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  1. Upvote
    Gneiss1 got a reaction from SeriousSillyPutty in Prepping for physics grad classes... as a science ed student   
    I bought a few of the calculus workbooks to get brushed up on anything I may have forgotten and i use MIT opencourseware for everything else. Love that site!
  2. Upvote
    Gneiss1 got a reaction from SeriousSillyPutty in Anyone else out there in the "teeny-weeny cohort club"?   
    Can't say on the experience as I haven't begun yet, but I found out I was my adviser's only new incoming student. Talk about putting on the pressure haha:) good luck!
  3. Upvote
    Gneiss1 got a reaction from intlmfahopeful in Anyone else out there in the "teeny-weeny cohort club"?   
    Can't say on the experience as I haven't begun yet, but I found out I was my adviser's only new incoming student. Talk about putting on the pressure haha:) good luck!
  4. Upvote
    Gneiss1 got a reaction from TakeruK in Disappointed and thinking of switching to non-thesis MSc?   
    I agree with emmm. Research produces results, not necessarily the results you expect or wanted but results all the same and usually you can get something out of it even if it means changing your hypothesis or focus. Maybe you need to just step away from it for a few hours, go for a run or something and then come back to it and see if it says anything different or get with a group of friends and brainstorm.

    If you want a PhD to possibly be an option later down the road and you are in research I would think you would want to have a thesis, but I could be wrong I am not in your field so I don't really know how they look at things there. I no in my field skipping out on the thesis option would be a big no-no.
  5. Upvote
    Gneiss1 got a reaction from Dal PhDer in Disappointed and thinking of switching to non-thesis MSc?   
    I agree with emmm. Research produces results, not necessarily the results you expect or wanted but results all the same and usually you can get something out of it even if it means changing your hypothesis or focus. Maybe you need to just step away from it for a few hours, go for a run or something and then come back to it and see if it says anything different or get with a group of friends and brainstorm.

    If you want a PhD to possibly be an option later down the road and you are in research I would think you would want to have a thesis, but I could be wrong I am not in your field so I don't really know how they look at things there. I no in my field skipping out on the thesis option would be a big no-no.
  6. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to juilletmercredi in Advice for a first year PhD student   
    About your dog: I think that depends entirely on you and your program. I am in a social science program where the majority of my analysis and writing can be done from home, and I prefer to work from home or from a library (as opposed to my cube in the windowless cube farm). When I was taking classes I was generally there from 9-6 or so, but now that my coursework is finished I am rarely at the school itself. I go for meetings, seminars, interesting kinds of things and I do most of my work remotely. My time is verrry flexible, and if my building didn't prohibit it I would get a dog in a heartbeat. Another thing to keep in mind: a dog can be a great comfort when you're all stressed out over graduate school.


    -Don't feel like you have nothing to offer just because you are younger. I was 22 when I started graduate school. You got accepted to the program for a reason, and chances are you are just as equipped as any older students are to successfully complete the program, just in a different way.

    -Your older classmates may be just as terrified as you. Talk to them. You have a lot in common. You are, after all, in the same place.

    -You will feel like an imposter, like you don't belong, or like you are constantly behind. Or all three. It's normal. It will pass. (Well, sort of.) People of all ages go through this.

    Adviser related:
    -If you are lucky enough to get both research interest fit and personality fit perfect, congratulations! But sometimes, personality fit is more important than research interest fit as long as the research isn't too different. A great adviser is interested in your career development, likes you as a person, advocates for you, and wants to hear your ideas. Even if his or her research is quite different from yours, they may give you the autonomy to work on your own projects and just supervise you. A bad personality fit will drive you nuts, even if you love his or her research. Consider that when evaluating your adviser fit. (This will vary by field: research fit may be less important in the humanities, more important in the natural and physical sciences. Social sciences are somewhere in-between.)

    -Don't be afraid to be straight up blunt with your adviser when it comes to asking about your progress. Ask if you are where you should be both academic program wise and getting-a-job-after-this-mess-wise.

