Thursday, September 23, 2010

Great advice(s)!

Assalamualaikum

I'd like to share a snippet of an e-mail received by one of the Pakistani doctorates working abroad. I think it's applicable to all of those who are striving towards a good postgrad degree and want to make it big in academics, as well as get admissions in good schools.

''What I usually recommend students at your stage is to do your project as best as you can. Know as many things as you can over the course of the project, and get yourself familiar with what's really going on. Don't get too caught up with whether a research topic will get you admitted to a particular school or not. If you've done a very good project, and know a lot about it, I'm sure good schools will take interest in you. Graduate admissions are a combination of many different things, and luck is one of the biggest one, so predicting anything specific is not very consequential. Also, papers these days sometime can make too hard of a selling pitch, so you should consider everything with a grain of salt."

I just hope I can IA follow this advice, it sounds extremely practical.

Oh yeah, one thing more. I had been planning to give (and still am IA) the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) early next year. So wanted to register from now on. To my utmost horror, I found all the seats for Jan, Feb, March and April filled! Now I wanted to give in the first three months only because then this scholarship I want to apply to, will have its deadline passed. I had actually resigned to my fate, and had planned to just register for the GRE in December!, BUT, Alhamdulillah, I didn't.


Due to a colleague's good advice, I decided to call up the GRE people (the regional centre for Asia is located in Malaysia!). This was a tough decision on me (yeah, you may laugh), because if there is something I cannot do, it's make a phone call (specifically abroad, but local works too) and ask something :$. Huge shortcoming. But somehow, gathered the courage, tried to call. Didnt work. I think I had the international code wrong - but I was exactly copying the number from the website. What the heck! Lol, instead of being irritated, I was happy! That I don't have to talk!


A lil while later, I tried again. And this time, I had figured out that you gotta dial '00' before any number posted on the website :P. Shukkar, it worked, and this automatic recording started saying something weird and then to either press 1 or 2 I didn't understand. Shukar I didnt hang up - even though I was heck nervous - and listened to that voice again. Lol. My wait worked, because apparently, waiting was the best choice. The phone was picked up! And this very nice man listened to me patiently, and informed me that the dates from Jan 2011 are appearing as "booked" because registration for 2011 hasn't even started yet!

Phew. So THAT was it...!I need to register by end of October or early November, and then I'll see those scary seats empty, waiting to be booked online. Man, was I scared or what! I have semester exams in November/December :S. So Alhamdulillah, this was one great advice too, for which I am profoundly grateful to both Allah and the good colleague.

3 comments:

majworld said...

nice post uni..can relate to it :)..nd luck does matter..even after getting an international scholarship doesn't mean u got everything..there is something called visa too which is required to actually start ur studies..:p nd right, work hard and then luck matters..People get scholarships for phd after bachelors too without research work..nd few unable to get even after masters..so its really luck!!!
nd i prepared for gre for so much time..learned lot of words..nd i registered too..bt in last week, i got contact with professor nd he asked me to make research proposal..nd i just didn't take gre nd worked on it..Should have taken that time..
nd ya, i called that gre centre malaysia too to inquire abt my refund when cancelled the test..there was a lady that time..
gud luck with ur plans..gre is required in US only..so u can get scholarships in other countries too..

Uni said...

@majworld
Btw, a visa can reach you on the last day too. So don't lose hope.
Also, it was more prudent for you to go for the scholarship, rather than the GRE. You can always take it whenever you want, so no big deal.

Thanks so much for the wish, and for dropping by!

GMAT said...

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