpret someone's comments or lack thereof.  Actually, at least part of your story about authorship is probably also speculation.  Ulterior motives behind the timing of submission, where to submit, etc., beyond what you witnesses firsthand.  Stick to the relevant facts, and that should be enough. This sounds like a pretty common occurrence. Don't offer speculation if anyone "thoroughly investigates". It's fair and smart to say "I don't know, I simply did what my advisors asked and trusted in their expertise." If asked, you can say you expressed concerns that the manuscript writing was slowing you down, and that after some meetings and deliberation, and partly because of the money trouble, you all eventually agreed that you should focus on the dissertation first. Again, facts, not speculation, and no accusations. People can draw their own conclusions. 
  15. Upvote
    _kita got a reaction from louise86 in Is it worth applying with an extremely low GPA?   
    You can also discuss what you learned about yourself, and systemic problems you want to professionally address, as you went through the mental health system - how you learn, barriers to recognizing and getting appropriate help, etc. That can actually be a powerful personal story that shows a lot of appealing traits to the adcom.
  16. Like
    _kita got a reaction from Claire Wang in Why do you come (What keeps you coming back) to the Grad Cafe?   
    I joined back in 2012, but knew about it since 2008-2009. In 2008-9 I had graduated from UGrad and knew I wanted to pursue a Grad degree. But I needed to wait. I found a lot of resources discussing grad school, but Grad cafe seemed to give the most consistent and candid response.
    In 2012, when I was finally starting to apply, I realized that we didn't have a lot of "adult learners" on here. By that I mean, most of the advice givers were direct UGrad to Grad and the advice was geared towards that population. So I started to ask more questions and gave insight as a young professional going back to further my current career.
    I've stayed ever since because I like the community, and I feel like I can give a different perspective that helps different types of applicants. 
  17. Upvote
    _kita got a reaction from Kumongirl in Maybe I'm alone in feeling this way but doing a PhD has destroyed my self worth...can anyone relate?   
    I'm glad to hear this. As a mental health counselor, I can tell you that not all of us are the same caliber, nor are we interchangeable. If you've tried 1 therapist, it's like trying 1 burger and saying they're all the same. You may want to consider why it failed (what did or didn't the counselor do that you needed from the therapeutic relationship).
     
    You've had a lot of really good advice thus far speaking to this. To rebuild self-esteem you need both external and internal process switches. So, you need a positive support network around you - to help bolster what you're trying to change internally.
    Internal Methods:
    Identifying 3 accomplishments you did for the day. This can be as simple as "I read that chapter, I finished that paper, I spoke to a friend I haven't in a while, I washed my hair today, etc." Give your self credit where credit is due. Write this in a journal, or just say it out loud on repeat.  Reminders about what you've done thus far. I like pictures for this. Placing pictures around your work or home from moments when you feel accomplished, connected, or just memories that make you happy. Setting small, achievable, daily goals for yourself. Often times we only set the large goals, and forget to set and praise ourselves for the little stuff Remember "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." If someone makes you feel small, work on not letting that be personal. Maybe write down the comment, and write down ways which they might have meant it that wasn't personal. Work on desensitizing yourself to those words. External Methods:
    You're doing the biggest one right now! Reaching out, talking to others who are supportive. If your support is either 1) not supportive 2) not supportive in the way you need, either communicate and get that worked on... or find new supports Keeping yourself physically healthy and mentally challenged while working on the mental wellness!
  18. Like
    _kita reacted to Farmcat1 in Stressing about my personal statement   
    Thanks so much for the response.  I free-wrote about 5 pages, and you're right- it's a verrrrry long story.  I'm going to take the "where I want to go from here" route.  Thank you for your help!
  19. Like
    _kita got a reaction from samman1994 in How long can you postpone a job offer?   
    Congrats!
  20. Like
    _kita reacted to samman1994 in How long can you postpone a job offer?   
    So an update on my job search. One of the jobs "trolled" me, and decided to tell me they'd be giving me 50k/yr, but instead offered me 30k/yr and would not negotiate the price, so that's out. The other job, big pharma, is not worth the drive. Driving there and back today (leaving when I normally would be if I worked there), took me 3.5 hours! There is no way I am doing that everyday (plus I'd be leaving early in the morning during rush hour, so my drive would probably be a total of 4+ hours a day for a normal 8 hour work shift). So I've decided to accept the small start up instead (only an hour drive a day). Less pay, but at least I'll have my sanity. 
