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My first cycle I got shut out by 19 schools and next rejected by 15, so I know rejections like the back of my hand. Anyone wanting to talk about rejections (the prospect of them, etc.) feel free to reach out (to wallow, encouraged, to brace for it, to prepare, etc.). Getting shut out is really tough but it’s not the end (I am not suggesting any of you will get shut out, I just remember what it feels like to have nothing while people are getting accepted left and right).

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That would be me. My first acceptance and I’m thrilled.

IN AT YALE!!!  IM GOING TO LOSE MY MIND I DON'T KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE 

just got my Michigan offer. 6 years funding. Fuck. 

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3 hours ago, jm6394 said:

Just got into CUNY by email from a POI. I got my master’s there and it’s one of my top choices, I am really freaking out right now and in disbelief. This process messes with people so hard, I’ve never doubted myself more and I can’t stand that I’m a “just wait, it can happen to you!” person on the forum right now!!!!!! Fingers crossed for everyone, getting to the point of applying for a PhD means you deserve this feeling. 

Congratulations! So happy for you! Woohooooooo!

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1 hour ago, MichelleObama said:

Received an email from the Graduate Program Coordinator at Cornell requesting a copy of my transcript with the degree awarded information?! If this is anything like what happened with me at Yale, Cornell is definitely announcing decisions very soon! Which we already knew, but still. I would DIE if I got in, even though I'm already dead because I got in anywhere at all 😅

you're killing it

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5 hours ago, ArcaMajora said:

Congrats again!!! :D 

Looks like the same process as last year was used this year.

This goes out to you and to any Irvine admits this year that are lurking the GC boards, I'm happy to answer any questions about the dept/grad student life as a 1st year.

Thanks so much! I would love to hear more about your experience so far. 

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20 hours ago, Michel FoucOhNo said:

Anyone claiming the Tufts acceptances on the board? Hate to add it to the (growing) list of implied rejections.

I'm one of the Tufts PhD acceptances! Based on past years' results, waitlists seem to come out a few days later than acceptances, so I wouldn't say it's necessarily a rejection if you haven't heard anything yet. 

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Idk if anyone else feels like this but my motivation to keep up with classwork and orgs has just plummeted since this semester has started. I finally got around to doing a horrific amount of laundry and feel a sense of self pride/dignity restoring but last week when I was in the thick of most of my decisions I kind of dropped the ball with some of my coursework. Thankfully I only have two programs left that haven't responded back yet to anyone (and quite frankly I'm not sure if I'll be getting into either) but it's nice like someone else was saying to be so close to the end of the application cycle. Good luck to everyone who still has a bunch of unknowns left to go through and try to take care of y'allselves in the meantime.

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23 hours ago, Michel FoucOhNo said:

Anyone claiming the Tufts acceptances on the board? Hate to add it to the (growing) list of implied rejections.

I'm one of the PhD Tufts. Don't give up hope - it's quite literally all we have to cling onto. It's been my only acceptance so far, with 3 rejections and 2 implied rejections taunting my brain-space. It's only over when it's over. 

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5 hours ago, meghan_sparkle said:

you're killing it

YOU ARE! I see now that I was never actually prepared for the possibility of having a choice to make. I am a triple air sign...I am allergic to decisions.

 

1 hour ago, gooniesneversaydie said:

I'm one of the PhD Tufts. Don't give up hope - it's quite literally all we have to cling onto. It's been my only acceptance so far, with 3 rejections and 2 implied rejections taunting my brain-space. It's only over when it's over. 

Congratulations!! I didn't consider that program until after the deadline and I wish I would have applied. 

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I feel a little presumptuous saying this, but I guess as someone who has had some big gaps in their education: 

If anyone is totally lost about what kinds of jobs to get if they get shut out, I do know a bit about it - I actually have a position that many Ph.Ds turn to as alt-ac, and I have some understanding of how an English major's skillset can be transferred. (Let me tell you, I have some mixed feelings about seeing a freelance job I've held before listed by some schools in placement records!) Hopefully you all know this, but statistically, you aren't lost as a liberal arts major. It takes more time and research, but ultimately most of us land positions that pay as well as any other major. My current job pays well and is done remotely, meaning I can (and do) travel often. You probably need a master's to do my particular position, but I held some decent positions before my master's as well. The key is really to get up to date on certain software and certifications, and to pay close attention to what kinds of jobs are actually being advertised, because the workforce is changing so much that appropriate jobs aren't always called what you expect. (Loads of jobs need writing skills, not just ones that are titled "Writer.")