    -Be proactive. Advisers love when you draw up an agenda for your one-on-one meetings, come with talking points and progress to share, have concrete questions to ask, and have overall shown that you have been thoughtful and taken control of your own program. Of course, this won't immediately come easily to you, but in time you will work up to it. Every semester I type up my semester goals, and at the beginning of the year I type up annual goals. I show them to my adviser and we talk about whether they are too ambitious, or whether I need to revise them, and how I can meet them.

    -Don't expect your adviser to actually know what courses you have to take to graduate. They will know about comprehensive exams and the dissertation, but a lot of professors don't really keep up with the course requirements, especially if their program is in flux. Get you a student handbook, and find out what you need to take. Map it out in a grid, and check off things when you finish them. Show this to your adviser every semester. You may have to explain how such and such class fills a requirement.

    -Nobody loves you as much as you, except your mother. Keep this in mind as you take in advice from all sources, including your adviser. Your adviser is there to guide you, but that doesn't mean you have to do everything he says.

    -You will have to read more than you ever did before, in less time than you ever have before, and you will be expected to retain more than you ever have before. The way that you studied in undergrad may need some tweaking. Be prepared for this.

    -Corollary: you may find that your methods change with age or interests or time. I preferred to study alone in college, but in grad school, I prefer to study in groups. It keeps me on task and the socialization keeps me motivated. You may find that you shift from being a more auditory learner to a visual learner or whatever.

    -You will feel behind at first. This is normal.

    -At some point you will realize that your professors don't actually expect you to read everything they assign you. This, of course, will vary by program, but there will be at least one class where the reading is actually impossible to do in one week. The point is to read enough that you know the major themes and can talk intelligently about them, and then pick some of the readings to really dig into and think more deeply about.

    -For most programs, don't worry so much about grades. If you stay on top of your work and do what you're supposed to, you will probably get an A. How much grades matter varies from program to program. In some programs, a B is a signal that you are not up to par, and more than a few Bs will warrant a discussion with your adviser or the DGS. My program isn't like that - A, B, it's all meaningless. My adviser doesn't even know what my grades are. But at almost all programs, a C means you need to retake the course, and two Cs means you have to convince the DGS not to kick you out.

    Extracurricular activity: What's that? No, seriously:
    -A lot of your time will be unstructured. You will have coursework, but most grad classes meet once a week for two hours and you may have three classes. You may have meetings with your adviser every so often and some seminars or things to catch (like we have grand rounds and colloquia that are required), but a lot of time will be unstructured. However, since you have so much more work than you had in undergrad, you actually will have less free time than you had in undergrad. This may initially cause you great anxiety. It did for me. Some people love unstructured time, though. (I don't.)

    -Because of this, you'll have to be planful about your non-grad school related stuff.

    -TAKE TIME OFF. DO it. It's important for your mental health. However you do it doesn't matter. Some people work it like a 9-5 job. Some people take a day off per week (me) and maybe a few hours spread across the week. Some people work half days 7 days a week. However you do it, there needs to be a time when you say "f this, I'm going to the movies."

    -Find your happy place, something that keeps you the you you were when you came in. I love working out. It gives me energy and I feel good. I stay healthy. I also love reading fiction, so sometimes I just curl up with a good book, work be damned. You have to give yourself permission to not think about work, at least for a couple of hours a week. You may also discover new hobbies! (I never worked out before I came to graduate school.)

    -Your work will creep into all aspects of your life, if you let it. This is why I hate unstructured time. You will feel guilty for not doing something, because in graduate school, there is ALWAYS something you can do. ALWAYS. But since there will always be more work, there's no harm in putting it aside for tomorrow, as long as you don't have a deadline.

