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  1. I wasn't sure where to turn for opinions on this and remembered grad cafe, hopefully y'all can give some opinions or advice. This is going to be a doozy so bear with me and please try to be diplomatic (as I am too). I'm a 32 year old whose had a very committed (but not "successful") fine arts practice for the past 10 years and am beginning an MFA in the Fall in the USA. I've lived mostly in south america and europe (I'm American) so I never had the chance to "establish" myself in an art market though look alright on paper. Looking to take my practice to the next level and transition to NYC after school with more confidence, connections and work that is polished. I dreamed of a big-name school (Yale, Columbia, Rutgers) but accepted at a big state school which is known for having a decent arts program but isn't that common to hear of in the "where did you go to school" conversations. However, upon being connected with my cohort I see most of them are finishing their BFA degrees or are only a year or two out. Most of my friends who are in MFA programs are in cohorts with 28-35 year olds, I really expected to have a cohort with lived experience (ie, diverse experiences outside of school). When I think about all of the experiences and work done in a decade, who I was at 20 vs now professionally and personally, its hard to discredit what time provides. To be honest, the work being produced is that of undergraduates--because they still are. Not that its a serious barometer of quality but these are BFA students from small state schools that don't have particularly good arts programs to begin with--these aren't art school BFAs. Although everyone enters MFA with serious goals and commitment, I hesitate to be in a peer group with weak work and students who are just entering a world I've been in for a little bit. I expected a few younger peers, but the fact that my whole cohort is in this category has me nervous. Although it is the right time for me in my own practice to go to school, I am considering leaving this program and reapplying next year to try again at my "dream schools" since I was a bit rushed and not as prepared/strong as I could've been. Do you have a similar story that ended well (or terribly?). Is this something new that is more common in COVID-times? Being critical of higher education I admit I view younger cohorts as being a red flag in terms of extorting tuition etc, especially at a school like this one which has few notable alumni/fac. I am going to school to give 100% to my practice and focus on creating community, refining my work, etc and tbh I want the opportunities that come from a really strong cohort and incredible peers. Did peers matter in your experience or am i putting too much value there? NOTE: Please know although I'm being candid here, in person I take extreme discretion, respect and care in how I speak with and treat others--this isn't a "toxic student" situation, this is a "do I belong here" situation. It's extremely uncomfortable to express this concern which is why I'm turning to the internet though many of my friends seemed equally surprised by this cohort--clearly I feel like an asshole for feeling as I do, but I need opinions on how much my cohort should weigh on this decision.
  2. Hello! I am stuck between these two programs. I like that the MSECE at Purdue that I applied to is online so I can have a job while completing it (reduce cost and gain experience) but I know that UVA is a great school. When applying for future jobs (ideally machine learning positions), which degree would hold more weight? Any input would be appreciated!! :)
  3. Hello, as per the question: I am an international prospective student for either Developmental or Educational Psychology (and either relative fields), and besides for the Psych Grad Wiki, I would like to know if there's a database for US students that lists down universities by states that offers the programs in those fields? Thank you!
  4. Anyone having hard time doing on the application
  5. Hi everyone, with application season in full swing I have been feverishly writing out a generalized version of the SOP that I will then tailor to be more applicable to individual schools. If anyone has the extra time to spare, it would be greatly appreciated if you could view over my SOP and give some constructive criticism about where I need to improve and alter what I've wrote. I will be providing an attachment below, but if you would prefer me to DM it to you I would be more than happy to oblige. If you would like to do a swap as well in order to be more enticed I would be happy to do so as well. Thanks everyone :) Grad Cafe SOP Review.pdf
  6. Dear all, (sorry for the long message, but seriously - I am STRESSING BIG TIME!) I need your guys help and expertise. As we all have been in these situations before, and I am yet again in it again. I got a slight luxury problem, I got accepted to two master's I have applied to. One it the IMBRsea program, which is a mobility program, which used to be part of the ERAMUS+ programmes. It is really cool, I have been placed in Italy, Algarve and Italy again for the three semesters. I will be studying fisheries and marine habitat restauration and conservation (which are my main interests). However, I also got accepted to the Masters Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. It is a really great masters, really well known around the world, it's got the name. Unfortunately, it is really aquaculture focused, but with the specialization of marine governance I could make it more my own. Especially with the internship and thesis topic, you can really focus on where you want to work in after you've completed the masters. I've got two great options, but I do not know which one to choose. The IMBRsea programme, is great, might be of less quality, however, I am not sure about that. But it is a mobility programme, which shows that people who have followed the program are able to adapt and work in different circumstances in no problem. On the other hand, I got an Aquaculture masters in Wageningen, the name of the university might result in a faster acceptance of a potential job after graduation. Two options, one programme (IMBRsea) you will get a broader education on different varying (chosen) topics over the course of 1,5 years. And the other (Wageningen) is a well structed applied masters where you will study in depth one year, do an internship for a semester and write your thesis. I just need your guys opinion and wise words. What are your experiences in the two programmes, or other mobility Masters programs? What is your advice to me on how to make a decision, cause I have got a week to decide as I will have to make my first enrolment payment for the IMBRsea programme.
