importance of entering grad students for fit of grad school

creepypasta13
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:41 pm

importance of entering grad students for fit of grad school

Postby creepypasta13 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:38 pm

so a few of the grad programs I got admitted to don't have their open houses until April. However, if I wish, I could visit the program before then, but I of course won't be able to meet the incoming class of grad students. Since I already graduated over a year ago, I've had a couple jobs/internships since then, but am currently unemployed. However, I got a job offer about a week ago (the pay is abysmall - $12/hr, but its better than nothing) and they expect me to start towards late-March at the latest. I don't intend to stay there permanently, as I plan to quit it just before I start grad school

The question is: Is getting a feel of the incoming class of students important enough that I should wait until April to attend the open house and thus turn down that job offer and continue to be unemployed? (I've been unemployed for about 5 months)

TheBeast
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Re: importance of entering grad students for fit of grad school

Postby TheBeast » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:46 pm

Keep in mind that not every student at the open house will ultimately accept their offer and that not every student offered a place will be at the open house.

While the "jerk" content of the incoming class can be somewhat estimated, I think that the more important part of the visit is your interaction with faculty, current graduate students (and their abilities to answer your questions) and the unquantifiable vibe you get personally from the place.

tut tut
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Re: importance of entering grad students for fit of grad school

Postby tut tut » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:50 am

I have a full time job and I am attending open houses. Are you unable to get a few paid/unpaid days off?

Granted everybody at work knows what I'm up to. But if you're trying to hide your intentions you could perhaps take a "sick day" or two. Am I understanding this right? Or is there another obstacle to you going in April?

creepypasta13
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: importance of entering grad students for fit of grad school

Postby creepypasta13 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:46 am

tut tut wrote:I have a full time job and I am attending open houses. Are you unable to get a few paid/unpaid days off?

Granted everybody at work knows what I'm up to. But if you're trying to hide your intentions you could perhaps take a "sick day" or two. Am I understanding this right? Or is there another obstacle to you going in April?


well I plan to start in 2 weeks, so I doubt they'll let me take a 'sick day' or two just after I start.

creepypasta13
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: importance of entering grad students for fit of grad school

Postby creepypasta13 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:31 pm

TheBeast wrote: I think that the more important part of the visit is your interaction with faculty, current graduate students (and their abilities to answer your questions) and the unquantifiable vibe you get personally from the place.


well for one of the programs I got accepted, I'm mostly interested in working for profs in a different dept, so I only got to meet 1 grad student and faculty from that dept. But they seemed really nice, and so do the grad students in that dept that I emailed

ticklecricket
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Re: importance of entering grad students for fit of grad school

Postby ticklecricket » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:56 pm

It really doesn't matter, because at most one or two of them will be in your research group. Meet the current grad students and see if you like the environment, that will give you a better fit. It may only be a job for ~6 months, but in this environment who knows when you'll find another one...

bfollinprm
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Re: importance of entering grad students for fit of grad school

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:00 am

tut tut wrote:I have a full time job and I am attending open houses. Are you unable to get a few paid/unpaid days off?

Granted everybody at work knows what I'm up to. But if you're trying to hide your intentions you could perhaps take a "sick day" or two. Am I understanding this right? Or is there another obstacle to you going in April?


Sick days don't work like they did in school; they're not allowed to ask for a doctor's note. If they get inquisitive, say you had an appointment, they can't keep asking because the information could be very personal (you're going to see a psychiatrist, relationship counseling, etc). I would take personal (vacation) days over sick days first (it's more honest), but most places wouldn't expect you to leave sick days on the table and take unpaid days off (If faced with that situation, your boss would lie).

creepypasta13
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: importance of entering grad students for fit of grad school

Postby creepypasta13 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:23 pm

ticklecricket wrote:It really doesn't matter, because at most one or two of them will be in your research group.


Speaking about students in your research group, I gather thats what matters alot in terms of fit with the students?

One of the schools I'm considering attending only has 1 prof researching in my main interest area, and his group currently only has one grad student with a few other postdocs and research scientists. Because that student graduates soon, if I join that group, I'll be the only grad student there. Doesn't sound appealing to me

bfollinprm
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Re: importance of entering grad students for fit of grad school

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:29 pm

creepypasta13 wrote:
ticklecricket wrote:It really doesn't matter, because at most one or two of them will be in your research group.


Speaking about students in your research group, I gather thats what matters alot in terms of fit with the students?

One of the schools I'm considering attending only has 1 prof researching in my main interest area, and his group currently only has one grad student with a few other postdocs and research scientists. Because that student graduates soon, if I join that group, I'll be the only grad student there. Doesn't sound appealing to me



That either means you get your own office, or you'll be stuck in a bulpen with other grad students from other groups. Either way I wouldn't be too upset.

creepypasta13
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: importance of entering grad students for fit of grad school

Postby creepypasta13 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:44 pm

bfollinprm wrote:That either means you get your own office, or you'll be stuck in a bulpen with other grad students from other groups. Either way I wouldn't be too upset.


I thought one's social life depends heavily on the other students in the research group? If I join that group, I'll share the office with other postdocs and research scientists. That is unless there were other grad students there that I didn't see when I visited that group

bfollinprm
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Re: importance of entering grad students for fit of grad school

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:54 pm

creepypasta13 wrote:
bfollinprm wrote:That either means you get your own office, or you'll be stuck in a bulpen with other grad students from other groups. Either way I wouldn't be too upset.


I thought one's social life depends heavily on the other students in the research group? If I join that group, I'll share the office with other postdocs and research scientists. That is unless there were other grad students there that I didn't see when I visited that group


Didn't realize that. Normally they don't stick post-docs with grad students. That would suck.




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