    -You may need to reach outside of your cohort for a social life. None of my close friends are in my doctoral cohort. I've met master's students in my program, master's students in other programs, and I know a few non-graduate students I hang out with, too. Go to graduate student mixers. (If your university doesn't have any, organize some, if you like planning parties.) Join a student group that doesn't take up too much time. I had a doctoral acquaintance who kinda laughed at me because I joined some student groups other than the doctoral student one, and I was usually the only doctoral student in those groups, but I met some close friends (and future job contacts) and had a good time.

    -DO NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR WANTING A LIFE OUTSIDE OF GRADUATE SCHOOL. This is paramount. This is important. You are a well-rounded, complex, multifaceted human being. NEVER feel bad for this. Everybody wants some kind of life outside of work. Yes, you may loooove your field, but that doesn't mean you want to do it all day long. Some other doctoral students, and perhaps professors, may make you feel bad about this. Don't let them. Just smile and nod. Then disappear when you need to.

    -This is job preparation. Remember that from Day One. Always be looking for ways to enhance your skills. Read job ads and find out what's hot in your field, what's necessary, what's in demand. For example, in my field statistics and methods are a hot commodity, and they're not a passing fad. I happen to really like statistics and methods, so I have pursued that as a concentration of mine.

    -Don't be afraid to take on volunteer work and part-time gigs that will give you skills that will be useful both inside academia and out, as long as it's not against your contract. Your adviser may be against it, but he doesn't have to know as long as it doesn't interfere with your work.

    -If you want to work outside of academia - if you are even *considering* the possibility - please please definitely do the above. Even if you aren't considering it, consider the possibility that you won't get a tenure-track job out the box and that you may need to support yourself doing something else for a while. You will have to prove to employers that you have developed usable, useful skills and this is one of the easiest ways to do it. But don't overdo it - get the degree done.

    -For more academic related ones - always look for opportunities to present and publish. Presentations look good on your CV. Publications look better. When you write seminar papers, wonder if you can publish them with some revision. Write your seminar papers on what you maybe think you may want to do your dissertation on. Even if you look at them three years later and think "these suck," you can at least glean some useful references and pieces from them. Discuss publication with your adviser early and often, and if you have the time and desire, seek out publication options with other professors and researchers. But if you commit to a project, COMMIT. You don't want to leave a bad impression.

    -If you can afford it, occasionally go to conferences even if you aren't presenting. You can network, and you can hear some interesting talks, and you may think about new directions for your own research. You can also meet people who may tell you about jobs, money, opportunities, etc.

    -Always try to get someone else to pay for conference travel before you come out of pocket. Including your adviser. Do not be shy about asking if he or she can pay. If he can't, he'll just say no. Usually the department has a travel fund for students, but often it's only if you are presenting.

    -If you are interested in academia, you should get some teaching experience. There are two traditional ways to do this: TAing a course, and teaching as a sole instructor. If you can help it, I wouldn't recommend doing a sole instructor position until you are finished with coursework. Teaching takes a LOT of time to do right. You should definitely TA at least one course, and probably a few different ones. But don't overdo it, if you can help it, because again, it takes a LOT of time. More than you expect at the outset. If you are in the humanities, I think sole instructor positions are very important for nabbing jobs so when you are in the exam/ABD phase, you may want to try at least one. If your own university has none, look at adjuncting for nearby colleges, including community colleges. (I would wager that the majority of natural science/physical science students, and most social science students, have never sole taught a class before they get an assistant professor job. At least, it's not that common n my field, which straddles the social and natural sciences.)

    -Always look for money. Money is awesome. If you can fund yourself you can do what you want, within reason. Your university will be thrilled, your adviser will be happy, and you can put it on your CV. It's win-win-win! Don't put yourself out of the running before anyone else has a chance to. Apply even if you think you won't get it or the odds are against you (they always are), as long as you are eligible. Apply often. Apply even if it's only $500. (That's conference travel!) Money begets money. The more awards you get, the more awards you will get. They will get bigger over time. If you are in the sciences and social sciences, you should get practice writing at least one grant. You don't have to write the whole thing, but at least get in on the process so that you can see how it's done. Grant-writing is very valuable both in and outside of graduate school.

