• Conrado Eiroa Solans

    Conrado Eiroa Solans

    Senior
    Madrid, Spain
    Psychology Major, Biology minor

    Conrado's Bio:
    Born and raised in urban Madrid, lived in rural northern California and ended up in snowy suburban Minnesota. During the school year you'll find me firmly entrenched in a routine designed to develop my Psychology research skills, and during the summer you will probably not find me at all; in my free time, I enjoy going on trekking trips in the backcountry, adventuring through recondite countries and most importantly spending time with my family.

  • Yael Ikoba-Ndjip

    Senior
    Brussels, Belgium
    Accounting Major; Finance minor

    Katelyn Gehling

    Junior
    East Bethel, MN
    Exercise Physiology for Pre-Physical Therapy

    Halle Nystrom

    Graduate Student
    Fargo, ND
    M.S. Health Information Management

    Laura Salazar

    Senior
    Bogotá, Colombia
    Marketing and Business Management

  • Jin Baek

    Senior
    Aurora, CO
    Biology and Chemistry (Pre-Med)

    Shauney Moen

    Graduate Student
    Oak Grove, MN
    Doctorate of Physical Therapy

    Neena Koslowski

    Junior
    Apple Valley, MN
    Management

    Jason Chavez

    Senior
    Minneapolis, MN
    Psychology, Organizational Behavior, and Social Work

  • Daniela Moreno Gomez

    Senior
    San Salvador, El Salvador
    Computer Information Systems and Finance

    Brooke Elvehjem

    Junior
    Mora, MN
    Biology

    Conrado Eiroa Solans

    Senior
    Madrid, Spain
    Psychology Major, Biology minor

    Laila Zemar

    Sophomore
    Casablanca, Morocco
    Biochemistry, Biology and Pre-med

  • Malvern Madondo

    Senior
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Mathematics & Computer Science

    Kathryn McCarrick

    Sophomore
    Saint Paul, MN
    Elementary Education

    Takudzwa Munjanja

    Senior
    Gweru, Zimbabwe
    Health Information Management, CIS minor

    Shivani Singh

    Junior
    Mumbai, India
    Management & Marketing

  • Bryan Chavez

    Junior
    Richfield, MN
    Accounting and Finance

Grad School Advice

As you can tell from my last few posts, most of my life currently revolves around applying to grad school in December. I’ve spent the last two months doing research in an ‘elite’ university, and I have some insights I’d like to share with fellow Scholastica students who are interested in applying to grad school or pursuing other competitive positions. 

1)Experience is key. I cannot stress this enough. You need to have experience in your field of interest and everything around it. I’m doing research in psychology, which means that I need to be familiar with all the body of knowledge in my area of interest, comfortable with all the math behind the statistical analyses, and have some basic programming skills to design experiments from scratch, manage data and run analyses. The more in-depth experience you have with each of the independent component of the position you’re applying to, the more likely you are to get hired.

2)Nepotism and luck are an unfortunate—but intrinsic—part of the game. By the end of this summer I will have done research in some of the most competitive social psychology programs in the country, and I didn’t get into any of these without at least one of those two things. Last spring I applied to 60 different labs, and I only got an interview in the lab in which a close friend had been working for a year. This spring I applied to 80 labs, and only got interviews (and subsequently, positions), in two; it was mostly dumb luck these positions were my two top choices, and the fact that 78 other labs (most worse than the two which accepted me) didn’t even interview me, confirms it.*

3)Determination wins. “Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow” (Goethe). We all want to have our dream job, but unless our current skillset matches our job expectations, we have to put in the work. Most people are not willing to sacrifice their Netflix or social time to prepare. While this is entirely acceptable, if you intend to pursue a competitive position you must be willing to sacrifice at least most of the former and some of the latter to succeed. One of the grad students I am working with this summer spent 5 years working and preparing before he was finally accepted to his dream Ph.D. program! 

In short: start early, gain experience, play the game, and most importantly, work hard and never give up! 

 

*On a more positive note, there is something to be said about fit: you are much more likely to be hired by someone whose work fits really well with your experience. Indeed, my top choices were obviously those which aligned best with my interests and previous experience. 

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