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#59689 - 09/29/04 10:35 AM Re: Graduate School
Masha Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Chicago, IL, USA

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We have a thread called "Academic Writing," which was supposed to be a catchall for writing-done-as-a-student and writing-done-as-a-professor. I've bumped it for you.
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#59690 - 11/01/04 06:48 PM Re: Graduate School
wembley
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 8
Loc: Quebec

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Does anyone have any recommendations for online MBA programs?

I have a B.Eng and M.A.Sc., and I'm looking to get some business training. A significant percentage of engineers end up in management, and I'd like to have more background. Even at my current level, I still spent the last month writing a budget.

Anyways, I've been out of school for 2 years now, and figure that if I'm ever going to do this, the time is now. However, not ready to give up everything and go back to the poor student lifestyle. I can't really do this locally either.

So, does anyone have any advice regarding fully online MBA programs? I'm prepared to put all the work in I would at a regular school, but I need to do it from here (northern boonies). I would also prefer it to not cost a million dollars. I don't particularly care about the prestige, and if I do this online, I don't care about the networking. A lot of the programs I found require exam proctoring, which is not really practical either. I'm in Canada, if this makes a difference.

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#59691 - 11/02/04 09:58 AM Re: Graduate School
Library Girl
Ching Shih


Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 50
Loc: North Carolina

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Wembley-

I don't have a personal recommendation, but the librarian in me can't resist. www.petersons.com is a great place to find different degree programs, and lets you limit to distance ed programs in your chosen major. It is an american site, but includes canadian schools. So, I did a quick search for an entirely distance MBA program with no on-campus requirement (many schools require a one week on campus orientation) and only found Athabasca in Canada. But I would definitely recommend that you check out Petersons and search some more.

As for the test proctoring, check with your local library-- many will proctor tests for you. I proctor tests for distance learners from other universities who live in my city.

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#59692 - 11/09/04 06:12 PM Re: Graduate School
wembley
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 8
Loc: Quebec

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Thanks for the recommendation Library Girl.
I checked out the site, but still had to go check each one out. For example, Athabasca actually does have a residency requirement if you go to their website, and that is the part that is really inconvenient for me.

The test procotoring is still a problem. I live in a small town, with a very limited library. It also happens to be in Quebec, so almost everyone here is francophone, which adds an extra layer of complexity.

I have finally decided to enroll at University of Phoenix. I was a bit hesitant, as the fact that they advertise a lot makes them seem a bit like a diploma mill. However I have read so encouraging things, so I'll give it a try. And they were the most set up for working people with random schedules.

At worst, I won't like it, and then I don't have to finish the program. My job in no way depends on this (everyone thinks I'm crazy for doing it anyways). It may not even affect my salary when I'm done. Really, more of a personal learning thing, also it will be useful at work.


Anyways, I'll post how it goes in case anyone else decides at some point to do a fully online degree.

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#59693 - 04/18/05 03:35 PM Re: Graduate School
Anne Wentworth
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/03/03
Posts: 259
Loc: NY, NY

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I'm looking for some general info on applying to MA progams in English. All of the advice I've been able to get from friends/my undergrad advisors/ books has been geared toward PhD applicants. While the thought of havng a PhD appeals, I don't want to teach at a university, nor do I wish to public academically. I'd like an MA to better prepare myself to potentially teach high school english at a prep school, while working on my fiction.

My questions are specifically about the personal statement. How similar to a PhD personal statement ought it to be? I have several friends who are in PhD programs in art history, and their personal statements went into such specifics about their interests and proposed areas of research. I'm possibly wrong, but I was under the impression that an MA program is less about independent research. I know in general what I'd like to study (19th and early 20th British and American) and have some topics or concerns that interest me, but nothing like a proposed thesis.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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#59694 - 04/18/05 06:01 PM Re: Graduate School
Masha Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Chicago, IL, USA

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I think you're safe writing a statement that's similar one for a Ph.D. application, addressing your areas of interest. You're right in thinking that they're less about independent research, but many also have a thesis requirement. The MA program I'm working for (while working on my Ph.D.--it's also a program I did a few years ago) includes a thesis, which gives students the chance to do some focused work on a project, work closely with faculty, and revise.

You may want to mention in your statement what your career goals are, and how your research interests inform those goals. You don't need to state your thesis topic, but you want to give them enough information to categorize you in the review process.

