I know I don't have to say this, but I will anyway. REJECTION SUCKS. It sucks in all areas of life, and getting rejected from a grad program you really wanted to get into is no different. You may be heartbroken because you worked so hard to prepare your application and it didn't turn out … Continue reading How to Deal with Rejection
If you are reading this post, that means you have most likely made it to probably the most important phase of the grad school application process. THE. INTERVIEW. Let me stop. Congratulations on getting an interview! I promise they are not as scary as you think. They were actually my favorite part of application season. … Continue reading PhD Admissions: Interviews!
Since I will be starting my PhD in a week (ahhh!), I thought it would be a good time to share my reflections from the Fall 2020 application cycle. This is pretty much an overview of some of the advice that I have shared in previous blog posts along with some new insights: 1. A … Continue reading Fall 2020 Reflections
In one of my first blog posts, I talked about why prospective applicants should take a gap year(s) before applying to grad school. For those who choose to do so, it can be a great time for discovery and reflection. However, this decision comes with its fair share of challenges. What was most challenging for … Continue reading The Challenges of Being a Post-Bacc Student
Although this post isn't necessarily related to grad school, I wanted to take a moment to highlight academic conferences that are great for first-gens (especially those who identify as BIPOC) to attend. The two that I want to mention are the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) and the National Diversity in STEM … Continue reading Academic Conferences for First-Gens
One of the "hidden secrets" of PhD admissions is applying to fellowships. I had no idea what a fellowship was until I started randomly searching on The GradCafe forums and discovered the sub-forum known as the "The Bank". The first thread that I came across was for the 2017-2018 NSF GRFP application cycle and I … Continue reading PhD Admissions: Fellowships!
When it comes to grad school admissions, the last two components that I want to talk about are GPA and the GRE. I will first share my thoughts on the importance of an applicant's GPA in PhD admissions specifically, then dive into the GRE. If you have a low GPA or GRE scores, this post … Continue reading PhD Admissions: GPA + The Dreaded GRE
A great way to initiate contact with a potential advisor is by introducing yourself through email! If you are applying to programs where you don't need an advisor lined up, then you don't necessarily have to do this step. However, if you are applying to programs where you are expected to have an advisor before … Continue reading PhD Admissions: Emailing Potential Advisors
Asking for letters of recommendation (LORs) can be a very daunting task. Why? Because you have no idea what the response will be. I was definitely nervous when I had to ask, but thankfully it all worked out! Here are things to consider when asking for LORs along with the email template I used: PRO … Continue reading PhD Admissions: Letters of Recommendation
The statement of purpose (SOP) is probably the most important part of your application. It is where you get the chance to discuss how your past research experience has influenced what you want to study in grad school and why the specific program you are writing about can help you reach your personal and professional … Continue reading PhD Admissions: Statement of Purpose vs. Personal Statement