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Speaking to a POI in person - need advice based off of emails


acciogabby
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Here is the summary of the exchange I've had with my POI thus far:

Me: Sent interest email, asking to meet in person to discuss, etc

Him: Just come on by sometime and we can talk about grad study.

Me: What time/day works for you

Him: Tues/Thurs/Friday 9-6

Me: I'm stopping by on Tuesday at 3:30, looking forward to it etc

**Stopped by at 3:30 to learn he was in the meeting for the rest of the day

Me: I stopped by but you were in a meeting for the remainder of the day. Would Thursday at 12:30 work better for you, let me know. Thanks.

My question about this exchange is, what to I do if he doesn't respond to my last email. Do I go anyway? I don't want to be too overwhelming. Additionally, how should I treat this meeting? Full interview attire and resume or what. I'm very nervous, because this will be the first time meeting with a POI. What questions should I come prepared with and to answer? Any advice will be appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm in the process of developing a couple of POIs as well, although with people whom I have no chance of meeting in person. I envy your opportunity to actually meet with a POI in person, so to that extent, consider your opportunity in this case to be very beneficial!

Just an opinion here, but if someone has told you they are available 27 hours any given week, it sounds to me like you're going to have to get patient / creative. One thing I've learned, going through one graduate and one professional program, is that you must get to know and be very kind to the department staff. I mention this, because they are the best source of information about when a person you want to get ahold of is typically available, and they are the ones that will pass on information with reliability. After having tried to schedule a time and not succeeded, then I would suggest, if it is at all practical, to swing by the office on a couple more occassions to see if your contact is available, and to ask the staff. If you miss your contact, leave a quick note. If you do this a couple of times, and miss your contact, my experience is that they will be inclined to send you an email and set up a time. If it is not practical for you to swing by a couple of times during your contact's available hours, then it sounds like you are already doing the best you can.

Good luck!

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Him: Just come on by sometime and we can talk about grad study.

Me: What time/day works for you

Him: Tues/Thurs/Friday 9-6

This lets you know that it is informal. A nice easy talk about things. Be prepared, well-read and take it as an opportunity to speak about something you are really interested in.

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I've met with a couple POIs in person and both times I wore dressy on top (blouse and blazer) and casual on bottom (nice jeans and boots). I felt like it was a good mix and not overly casual. For a formal interview, I think I would wear dress slacks, but since this is just a meeting, I don't think it's necessary, but definitely look presentable. And take your resume in a folder in a purse or a bag. Then you have it if it feels right to give it out, and it's not awkwardly in your hand if you feel like it was unnecessary.

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