    -Revise your CV every so often. Then look and decide what you want to add to it. Then go get that thing, so you can add it.

    -The career office at big universities is often not just for undergrads. I was surprised to learn that my career center offers help on CV organization and the academic job search, as well as alternative/non-academic career searches for doctoral students. In fact, there are two people whose sole purpose it is to help PhD students find nonacademic careers, and they both have PhDs. This will vary by university - some universities will have very little for grad students. Find out before you write the office off.

    -It's never too early to go to seminars/workshops like "the academic job search inside and out", "creating the perfect CV," "getting the job," etc. NEVER. Often the leader will share tips that are more aimed towards early graduate students, or tidbits that are kind of too late for more advanced students to take care of. This will also help you keep a pulse on what's hot in your field. It'll help you know what lines you need to add to your CV. And they're interesting.


    -Decide ahead of time what you are NOT willing to sacrifice on the altar of academia. Then stick to it.
    I'm serious. If you decide that you do NOT want to sacrifice your relationship, don't. If it's your geographical mobility, don't. I mean, be realistic, and realize that there will always be trade-offs. But you have to think about what's important to you for your quality of life, and realize that there is always more to you than graduate school.

    -If you don't want to be a professor, do not feel guilty about this. At all. Zero. However, you will have to do things differently than most doctoral students. Your adviser will probably never have worked outside of the academy (although this may vary depending on the field) so he may or may not be able to help you. But you have a special mission to seek out the kinds of experiences that will help you find a non-academic job. Test the waters with your adviser before you tell him this. My adviser was quite amenable to it, but that's because I told him that my goal was to still do research and policy work in my field just not at a university, AND because it's quite common in my field for doctoral students to do non-academic work. If you're in a field where it's not common (or where your professors refuse to believe it's common, or it's not supposed to be common)…well, you may be a little more on your own.

    -Every so often, you will need to reflect on the reasons you came to graduate school. Sometimes, just sit and think quietly. Why are you doing this to yourself? Do you love your field? Do you need this degree to do what you want to do? Usually the answer is yes and yes, and usually you'll keep on trucking. But sometimes when the chips are down you will need to reevaluate why you put yourself through this in the first place.

    -To my great dismay, depression is quite common in doctoral students. Graduate work can be isolating and stressful. Luckily your health insurance usually includes counseling sessions. TAKE THEM if you need them. Do not be ashamed. You may be surprised with who else is getting them. (I found out that everyone in my cohort, including me, was getting mental health counseling at a certain point.) Exercise can help, as can taking that mental health day once a week and just chilling. Don't be surprised if you get the blues…

    -…but be self-aware and able to recognize when the depression is clouding your ability to function. Doctoral programs have a 50% attrition rate, and this is rarely because that 50% is less intelligent than, less motivated than, less driven than, or less ambitious than the other 50% that stays. Often they realize that they are ridiculously unhappy in the field, or that they don't need the degree anymore, or that they'd rather focus on other things in life, or their interests have changed. All of this is okay!

    -You will, at some point, be like "eff this, I'm leaving." I think almost every doctoral student has thought about dropping out and just kicking this all to the curb. You need to listen to yourself, and find out whether it is idle thought (nothing to worry about, very normal) or whether you are truly unhappy to the point that you need to leave. Counseling can help you figure this out.

    -Don't be afraid to take a semester or a year off if you need to. That's what leaves of absence are for.

    Lastly, and positively…

    …graduate school is great! Seriously, when else will you ever have the time to study what you want for hours on end, talk to just as interested others about it, and live in an intellectual community of scholars and intellectuals? And occasionally wake up at 11 am and go to the bank at 2 pm? Sometimes you will want to pull out all of your hair but most of the time, you will feel fulfilled and wonderfully encouraged and edified. So enjoy this time!
  7. Downvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to Sigaba in Advice for a first year PhD student   
    Do what you can to minimize the temptation to reinvent the wheel.
    Do your level best to learn from those who have gone before you and have asked similar questions.
    Consider the utility of incorporating your questions into ongoing discussions.
    When assessing the guidance you've received, consider the background, the expertise and the experience of the person who offered it.

