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2005mimi的北美申请总结

http://Tran.httpcn.com 日期:2005-3-25 来源:网易


(一)
  通过出国来证明自己的优秀不是我的理由,我想出去是因为老师做的课题让我觉得有意思,好奇心成为了本质的动力。我一直享受学习的过程,而且能从中找到乐趣,所以感觉上进一步的学习是必要的。人在一个角度看自己看事情都是片面的,所以我渴望透过一个全新的视角来重新自己和这个世界。

  (二)GT
  GT是每个申请者都会经历的一个过程,一个学会耐住寂寞专心学习的过程。我考G的时候是大二的时候,当时相当痛苦的一个人背了半年单词就去考试了。最后得到的也是一个比较汗颜的分数。考T的时候最是没有激情的时候,所以考得也不好。不过我也从来没有想过要通过GT分数来取得优势。就像我套的一个教授说的那样“your GRE and TOEFL score is not good, but they are in an accept range.”分数够了就行了,没必要在这上面死磕。这个过程相对于整个申请来说其实也算是一个相对合理和公平的步凑,因为它们有这么一个量化的标注来衡量好坏,而不是像后面申请那样,没个绝对的标注。

  (三)申请
  申请是我想详细说明的一个环节。
  我做了一年生化的实验,是关于酶的课题,自己觉得颇有意思,所以就打算重点申请这个方向。我是农业院校的,但到申请的时候我都不想做关于小麦,水稻之类的东西,而这一年多的实验对我来说恰好是一个转方向最好的理由。我们的课题是动物科学院下面一个老师的子课题,而做的内容属于蛋白质工程的,所以我想尽量往生物医学方面靠。(后来事实证明我的想法很不成熟,转方向的在第一时间就被拒了)。
  我选学校是参考专业排名的。进到各个院系里看FACULTY做的东西,有兴趣的就发封EMAIL问问。根据教授的回信决定是否申请。我做的课题是关于PHYTASE,所以首先看的是做同样课题的教授。看下来的话就是CORNELL, PURDUE动物科学的几个教授在做。先给他们说了说情况,教授的回信如下:

  Cornell的
  Dear N:
  I am very pleased to hear from you about your interest in phytase research. It seems that you are working with the group of Professor W. You may know that we were classmates at graduate school.
  At Cornell, I have had 2-3 students lined up for entering my lab for 2005. However, I will establish a research center at XXUniversity soon. We will recruit research leaders, postdocs, Ph.D. students, and staff members. Those people will have a great chance to come to Cornell or other schools for study. If you are interested in the program, you may discuss with Professor Wang or President Wen.
  Best wishes,

  这个XX教授和我们学校的W教授是同学,而W老师刚好是我的本科导师。但是因为XX教授是想在我们学校建立一个合作小组。我问了问导师后就没和他联系了。因为我不想留国内等待这个机会。对我来说可能现在的发展比较重要吧。
  Purdue的
  My apologies, but at this time, I will probably not have any additional space for another student for at least the next year.
  Thank you for your inquiry. I have enclosed a copy of a paper for your records.
  You may want to contact XX from Cornell University for possibilities of working with him.
  T

  没戏
  Hi N,
  Thank you very much for your interests in my study. Unfortunately, I do not have openings. However, I will keep you with updated hiring information if I have an opening for graduate student in the near future.
  H

  婉言拒绝了~
  因为基本上再接着做一样的课题是废了,所以只有找相关的。我考虑的是找研究上和我们课题有一致性的。
  发邮件给RUTGER的一个中国留学生,因为他的回信我打算放弃这个学校了。
  Your last name is Y, right?
  Hope my info will help you a little bit.
  Our program is small, other than me, a lot of Chinese students who were in
  this program have agricultural background. Now I am the only Chinese student, I will graduate soon. Due the economic condition and huge budget cut in all public schools in US, it is tougher for foreign students to get financial aid, this year, we did not have any new foreign student at all in our program. Moreover, about 30% of Chinese students coming to Rutgers are paying by themselves. I am not saying that you should not consider applying,
  there are still chances.

  I am not sure how much GRE will weigh in their decision making, most American students have similar score to you, however, most students in this program have to do teaching assistant job to support ourselves, in a way, they don't care about your score, but they do care about your English proficiency, can you understand, speak, write efficiently in English, can you teach in English, not very easy to be TAs here.

  Most importantly, I don't know any one who is doing research similar to your project in this program, so I think for your benefits, you might want to seek other programs which have professors doing enzymology and protein engineering.

