considering my options...

Sarah L. Pallas spallas at bcm.tmc.edu
Mon Mar 18 15:27:55 EST 1996


In article <4idmm8$7iu at infoserver.bgsu.edu> russell russell,
arussel at bgnet.bgsu.edu writes:
>	so i guess my question is, how are others in the field of 
>academia going to react to this? ... i know many of you out there are
running your own lab; how 
>would you react to someone contacting you about a position in your lab 
>when  either (a) she had just come back from a 2 year break doing a 
>service project like that, or (b) she wanted to work with you after she 
>got back (i.e. contacting you before she left). would that affect your 
>decision to accept her into your lab? positively or negatively? would
you 
>prefer to have the relationship and some kind of verbal agreement 
>about her joining your lab set up before she left?

Personally I think it's a great idea, and as someone occasionally asked
to make decisions about admitting students into PhD programs, I would
look at it as an asset to your record.  I often encounter students who go
into grad school because they couldn't think what else to do, then they
drop out when they find out it's really hard work, or that it isn't what
they expected in some other way.  AFTER we've invested considerable time
and money in them!   You, on the other hand, have already been in grad
school so there's not the risk that you just don't know what it's all
about, and a stint in the peace corps would argue that you're
well-rounded and dedicated.  If you still want to go to grad school after
you return from the peace corps, an admissions officer could be quite
sure you'd had time to think about your decision!

As far as contacting people before you leave, it depends on the
individual program, many schools don't accept you into a particular lab
anyway, and some have a formal deferred admission.  Even if I had a
verbal or written agreement about the student coming back, I'd consider
it vaporware, but I would honor my commitment if they did return.

Sarah Pallas



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