    If I sound snarky it is because this BB is going through a phase in which newer members are repeating questions that have been addressed many, many times. While this trend provides opportunities to get great guidance from experienced graduate students such as jullietmercredi, it also provides opportunities to miss equally sound guidance from experienced graduate students such as jullietmercredi.

    IMO, this trend represents a "lost opportunity" for many of you to start the transition from being undergraduates to being graduate students. As graduate students, you will often encounter an implicit expectation that you are doing the leg work to find the answers to your own questions, and from there generating additional questions and answers. (In some quarters, this leg work is called "research".)

    Additionally, some of you who are in your twenties may be walking into a buzzsaw as new graduate students. Your cohort is developing a reputation for having attitudes of entitlement and self-absorption. (Consider how members of the generation of 1965 talk about the OWS and Tea Party movements) Regardless of the accuracy of this perception (Christopher Lasch had the same complaints back in 1978), perception is reality.

    While it is your choice as to what questions you want to ask and how you want to ask them, do not be surprised if those who are most capable of helping you decide to tune you out. If you think this can't happen to you, ask yourself why you're asking strangers on the internet for guidance rather than going into a professor's office and getting mentored?

    My $0.02.
  8. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to emmm in Disappointed and thinking of switching to non-thesis MSc?   
    Is there anything useful that can be learned from your negative results? In other words, can you change your focus somewhat to try to salvage the situation. It's hard to speak in such generalities, but there must have been something of value that you were trying to determine when the experiments were first designed. It's hard to believe your negative results are completely devoid of any useful information -- again, I don't know details, but is there something you can grab onto, even if it's not as significant as what you were initially trying to achieve?
  9. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to TheFez in Major Paper vs. Thesis   
    What the heck is Capacity Development?
  10. Upvote
    Gneiss1 got a reaction from Dal PhDer in DUI misdemeanor   
    One other thing I wanted to add for any of your applications that do ask...answer exactly what is asked. No more, no less. If they asked if you have had any felonies the answer is a short and simple no. They can't hold it against you for not disclosing information to a question that was never asked. Now if it asks if you have had any misdemeanors well then you will need to disclose that information. I would just state it exaclty as it was and hopefully it wont be held against you.
  11. Upvote
  12. Upvote
    Gneiss1 got a reaction from Hank Scorpio in Silly Question...   
    After I accepted I was able to set up my email account. I got a pin so set up my university ID and while I was on there I saw a page on their website for newly admitted grad students (a checklist kind of thing) and on that page was how to set up your email.

    Maybe check out your university's website and see if there is some kind of newly admitted students page. I think it is normal to be excited:) Plus some things it is better to get a head start on anyways (immunization forms/physicals, financial paperwork, etc).
  13. Upvote
    Gneiss1 got a reaction from Cookie Monster in Advice on Finding a Girlfriend in Graduate School   
    I say ask a person sooner than later, otherwise how are you going to get to know them? Perhaps I should elaborate on this...I mean asking them to hang out sooner than later not meeting a chick and asking her to be your girlfriend even though you barely know her. To meet people you would be interested in, go places that interest you or join groups of things that interest you. For example, I love hiking and I tend to enjoy it even moreso with other people. So I met other local hikers online and arranged meet ups for hikes and got to meet a lot of people that way. Quite a few of the people within our group ended up dating beyond that and I probably would have done the same had I not already been in a relationship.

