School & Work

Graduate school (biology) interview overview series: part 3

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Finally, we’re at part 3 aka the fun part: What I (and others) wore

Previous posts in this series: part 1 (How I prepared) and part 2 (Most common questions I was asked)

I went to five separate interviews across the country during winter so I wore a different thing each time. See under the cut for pictures and I’ll also talk about what other people wore (in case you’re a dude or in case you want more ideas).


Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eyeshadow Palette

I recently got into eyeshadows, especially since I started my third rotation a few weeks ago. I figured that since I knew no one in this lab before starting, they wouldn’t know or think it was weird that I was suddenly wearing more makeup. Plus, my field (synthetic biology) is oddly male-dominated, at least among the graduate students. I say it’s odd because overall, the field of bioengineering typically has a higher percentage of females than other engineering disciplines do. In my current rotation, most of the postdocs that I work with are male too, so based on prior experience (not stereotypes, I hope), I figured that they wouldn’t notice or care about a bit of eyeshadow.

Another reason was that I recently read this rather old thread on reddit, where a girl observes people’s reactions when she wears varying amounts of makeup.

Graduate school (biology) interview overview series: part 1

I feel like graduate school interviews are like a marathon (not that I’ve actually participated in a marathon… you’d have to ask Tammy about that) and that any interviewee deserves a ribbon or medal of some sort. Or cookies. Lots of cookies.

After getting my first interview invite, I started doing research about what they entailed and what I was supposed to do during them. And interviews are pretty much like a way for you to sell yourself to the professor (and school/program, but mainly the professors that are interviewing you) as a well-adjusted/sane individual who really knows his/her research inside and out, without coming off as arrogant. I had to go through various people/blogs/forums to get answers to my questions and it was a huge hassle. So I’m compiling an overview of my experiences that someone will hopefully find helpful in the future. The post will be tailored for graduate interviews in the biomedical sciences/biology/immunology but might be helpful for interviews in other programs/topics.

I’ll break this post down into parts This post got way too long so I decided to break this down into several posts: how I prepared, general/most common questions I was asked, what I (and others) wore, what questions you might want to ask and other miscellaneous things/tips.

under the cut: How I prepared (to talk about my own research and interviewers’ research)


Why hello again.

I know, I know, I have not updated in forever and a day. Definitely thought I’d have time after finals, but clearly having time and having motivation are two distinct things. (You’d think that after 17.5 years of schooling I would have learned this, but apparently I have not.*)

So what have I been up to these past few weeks?  (more…)

Studying for the GRE: Day 1-2

I initially told myself I would spend a month studying for this test. But due to unforseen (aka procrastination) circumstances, I have one week between my final (summer school) and my scheduled GRE test date (8/26).

So. The books are Barron’s New GRE (no CD, 19th ed) and The Princeton Review (TPR)’s Cracking the GRE (2013). I bought two because together, they were barely over $25 and I needed $25 for free shipping on Amazon. I actually think I’ll only have time to go through Barron’s and I’ll skim over the questions in TPR’s if I have time.

While today technically isn’t the first day I’m studying for the GRE (more like day 4), I have now until next Monday devoted to only studying for the GRE. Let’s hope I can get my act together. 90th percentile, here I come.