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Getting Work

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Getting Work

Postby RobJim » Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:05 am

Hello,

I'm not sure if this is an appropriate place to post this. If you know any other forums that are more appropriate let me know.

I just graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Biology from UC Berkeley. Unfortunately I didn't do very well there, and my GPA is low. My UC GPA is about 2.1. I was a junior transfer from junior college, and I did very well there (JC GPA ~ 3.8). I also did some summer research studying the role of polyamines in the senescence process in Arabidopsis thaliana at Cal State LA, won a prize from JPL as top physics student at my JC, and was an assistant instructor/mentor for introductory chemistry. All of these took place while I was in JC.

I am worried I won't be able to find work or get into grad school because of my low GPA and lack of letters of recommendation (as I didn't impress the professors at Berkeley). I have an interview with the biology department at Cal State LA to talk about these issues, and of course I can send out resumes, but I'd really like to get any kind of feedback anyone can offer about how I should approach getting employed. I am intelligent and I really like the methodical process of discovery that is used in science, and I feel I will do well if I can get started and can begin to 'build my resume'. Up until now I didn't think in those terms and it's hurting me now that I want to get my career started.

I am interested in virology and evolution, and would prefer to go to grad school over working.

Anyone have advice?

Rob
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Postby mith » Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:50 pm

Take a temp job teaching students for now. And pray that someone needs a virus made j/k.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
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Postby DevGrp » Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:07 pm

Don't know if it works the same way in the US but in the UK there are two ways round a poor first degree. The first is to do a masters degree, work hard and then use that as a way into a PhD program.

The second is to apply for a technicians lab based job at a university , gain experience and then apply for PhD places. This can frequently be done with the supervisor who you have been working for (and inpressing!) or one of his collegues. The trick is to get into the insitution and then impress people with how hard working / clever / keen you are.
I have know people actually work (and thus get full pay) through a phD and even get their fees waived as it counts as staff development.

As I said I don't know how this compares to the situation in the US. Here in the UK, there is usually a way into a PhD if you really want it.

Good luck
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Postby RobJim » Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:48 pm

DevGrp -

In the US, graduate students in the sciences generally get paid for doing research and teaching classes. It's not usual to have to pay to go to a Ph. D. program in a science. However, someone with my GPA won't necessarily be able to get in.
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Re: Getting Work

Postby thank.darwin » Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:12 am

RobJim wrote:I am interested in virology and evolution, and would prefer to go to grad school over working.
Rob


I'm interested in virology as well - as well as evolution
What do you like about virology?
No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
-Albert Einstein
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Postby RobJim » Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:55 am

Viruses are such simple things, but there are so many viral diseases medicine can't defeat. It's a puzzle...like a logic puzzle. There's so much potential in the field.
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Postby thank.darwin » Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:01 am

Yah - I'm in high school right now but I think I want a career in virology or pathology- Yes they are just like a puzzle - This day in age they are a large threat (biological attacts) - I would like to go and work in some type of level 4 room at a place like USAMRIID or maybe at the CDC... Thats if I get that far.
No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
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Postby DevGrp » Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:59 am

MOST home PhD students in the UK are paid something. But the amount can vary from a small scolarship to a full technicians salary. Again most home students don't pay fees, but someone does, either your supervisor or the grantfunding body / charity / scolarship body. I just know of people who have converted a technicians job into a parttime PhD by pointing out that there would be no fees to pay
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