Also: I took tons of time off. And you know this, I'm sure, but it can be very fruitful. Aside from practical corporate bullshit, I learned how to be a fiction writer, I recovered from a lot of the mental health issues I had after homeschooling, I traveled, I went to a million burn festivals, and I read for the syllabus of myself. I doubt most of you will be as meandering as I've been about it, and maybe you don't need time off like I did, but if all goes well, you have the rest of your lives to be in academia, and you can make great use of a year, and be a better scholar and teacher for it.

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9 minutes ago, AnachronisticPoet said:

Heads up!

UCLA updated my letter on the application form but didn't send an email. Might be worth checking yours if you applied.

Tbh I think it's unprofessional and inconsiderate to not even send an email at the same time or previous to updating the website.

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16 minutes ago, merry night wanderer said:

The key is really to get up to date on certain software and certifications, and to pay close attention to what kinds of jobs are actually being advertised, because the workforce is changing so much that appropriate jobs aren't always called what you expect. (Loads of jobs need writing skills, not just ones that are titled "Writer.")

I would love to hear more about this if you have the time. Specifically what certifications and pieces of software have you found valuable? I'm trying not to give up hope, but it's appearing more and more likely that I'm going to be shut out this season, and I need to start planning now so that I'm able to land on my feet in the summer.

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Am also available to talk about English major-adjacent jobs! Have worked in literary journalism, full-time as an editor, balancing several gigs as a research assistant, etc. There really is a lot to do, and in my experience rather than feeling like you're on the outside looking in (where "in" would be a PhD I guess) it's more like you've neglected to board as a first-class passenger on the Titanic. I mean first class is lovely and fancy and exclusive but, from a career/workforce perspective, it still is (or can be) the Titanic . . .

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Though I would also say if I may: unless I'm mistaken no one is fully shut out yet! I've glanced at the signatures of a lot of the people worrying and seems like a lot of people still have places left to hear from. It isn't over until it's over, and I say this as a true pessimist/cynic. I can count on more than one hand the number of friends I have who either: 1. got in nowhere except their top choice, and that choice was one of the last, if not the last, to notify; 2. got off waitlists late in the game—either explicit waitlists or invisible waitlists! Making a plan B no matter what is great and can be a great distraction from decision season anxiety, but I wouldn't go into total fatalistic despair prematurely. 

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20 minutes ago, digital_lime said:

I would love to hear more about this if you have the time. Specifically what certifications and pieces of software have you found valuable? I'm trying not to give up hope, but it's appearing more and more likely that I'm going to be shut out this season, and I need to start planning now so that I'm able to land on my feet in the summer.

Sure thing. 

First of all: if you're looking for a job, make as much use of your school's career center as humanly possible. They are there to help you, and they can hopefully help you word/frame the experience you've had so far in such a way that looks appealing on a resume. 

With that said: you are going to want to fact-check all of their advice, because to be honest, a lot of the people in career centers are university admins and don't always know jack about the job market! However, it doesn't hurt to go to them to get your resume checked and to ask them about the jobs they're aware of. When I was an undergrad, I found them very helpful for positioning all the tutoring jobs I held in such a way that landed me an incredibly sweet and rare position as an actual scriptwriter (as in, I wrote dialogue for videos - I was unbelievably lucky, but then again, the company was a trainwreck and imploded two years later... capitalism sucks, but I digress). They really helped me format my resume. When it came to searching for jobs, they were more clueless and I was on my own, but I'm still glad I went to see them.

Second, I would suggest just browsing jobs in your area, using Indeed or Monster or what have you - sometimes, schools have their own job boards as well - and seeing what looks appealing and what you think you can do. Don't be intimidated if you don't have the skills yet, necessarily. You can learn those skills. I repeat: you can learn those skills. Screw imposter syndrome. You're smart and adaptable. Be honest with yourself about what you can learn - for instance, in my field, it's helpful to know a bit about graphic design. While I can do minor graphic design (I have the world's tiniest, most insignificant amount of talent in the visual arts), I am never going to be a full on graphic designer; at the same time, knowing a bit about Illustrator is doable and looks great on the resume, so I put it there, even though I don't overplay my hand wrt graphic design. But you definitely want to be bold and put things on your resume that you feel confident you know something about, or can learn something about quickly. 

Unfortunately, most resumes are processed through a computer before they reach human eyes, and computers are very dumb - so it's all about getting keywords in. Use the job descriptions to learn the lingo, copy their wording for soft skills, and if you see software listed in the skills section of the jobs, learn something about it and list it. 

