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E-mailing POIs...now


OnceAndFutureGrad
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Hi GradCafe, I love yous all and I was hoping you could help me. I searched a bit for conversation on e-mailing POIs and I found one big thread in Applications, but it was more about e-mailing them prior to applying.

Now, don't worry, I've contacted ALL of my POIs before (and good thing too because it knocked some schools out, etc.) so there won't be any cold-emailing.

What's the etiquette for e-mailing POIs at this stage, particularly when some results have gone out on the board? Or is any contact at this point unnecessary and potentially damaging?

In particular, I'm interested in e-mailing my potential advisor at School A which tends to make decisions early and has some news out. Previously I had e-mail contact with three professors including the DGS and several graduate students. I also spent a day in the fall visiting School A, including lengthy personal conversations with my potential advisor and another POI. (Handwritten thank-you cards quickly followed in the mail.)

So, my hopeful advisor might not remember me clearly/fondly, but he ought to remember me somewhat. Could I send him a brief, excruciatingly polite, yet unsolicited e-mail asking about the status of my application? Or do I ask about results in general? Do I ask him if he has accepted someone for 2011, or if I am still in the running, or is all of that is too crass?

I would also like to email two POIs at Schools B and C, where I was unable to visit but had pleasant and encouraging e-mail conversations. Again, how am I supposed to ask "Do I still have a chance or have you made your decision already?" without sounding horribly rude?

Also, is there anything I can say at this point to improve my chances? I sent a mid-term grade report in January. I'm a semifinalist for the Met summer internship but that's all, and no one's been outright accepted yet, so I don't know if announcing that would be smart (it's an honor to get to this point, even if I don't make the final cut) or smarmy (yeah, anyone can get nominated for an award, but it's not winning it!).

Thanks for your help. If I missed a thread on this please link. I really do appreciate the collective genius of the Waiting It Out forum!

Edited by RecycledViking
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there have been many discussions in the past about this very issue. If you go to this link:

you'll find some helpful advice plus links to past, more relevant postings. The above link is from a poster who wanted to email a professor again after receiving a lukewarm response. But other posters advised him/her that it's never a really good idea to email profs after submitting the application. Anyway, take a look. Hope it helps.

Edited by Zouzax
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I agree it's not usually a good idea to email a POI at this time. You could however, contact the admissions people at the department and ask if all decisions have been made yet.

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I don't know. I had something to add my CV that was a rather important/ potentially influential on my application update that I found out about since I had submitted my app in December. I let a POI know and she suggested I contact the head of the admissions committee with the information, which I did. I think I would only update a POI with such info that you met with or had a really good phone conversation with. Someone who was upbeat about your application. I also had another POI from a different uni ask me in October to touch base with her via email in Feburary, which I did earlier this month. The app for this school was due later, so the previously mentioned update was included in that app. Since she asked me to email her, I simply replied to the email conversation we had had to jog her memory in case she had trouble remembering me. I very simply said I was following up with her to reitterate my interest in the program. It was a three sentence email. I didn't hear back from her, but am crossing my fingers that she hasn't replied for the reason a previous poster mentioned: so as not to give any indicidation as to what a yet unknown decision might be. So, I am beside myself waiting for results to start coming!

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I am totally desperate. My daughter has a preschool appointment on Saturday at the school of my choice (different state), but I think they have sent out their admits already; I have not heard anything. Of course this is based off one person on the results board saying they were accepted last week. Any suggestions for me? It's an 8 hour drive.

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Thanks everyone for the advice and the link to previous discussion. My anxiety has not abated but I'm very glad you talked me out of contacting anyone. I must keep reminding myself that I got into the school where I am now without a word between the POI and me, so there's no reason to feel like I'm missing something by not contacting my POIs now.

Thanks again and good luck!

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