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Itzik

What to do after application cycle ends with all rejections

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Hey Everyone,

So After applying to 10 programs, interviewing with 3, and being rejected by all, I am at a crossroads with my academic career. I am thriving to pursue a PH.D in counseling psychology or clinical psychology and I wanted some insight on what other applicants who were or are in my shoes will be doing for the upcoming year until the next application cycle starts.

 

Personally, I am looking into a route in mental health counseling. Despite having a clinical psychology research degree, I was accepted to Fordham's master's program with  SCHOLARSHIP & Assistantship. In addition, the academic advisor I was given is the same faculty member I applied to work with in the PH.D program. I am thinking that going for a year to install new pieces to my resume might be the boost I need to get accepted into a PH.D program. Any insight or criticism is greatly appreciated.

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1 hour ago, Itzik said:

Hey Everyone,

So After applying to 10 programs, interviewing with 3, and being rejected by all, I am at a crossroads with my academic career. I am thriving to pursue a PH.D in counseling psychology or clinical psychology and I wanted some insight on what other applicants who were or are in my shoes will be doing for the upcoming year until the next application cycle starts.

 

Personally, I am looking into a route in mental health counseling. Despite having a clinical psychology research degree, I was accepted to Fordham's master's program with  SCHOLARSHIP & Assistantship. In addition, the academic advisor I was given is the same faculty member I applied to work with in the PH.D program. I am thinking that going for a year to install new pieces to my resume might be the boost I need to get accepted into a PH.D program. Any insight or criticism is greatly appreciated.

So you weren’t rejected from Fordham, but offered a funded Master’s there instead of the PhD program? I’m a bit confused, you say already have a clinical research degree, do you mean a master’s? Did Fordham say anything about the offer, like whether there was potential or not to move on to the PhD when you finish? It’s sort of strange they would offer you a master’s when you already have one, but the fact that it’s funded and with someone you wanted to work with is a good thing. I would ask what does the potential for continuing on look like if you enrolled. If you can’t continue on there, I think you’d be better served by getting more research experience working in a lab. If you did a second master’s and then got in to a PhD program, that would mean essentially getting a third master’s on your way to your doctorate, since most of your credits won’t transfer and most schools want you to follow their program plan. If Fordham would let you continue on to their PhD, that wouldn’t be so bad, but to get another one just to try to get into a program is a lot.

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1 hour ago, Psyhopeful said:

So you weren’t rejected from Fordham, but offered a funded Master’s there instead of the PhD program? I’m a bit confused, you say already have a clinical research degree, do you mean a master’s? Did Fordham say anything about the offer, like whether there was potential or not to move on to the PhD when you finish? It’s sort of strange they would offer you a master’s when you already have one, but the fact that it’s funded and with someone you wanted to work with is a good thing. I would ask what does the potential for continuing on look like if you enrolled. If you can’t continue on there, I think you’d be better served by getting more research experience working in a lab. If you did a second master’s and then got in to a PhD program, that would mean essentially getting a third master’s on your way to your doctorate, since most of your credits won’t transfer and most schools want you to follow their program plan. If Fordham would let you continue on to their PhD, that wouldn’t be so bad, but to get another one just to try to get into a program is a lot.

Sorry, let me clear some questions. Yes i was offered a partial funded masters in Mental Health Counseling. I have a clinical psychology masters that focused on research (so no clinical hours or ability for licensure). I contacted the advisor today so I have not gotten a response. I've been struggling to find research opportunities outside of school so I thought this might be an option.

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Working full-time and studying to take the GRE again 🙄. Out of 8 programs I applied to this cycle, I only received 1 interview, so I think my GRE scores are what did me in. I’m also planning on starting on my apps earlier than I did this past cycle. I realized I was so burnt out by the time I was working on my last app because I wanted to knock them all out within a relatively short period of time. 

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5 hours ago, clinicalpsychhopeful said:

Working full-time and studying to take the GRE again 🙄. Out of 8 programs I applied to this cycle, I only received 1 interview, so I think my GRE scores are what did me in. I’m also planning on starting on my apps earlier than I did this past cycle. I realized I was so burnt out by the time I was working on my last app because I wanted to knock them all out within a relatively short period of time. 

I agree. I fell into similar fatigue going through applications and even cut schools because of issues with transcripts not arriving on time. 

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I'm in waitlist limbo, but I've been preparing for the worst for about a month and a half. In February, I started applying to research jobs. I've had some interviews, but no offers yet. My issue is that I don't have enough experience...but I can't get more experience because all of the positions that would give me more experience require experience. So yeah...I'm stuck.

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3 hours ago, philopsych said:

I'm in waitlist limbo, but I've been preparing for the worst for about a month and a half. In February, I started applying to research jobs. I've had some interviews, but no offers yet. My issue is that I don't have enough experience...but I can't get more experience because all of the positions that would give me more experience require experience. So yeah...I'm stuck.

I am struggling with that as well. Where are you even finding these research positions?

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5 hours ago, Itzik said:

I agree. I fell into similar fatigue going through applications and even cut schools because of issues with transcripts not arriving on time. 

Yup I was so ready to be done with them. But at the end of the day, it was a really good learning experience that’s going to shape how I approach next cycle for sure. 

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1 hour ago, Itzik said:

I am struggling with that as well. Where are you even finding these research positions?

