sciencegirl9 Posted December 16, 2013 Share Posted December 16, 2013 Hey All, I am a first year PhD student in an immunology program looking for some advice, anyone who can relate/has gone through what I am going through. Here is some background. I have always loved school and learning, and my interests for as long as I can remember were in immunology and microbiology. I went to a small school for my undergrad because they offered me an athletic scholarship, the downside was that it was not a well know school and wasn't associated with any research labs or graduate programs. Now, in hindsight, I realize that was probably a poor choice considering I always dreamed of going into one of the top ten programs in my field and that would probably require some research experience, but at the time having college paid for was all I could think about. As my senior year of undergraduate approached, I was set on going straight into a PhD program and did not want to take time off in between, so I started preparing my grad school applications. Without research experience, I knew I could never get into my dream schools with the top 3 programs (Standord, Harvard, UCSF), but I applied to a few top 10 programs and some lower tier ones to be safe, and thought I would be truly happy as long as I could go straight in to a PhD program. Undergrad stats: Major: Biology - cellular/molecular Minor: Human Biology, Chemistry GPA: 3.96 Awards: Chancellor's Medallion, Dean's List Experience: 12 month microbiology internship in industry (3 months in at time of grad application submission), 3 semester immunology independent research project (1 semester at time of application) When the decision letters came through I was pretty disappointed. I hadn't gotten in to the "top ten" programs that I had applied to, but had gotten in to a few of the lower tier ones. I was conflicted - I have extremely high career goals and knew that I would need a strong PhD education to achieve them, but I was also afraid that if I didn't accept one of my offers, waited a year while getting more experience, and reapplied that I may not get into the programs the next year and would have thrown away my opportunity. So, I went ahead and accepted an offer from a program ranked around 20 in the nation that would pay for my PhD with stipend - still a good program, absolutely, but just not what I wanted for myself and feeling like I settled. I thought that after I got here, I would fall in love with the research and it would all be okay, and I would be happy with my decision. Well, to say the least, that has not been the case. Hard as I try, I just can't shake the feeling that I let go of my dream of going to a top program and have let myself down in being too hasty and naive in my desire to go straight to PhD. I am miserable at my current program and think that if I stay here for the duration of my PhD and graduate from here I will always look back and regret it, wishing that I would have tried to go for my top three schools. I am also worried that I won't be able to achieve my career goals coming out of this program. I guess I just do not know where to go from here, but know I will regret it if I don't make a change. Has anyone gone through something similar or know someone who has? Thoughts, advice? I am thinking about switching in to the master's track and getting my master's from this program, and then reapplying to the schools that I know I want to be at. With my undergraduate academic scores and good academic and research scores in the master's program, would I be able to get in to Stanford, Harvard, etc.? How would I go about making the transition, as I know there would be quite a few people in my current program that completely would not approve. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now