  7. Before I start - I have to say that I understand many of the counselling services/admission helps are giant ripoffs. I am in a precarious situation - so lmk if it make sense for me to do this. My profile: GRE - 327 (160V, 167Q) TOEFL - 109 CGPA - 7.88 / 10 (On a 10 point scale) from a Tier-2/3 University. No research experience. 4 1/2 years of work ex. I applied for Masters in CS in 2018, did not get a single admit. I am not sure what I did wrong. I am willing to bet I was very ambitious in my university selection. However, I am not sure how well I did in my SOP/LOR writing. I am planning to apply now again for Fall-2022. However, I don't want to bomb this season also. Should I get professional help? Or am I better off applying by myself. (Note: I applied by myself in 2018).
  8. Alright, I've talked to a few people about this but I'm really looking for someone who can help me tip the scales at all on making this decision. Any and all opinions welcome! I applied to a bunch of Ph.D. programs this past fall 2020 for fall 2021 under one of the following depending on the school chem bio/bio-analytical/nucleic acid biochemistry, knowing I'd graduate in Dec. 2020 (paid for by my grad school prep program for undergrads which I'm not apart of anymore since graduating). I wanted to get some industry experience in my time off and have found myself accepting a prestigious 12-month long internship at a national lab doing very interdisciplinary stuff under chemical engineering but they'll put me on more biochem projects once this one has taken off. The last intern actually stayed 18 months until he left for grad school and left with 5 publications and 3 patents. Getting a couple of publications within the next year would be reasonable. So my choices are 1) going through all the interviews and visitation weekends now (during the beginning of the internship, which they are flexible and letting me take days off to do) to accept and defer one school from the pool of acceptances or 2) reapply next season, pay for all the apps myself, with a lot of new experience under my belt and on my resume. My internship PI said he has a 100% success rate of getting his students into their grad school of choice. I don't know what to do! I was thinking of deferring several places but I don't want that to reflect poorly on me from different universities and PI's perspectives. I also don't want to have to face any backlash from denying an acceptance and then reapplying next year. For some context on my qualifications, I have ~3 years of research experience, so far accepted or invited to interview at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor chemistry (2nd choice?), West Virginia University (desperately want me to start ASAP, paid), University of Washington biochem, and UC-Davis for chem where they offered an additional $5,000 stipend to come. So far rejected from UCSF Tetrad (top choice), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities chem, and UC-Davis chem.
  9. Hi there! I have an interview next week for an MA program and was wondering if anyone had any advice on what to prep for and general advice? I haven’t interviewed before and not 100% sure what to expect or what to prep for. I have read previous posts about art history interviews but those were for PhD candidates so not sure if I should be expecting the same questions or something different. I consider myself to be a good talker and job interviews are usually pretty easy for me but realize this is different and need more preparation, just want to make sure I’m setting myself up the best I can! Any advice is appreciated and thank you!
  10. Hey! I'm asking for some advices to become 100% fluent in english, indeed i'm a french student and i'd like to improve my skills very quickly because it begins to be very important haha. So please give me tips so to become really good at it :)
  11. I've decided to study Engineering Management. I'm currently studying Mechanical Engineering and want to do masters in something that isn't MBA, which is why I selected engineering management as my field of study. But I'm not sure which Uni or even which country would be the best to learn and work in. I've looked at many university websites and I'm still unsure. So here are my questions: 1. Which uni has mechanical oriented management courses? 2. Is it worth doing it in the UK? (I have family there so it would be easier for me) 3. Is doing a PhD afterwards worth it? 4. I'm currently also learning the German language, will it help me?
