Waiting To Hear Back? DON’T WAIT

Waiting to hear back from schools that I had applied to was perhaps the most nerve racking experience I had ever gone through. There is no one to call and ask, and except for the April 15th university agreement date, there is no obvious date that you will receive that email. For those of you who are still in school or working full time, this may be enough to occupy your mind. I myself was in my last semester of undergrad and working 30 hours a week and still inevitably creep into my mind.

Perhaps the best advice I can give is to continue to develop yourself as a scholar in your field. Attend any workshops or conferences that can assist you in your career development. Continue to ingest as much information regarding your prospective career. Remember you are training for your vocation in and outside of the classroom. In doing so you focus on what you are trying to create with your continuing education and you leave the decision making process out of your head – as much as possible :-) – and continue working independent of who does or does not accept you.

IU was my final application date (Jan 15th) so by now I had all of my applications submitted. Unless you are applying for a masters degree I suspect those of you reading this who applied for next year have submitted all apps as well. This is an amazing accomplishment!!! And while you may not recognize it you have taken the time to submit a reflection of your previous personal and academic accomplishments and argued why the training of each respective program can develop you into the professional you aspire to be.

Much of the denial process from my perspective was not because I was not qualified, or not “good enough”, but rather my “fit” with that program either did not come across effectively in my personal statement or it did, and the respective committee simply chose otherwise. When you want something and you do not get it the reasons can sometimes be pointless, but remember that there is a program and a place for you, and that was and is your task. I sincerely wish everyone the greatest possible outcome!!! No later than April 15th……….

Life after Quals

Moving to a new state, check. Started a graduate program in your field of choice, check. Survived the initial blows of homesickness while remaking your social circle from scratch, check. Worked hard to push through the gauntlet of classes, check. Showed your PI, university, family and friends that you deserve to be where you are and you deserve the degree you WILL get by passing your quals. Now what? Thats where I am now. I don’t know the answer to that but so far my experiences are leading me in what i believe to be the right direction. The answer may seem obvious but its time to focus on two things: making sure research goes well and career development. No matter what phase of school you are in, it is never too early to being thinking about what steps you want to take after.