banksy Posted October 11, 2010 Share Posted October 11, 2010 Hey everyone, I just started an account, I have been reading these forums for a while now... figured it was time to participate. A little about myself: I went to UCSC for my undergraduate studies and majored In Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. i did not get any research experience while there, but did manage to get one good letter (I still have to contact him but he only has the best things to say). Anyway, I graduated with a 3.5 major GPA and 3.2 cumulative, I know not so great, but it was college and my future was still so far away at the time. I was unemployed for a half a year until I finally landed a dream job working in a privately run lab in downtown Berkeley. I have been there for approximately 7 months and will be working there until, hopefully, I get into graduate school. I bust my ass working and should be able to get my other two letters from my PI and the senior scientist I work directly with. The senior scientist did his postdoc in UCSF (for the head of a department) and has connects there, Stanford (met an admissions board member when my boss gave a seminar to his lab), and UCB, so hopefully he can talk to people, who know people, who blah blah blah....I am trying not to rely on that....but my "numbers" are not too great. I just got done with my GRE, which almost brought me to tears by the time I was taking the damn test.... 770Q and 490V, waiting on the writing section. I am happy with the math but disappointed in the verbal (English is my second language, ha....but I don't think it counts after 19 years). I do not think there is any point of me taking it again in November because my verbal score will not increase that much and my quant will probably drop. That being said, quant is more important in life sciences....right? I am under the impression that they like well balanced applicants, but they understand that the GRE sucks. I had to take the subject test as an exit requirement for my major because I did not write a thesis, but did not put too much time or effort into it ending up with a 53% (needed 50% for major). Most schools say the subject is recommended but not required, let me make it clear, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT MEANS.... this is how I translate, if you did good show us you did good, if you didn't do good don't show us....haha, not too sure if that is accurate. I think I can manage taking the test again, come November, and do at least 15% better on it since I have been working in the field for some time now. Not sure if it is worth it, to stress about that and my apps.... That covers my undergrad GPA, my GRE, letters of recommendation.... The schools I am applying to just so happen to be some of the best schools in the country, but I do love the bay area and would like to stick around. UCSF- TETRAD (genetics and cell bio) Stanford- Genetics, Chemical and Systems Biology UCB- Genetics or Cell Biology My PI told me there are no fall back schools when it comes to your PhD, so if I don't get in this year I can work for another year and apply again next year....giving me more time to apply for fellowships, start a collaboration or two with labs from these schools, and hopefully getting my name on a paper or two (one of which we will hopefully start writing soon). This gives me comfort, but I still would like to get going with grad school. What else is there? The actual applications : I have been thinking about them and have filled out all of the information parts, have an outline for my personal statement, know what I am going to put for my research experience and statement of intent. Quick question about my personal statement. I am a war refugee and have worked that into my personal statement (UCSF and Berkeley both ask for how have your experiences.....grad school.....diversity), not sure how much to play that card. I am not a big fan of waving the war refugee card around to get something that I want. I will at some point post the finished statement, if people respond to this. I will end by saying thanks in advance for any replies. PM's will work as well, whatever. I am meeting with the head of research for the UC system sometime soon to further discuss my application, what to emphasize and what to avoid, which should be great. THANKS! p.s. I didn't have time to read over the whole thing.... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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