  12. Hello everyone, I am looking into becoming an SLPA in Illinois and have found limited information on how to do so. I have my bachelor degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and am currently obtaining my Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology in a part time program. I did find an application to become an SLPA in Illinois but it says that if you have a bachelors degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders you don't qualify for this type of licensure. Does anyone know what type of licensure I would qualify for? Thank you for your help!
  13. Hi everyone! I am getting ready to apply to MS programs in HCI and I am wondering if there is anyone who is willing to look at my SOP. I have been editing and reading over it for three weeks now and would love if someone can provide me with another set of eyes and outside perspective. Thanks so much!
  14. Hello. I am a 27 year old peruvian currently living in Peru and I am enrolled to study a master's degree in Media and Communication Sciences in the Technische Universität Ilmenau starting in april 2021, I have already been accepted to the course but in order to get a VISA, the embassy of Germany in Peru demands me a formal guarantee letter (Verpflichtungserklärung), this is a German citizen that signs a letter that guarantees that i will have money while I am in Germany. I have enough money for my living, I just need someone to sign that letter, that person will not spend any money, otherwise i cannot get the visa. I do not have family or relatives in Germany, I'm on my own. Can someone please help me?
  15. Hello! Hope everyone is having a great Friday. I finished a draft of my personal statement for one of the schools I'm applying to. Would anyone like to read it and give me some feedback/constructive criticism? Thanks in advance 😁
  16. Need help narrowing down my list for (applied) math PhD programs. Below are my thoughts on each - all advice is super duper welcome 🙃 Courant (CAOS): Arguably the best institution to study mathematics in the world; CAOS program is very small (2-3 new students each year); only one female faculty out of 8 (and she just started last year); think that a PhD from Courant would set me up to do basically whatever I wanted in life career-wise; simultaneously worried it would kick my ass and leave me depressed/with extreme burn out; cost of living is high and housing seems like a nightmare but I wouldn't need to worry about buying a car; hard to efficiently escape the chaos of NYC and take a breather; COVID-19 hot spot; never visited the department because of COVID-19 Duke: Highly ranked for math and applied math; urban area has highest density of PhDs in the USA (presumably easy to network and build a strong professional community); hypothetically speaking the walls are low in the math department and there is tons of collaboration across departments; would maybe have to get a car (particularly if I wanted to venture into nature on my own, which I do) and I *really* do not want to buy a car; campus seems kind of isolated in the sense that being at Duke wouldn't be as much like 'reality' as being at Courant; never visited the department because of COVID-19 Minnesota: Also ranked extremely high like Courant and Duke; alma mater (although my major was in another department) which has its own pros and cons; super strong sense of community among grad students and I already have friends in math grad department; already know who my advisor would be (and he is awesome but I am not sure he is the absolute best fit for me); stipend is relatively low, but I wouldn't need a car; near my mom Boulder: Also ranked very high like Courant/Duke/Minnesota; seem to be some bad vibes between the applied and pure departments (which are distinctly separate - unlike all other programs I am considering); pretty cool research going on the department but not sure if I clicked (albeit over Zoom) with any of the faculty; seems to be a significant lack of community among the grad students since the applied department does not have its own building so students are spread out and in less-than-nice offices; stipend is pretty decent and I wouldn't need a car; I know Boulder (the town) very well and I have *always* wished to move there one day (nature is UNMATCHED), but I never visited the department because of COVID-19; near my dad Utah: Not ranked close as high as Courant/Duke/Minnesota/Boulder; really awesome research going on and multiple advisors who I have clicked with; extremely strong sense of community among grad students (already made friends with some of them via Zoom); very nice facilities (e.g. grad student offices have 20 ft. windows); surrounding nature is beautiful but hard to access unless I went with someone with a car, otherwise I wouldn't need a car; very religious city/state whereas I am queer and Atheist; mediocre stipend but I was awarded a $10k diversity scholarship; never visited the department because of COVID-19 ALL ADVICE GREATLY APPRECIATED, ESP. IF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THESE PROGRAMS 😁
  17. Hi all, One of my most preferred programs (Harris MPP) has put me on their waitlist. Would anyone with experience in getting off the waitlist for MPP programs be able to provide insights as to if there's anything I can do to increase my chances? Thanks ahead.