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#59695 - 04/19/05 09:10 AM Re: Graduate School
crumpet2
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 719

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I found that grad school really opened my eyes to faculty politics and exploitation of students. I did my M.Sc. at the same school as my undergrad. I liked my vegetable crops prof and she had money. So I joined her lab. Everything started off fine, but she soon became one one of those absentee profs. I remember standing in the admin office saying that I needed her signature on some purchase orders for supplies for my greenhouse project and the administrative assistant saying (as two other profs smirked my way) "You mean she didn't tell you she won't be back for 6 weeks?"

I had basically no guidance on my thesis or project. She refused to appoint a committee for me. She came up with the dollars for the first year and then suddenly, my paycheck just stopped. Meanwhile my bills piled up. She lied and said it was just a mix-up, and this went on for two months. Then she claimed that she didn't have the money, and that I had never been approved by the government granting comittee for this particular award. Except that the government had been in touch with me wondering why my progress reports hadn't been filed by my prof, and they needed these reports to justify the payment they had made to her account.

I went to the ombudsman, the chair of grad faculty, (my prof happened to be the chair of our department) and made a fuss. Then my prof threatened to fail me on my thesis and sent a note around the department saying my work was shoddy and worthless.

I persisted, and eventually, after having to justify myself over and over to university faculty who treated me like a pile of crap (despite signs on the wall that reminded everyone of how important students are), I succeeded in getting a tribunal process, at which my prof was defended, but they coughed up the cash and said I should indeed have had it 18 months ago. By this time, I had taken a full-time job to support myself and was writing up on the side. I was able to change advisors, and ended up with a committee of three who were all excellent.

I always kick myself for not having done my M.Sc. with another prof, for whom I had worked as an undergrad. He was awesome. I wouldn't have had any money, but it would have been worth it.

I get nauseated just thinking of doing a Ph.D. I am working on a reclassification at my current job which would mean that I could get away without one, and have the same career opportunities as someone with one.

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#59696 - 04/19/05 09:46 AM Re: Graduate School
lsugaralmond
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 160
Loc: London

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Anne Wentworth:
I'm looking for some general info on applying to MA progams in English.
I don't know how much the USA and the UK differ in this, but when I applied for my MA in English (at a UK university) I did specify my areas of interest, but kept them quite broad. (For example, 'Eighteenth Century Women's Writing' rather than 'Jane Austen') Most of my statement was about what I hoped to get out of the programme and my reasons for choosing that particular university and that particular course. It must have worked, because I got in!

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#59697 - 04/25/05 07:37 PM Re: Graduate School
mashenka
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 222
Loc: NY

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I am trying to decide (and I have to decide pretty soon) if I want to take a year off before grad school. Now, I know most people do this. However, I like stability and I hate uncertainty. One year off will be one more year of uncertainty -- will I get in or won't I? (Getting in and deferring is not a possibility, I've asked). Also, I know my parents would like to see me settled on my chosen path as soon as possible. And to tell you the truth, what scares me the most is not grad school but the application process. As far as I know, it consumes your life. However, that would just be for the first semester; I would then be able to enjoy the second semester fully knowing that my documents are already in and there's nothing more to be done about that.

I definitely want to go to grad school and I have a pretty good idea of what in particular I want to study. I also have a good relationship with several professors. Part of me wants to take some time off. Part of me wants to get settled into a Ph.D. program. And I definitely want to enjoy my final year at university as much as possible.

Also, if I won a Fullbright, for example, or some other prestigious scholarship to study abroad, taking time off would be worth it. But what if I don't, which is more likely? What do I do during that year? I have some ideas (working part-time, traveling, volunteering, some creative and translation projects I have in mind), but what if I end up just drifting and essentially wasting a year?

As you can see I'm trying to figure this out and any feedback would be appreciated. Basically, my question is, has anyone ever regretted taking some time off? Did you find it difficult to get back into the academic swing of things? And does taking time off affect your chances for admission to US Ph.d. programs in any way?

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#59698 - 04/26/05 09:39 AM Re: Graduate School
voiceofreason
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/27/02
Posts: 1257
Loc: Brookline, MA, USA

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I think it really depends on what you do with your time off, and what sort of grad school you're interested in. I took some time "before grad school" and worked in the field that I was intending to go to grad school in (molecular biology). And now I work in a library -- my time in the lab pretty conclusively demonstrated to me that that was not the field for me. I know lots of people who took time to work before grad school and then got into wonderful programs, and some like me who took the time and realized grad school wasn't for them.

I think taking a year off for the sake of taking a year off is not necessarily all that great an idea. Taking a year off because there's something you really want to do or because you want to improve your qualifications for grad school (e.g. by taking classes or getting some kind of useful experience), on the other hand, can be a very good thing.

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