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7 minutes ago, sad_diamond said:

one of them did try very hard to convince me to rethink because of job market though :(

I don't think that's because they didn't have confidence in you. All of my recommendation letter writers did talk to me a bit about the job market. One of them (tenure-track assistant professor) even mentioned she still thinks about her own "back-up plans" occasionally. 

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In at yale, oh my god

Friends!!! I just had a paper on dynamics of embodied race in Kate Chopin's "Desiree's Baby" accepted for publication in an undergraduate research journal! I am OVER THE MOON! My first academic public

I would very much like to know where/if I am going to graduate school !!

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2 minutes ago, jadeisokay said:

 it's very clear after spending any time on campus that sports and stem are the #1 priorities.

I was in student government my last two years and every budget cycle we would joke about cutting the athletics budget entirely (the portion paid by student fees) and giving it to humanities instead. 

...personally I was not joking...

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I'm not applying this cycle, but I am currently enrolled in a fully funded MA program. Some funded MA programs are still accepting applicants, and I had really excellent luck with applying to funded MAs last cycle (got into 4/5 MAs, full tuition waivers from each with varying degrees of stipend sizes/teaching experience). If anyone is still considering applying to funded MAs (especially after the post-all applications have been submitted dread sinks in) please feel free to message me! I have done a lot of research on funded MA programs and would hate for it to go to waste.

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2 minutes ago, sugilite said:

 One of them (tenure-track assistant professor) even mentioned she still thinks about her own "back-up plans" occasionally. 

I was super inspired by one of my tenure-track assistant profs who did really smart scholarship but was also a really talented poet because her outlook was very like "there are lots of different kinds of writing and thinking that I like to do I just get paid a lot more money to do one of those kinds of writing." Obviously she was very lucky to have her position but I really admired how she didn't let academia dominate her creative life, and her advice to me was on the same vein...she said a PhD can be a good setting to do certain kinds of writing and thinking but you don't actually need to be a PhD student to authorize you to do that work...you can authorize yourself!

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3 minutes ago, sugilite said:

I don't think that's because they didn't have confidence in you. All of my recommendation letter writers did talk to me a bit about the job market.

What sugilite said.  This has nothing to do with you, I'm sure, and everything to do with the fact that the job market is pure shite and probably won't get better anytime soon.  All of my professors told me I should be open to a lot of different career paths once out, and to make sure not to incur any additional debt after undergrad because absolutely nothing is guaranteed.

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+1 to the job market warning NOT being a commentary on your strength as an applicant. Both of my main mentors have told me on separate occasions that they feel like part of their job is discouraging students from going into academia, lol

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^Yesss! One of my beloved rec writers asked me to meet with her, and very strongly encouraged me *not* to apply to Comp Lit programs (replete with stats and graphs). She suggested, instead, that I pick an English or National Lit program, but the odds seemed so much more against me re: actually getting into one of those--maybe it's my delusion, but it seems there could be less applicants to Comp Lit than to English PhDs...

I'm coming to this cycle with 2 MFAs, and shared some of @WildeThing's concerns re: it actually playing against (if it seems like I'm just trying to ''hide out'' in programs or something). I'm especially curious, though, how adcoms will take my 'cross over' attempt with my creative and scholarly writing...it's relevant but also not (?)

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2 hours ago, dilby said:

Applying straight out of undergrad because, like, miss me paying for my advanced degree

That said, I was also very lucky to end up at an undergrad institution with a highly structured English honors program including a senior thesis and tons of research opportunities. The idea was to produce BAs who would be prepared to enter competitive PhDs without needing a Master's

I think this is a huge advantage. 

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getting an MA before heading into a PhD was important for me because my BA and work experience is in a completely different field. i wouldn't have been competitive at all, nor would i have had the skill set necessary to excel in a PhD program.

i've been told by a lot of people the reality of the job market. an incredibly supportive young faculty member encouraged me to apply for rhet/comp because she wished she had, as she felt it was more versatile and there were better job prospects. every applicant should weigh the reality that after 4+ years in a PhD program that there may not be a perfect dream job at the end. 

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Did you guys read that Buzzfeed millennial burnout article that went viral over the past few days? I was surprised that it touched on the academic job market and felt called out by how the writer knew her prospects after a PhD were slim but she felt she would be one of the lucky few (until she wasn’t). That definitely spoke right to my delusional self haha.

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@placeinspace I didn’t read it because I didn’t want to hear what I already know and fear.

I’m just looking at grad school as yet another in a long line of underpaid jobs but one that I actually love and want. I’m purposefully ignoring reality after grad school. Assuming I get in in the first place.

And with that it’s officially wine time.

 

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50 minutes ago, pdh12 said:

^Yesss! One of my beloved rec writers asked me to meet with her, and very strongly encouraged me *not* to apply to Comp Lit programs (replete with stats and graphs). She suggested, instead, that I pick an English or National Lit program, but the odds seemed so much more against me re: actually getting into one of those--maybe it's my delusion, but it seems there could be less applicants to Comp Lit than to English PhDs...