  21. Like
    _kita reacted to TakeruK in Figuring out what you're qualified for   
    Something you can do is to find people working in positions you think you might want to do / be qualified for and talk to them. They can help you get a good sense of whether you are qualified and if not, whether a few small things can change it or if it would mean a lot more work to get there. Asking for an "informational interview", like 15 minutes over Skype or coffee or something might be a good idea.
    The hard part is finding people who can do this. Sometimes you can just ask---it doesn't really hurt! But if you know someone who knows someone at an organization you want to for at (or similar to one), then reach out and see if they can introduce you. That's what LinkedIn is partially for anyways!
    Another thing to try is your career center again (if you can still access them as an alumni). Instead of just talking to a career advisor, perhaps ask them to connect you to alumni at organizations you are interested in. The names you get would presumably be all people interested in speaking with you since this would be a self-identified list of people!
    These connections are the way the majority of people I know from grad school who either left the PhD program for a good job or went onto a good job directly after graduation.
  22. Upvote
    _kita got a reaction from Nico Corr in Who in your opinion makes the best GRE prep material?   
    I will second what a lot of people have said. I like Magoosh for the quant for their practice problems, apps, and video explanations. I also subsidized that with Khan Academy videos (which is free, but not GRE specific). Both of those helped develop my overall "number sense" as well as tips and tricks for the exam itself. Otherwords, I have the Kaplan and ETS math workbooks. My plan is, if my scores aren't high enough after going through both thoroughly, I'll be going through an in-class prep session. I'm aiming to increase my score by almost 20 points - which is a rather tall order.
  23. Like
    _kita reacted to avflinsch in Stressing about my personal statement   
    Your final gpa is what matters, and the 3.88 is nothing to be ashamed about. You really don't need to mention anything that you are uncomfortable with in your personal statement. If you really wanted to reference it, you could always say something along the lines of "It took me a while to complete my Associates degree because I was having difficulty finding my focus, but after taking some personal time I realized where I needed to be..."
    FWIW - I had no focus at all during my early undergrad years - changed direction several times before taking a 20 year absence from academia. I didn't return to finish my undergrad until I was 46, and finally finished it when I was 52. After that it was straight thru the masters and now starting the PhD.
    While our reasons for taking a long time may be different, what matters is that once you found your focus you showed a great deal of determination in getting things done.
     
     
  24. Upvote
    _kita reacted to TakeruK in Unless you have a trust fund and never want to leave DC, these programs are a scam   
    Moderator note:
    Just a friendly reminder that users are certainly welcome to disagree with each other. Respectful discussion is one way to provide valuable insight and knowledge.
    However, I will remind everyone to refrain from discussing other users. If you disagree with someone, respond to their thoughts/ideas/arguments. Counter their opinions with your own opinions of these ideas, but not your opinion of other users.
    To be absolutely clear, for this specific example: If you believe one user is not providing an accurate description of a program you know about, then write about your own experiences with the program. But it is not appropriate to make comments to the effect of "Don't believe user X". Instead, say, "I disagree with X because ABC" for example.
  25. Upvote
    _kita reacted to fuzzylogician in Maybe I'm alone in feeling this way but doing a PhD has destroyed my self worth...can anyone relate?   
    You are most definitely not alone. This is all too common among graduate students. @_kita offered some great advice on what to do. Talking to someone is a good first step; most schools have a counseling service which can help you get started. At some point in my grad student career, I would actually explicitly schedule sleep and time off in my calendar. Seeing the times blocked off really helped me say "no, I'm not available for X at time Y, I already have something in my calendar." No one ever asked what, and I could keep my plans to actually have some form of a life and sleep enough. I had to be very explicit about my priorities and about accepting that there is always more work than there is time, and I just need to learn to let go and accept less than perfect results and some things actually not getting done. The important step was to learn not to be bothered by it. Now I try to be thoughtful about the things I say "yes" to, and to say "no" more often -- which is hard but necessary! I also learned to recalibrate my expectations and redefine what I consider "good enough". 
    There are parts of the grad student experience that are incredibly stressful. Exams, going on the job market, the uncertainty of it all -- that can be hard and it can take years to resolve. Talking to others might help. You are not alone in this, even if no one else is admitting to difficulty. I don't know a single person who wasn't anxious about these things. 
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