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krishnalynn

Those of you who have been accepted, what was your relationship with your POI?

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I have a really great relationship with my POI, we have met multiple times, I've met the lab, and we've written a proposal together. Now, all the other grad students I talk to say that this is great and my acceptance is pretty much a given. But I am completely doubting myself and I'm not sure how normal it is to have a proposal with a POI at this point of the admissions process. Since I'm still waiting on my results and I want to just stress out about more things, I figured I'd make this thread, haha. 

 

Just out of curiosity--did you guys have a confirmed POI on acceptance? 

Edited by krishnalynn

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Yes, I have a poi for my top 3 choices. I visited one a couple weeks ago and just booked the flight to visit one in 2 weeks. I want to make sure we click and their research interests me...

Edited by EngineerGrad

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I didn't so much as contact professors at the places I applied. Bad idea, and it really explains the results. Hard to choose a poi when I haven't figured out my research area quite yet

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Yes. My program actually required that I not only select a PI to work with, but that he agree to take me as a student PRIOR to application submission.

We started communicating last fall. First he did some vetting and reviewed my credentials. Then we had lengthy discussions about research interests and ideas. After that he said he hoped I applied..and here I am. He's now setting up a visit for me so I can make sure the fit is right. I won't accept the offer until I am sure of that.

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My program didn't require a confirmed PI--they allow for (and encourage) first year rotations, though you can pick a PI right off the bat if you want.

 

I contacted my POI in...August, I think, after I read a paper of his and was like WHOA, THIS IS SUPER COOL. We emailed back and forth, and then I interviewed with him over Skype--the interview lasted about an hour. I sent him a thank you email immediately afterward and there were emails after that too, but they were sporadic, because life. At no point did he say "hey guess what, you're in!"--but he made comments that I interpreted as positive/encouraging ("we'll be in touch," etc). After I got an email from the dept inviting me for interview weekend, we talked a leetle bit more, but it wasn't until interview weekend and the subsequent emails that we really started talking in depth again.

 

But the relationship has been positive from the getgo. I applied for the NSF GRFP with a proposal that began from the foundations of his work, but he hadn't seen it--I am taking an insane class load so I just didn't have time to have him proof it beforehand, and I wasn't gonna be like, "Yo, So-and-so, the deadline is in three hours, would you mind looking at this thing?" So he didn't actually know that I'd applied for the GRFP until interview weekend, I think. This seems a bit of a backwards way to go about it, but he worked with his current grad student on her GRFP proposal--so in your  case, I would say the fact that your POI worked with you on your own proposal is a Very Good Sign.

 

Part of the currency of academia is time. A POI spending his time and effort on an applicant is the beginning of the POI's investment in them, imo--one that will continue throughout their working relationship as mentor/mentee, or professional/apprentice, or however you'd like to define it.  A POI's willingness to give you one of his most valuable resources should definitely be interpreted as encouraging, imo.  :)

Edited by unbrokenthread

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Yes. My program actually required that I not only select a PI to work with, but that he agree to take me as a student PRIOR to application submission.

We started communicating last fall. First he did some vetting and reviewed my credentials. Then we had lengthy discussions about research interests and ideas. After that he said he hoped I applied..and here I am. He's now setting up a visit for me so I can make sure the fit is right. I won't accept the offer until I am sure of that.

 

So, I'm assuming you applied to multiple programs...did you form this relationship with a POI in every one of your schools? Or just your top choice? 

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Part of the currency of academia is time. A POI spending his time and effort on an applicant is the beginning of the POI's investment in them, imo--one that will continue throughout their working relationship as mentor/mentee, or professional/apprentice, or however you'd like to define it.  A POI's willingness to give you one of his most valuable resources should definitely be interpreted as encouraging, imo.  :)

 

That's what I'm hoping! At this point I am sure my POI wants me because she has told the rest of the lab that "if we're lucky (My Name) will be joining us in Fall" so now it's just up to the school to accept me. 