Someone else posted this website: https://undergrad.psychology.fas.harvard.edu/post-graduate-research-jobs

I'm also looking at Indeed, Glassdoor, and the job portals of schools that I know have labs I'm interested in. I just search "psychology research assistant" or "psychology lab manager."

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4 hours ago, Itzik said:

I am struggling with that as well. Where are you even finding these research positions?

I'm going to second (third?) this as well. It feels virtually impossible to find positions that are specific to my interests, too. 

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44 minutes ago, EileanDonan said:

I'm going to second (third?) this as well. It feels virtually impossible to find positions that are specific to my interests, too. 

I have super niche interests, but one of the people I interviewed with for a grad program gave me the following advice: I don't need to be in a lab that exactly matches my interests at this point in my career. Just apply for a similar skill set as you'll use on the PhD. So you want to use fMRI to study XYZ in grad school...apply to all the labs that use fMRI even if they're not for XYZ. Obviously I want to work in labs that study XYZ, but since there's like 2 of them, this is how I have to apply.

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Speaking as someone who worked for two years before being accepted, DON'T BE AFRAID TO COLD EMAIL PROFESSORS YOU LIKE. I literally thought my current PI's research was cool, so I emailed her, sent her my CV and cover letter, interviewed, and was offered a research assistant position that turned into a research trial coordinator position. She wasn't advertising the position or anything, so keep in mind sometimes you just need to email people rather than waiting for a formal posting on a website. I have super niche interests as well, so this worked well for me. 

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12 hours ago, philopsych said:

I have super niche interests, but one of the people I interviewed with for a grad program gave me the following advice: I don't need to be in a lab that exactly matches my interests at this point in my career. Just apply for a similar skill set as you'll use on the PhD. So you want to use fMRI to study XYZ in grad school...apply to all the labs that use fMRI even if they're not for XYZ. Obviously I want to work in labs that study XYZ, but since there's like 2 of them, this is how I have to apply.

I sometimes wonder about this, as it might vary between school. I was looking at the student profiles of those who were attending the programs I had applied to this previous cycle, and they all had directly relevant research/clinical experience. I definitely feel more pressure because of this. Feels like putting my name into the lottery for the Holy Grail.

43 minutes ago, TrustingTheProcess said:

Speaking as someone who worked for two years before being accepted, DON'T BE AFRAID TO COLD EMAIL PROFESSORS YOU LIKE. I literally thought my current PI's research was cool, so I emailed her, sent her my CV and cover letter, interviewed, and was offered a research assistant position that turned into a research trial coordinator position. She wasn't advertising the position or anything, so keep in mind sometimes you just need to email people rather than waiting for a formal posting on a website. I have super niche interests as well, so this worked well for me. 

I've started doing this - emailed lab and basically went full circle to "apply on the university site". It's nice to see that this route can work, though, so I think I'll keep at it.

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On 3/19/2019 at 7:48 AM, clinicalpsychhopeful said:

Working full-time and studying to take the GRE again 🙄. Out of 8 programs I applied to this cycle, I only received 1 interview, so I think my GRE scores are what did me in. I’m also planning on starting on my apps earlier than I did this past cycle. I realized I was so burnt out by the time I was working on my last app because I wanted to knock them all out within a relatively short period of time. 

Getting a little ahead of myself here, but am in the same boat and was wondering if people who are re-applying are just going to re-use their old SOPs with some updates or re-do the entire thing? I'm especially curious when applying to the same school/poi as the last cycle...

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1 hour ago, PsychedforPsych2 said:

Getting a little ahead of myself here, but am in the same boat and was wondering if people who are re-applying are just going to re-use their old SOPs with some updates or re-do the entire thing? I'm especially curious when applying to the same school/poi as the last cycle...

 

 

Well I accidentally lost my old SOP due to being careless so I had to rewrite mine haha. Hopefully, in the extra year, you can put new stuff in your SOP (more diverse experiences more lab stuff) to make your statement a bit strong. I know my new SOP was much more focus in terms of what research I have done and what I want to do in the future.

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3 hours ago, PsychedforPsych2 said:

Getting a little ahead of myself here, but am in the same boat and was wondering if people who are re-applying are just going to re-use their old SOPs with some updates or re-do the entire thing? I'm especially curious when applying to the same school/poi as the last cycle...

Personally, I would recommend redoing most of your old SOP, if not the whole thing. This is my second time applying. While I realized what my most obvious shortcomings were and fixed them for this round (specifically lack of clinical/research experience and published papers), there may have been other problems in my previous applications that were not so obvious that I could improve on. One of which I think was my SOP. Maybe it was fine, but personally, reading it over, I knew I could do even better. Not just with updates about my current endeavors, but just giving it a new spin to tell these schools about myself. I know the prospect of having to rewrite an SOP sounds utterly awful, but I think it'll help a lot!

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4 hours ago, PsychedforPsych2 said:

Getting a little ahead of myself here, but am in the same boat and was wondering if people who are re-applying are just going to re-use their old SOPs with some updates or re-do the entire thing? I'm especially curious when applying to the same school/poi as the last cycle...

I agree with the responses you’ve gotten so far. I’ll definitely be tweaking mine a lot and probably even re-emailing the POIs I emailed this past cycle and ask them to look out for my app again and update them on what I’ve done to try to improve my app. 

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