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Topic: What path to take  (Read 8358 times)

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Offline TheUnfocusedOne

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What path to take
« on: September 22, 2011, 08:48:16 AM »
Hey everyone,

I'm trying to sort out my life, so I figured I'd get some feed back from you all. I graduated 2010 with a BS in Chemistry and Biology, minor math from a decent school in RI. My GPA was ~3.30. While I was at school, I worked in a research group, recieve ~$2200 from grants in my school for it and went to 2 different ACS national meeting (and about a dozen regional ones). I never got a publication, which still gauls me since my project was shut down my senior year by H&S (no cyanide allowed in an undergraduate reserach lab...). I also had an internship which turned into a full time job once I graduated. Finally, right before I graduate I recieved then AIC outstanding senior in chemistry award for my school. I've been working in the field pretty much since the day I graduated. I'm currently working at a polymer plant, and I'm really not happy here. I moved here ~6 months after graduating and I've been here for ~10 months. The work is way outside my comfort zone, and it's been a struggle to get things together. I kind of consider this job a loss, since there isn't anyone I'd want to write a letter of rec for me and I haven't done anything note worthy.

I'm trying to decide whether I should 1) Apply directly to my PhD program of choice (JHU, UNC, UWisc, Georg Tech) 2) Apply to a slightly less renown school and get a masters (Bradeis, URI ect), then apply to a better program for PHD 3) Try to find another job that will give me a better opportunity to prove my skills and aquire another LOR.

At the moment I have 2 really strong LORs. I'm worried about the 3rd. I'm taking the chem GREs in Nov, and I've begun studying now (lots to remeber!). I took GREs once and got well abot 50% for both math and verbal.

What everyones thoughts?

Hope this wasnt too long!
"Like most heavy metals, thallium is highly toxic and should not be used on breakfast cereal"

Offline enahs

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Re: What path to take
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2011, 05:49:37 PM »
If you can afford it, you should apply to the PhD program for all the schools you are interested in. I would also say you should consider the PhD programs of "lesser" schools. There is some great research going on and the not "major" schools. And a lot of people really prefer the smaller school size. Funding is not as great, but it can still be an amazing experience.


You are still a strong candidate, assuming that 3rd recommendation letter is not horrible, just ok; it does not have to be great, but just not bad. And you have to do decent on your GRE's of course, but not spectacular.


If you can afford it, I would apply to more then 4 PhD programs. 6-10. But apply where there are multiple people doing research you are interested in.

Offline TheUnfocusedOne

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Re: What path to take
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2011, 11:49:48 AM »
Thanks for the reply.

I think I'm going to apply full force to Ph.D progams for next fall. If I don't get in anywhere I want, I'll apply for the spring semester at a masters program. It's been a tough year so my confidence is a little shaken, but I'm hoping for the best.

Hopefully I'll crush the GREs and be all set.
"Like most heavy metals, thallium is highly toxic and should not be used on breakfast cereal"

Offline typhoon2028

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Re: What path to take
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2011, 01:09:56 PM »
What plastics company do you work for?  Is it in RI?

Offline TheUnfocusedOne

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Re: What path to take
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2011, 01:52:28 PM »
I'd rather not say. You can't be too careful you know.

You can send me a PM if you're really interested.
"Like most heavy metals, thallium is highly toxic and should not be used on breakfast cereal"

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