 

2

one of my LOR writers is the head of our film/media studies concentration and advised me against comp lit sheerly because of language requirements for some programs. she encouraged me to look at more straight film/media or english with film concentrations. i think there are fewer comp lit applicants overall but the way some departments are structured (if that makes sense) makes it hard to really gauge

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@kendalldinniene I think if you come from a department that fully prepares their undergraduates for PhD programs/applications then you shouldn’t have any problems getting into a PhD program straight off!! That said, in case anyone else is looking, there are a number of funded MA’s, it really depends, like everything else, on your research interests and which department fits those best. 

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re: advisors trying to talk us all out of going into academia...

I had a really encouraging conversation with a prof of mine about this. I was talking to her about trying to go to grad school (she's a recent-ish (like last ten years) UMich PhD grad), and she basically said "Have you read the "don't go to grad school" literature? Have you read the literature and statistics on the job market? Do you know about the potential psychoemotional drain? Do you know about limited job prospects, especially in academia?" I said yes to all of the above, and she said "And you still want to go?" I said yes, and she said "Then that means you should go. I think you can do it."

It felt really encouraging for her to simultaneously inform me of the realities without ever telling me that I shouldn't go for it. To have her tell me TO try to go, despite everything, felt really good actually.

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3 hours ago, Sav said:

@kendalldinniene I think if you come from a department that fully prepares their undergraduates for PhD programs/applications then you shouldn’t have any problems getting into a PhD program straight off!! That said, in case anyone else is looking, there are a number of funded MA’s, it really depends, like everything else, on your research interests and which department fits those best. 

To be honest my undergrad institution is a run of the mill budget state school.  But my professors were top notch graduates of top tier programs, and they feel (as I do) that I'm ready.  We'll see.  I'm hopeful due to getting into a couple of MA programs and being waitlisted at Ohio for their straight PhD program last year, despite applying for the MA/PhD program.  No idea if that actually means anything, but hoping it does.

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on the MA discussion, i completed my MA (or... well, they called it a Master of Studies to be #different) at oxford this summer, which was luckily fully funded. i mostly did it because in the UK where i'm from, you have to have a master's degree to apply to phd programmes and it wasn't until this year that i realized other systems don't necessarily require it - but i'm glad i did it, and hopefully it will show in my applications that i feel a lot more prepared for doctoral study?! we can but hope...

 

@placeinspace i read that article and felt like it had reached through the screen and punched me in the face. but like, a tender, sympathetic punch.

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Joining in on the MA/BA conversation too. I graduated with my BA a while back, had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, and then got my MA from the same university. I've been teaching full-time at a technical college for a couple years since graduating with my MA, which has been an illuminating experience for me. While my job has affirmed my love of teaching (most days...), it also made me quickly realize that I needed to be more challenged than where I am currently. Most of my former profs encouraged me to talk about my teaching experience as little as possible in my SOP, so I addressed it in a sentence or two and moved on. I hope that adcomms aren't looking at my experience as a bad thing.

This thread has been so interesting, and I'm glad we're all here suffering together! 

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13 minutes ago, CatBowl said:

Joining in on the MA/BA conversation too. I graduated with my BA a while back, had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, and then got my MA from the same university. I've been teaching full-time at a technical college for a couple years since graduating with my MA, which has been an illuminating experience for me. While my job has affirmed my love of teaching (most days...), it also made me quickly realize that I needed to be more challenged than where I am currently. Most of my former profs encouraged me to talk about my teaching experience as little as possible in my SOP, so I addressed it in a sentence or two and moved on. I hope that adcomms aren't looking at my experience as a bad thing.

This thread has been so interesting, and I'm glad we're all here suffering together! 

This is so interesting to me because I was encouraged to emphasize my teaching experience (though ultimately I didn't take that advice because I had no more space in my SOP). 

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@placeinspace That really is so interesting! It's wild how much conflicting advice we get/we see on this thread so often. I am really proud of my teaching experience, and to be frank, I know I've done a great job, so it did surprise me a bit at first when my profs suggested to breeze over it. I think their point was to emphasize the conferences I have attended more so than the job. 

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4 minutes ago, CatBowl said:

@placeinspace That really is so interesting! It's wild how much conflicting advice we get/we see on this thread so often. I am really proud of my teaching experience, and to be frank, I know I've done a great job, so it did surprise me a bit at first when my profs suggested to breeze over it. I think their point was to emphasize the conferences I have attended more so than the job. 

I guess the danger would be if a program is more focused on research than teaching it would be a risk? But you should definitely be proud of it, and to me it makes sense to emphasize it if possible as teaching is usually the goal post-PhD. It definitely shows you're qualified!

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