"Knowing software" need not be super complex or intimidating. Trust me: if you can apply for a Ph.D, you can learn PowerPoint or the ins and outs of Word. Even if you don't know everything, you can look up a YouTube tutorial. You are capable of that. You may not have even thought of putting software on your resume - I didn't - but again, computers are dumb, and if you don't list things like Microsoft Office, you might get sorted into the No pile. I find a lot of people feel very intimidated by this, but they shouldn't be. My field routinely lists an extremely simple screenshot snapping software called SnagIt in the skills section, which takes, I kid you not, two buttons to correctly use, but if I don't put it on my resume, I risk being sorted out. The corporate universe is wild. 

It depends on which field you're in, but if you're doing writing, for instance, a portfolio is always helpful. You will probably have to write articles from scratch since you definitely don't want to put literary criticism on there, and as much of a pain as this is to do, it is always worth it to have tangible proof of your skill. 

I will also say this: approach jobs ruthlessly. I am biased because of my political beliefs, and the fact I've always lived in at-will employment states, but I do strongly believe you should  not let any professional job get personal for you. This isn't academia, which, extremely problematic as it is, does have a very worthwhile, ethical dimension - companies are making money off of you, and often a lot of money, and often at your expense. Mediocrity is often rewarded. Nepotism wins out over quality, almost every time. Even if you love your manager (and I've been friends with many of mine; a couple transitioned to close friends, in fact) they don't always have the power they need to watch your back when budgets get slashed and layoffs happen. Look out for yourself and pay attention to your survival instincts!

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I agree with meghan_sparkle that it's pretty early to worry unless you are already shut out. And, per merry night wanderer, there is a lot of work to be had out there. The job market is solid right now. University Advancement is a great place to get hired with writing skills, especially on foundation/corporate relations and annual giving teams, since those are more writing-focused. Advancement offices also tend to pay pretty well. If you're extroverted, alumni offices can have cool roles available, or being a major gift officer can pay REALLY well.

In other news, not to freak people out, but there's a Cornell acceptance on the board.

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49 minutes ago, Kelsey1599 said:

UCONN claimer? I am terrified it seems like all of my schools are dropping decisions left and right. Here's to hope fellow waiters !!🥂

That one was me! I was sent an email this morning with the offer - nothing updated on the actual UConn portal yet. 

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30 minutes ago, merry night wanderer said:

"Knowing software" need not be super complex or intimidating. Trust me: if you can apply for a Ph.D, you can learn PowerPoint or the ins and outs of Word. Even if you don't know everything, you can look up a YouTube tutorial. You are capable of that. You may not have even thought of putting software on your resume - I didn't - but again, computers are dumb, and if you don't list things like Microsoft Office, you might get sorted into the No pile. I find a lot of people feel very intimidated by this, but they shouldn't be. My field routinely lists an extremely simple screenshot snapping software called SnagIt in the skills section, which takes, I kid you not, two buttons to correctly use, but if I don't put it on my resume, I risk being sorted out. The corporate universe is wild. 

This post is all great, and I want to highlight this point in particular--you'd be amazed how many hiring managers, particularly those who haven't done a lot of hiring recently, will be looking for you to say that you know how to use Microsoft Outlook or Word. It is not necessarily assumed that you have these skills, even though you just listed on your resume that you have a bachelor's degree. And yeah, the computer filtering system might spit you out before you even get to the hiring manager if you leave some of that simple stuff off, especially if it's one of those dumb drop-down menus where you have to click on like every single computer program you've ever opened. Also, keep in mind that you do not need to be the world's leading expert on Microsoft Word to list yourself as proficient. Basically what it comes down to is that just most people who graduated from a moderately well-known college with a four-year degree since 2015 can figure out their way around basic computer stuff with very minimal training by Googling for things they don't know, but hiring managers and candidate-screening programs don't necessarily assume this, so you have to point it out to them. 

A few skills you might want to pick up, especially if you're looking at admin-type jobs: 
- pivot tables and conditional formatting in Excel 
- mail merge in Outlook
- basic social media/marketing tools like Hootsuite and MailChimp 
- basic Google Drive apps (Documents, Sheets, and whatever their knockoff PowerPoint is)

(Not that any of us is gonna get shut out, since nobody is yet, but heck, this would be useful just for anyone who wants to do a temp job between undergrad and grad or current job and grad. Also, read the Ask a Manager advice blog to fact-check the advice you get from your college career center.)

Edited by caffeinated applicant
added a couple more skills. one day I'll finish editing before I press post
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13 minutes ago, timespentreading said:

In other news, not to freak people out, but there's a Cornell acceptance on the board.

Oh man. Cornell is one of my top choices 😬 

Anyone want to claim this?

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