  18. Hi all ! I recently was updated about a first author conference proceedings acceptance. This is about 2 months after submitting my PhD applications. Im looking for advice on this - I read somewhere that it might help to email the adcomm with an updated resume. Would emailing at this point be appropriate?
  19. So the old thread is a treasure trove of advice, but I think half a decade and mostly dead discussion calls for a new iteration of this thread. As March is now underway and people are getting a good idea of their cycle, I'd like to get your perspectives on what went right, what went wrong, and what has been helpful/unhelpful to you. If you could, please provide what your aspirations and/or expectations were going into the cycle and how you believed you performed relative to those goals. What advice would you pass on for someone going through this process at the end of the year? This can cover anything from the start of the process until now that you think might be helpful to the novice applicant. Also, big shout out to @MtnDuck for maintaining that behemoth of a spreadsheet this year.
  20. This is the SOP I wrote for the LBJ School, any feedback is welcomed - please! Running for public office has always been a dream of mine, for as long as I can remember. As I have grown older, the reasoning behind the choice has changed, but my motivation and drive have remained the same. Career politicians, on both sides of the aisle, are so out-of-touch with the average American; Congress spends weeks, months, and multiple sessions in stalemate due to the hyper-partisan climate while American families are struggling due to an ongoing Trade War, senseless gun violence, environmental issues, and cuts to social service programs and healthcare. Climate Change and growing inequality are two of the biggest challenges that the world will face in the next half century, and the United States needs to be at the forefront, combating these issues head on rather than standing in stalemate due to an ‘R’ or ‘D’ next to Congress People's names. Global warming, vanishing glaciers, rising sea levels and increased pollution have the potential to do catastrophic damage to the environment and the planet as a whole. What’s more, current economic and tax policy, coupled with cuts to social service programs, have led the United States wealth gap to expand exponentially; billionaires and corporations are receiving tax breaks, subsidies, and other incentives while families such as mine are seeing tax increases, cuts to vital social service programs, and politicians who are forgetting about us. Being raised in a lower middle class family has had struggles and disadvantages over the years. One of the biggest disadvantages is being used as a pawn in political chess. Oftentimes, political demagogues, Conservative and Liberal alike, play to the middle class’s fear of tax increases, cuts to social service programs, and the rising rates for health insurance, for votes. Candidate A might state in his campaign that he/she will cut taxes x% for families, or earmark however many million dollars for social service programs such as food stamps, only to renege on those promises once in office. Far too often, families like mine have been taken advantage of - used for votes, and then neglected on the legislative agenda, I am hoping to change that. Broken promises and the need to change policy decisions and directives have driven me to obtain my Masters degree in Public Policy - I can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch as the growing middle class, especially my lower class continues to endure tax increases, a lowered access to healthcare, and cuts to social service programs. Furthering my education at the Lyndon B. Johnson school will allow me to I am applying to the Public Affairs program at the Lyndon B. Johnson School as I want to further my education in order to make the changes that politicians have promised my family, and families like mine for years. Moreover, attending the LBJ School would allow me to gain hands-on experience with policy, learn from some of the greatest minds in Public Policy, and prepare me for a role in the ever changing political world. The United States needs more young minds combating these issues, not career politicians who are happy to sit in a stalemate as long as their checks are cashed and agenda is met. Ten years from now, I see myself running for public office, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind about it. Multi-Millionaire Congressmen and Women do not know the struggle that lower class families face and are unprepared for the next half century. Congress and State Legislatures need young minds, fresh voices, and a breath of fresh air in order to deal with two of the most important issues that are going to be facing this country, a climate crisis and rising inequality, I want to be one of those young voices. A Master’s Degree from the LBJ School will allow me to learn how to deal with these issues, give me the proper tools to be an effective policy crafter, and learning from distinguished professors such as David Eaton and Kenneth Flamm will allow me to better understand environmental and economic issues, while also learning the newest and best ways to combat them. While the Public Policy program at LBJ drew me in immediately and I do not necessarily need to focus on a concentration, I was particularly interested in having a concentration in either Energy Studies or the duel Business and MPAff program. I am particularly interested in the work of Professors Pat Wong, Sheila Olmstead and the aforementioned David Eaton and Kenneth Flamm. Dr. Wong’s work on welfare reform and social service coordination are particularly of interest to me because of my own personal background and experience working in the Wisconsin State Legislature, as the Representative I interned for dealt with many welfare reform Bills and sat on a social service committee. I feel as though I am