One of the main reasons that I was excited about becoming a McNair Scholar was that I felt as though it gave me an advantage over other grad. school applicants. Well, I have realized that while it does give me an advantage and I have learned a lot about the grad. school application process the realization has hit me that you have to be a little crafty as well. The most important thing I have learned, and unfortunately I had to really learn it the hard way, is that you HAVE to network. Networking within your dept. at the school you graduated from ain’t enough either……you gonna reach out your tentacles. You HAVE to get your name out there, and let’s face it, it doesn’t hurt if you “know someone” either. Well, I don’t know ANYONE, so I have a disadvantage. What I can do though is let people get to know ME.
Last Tuesday I received the news that the one school I had my heart set on did not want me. Well, I have almost a year to make them want me……to do some academic “seducing” if you will. I also can take this time to beef up my academic resume and study so that I can boost my GRE score. I am definitely going to re-apply to UC Davis, and I am going to apply earlier this time. I e-mailed the chair of the graduate admissions committee after I got the news. I asked him to please review my application and give me some feedback. He e-mailed me back saying he would, but as of yet he has not. I will post again when I get word from him and hopefully his advice will be helpful to those who are getting ready to apply themselves.
While I still have my heart set on going to UC Davis, and I am really bummed…….I mean I spent my whole undergrad education PLANNING on going to grad. school and I spent a lot of time creating a well-rounded academic resume……but I am not so bummed that I am just going to throw in the towel. I will apply to other schools as well, and even though I don’t want to I will apply to a couple Master’s programs as a Plan B. If I STILL don’t get in to UC Davis next year, so help me God when I do get my PhD I am going to photocopy it and send it to the UC Davis poli sci dept. and tell them, “I did it anyway, so there!” Maybe I can send them an autographed book someday or a copy of Foreign Affairs with my article on the cover…….yup childish I know, but just thinking about it kind of makes me feel better! LOL