art_to_sci Posted March 10, 2017 Share Posted March 10, 2017 My decision finally became difficult, and this is going to be long. I've been in contact with a professor as school 'X'. It's a good/ average public university, not high ranking in biology (130-ish). I actually met the professor after my interviews - two admissions committee members recommended him to me. He is outside of the bio department (and his department ranks in the 40s) but he can take biology grad students. I went back for a 3 hour meeting (interviewing me, talking about the research, lunch, meeting lab members). Plus multiple emails and a long phone call over the following weeks. Emails have included pre-proposals for NSF grants (the research he's planning that my project would be a part of), updated CV and SOP (his, not mine). I'm excited about the research, methods are sound, protocols are strict and techniques are varied and seem up to date. Mentoring style seems like a good fit, early 'hand holding' but developing independence and separate projects as work continues. The school has not sent out decisions yet (why I'm calling it 'X' instead of by name), but he has told me that I'll be accepted so I'm viewing this as a real option. I was also accepted to UPenn. I realize I sound crazy for not just jumping for joy and immediately accepting the offer. This is the highest ranking program that I have been admitted to, and the only Ivy I enjoyed visiting. I have started contacting the professors I'm interested in (but didn't interview with) to speak more seriously and make them less of an unknown. I have been getting so wrapped up in the school X potential project and professor that I'm trying to be open to other options again; there is little overlap. My reluctance is also stemming from the fact that I would have to move. I'm older, I didn't take the direct path, and moving involves ending a 10 year relationship. I can't decide based on my boyfriend because I will hate him for it, but it's difficult to take out of the equation. If I go to UPenn I will be upset and motivated by the fact that I gave up a great potential mentor and my relationship. If I go to 'X' I will be panicked and motivated by the fact that I gave up UPenn. How much would I lose (future opportunities) by going to a less impressive school? Is there any potential to make up for that? Doesn't your PI have a huge impact on success? mitchell35 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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