Friday, March 22, 2013

visiting weekend?

I got wiped out by the flu, so I sort of lost track of things...

FSP has a semi-recent post about accepted prospective grad student visits. If a potential grad student behaves poorly at an accepted student event because they already have the acceptance in the bag, does that have repercussions for their future grad school performance?

This whole "visitation weekend" for grad students is somewhat foreign to me. None of the grad schools I applied to had one. And I had applied to a couple of big research universities with substantial graduate programs.

I think that the idea of a specific date/weekend for prospective grad students is a little... misguided. When I was applying to grad school, I was working full-time and I had limited vacation time. It was hard enough finding time to visit schools and meet potential advisors halfway across the country in the six months or so that I had between initial application and the acceptance deadline. I didn't have the flexibility of your average undergrad.

Then again, I was applying to grad school as a "non-traditional" student and wasn't coming directly from undergrad (although I was in the majority of the geoscience grad students I knew) so I favored schools that that valued students with more career/life experience. Perhaps those schools are less likely to have required/strongly recommended formal accepted student events?

With all that said, if I'd attended an accepted student event for grad school, I would indeed attempt to not make an ass of myself... especially since relationships with professors and other students can have a significant impact on your ability to work on a project you're interested in, get the funding you need, finish your thesis in time...

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