Hope you are doing great. I know I was supposed to finish on Friday but today is the final post of the series. This will be basically what I wish people told me when I first applied to graduate school.
1- Graduate school is something that you need to be planning through all of your undergraduate degree.
2-If you have a lot of experience in one topic in biology but you want to apply to a program in biology that focus in another type of research, research experience can harm you instead of being beneficial. Try to explore the topics at least during an internship or volunteer experience.
3-If during undergraduate degree only one professor allows you to join his/her lab, analyze how open he/she is to let you do the kind of research that you want to do and don’t let them use you to do only the work that no one want to do. Continue trying to switch and if that doesn’t work, apply to an internship and then switch.
4-You don’t need to be above 3.00 to apply for internship or conference.
5-If you have a low GPA as an undergraduate and you will like to go to graduate school stay one more year until you get a 3.00. Then, apply to a postbac that have a grading component( PREP and Postbac are amazing tools that will help you for the graduate school application and increase your research experience)
6-If you are in second or third year of undergraduate and you are trying to overcome a low GPA you are mostly in your own but I had faith in you, you will be able to make it happen if is really your dream and show to everyone that you didn’t need their help afterwards.
7- Present yourself like you want to study a particular topic but you can be flexible.
8-Standardized testing is the most important thing even that they tell you that they don’t care about the test
9-Graduate application takes a lot of time and it is expensive
10-The whole process is stressful. You need to create an environment that will maintain you chill
11-Sometimes they have already like 5 spots taken for students that comes from labs that they are interested in having collaboration with. Obviously, they will not tell you but people will talk more than they have to during interview, specially after some cocktails
12-Don’t believe anything that the dean or admission people tells you before applying, they just want you to apply to increase school rankings
13-In some interviews you will feel like they try to humiliate you, they really aren’t trying they just want to see how you react to different situation so try to recover as fast as you can
14- If English is not your first language you might forget the whole language so stay calm and relax
15-Sometimes the people who are required to drive you around might take an hour arrive, so plan accordingly for the wheather
16-Just wear your hair as you normally used it and dress with comfy shoes and cloth because you will be walking as hell
17- Students in the school might be too crazy or too rude move away, you don’t want to generate conflict. Students have an impact in the decision
18- If you are introverted like me, practice to be a social butterfly and don’t stay within the same group
19-Professors in the institution might be creepy, be aware that they might be from a different culture
20-Have fun and relax, loose your tightness a little bit and don’t take advice of your school professors that tells you how they think you should behave because is more likely that they haven’t interview with that place before. Be yourself, yourself has brought you to this point and will bring you even further.
This is the end of the series! I hope that if you are applying to graduate school you find it useful.
Please share what was the most random or crazy/creepy thing that happen to you during the graduate application process.
Continue being inspired and inspiring others
Picture from.: gradschool.duke.edu