    I second the online dating thing. As someone who has very little time and tends to also be a bit more introverted online dating really appealed to me. It has its pros and cons though, the pros you can evaluate a broad range of people to (hopefully) weed to all the jerks and people of no interest. It also is conversation based and takes the pressure off comunication so if you are a pretty cool person with decent interests and goals you can communicate those without the awkwardness of starting a conversation face to face with someone. The cons are that there will inevitably be a lot of duds on there and the first meeting is always awkward (though it would likely be that way in real life as well). I tended to play the friend card first to establish a friendship with the other person to eliminate some awkwardness and then take it from there. It worked well I suppose because I am still with the person I ended up with over a year later:) There are the pay sites like match.com and eharmony.com which I suppose offer more serious prospects but if you don't want to pay okcupid.com and plentyoffish.com should work just fine.

    Be confident. Fake it till you make it. Seriously. You don't have to be confident to appear confident and nobody likes to be around someone who dwells on their insecurities. After all, if you can't like you why should they like you? Everyone is insecure, but don't play the weak hand when dating.

    Also being a late bloomer is not a bad thing. For me personally that is much more of a pro than a con. Someone who is "inexperienced" is also someone with a certain sense of innocence to them that hasn't been corrupted by a bunch of failed relationships. Every serious relationship that one goes through that fails inevitably changes a person a little bit, usually for the worse. Experience may be a good thing in the job world, but it tends to be the opposite in the relationship world (at least imo).

    Finally here is some advice from my personal perspective on things that definitely boost the attractiveness of a guy to me as a potential date:
    - Goals: clearly you have some since you are going to grad school. Women like to know the guys they are dating has a promising future.
    - Hygiene and appearance: A guy that takes good care of himself says he can take good care of other things (i.e. me). Keep up on your haircuts, shaving, wrinkle-free clothes, etc. If I am on a date with a guy that can't take the time to shave his face and put on some clothes without wrinkles or holes in them then it tells me he doesn't care that much about the date.
    - Buy cologne (and wear it) : It's worth the investment. A guy that smells nice is instantly more attractive to me. Plus it signals a bit more that you are on the market in some cases. I would recommend Giorgio Armani's Acqua di Gio. It's expensive but smells amazing.
    - Pick someone with shared interests: If you have nothing in common with the other person, it's going to be really hard to make a connection and you will have very little to talk about.
    - On the date, be a gentleman and be fun: I don't care what anyone says, chivalry is not dead. If you are taking a girl out on a date, make it memorable. Take her out to dinner at some mutually agreeable place, preferably somewhere nice but not the most expensive place in town. If you are meeting online it may be more comfortable for her to drive herself so ask what she prefers, if she does want to be picked up make sure your car is clean. This will give you a chance to talk and get to know eachother. Hold the door and pick up the check. For the second half of the date, do something fun maybe something that appeals to a mutual interest. Some ideas would be maybe go karts, rock climbing, hiking, comedy club, local concert, salsa dancing, get creative. If you have her laughing then that is a good sign. Just make sure she knows ahead of time so she wears the appropriate clothing (i.e. rock climbing in heels just doesn't work, trust me I've tried;) ) End the night on a good note, she will let you know where she is standing with things. Some girls like to kiss on the first date and some don't. If you get in that awkward spot where you don't know if you should or not, but you felt the date went really well and you want to, then ask her. Seriously. It will be much more respectable if you ask "is it alright if I kiss you goodnight?" as opposed to just going for it if isn't obvious that is what she wants. Finally, if all went well call or text her in the next day or two and set up the next get together. This will be more relaxed now that you have broken the ice and you can let things progress from there.

    Good luck!
  14. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to Cookie Monster in Advice on Finding a Girlfriend in Graduate School   
    Wow, great advice and encouragement from all of you! I had never really considered online dating sites before, simply because I wasn't sure how reliable or informative an online profile could be. However, most of you have suggested it as a possible route for me, and based on some of the positive experiences reported by people like Dal PhDer, it sounds like it's worth a try for me. At worst, I won't meet anyone I'm really into, but I will at least get a bit more comfortable with socializing and perhaps entering the dating world.