  My biggest advice is, if you want to go abroad to study, eventaully you will be able to do it, but the biggest challenge is what really interests you. Chinese people will find a job and will make a living (green card, house, car, kids ect), but very few know their true interest, even if when they finally realize what are their interests years ago, they do not have the opportunity to pursue their interests anymore. Before you pick the school,
  think about this, the earlier you know, the better.

  Good luck and God bless you!

  然后又是继续天天看学校教授的情况,整个过程持续了一个月。不停的询问教授课题情况和是否招人。以下是部分学校的回信。这些学校都是我因为种种原因没有挑选的,比如GT不够高,竞争过于激烈等等,或者态度不友好什么的,还有条件夸张的比如UTHSC-HOUSTON的CANCER BIOLOGY要求G的V到80%
  Brandeis的两位教授回信
  Dear N,
  Thank you for your interest in my laboratory. The Biochemistry Program at Brandeis University has a strong emphasis on enzymology which I believe would fit your interests. You can learn more about this program at:
  http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/biochem01/phd_biochem.html
  I should tell you that we can take very few foreign students and the applicant pool is very large and talented, although with one published paper already, your application would be quite strong.

  Dear N
  Please visit the website for your graduate studies for information:
  http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/
  However the chances are quite slim because our program can only admit one foreign student per year due to the fact that the students are paid by a training program that is limited to domestic students.

  UIUC的教授对我的方向很感兴趣,后来告诉我我的G太低了,被录取很难。建议重新考~
  University of California–Irvine 要tse
  SUNY–Buffalo 发邮件问小米了申请太激烈了

  在这个过程中排除了很多学校,基本上敲定了自己的学校。都是比较友好,或者是朋友推荐申请的。不过话说回来很多时候教授态度比较好,但没说要你之前什么都不好说,很可能他会变卦。这样的情况我也遇到了的。一个在我看来对我很敢兴趣的教授到后面就不回我EMAIL了,以下是他最后一封回信。
  Dear N,
  I looked over your resume. While your verbal GRE and TOEFL scores are a bit
  low, they are in an acceptable range. Your GPA is quite good. If you have
  had extensive research experience, and if you have good, detailed letters of
  recommendation, that will be viewed favorably. Have you submitted your
  pre-application yet? It is required for foreign students. If you have any
  questions regarding this, you may email R.
  From your resume, I gather that you are primarily interested in the directed
  evolution aspect of my research. Since this is a new area for me, I do not
  have any publications on that yet. I can tell you that we are making good
  progress on the enzyme XX, which I discuss on my website. In January, once we have received your application, we can discuss my research further.

  其实说申请的过程是相当折磨人的。所有的事情都必须要你自己亲自去一点一点的做。我寄材料的时候最初都是用全球优先寄的,结果慢不说还弄丢了好多。补寄都是次要,关键是这个事情很影响心情。   

(四)申请总结

  我这次申请总的来说是比较失败的,转方向的基本都被拒绝了,而且申请的学校基本上都是一个档次的,因为之前过多考虑到做的课题而忽略了拉开档次这一重要问题。在现在看来申请过程中最为重要的是自我定位,一个准确的定位无论哪里看影响都是很大的。就说我自己吧,我是农业院校背景,虽然是211大学,但在国外没有任何知名度可言。而且我本来的专业是生物技术(植物方向),但我申请的时候我却主要申请的和动物,医学沾边的生物化学方向。我以为自己在实验室的经历对自己的申请会很有帮助,但事实上我的背景很杂。我大一在分子生物实验室混了一年,大二上在微生物实验室做了段时间的食用菌,然后就转到生物化学实验室,在那里自己才算是很正式的参与课题。到后来挂在研究导师的名字下出了两篇EI的论文,自己觉得自己背景很好了,所以申请的时候完全跟本科的专业没挂钩。这个可能是转方向被拒绝的原因,背景不是特别纯粹。

  然后说的话,还有个问题可能是我的PS。我的PS写法是属于干货型的那种。从头到尾都是强调都是自己多牛,做了多少东西。做为一个本科生也许我的研究经历算是不错了,可是这种写法的话也许会被教授拿来和研究生做比较。而我自己对生物的兴趣和发展潜力这些方面都没大涉及,这些其实才是一个本科生真正被看中的原因。

  还有就是陶瓷,陶瓷很重要。我自己虽然没有套上教授,但我相信我选的学校至少是会仔细看我的材料,而不是一开始就因为GT或者别的什么硬条件被卡下来。而且DRIVER在申请的时候陶瓷起了很大的作用。

  最后还要说的是校友关系在申请的时候是一个相当大的优势。很多都说国外不象中国,没有那么复杂的人际关系。可实际上校友的推荐也是相当有效的。现在要我的学校就是因为有认识的教授在。还有据狒狒羊说她的申请过程中校友也是有很大作用的。


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