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An Unusual Situation & Timing of Application


fallen625

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Hi all,

I have a pretty unusual situation that got me really debating on whether to apply for Clinical Psychology Grad School this year or not. I am pregnant, and would be 24-28 weeks pregnant by the time of interviews (ei impossible to hide). I am a non-traditional student in the sense that I currently work in invesment banking (I graduated a year ago and have been working in it since) and I am planning to do a career change (sort of, I was a psych major and did research in college). Unfortunately, because of the hours of my job I would probably have to quit in January. So this leaves me with

a) Applying now and interviewing pregnant

B) Applying in a year and having to explain a 1 year gap on my resume

c) Trying to secure a probably unpaid RA position in my field and applying this year. Note that this might be hard if I am interviewing pregnant, and I am not jsure if I can justify us paying for child care / not staying at home for an unpaid position

I am not sure if this makes a difference at all, but I would consider myself a pretty strong candidate. 3.85 GPA / Honors Thesis / 2 + years of resarch experience / 2nd author publication / want to keep studying in the field I did research in college / expect GREs of around 1350-1400 (taking tomorrow)

Would really appreciate any advice!

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Honestly, I'd just apply now and interview pregnant. Your family life is really none of their business (in theory) and if it's brought up (or if you want to address it), make sure you know what you're going to say about future child plans. Ex- "yes, I'm due in XXX. That's why I'm staying around this area, so his grandmother can watch him while I go to school blahblah whatever". I think there will likely be some discrimination based on the fact that you're pregnant (i.e. they think you won't be as committed and full-time as the single 24-year old) but I'd find some ways to spin it positively. You could also address the fact somehow in your personal statement, esp if you're applying to work with children or anything like that.

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Thanks for the advice. I really do want to apply this year, but I am scared that my pregnancy will make a bad impression in the interviews and that I won't be able to apply to these places the next year. Does anyone else have any advice?

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I have to agree with PsychGirl. You can't really do much otherwise than present yourself as a devoted applicant. They aren't supposed to discriminate, but you ultimately can't control the outcomes. I would still try and apply, you have nothing to lose. When it comes time to interviews, you can make your situation more clear to them and really show them your devotion to completing the program and that your other responsibilities won't hinder that. Everyone has a personal life and their own personal obligations so they can't beat you down for that, but of course, each ad comm will probably be subjective, so there's no saying how they will perceive it. I say go for it, don't let them scare you, just be confident in yourself, at least that way you don't regret not applying. You can always try again next year if things don't work out this time around.

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Agreed with disillusioned. Plus, if you do end up reapplying next year, they'll know you're doubly committed because you were willing to go through the application process twice. And start developing your plan b during the application process so that if you don't get in anywhere, you know what you're going to do :-) I vote for taking some Psychology courses from a reputable online place (ex. Harvard Extension School, Drexel University, more I don't know about), which should be easy-ish to balance with a newborn, and maybe finding a lab to work in part-time. That way, it's not so much a gap on your resume for the year.

Good luck!

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