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I've never met my POI, but we emailed back a forth a bit.  He was upfront as to what kind of mentor he would be (he flat out said that he doesn't hold hands and if I don't like a hands off professor, that I wouldn't like him).  Lucky for me, I LOVE that kind of mentor!  I obviously made a good impression because that is where I'll be attending in the fall. 

It's very rare that I see anyone in the sciences post that they had a great relationship with a POI and was then denied. 

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I had to apply under people, so I looked up some professors and name-dropped them when my apps were due. One of them got me into my school on a fellowship and I'm tentatively going to be working under him! But I was told I have freedom to switch advisors, especially since I'm on a fellowship.

He's so nice, and his students seem very happy to work under him. I've met him once in-person and he's made himself available over email and Skype. However I haven't really contacted him much, because I don't even know what to say or ask! I'm just happy to start whatever this research thing is in the fall. :)

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So, I'm assuming you applied to multiple programs...did you form this relationship with a POI in every one of your schools? Or just your top choice? 

 

I did.  I applied to 3 different programs in 2 different countries...6 applications altogether.  

 

For 2 of the 6, it was not necessary to establish a relationship ahead of time because of the way the programs handled their admissions and PI assignments (post-acceptance only).  I was accepted to both of those. 

 

For the other 4, I reached out ahead of time. It was just a coincidence that my top choice required a significant connection ahead of time.

 

It sounds like you've established a great relationship with your PI...now it's time for the torture of waiting. 

 

For 

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It's gone both ways for me so far. I had a great email relationship with two POIs from the same university, and got rejected. Had a great relationship with another 2 POIs at another university and got accepted, but for MA not PhD. And a decent, but not spectacular, relationship with a POI and got accepted into the PhD program. You never know... 

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I have a really great relationship with my POI, we have met multiple times, I've met the lab, and we've written a proposal together. Now, all the other grad students I talk to say that this is great and my acceptance is pretty much a given. But I am completely doubting myself and I'm not sure how normal it is to have a proposal with a POI at this point of the admissions process. Since I'm still waiting on my results and I want to just stress out about more things, I figured I'd make this thread, haha. 

 

Just out of curiosity--did you guys have a confirmed POI on acceptance? 

 

 

This is a random question...but what does POI or PI stand for? I've seen those terms used a lot on this site. Thanks!

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This is a random question...but what does POI or PI stand for? I've seen those terms used a lot on this site. Thanks!

Professor of interest, or in other words the person you want to work with (under) at the school you're applying

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I was denied admissions for my first choice (MA), and accepted for my second choice (MA). 

 

First Choice POI: This person conducts research with my current professor. My current professor also obtained their MA and Ph.D. from my POI. I sent a few emails back and forth, and they seemed interested in my research topic. At the time, I really wanted to work with this person because my current professor is my idol and a huge inspiration to me, and I thought that following their exact same footsteps would be good. It appears that funding issues were the problem, but at the same time I'm happy because my POI here is changing research topics and it would not be a good fit for me. This was an important life lesson: It's best if I follow my own foot steps instead of trying to mimic someone else's achievements. :)

 

Second Choice POI: Now here's where it gets funny. After realizing that I was rejected from my first choice university, I had two back-up universities, but I wasn't really interested in those. I thought I had a shoe-in at my first choice so I didn't have a solid back-up plan. I did some research and found this university and saw that they had not one, not two, but FOUR professors who were interested in my research topics. I applied (and the application was actually a little late, heh...) thinking that this was a lost cause but was worth a shot. I didn't talk to the professors at all before submitting my application. Apparently they were interested because I was accepted! 

 

 

 

As for your situation, try to steer clear of assuming too much. Stay hopeful, but don't throw all your eggs in one basket like I did. Think about your other options just in case. Other issues that are out of your control (such as funding issues) can occur. I wish you the best and I hope that you are given admissions! :) Good luck! 

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I emailed POIs before applying to each school and had some sort of short phone interview with each of my POIs after submitting my applications. It worked pretty well for me but I don't know if thats why. There just a lot of luck involved in the process that has little to do with the applicants.

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