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"So you didn't get accepted. Giving up?" NOPE: Things to do if rejected


ssynny
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Hi all,

 

After being rejected from both of my schools this year (well I guess I'm still technically waitlisted at one until the official acceptances from the other people are in), I started looking at options for next time around. I started compiling a list of schools that I was interested in applying to and came across a bunch of job and message boards. And you know what?! There's a ton of people looking for PhD and Masters students in the US and around the world!! So here's my advice if you're not giving up:

 

1) Start looking into programs now, don't wait. Make your list now, but don't be afraid to change it along the way.

2) Don't be afraid to contact some people at smaller or lesser known departments, especially if you know someone with connections. If they don't reply, give it a couple of months and try again.

3) CHECK JOB LISTS. ex) AGU careers, MET job list, ES jobs net, GSA Today, seismosoc.org, AGI, etc. There are all these sites for pretty much every discipline of earth science. Most have job boards too with TONS of people with money looking for graduate students. You just need to look! Especially at this time, schools (even prestigious ones) are looking to fill empty spots or get students for those proposals that were accepted late. Check these boards and you might be pleasantly surprised.

4) Keep in contact with POIs, even if you weren't accepted. If you developed a good relationship with them, they are often willing to help you achieve your goals and send info/opportunities your way. And don't be afraid to ask them for info either.

5) It's okay to work a random job if you have prior research experience in the meantime. POIs know that things don't always work out as planned. And sometimes you have to stray from your path in order to reach your end goal. My POI even worked as a sheep sheerer between his undergrad and masters! But make sure you have at least some experience under your belt before you start working odd jobs. 

 

 

These are just some of my suggestions that maybe some of you have yet to consider. Of course you don't have to agree with them and they may not apply to everyone, but I learned that if things haven't been working out, it may be time to take a different approach and try new tactics.

 

Good luck everyone :)

 

~ssynny

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Hi all,

After being rejected from both of my schools this year (well I guess I'm still technically waitlisted at one until the official acceptances from the other people are in), I started looking at options for next time around. I started compiling a list of schools that I was interested in applying to and came across a bunch of job and message boards. And you know what?! There's a ton of people looking for PhD and Masters students in the US and around the world!! So here's my advice if you're not giving up:

1) Start looking into programs now, don't wait. Make your list now, but don't be afraid to change it along the way.

2) Don't be afraid to contact some people at smaller or lesser known departments, especially if you know someone with connections. If they don't reply, give it a couple of months and try again.

3) CHECK JOB LISTS. ex) AGU careers, MET job list, ES jobs net, GSA Today, seismosoc.org, AGI, etc. There are all these sites for pretty much every discipline of earth science. Most have job boards too with TONS of people with money looking for graduate students. You just need to look! Especially at this time, schools (even prestigious ones) are looking to fill empty spots or get students for those proposals that were accepted late. Check these boards and you might be pleasantly surprised.

4) Keep in contact with POIs, even if you weren't accepted. If you developed a good relationship with them, they are often willing to help you achieve your goals and send info/opportunities your way. And don't be afraid to ask them for info either.

5) It's okay to work a random job if you have prior research experience in the meantime. POIs know that things don't always work out as planned. And sometimes you have to stray from your path in order to reach your end goal. My POI even worked as a sheep sheerer between his undergrad and masters! But make sure you have at least some experience under your belt before you start working odd jobs.

These are just some of my suggestions that maybe some of you have yet to consider. Of course you don't have to agree with them and they may not apply to everyone, but I learned that if things haven't been working out, it may be time to take a different approach and try new tactics.

Good luck everyone :)

~ssynny

Great post! I couldn't agree more. I like to think of set backs and obstacles as short detours that ultimately make accomplishing goals much more awesome!

A delicious fortune cookie eloquently said, "focus on your long-term goal. Your wish will be granted next year."

Not a Chinese proverb, but still well said.

Good luck!

