Thursday, March 29, 2007

My First Offer

I finally got my first admission from the Syracuse University, PhD in Entrepreneurship. Thank God.

Monday, March 05, 2007

My Trip of 2 On-site Interviews in The US - Part II

I droped by the school S after conducting the on-site interviews with school R. I received an email invitation during the interviews with school F two weeks ago.

The interview was conducted by 5 professors in the meeting room. The questions they asked were very diffirent from those asked at school R. The director of the PhD program asked some tough questions in the beginning, such as what data should be collected if I would like to measure a company's performance. After I squeezed a rough answer, he asked "ok, what else?" Well, I totally had no idea this time. Then he said, "how about tax?" I nodded, and the 5 professors began to discuss on this blah blah a seminar began. Honestly, I learned a lot from their discussion and enjoyed listening to their conversations, but this interview was really a tough one to me, especially as an international applicant.

The professor told me that they had received 14 applicants this year and planed to take in 2 while interviewing 4. Great, I have a chance of 1/2. When asked about my motivation to be a professor, I said that I liked the academia life. Then I was interupted by the professor, "life? There is no life in the academia. Look at Professor XXX. He doesn't even have a wife!" OMG! Professor XXX looked like over 55 already.

After the interview, I was also invited to talk with the current doctoral students. No lunch invitation.

The financial aid provided is very generous, compared to other schools I am applying to. The professor is very famous in this field and seems very strict. I am quite sure that I can get a very good placement if I graduate from this school. The question is not whether I can get admitted, but whether I can graduate.

My Trip of 2 On-site Interviews in The US - Part I

Having not heard of anything form the school phone-interviewing me two weeks ago, I begin to wonder whether I have been waitlisted or rejected already. I expected to receive an admission from school F and some rejections after I returned from the US two days ago but heard of nothing.

Anyway, speak about my trip to the US for the two on-site interviews. I have been in contact wih a professor, who asked me for an on-site visit, at school R for 6 months. I finanlly made the trip last week. I was interviewed by 4 professors separately, including the director of the PhD program, who mentioned that there are 28 applicants this year competing for 5-6 admissions and that 7 of them have conducted or are conducting on-site interviews. Luckily, I am one of them. I also asked about what qualifications the school is looking for in its doctoral students. The professor said that he would not allow this on-site interview if I am not qualified for entering the program.

He also asked several tricky questions, such as am I visiting the US only for the interview and why did I choose to switch to the academia as I am more like a businessman.

During the break of the interviews, I was invited to have a lunch with current doctoral students, speaking about the PhD life, the placement, the financial aids, and, of course, the professors. The lunch was on the department.

After I got home two days ago, I wrote thank-you letters to the professors separately and got a reply from the one I would like to work with. He said that I met all the requirements that he would like to see in the doctoral students and that there should be someone from the department in touch with me shortly. I take this as a positive sign but wouldn't like to expect too much for I haven't heard of anything from the professor at school F, who said the similar thing to me two weeks ago.