a match for this program due to my internship experience and motivations. Experience in the Wisconsin State Legislature for a year and a half and with the Sierra Club for six months have allowed me to gain hands-on experience with policy, cost-benefit analysis, and have afforded me the opportunity to help craft specific Bills. Moreover, meetings with constituents, lobbyists, and lawmakers have given me an opportunity to fully understand and respect the political process. Far too often the Representative I interned for would receive constituent letters that stated “please save my healthcare” or “I cannot endure another tax cut” and all I could write back or say on the phone was that I was sorry. I felt powerless and voiceless, both as an intern and as someone who could identify with these constituents. On the other end of the spectrum, working at the Sierra Club allowed me to see the legislative process from a different lense. Lobbying for certain environmental protections, increased funding for programs, and attempting to sway budgets and legislators showed me that with enough persistence, voices of all backgrounds can be heard and be successful. Completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has allowed me to take classes with distinguished professors and given me an opportunity to thrive in classes such as: Ecology, Environmental Conservation, Statistics, Microeconomics, and various Public Policy classes. President Obama stated that “change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Rather than waiting for a once-in-a-lifetime politician to fix the political woes of America, I have decided that I want to be the change we seek. A Masters degree from the LBJ will allow me to advance my career and ensure my voice is heard.
  21. Hello everyone I am a master student at Georgia Tech, in Electrical Engineering. My major is Signal Processing. I want to continue to PhD but change my field to a more creative/graphics side. I am a digital illustrator on the side. There is also some geographical conditions for choosing phd school. I have made the following list, and would really appreciate some comments. It would be good if the school is in a nice city, not bad crime situation or middle of nowehere. Planning to apply to CS except for MIT, where it is Media Arts and Sciences. Thank you ! 1) MIT (Media lab) 2) CMU 3) Princeton 4) Columbia 5) NYU 6) University of Pennyslavania 7) Yale 8.) Maryland 9) Rutgers 10) Brown 11) Virginia Tech 12) Stony Brook I want to ideally choose 2 high ranked, 2 middlish and 2 safer ones
  22. Hi I am from India, I want to pursue PsyD in counseling psychology. Can you please tell me which books should I study from for my Subject GRE (Psychology). If anybody has a pdf and can share it with me, please let me know, that will be of great help. Thank you in advance.
  23. Hi All, I'm reaching out to the community for some advice. I've been applying to PhD programs in Ecology and or Marine Science for 3 years now without any success in obtaining a coveted position in the programs I've applied to. I have done a lot of research into how to best apply to these programs, including being proactive with contacting faculty directly, selecting strong references, applying for the NSF-GRFP, and truly catering my admissions essays to each institution. My interests genuinely lie within the subjects of Ecology and Marine Science, specifically I would like to investigate anthropogenic influences on marine ecosystems, species diversity, and impact of habitat protection and restoration efforts. I've done a lot of research into these topics independently through literature search, but obviously would have much more to gain through a formal education. I want to pursue a PhD to create a career for myself in these fields that would be both personally fulfilling and hopefully make a positive contribution to the scientific community. I really feel like my heart and mind are in the right place for this pursuit. Additionally, I now have about 11 years of research experience (graduated in 2012) through academic research at my undergraduate college in animal behavior and ecology, research pre-and post graduation in academics studying effects of invasive insect species on ecosystems, and more recently through industry research in microbiology and next generation sequencing. My undergraduate GPA could have been better (3.21, 2.8 in Science); however I did double major, participated in varsity sport the full 4yrs, and am a stronger researcher than student (although I think my studies will improve with my current maturity). The people I work with really value my contributions to the team through research skills, experiment planning, and overall work ethic- but I do have knowledge gaps that I would love to fill through continued education. I generally have had a lot of success with phone interviews with faculty, who seem very encouraging about my research experience and over all goals; however, when I've applied to PhD programs there always seems to be funding issues, sudden shifts in interests, or even feedback that my experience doesn't match the labs needs (which is always hard to swallow after positive phone and email interactions). I have had some in person interviews that seem to go well, but have not resulted in an offer to the PhD position. I have been accepted to a funded MS program in Marine Biology, but at this point in my life I am hesitant to walk away from my career for the MS degree when I really want the PhD. The program I would be entering cannot guarantee that I can transfer to the PhD, and the statics on students who have successfully done so are low. The question becomes is it worth it to my career and viable for my lively-hood to survive on a student's salary for 7yrs for a 2yr MS program + 5yr PhD (If I get in anywhere...). I am located in Boston and considering taking classes through the Harvard Extension School towards the Master's of Liberal Arts, Biology graduate