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Most people in the sciences can't give up on grad school. With how the economy is now, a science degree at the bachelor level is almost unmarketable. Back before I got my acceptance I was sending my resume out to a bunch of environmental consulting companies and a lot of them say that they are really looking for people with master degrees. This of course isn't the rule everywhere. It use to be that people with geology degrees can find a job easily with just a bachelors but it appears that is now being diminished as time goes on. Something for the people who are giving up to think about. Also from a financial and earning prospective, master holding students make a lot more on average then people who just have a B.S but this is known already

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Most people in the sciences can't give up on grad school. With how the economy is now, a science degree at the bachelor level is almost unmarketable. Back before I got my acceptance I was sending my resume out to a bunch of environmental consulting companies and a lot of them say that they are really looking for people with master degrees. This of course isn't the rule everywhere. It use to be that people with geology degrees can find a job easily with just a bachelors but it appears that is now being diminished as time goes on. Something for the people who are giving up to think about. Also from a financial and earning prospective, master holding students make a lot more on average then people who just have a B.S but this is known already

This isn't completely true and depends, I suspect, where you went to undergrad, and what opportunities were available to you based on recruitment at your school and proximity to urban centers. A lot of bio and chem majors I knew from undergrad are now making great money working for healthcare consulting firms or other for-profit businesses; I worked on Wall Street with only a science bachelors.

Having a bachelors in a science is pretty marketable for positions outside of research. To have a research career you need more grad school, but a bachelors degree in science doesn't doom you to a miserable career. So for folks who are opting out of further grad school--you'll do great as long as you think creatively about what to do next.

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Your ability to get a job as a science major with in general is proportional to how much math and programming you know.  Its not surprising that the typical geology major, who comes out of college with a year of math and no programming has trouble finding a research or good industry job. 

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Your ability to get a job as a science major with in general is proportional to how much math and programming you know. Its not surprising that the typical geology major, who comes out of college with a year of math and no programming has trouble finding a research or good industry job.

Says the geophysicist haha but seriously those skills can probably make you more marketable

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Says the geophysicist haha but seriously those skills can probably make you more marketable

 

Well my biology friends have the same problem. Industry, for the most part, wether its oil/gas/mining,defense, tech, or engineering is based on quantitate research and undergraduate geology, biology and psychology degrees are descriptive degrees. They teach you, for the most part, how to qualify their fields, but not quantify the fields. By contrast, physics, mathematics, computer science, engineering and chemistry is heavy in quantitate methods, but light on qualitative descriptions.  

 

When each of those people go to grad school in the earth sciences, those things converge: Most of my skill building has been about learning how to qualify my research as I learned most of the mathematics and computer science skills in undergrad.  By contrast, graduate school is the first time a lot of geology majors take a quantitative methods course. My office mate (who is coming from a geology degree into geophysics) is taking linear algebra as a graduate student. 

 

I wasn't trying to suggest that one method is better than the other, if anything they are similar, its just that unless you are mapping, knowing some python is probably more important than taking a petrology or mineralogy class in industry. 

Edited by GeoDUDE!
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For what it's worth, people on both ends of the spectrum end up successful in grad school. If I were doing undergrad over, I would take more quant classes than I did, because my interests have changed. But I don't regret my more qualitative experience--I got to do a lot of cool things in and out of the classroom. An undergrad reading this thread shouldn't lose hope if they are coming from a more qual program.

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Well my biology friends have the same problem.

I've not had issues finding work with my biology BA. Although, I had a tough time finding work that paid particularly well ($15-20/hr was the normal entry level wage). Mostly, I was able to find jobs doing QA/QC in manufacturing as biology (especially microbiology) is a decent background for food or drug regulations. That said, I think a lot of people were disappointed because it's not what we tend to envision doing when we're in undergrad.

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Most people I know who major in biology that don't go into medicine or grad school go into environmental consulting. Same with geology and they train you to do field work and also how to operate programs

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Your ability to get a job as a science major with in general is proportional to how much math and programming you know.  Its not surprising that the typical geology major, who comes out of college with a year of math and no programming has trouble finding a research or good industry job. 

 

In my experience, this isn't true at all. I've met so many people in engineering or the heavy sciences that have no job after graduation, despite half of their unit loads coming in as math/heavy science/programming. It's all about networking, having good relationships with past employers or professors, and being persistent. "Major superiority" isn't true unless you're comparing apples to apples. 

Edited by watsondoodle
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