    I'm glad to hear that looks are not the be-all and end-all. I definitely need to appear more confident though; the line by Gneiss1, "if you can't like you why should they like you?" sounds so true. And imisscoffee, I guess it's true what they say then, that clothes make the man. I have zero fashion sense; a T-shirt and track pants are my usual attire. However, if I meet someone I'm interested in, I'll certainly try to take your advice of expanding my wardrobe to make a better impression. It's something I've never done before, but it surely cannot hurt. Grind12, I particularly like your suggestions about how to meet girls, and how to ask someone out if I'm interested in her. I guess it's a question of going out and doing it. Can't sit in my apartment or lab all day and expect to meet people.

    I'll try to follow the advice you've all given, and hopefully I can meet someone special someday. Thanks guys!
  15. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to amlobo in Can I get into a law school with these grades? Like, a good law school?   
    Ok, as someone who graduated law school three years ago, I'll chime in here.

    First, can you get into a "good" law school? Yes. With a 178, law schools will overlook a lower GPA. Higher-ranked programs love boosting their LSAT scores, and a 3.2 will not dissuade a lot of them, especially with a good personal statement and LORs. I had two friends with 2.4 GPAs and 178 LSATs get into a T20 law school... though they had to PAY for it. You could probably even get good scholarships from a more mid-ranked program. I had a 3.4 GPA and a 165 LSAT and got a 3/4 tuition scholarship offer from almost everywhere I applied (all ranked in the 50-80 range)... plus a stipend for law journal that paid my last year in full. Granted, my friends and I went to a T20 private research university for undergrad, so I'm not sure how your GPA compares depending on your undergrad institution.

    The bigger question is... SHOULD you go to law school? My advice is NO. Especially straight from undergrad. If you want to be a journalist, BE a journalist. You have a better chance of getting hired as a journalist straight out of undergrad than you probably do 3 years later with an irrelevant degree. If you want a higher degree, get it in the subject that you want to cover. ONLY go to law school if you (a) want to be a lawyer, which doesn't sound to be the case (even then, the job market IS rough), or ( you want to be a legal analyst/correspondent on a major national news network. But, I am assuming that you might have to be a lawyer first to do that. Do not get a JD just to have a higher degree - you will loathe every second of law school if that's how you approach it. If you just want a resume booster, get a part-time MBA while you're working full-time... and then your company can pay for it. Then, if the degree ends up being useless, at least you wasted no real time or money getting it. There are also JD/MBA programs that only take 3 years... but again, I don't think it serves your needs.

    My advice is find someone who has the job you want now and ask them what you need to do to get there. As someone who is looking forward to leaving the law, let me caution you to take some time off to decide if 3 years of law school is worth it and will accomplish what you want it to. Best of luck to you.
  16. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to wine in coffee cups in Can I get into a law school with these grades? Like, a good law school?   
    I hate to be a big B about this but you are frighteningly wrong on just about every point:
    I am not aware of government grants for professional graduate programs. Individual schools might offer limited partial scholarships, though you will have trouble qualifying for those with a 3.2 GPA.
    You will most likely qualify for government loans (Stafford, Grad PLUS) but you will probably find yourself needing to take out private loans as well and having a balance of about $350K between law school in NYC and a private business school unless you get serious tuition discounts.
    As mentioned above by Spore and pinkrobot, you don't leave law school with a master's. You leave with a JD, the D of which stands for 'doctor'. Know what you're getting into!
    The JD is an interesting degree in that receiving it can actually make you less employable in all other fields besides legal work if you don't have serious work experience. I think you might be thinking of this simplistically as BA + JD > BA (okay, well maybe you were mistakenly thinking BA + legal MA > BA) which is not usually true. I would be shocked if a JD were viewed as an meaningful asset in broadcast journalism hiring.
    Good (and even most not-good) MBA programs require several years of full-time work experience. You are extremely unlikely to get in with only some internships from undergrad and law school. The JD won't give you an edge over people who have actual experience.