degree. My work agreed to partially fund this endeavor and I'm hopeful that it could help me as I apply to PhD programs in the future. In the meantime I can come up with some savings to support myself and husband in the future. My broad questions for the community have multiple parts: Given my application attempts, research and work experience, GPA (3.21, 2.8 in Science), and GRE scores (155 Quantitative; 163 Verbal; 4 Writing) - why am I having such a difficult time securing funding a position in a PhD program? Could my undergraduate transcript be having a significant impact? Do you have any specific advice in improving my application? Is it worth the risk to pursue this funded MS program, although a path to PhD is not guaranteed through the program? Does anyone here have experience with the Harvard Extension School? Would an HES Master's in Biology be as valuable as an MS when applying to PhD programs? Thanks to all who read through this long post. I know there's a lot going on here, but at this cross-roads in my life I could definitely use some advice from this community. I know I have options, so I'm grateful for that- but at the same time I am so eager to get started with higher education in the way that suits my career/research goals. Please be aware that at this point I am a non-traditional student and have significant financial concerns to consider.
  24. Issue Prompts: Claim: In any field — business, politics, education, government — those in power should step down after five years. Reason: The surest path to success for any enterprise is revitalization through new leadership. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based. In each field of study and society, those in power are in control of high-level, high-pressure issues. They are experts in their fields and they have spent, sometimes decades, working to get there. The ones who last have gotten where they are have done so on merit, skill, and knowledge. Cycling through those preeminent in their field every five years would lead to a lower level of success overall, constant, chaotic change, and ridding institutions of one of their most valuable keys to continued success: trust in their leader’s abilities and judgement. The adage, “knowledge is power” holds true for many fields, especially ones as prominent as business, politics, and government. Most fields benefit from people in power who have deep knowledge of their area and are experts - scientists who have spent decades researching the same topic, teachers who have specialized in one area of study, and CEOs who have spent their careers with the same company. Having wells of knowledge creates leaders who can draw on their own stores and their personal experience to solve dynamic problems and forge strong entities, such as businesses, governments, and universities. There is also the opposite side of the adage, which says that “power corrupts” - a phrase that looks over a fundamental element of high-powered, high-performing entities and institutions. Namely, if there is corruption (moral, financial, or legal) it will not be tolerated on the scale of CEOs, Presidents, and scholars. Suggesting that those in power should change every five years also cuts out one of the most valuable aspects of having a seasoned, veteran member in a leadership role: losing that much industry-specific or company-specific knowledge, and arguably more important, the trust that is built over 5 years, is tantamount to firing and hiring all new people every five years. The intrinsic knowledge that is gained with experience is not transient from one leader to another, as is not their leadership style or the trust they have built over time. These factors are more crucial to the success of companies, the happiness of employees, and the performance of the leader than anything else they do. Getting rid of someone after so little as five years would certainly add new leadership- whether that new leadership would “revitalize” is unlikely. Five years is not much time when talking about the life cycles of companies, educational institutions, and certainly not governments. Leaders set the culture and the style of their organization, which takes time to do - and undo. Changing leaders so quickly would likely muddle the culture, create backlash among employees, and be slower in reality that many would think. A change in leadership is also not guaranteed to revitalize the company. It would keep things in a state of flux, never allow for the normal flow of things to be establised, and detract from the important work being done. Ultimately, Trying to revitalize an organization is better acheived in strategy than in leadership changes. Talking about central institutions such as government and education, and changing something as important as their leadership is unwise and unreasonable to do so often and five years. Argument Prompts: The following is a recommendation from the Board of Directors of Monarch Books. "We recommend that Monarch Books open a café in its store. Monarch, having been in business at the same location for more than twenty years, has a large customer base because it is known for its wide selection of books on all subjects. Clearly, opening the café would attract more customers. Space could be made for the café by discontinuing the children's book section, which will probably become less popular given that the most recent national census indicated a significant decline in the percentage of the population under age ten. Opening a café will allow Monarch to attract more customers and better compete with Regal Books, which recently opened its own café." Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation. This argument from the Board of Directors leaves many unanswered questions that ultimately lead to flawed logic. Primarily, their comparison that adding a cafe would allow Monarch Books to better compete with Regal Books relies on basic assumptions that the two stores are the exact same. the question that needs to be answered is: what is Monarch’s customer base? They have a well-established customer base that relies on them for their wide selection of books, but we need to know how many of their customers would spend money in their cafe and how many more customers the added cafe would attract. If their customer base is more frugal, the cafe could fail; if their base is a significant portion of the town, can they expect the cafe to attract more customers to their bookshop? If Monarch Books’ does not make much money from their kids’ section, if their customers are affluent, and/or if they have a smaller portion of the town as their customer base, adding the cafe in lieu of the kid’s section could add to their success. Another question needing an answer is how much of their sales/how much of their client base is geared toward kids? If their kids’ section is a large part of their store and their store’s profits, getting rid of the section all together could make them less profitable. If their base is family-oriented, parents and their children may stop patronizing the store wholly. A cost-benefit analysis needs to be done comparing the kids’ section sales to the cafe’s projected sales in order to make an informed decision about whether to install the cafe and get rid of the kids’ section. If Monarch’s customer base is not family oriented and children do not frequent their store, adding the more profitable cafe could help Monarch compete better with Regal. Lastly, we need to answer the question of if Monarch adding a cafe will allow it to more directly compete with Regal books. The assumption made was that Regal Books and Monarch Books are the exact same and the only differentiating factor between them was Regal’s cafe. We need to establish other differences that could account for Monarch’s need to compete with Regal. We need to know the location of the stores - if Regal is closer to a university than Monarch, if they are in a wealthier part of town, if Monarch is outside the city, etc. Knowing the size and selection of their collections would help us see better the difference in clientele and spending habits; finally, we need to know if Regal Books’ success is in large part due to their cafe, or some other factor of their store. If Regal has a large kids’ section and their cafe has been wildly successful, as well as establishing that the two stores are similar, Monarch could let go of their kids’ section and put in a cafe to avoid fighting for sales in both areas. Overall, we need to answer these questions in order to make an informed decision about Monarch’s next business decision. With the forthcoming information, we cannot accurately decide whether or not a cafe is the right choice for Monarch. **I didn't edit at all, so it's very raw
  25. "Over the past two years, the number of shoppers in Central Plaza has been steadily decreasing while the popularity of skateboarding has increased dramatically. Many Central Plaza store owners believe that the decrease in their business is due to the number of skateboard users in the plaza. There has also been a dramatic increase in the amount of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza. Thus, we recommend that the city prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza. If skateboarding is prohibited here, we predict that business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels." Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation. The following argument is flawed for numerous reasons. Just because there has been an increase number of skateboarders does not mean that is why the sales of Central Plaza have decreased. There are many things that need to be taken in account in order to make this a valid argument. Things change greatly in the result of two years. The assumption that the number of shoppers has decreased in two years because of the skateboarders is too vague. What was the economy like two years ago? The economy might have been better two years ago than it is now, resulting in fewer shoppers. If the shoppers of Central Plaza are not making the same money they were two years ago will decrease their shopping. If, the argument states that the economy has not changed or has gotten better would give this argument more validity. The author made another vague statement discussing the increase of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza. With no evidence to back up this statement does not result in it being the fault of the skateboarders. If the customers are the ones that are littering or vandalizing the plaza, then that is not because of the skateboarders. Also, has the town that the Central Plaza is in, has had increased crime rates? If so, that would be a possible explanation to why there has been an increase in litter and vandalism. By making the assumption that the litter in the plaza is because of the skateboarders and that is resulting in decreased sales, weakens the argument. Also, how much has the number of skateboarders increased? With no statistical data, it does not show how ‘drastic’ the increase of the skateboarders was. If it turned out to not be that big of an increase it would further weaken the argument. Finally, another possibility to take into account is if the demographic has changed in the last two years. Has there been an increase in young residents in the area? If so, that could result in the plaza not having as much business. If the stores within the Central Plaza are not intriguing to the residents, they will not want to shop there. Also, another risk to take into account, is if there have been any new plazas built in the area. With that being said, may result in the shoppers at the Central Plaza to travel to the new shopping plaza. The authors assumption that the increased number of skateboarders is what has caused the decreased number of shoppers at the Central Plaza is too vague and does not provide any support.
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