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I went to a grad school info session for a program in International Relations last week, and everyone attending was encouraged to "cold-call and email" prospective professors. We were told they love to get queries from prospective students. I'd like to do this, but I'm not sure which specific professor to contact, exactly what I should say or what kind of response I should expect to get. Is it okay to contact more than 1 professor at the same school? Does it matter specifically what concentration they are in? Will it necessarily translate into an improved probability of getting in?
I have been getting some "Your profile looks good" "Your background matches my research interest" replies followed by either some general (I perceive so. Correct me if I'm wrong) comments like "I encourage you to apply" or "I'd be happy to work with you if you get accepted" or some very few mails discussing specifics. I don't know what to classify as neutral, stock or positive. Can someone please help me out? Are these comments on profile and background at least slightly positive and specific or just formal and stock? These are from some really reputed programs or unis. So I don't believe they need to promote anything but I have been hearing such opinions. Any truth to it? I am really confused. Any help would be greatly appreciated.