    If your goal is to work in broadcast journalism, I think your current plan is a really bad idea. The fact that you wouldn't be able to pay off all this debt on a broadcast journalism salary should be a huge red flag, for starters. Talk to alumni from your program who are working in your dream positions and find out how they got there. I'm going to guess it involved many years of working in the field, not taking on staggering amounts of non-dischargeable student loan debt for unrelated professional degrees.
  17. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to TheFez in GPA Questions...again   
    IMHO there is no difference between a 3.5 and 3.6 - at least not enough to do anything about. You won't fool anybody by playing with which numbers to look at - ad comms are pretty experienced at reading transcripts. If they see a "C" in biology and your applying for a PhD in psych it won't kill you. (If your are applying for a PhD in econ and get a "C" in calculus it might). I wouldn't mention it in the SoP (if you flunked, okay, maybe),

    I think a 3.5 GPA "makes the cut" and as long as your GRE's "make the cut" they will look at your LORs and SoP and weigh the whole package.
  18. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to GRAPEFRUITS in After experiencing some really awful behavior, I can no longer be a member of this forum   
    Oh my god, this post is actually the most pathetic thing I've read in a while (and the War on Women is going on right now, you know).
  19. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to ANDS! in How do I Explain a two year gap.   
    It's all going to be in that Statement of Purpose. That you simply didn't complete your grad requirements a scant few years ago is going to be quite the red flag for people reading your application. I respect that you do not feel that you are a quitter, but that is how the grad. comm. is going to see it without you successfully (and honestly) explaining what happened during your first go around. If the program was a wrong fit, explain why it was the wrong fit and why the program you are wanting to enter now is.

    As for how you do this, I would steer clear of "depression" or any psychological talk, and instead couch the discussion in terms of how the lack of fit between you and the material, despite the quality of the program, lead to a disconnect and eventually you deciding to not complete the program instead of putting your name on work you didn't believe in. If any member of the faculty can speak to your talent despite you not finishing, that will be huge for you.

    At the end of the day these people (and really anyone who ever "hires" you in the future) is going to want to know: Does this person know what they are doing and is in it for the long haul?
  20. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to Pauli in Does childrens of alumni REALLY get any advantage?   
    Well, there's three points to keep in mind:
    The importance of networking appears in all facets of life. This is much the same with "legacy student" situations, where networking just happens to be a blood relation with an alumnus.
    "Legacy students" only really matters for borderline case students. A student with a great academic portfolio will be accepted to at least one university regardless.
    Like mentioned earlier, this is really only something that's seen at the undergrad level.
  21. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to mandarin.orange in Anyone else feeling like this?   
    EPIC. I have not laughed like that about something online for awhile. Well, at least not since I read the reviews for this product. I am sending this to everyone in my lab group life.

    For my part, I usually anticipate weekends...but then have a moment like this:

  22. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to Dal PhDer in Anyone else feeling like this?   
    Trying to do my readings:



    When's the weekend???
  23. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to Ennue in What people said when you told them you were accepted...   
    The response from people I don't know very well:
    Them: "Wow, the US!"
    Me: "Yep, the US!"
    Them: "And for how long is that? One year? Two?"
    Me: "Five. Theoretically."
    Them: "Five... (indefinite shocked silence, while they carefully back away)"
  24. Upvote
    Gneiss1 got a reaction from screamorange in Living on or off campus   
    I don't have experience attending the University of Guelph, but it is in my hometown and I can tell you that the public transportation is pretty great there (at least in comparison to the other places I have lived). There are benefits to living on campus as a social and proximity factor, but its also nice to live off campus and have a bit more privacy and silence when needed. I would probably live off campus, but that is just a personal preference:)
  25. Upvote
    Gneiss1 reacted to MaxiJaz in Life advice   
    I just saw an interview on the person who wrote the article below and a lot of what he said resonates with me at this moment, though probably not when I first graduated from undergrad. I thought it would be helpful to share, even if not everyone will agree.

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