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Asking POIs to go over your SoP


zoo7
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1. Would it be appropriate to ask a professor you've contacted (and who responded positively) to go over your SoP?

2. How do you transition from an email to a chat on skype (I'm an international student)? I didn't mention it in my original email and my POI hasn't brought it up either. I've only heard of informal interviews in the context of science programs, how essential is it for Anthropology?

 

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It's generally considered unethical for PIs to review application materials. I wouldn't ask, but you could probably ask if they would allow you to discuss how you hope to lay it out or what you will discuss within it.

Chatting with folks over skype or whatever is pretty crucial. Odds are that there will be a great deal of qualified applicants and normally faculty go to bat for those that they have confidence they'll like working with. So it would be ok to ask a PI or other faculty to chat to discuss your fit in the program, both academically and personally.

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I agree with RepatMan on discussing SOP structure with POIs in your communication with them. I also think it would be appropriate to request a conversation via Skype if you have already established contact with potential advisors. During the application process for my current program, I had established contact with my now advisor and several other faculty members, and they offered to review my SOP before I submitted, as well as a Skype call to answer my questions. I don't necessarily think that's the norm, but if a POI offers, take the opportunity, and if not, I think it's very appropriate and useful to ask for general SOP advice.

Students who are asked to interview for funding purposes and program fit are also typical contacted for Skype conversations, based on my and my peers' experiences. Establishing strong points of contact with potential faculty advisors is critical in the application process for Anthropology, in my opinion. Good luck!

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