Monday, October 12, 2015

In Which I Start Walking Down Memory Lane

Spring in Fall--Monday, 10/12/15

Focal item: Salmon drapeneck top

Sometimes my outfits don't resonate well as they move back through time, even when the recipient lives in the same city as I do, because they are from the wrong season.  This is a good example of that.  Our Reverse Inspiration here is clearly at the peak of summer, a time that is quite brief in Coldville.  (People from places with real summer, I know you're thinking, Jeans? A scarf???  But that's how we roll here.)


My version is from about two months later in the year, and those two months make all the difference.

Salmon drapeneck T (Lands End), $2.10/wear+
Maroon cardigan (thrifted, AB Studio), $2.50/wear
Black ankle pants (thrifted, Eileen Fisher), $1.36/wear
Beige/pink bird infinity scarf (Kohls), $2.50/wear
Black buckle flats by Me Too, $3.57/wear

Outfit total: $12.03/wear

My automatic choice for cardigan would have been cream, but I let the scarf tell me that a burgundy/maroon color would also be good.

In other news...This weekend I spent some time clearing out the draft folder on my blog.  It was weird to find these fragments or, in some cases, blog titles without content.  I'm going to start sharing some of these blast-from-the-past partial posts with you...because obviously my current self is in something of a blogging slump lately.

Our first walk down memory lane dates back to when I was applying for masters programs.  I have no idea why I didn't post this then.  Luckily my own blog reminded me of my reasoning at the time!  "What if adcoms (or students they involve) look people up on the Internet? My use of my first name has never intended to be fully anonymous," paranoid Sally wondered.

What is really strange to me is to realize that I originally wrote this post SEVEN years ago!  It's hard to credit that (a) I am that far removed from the "OK, seriously, I'm going back to school" stage of my life and (b) that I've been blogging that long.

So here it is, 7 years later:

Final List of Masters Programs

Now that the GRE is over and I am back, if not from the dead, at least from a state of feverish exhaustion, it is time to turn back to another long-standing obsession: selecting my final list of schools. Robert and I looked at this for a long time last night, including hunting down funding opportunities at the various programs, so I have finally settled my list. (Yay. The amount of effort, consideration, and time this represents is staggering.) 

#1 Wake Forest University, MA Psychology, Winston-Salem NC

#2 Virginia Tech University, MS Marketing Research, Blacksburg VA 

#3 Claremont Graduate University, MA Applied Social Psychology and Evaluation, Claremont CA
#3 Purdue University, MS Consumer Behavior, West Lafayette IN
#3 Villanova University, MS General Psychology, Villanova PA 

#4 American University, MA Psychology, Washington DC
#4 University at Buffalo (SUNY), MA General Psychology, Buffalo NY
#4 Wesleyan University, MA Psychology, Middletown CT

#5 University of North Carolina - Greensboro, MA General Experimental Psychology, Greensboro NC
#5 Temple University, MS Marketing Research, Philadelphia PA

I talked about Wake Forest and Virginia Tech before, but here is a review: 

#1 Wake Forest recap: 

- the MA is the highest degree offered by the psych department, which is good for funding (80% receive aid), assistantship/fellowship opportunities, and attention from faculty

- highly regarded school and the program prides itself on placing students into PhD programs in psychology (but may require me being a bit...discreet about my ultimate PhD goals)

- match to faculty interests is good for doing a thesis

- location is do-able if not great for Robert

#2 Virginia Tech recap:

- have an MS and PhD in marketing; both programs are tiny

- match is excellent and there are an abundance of relevant professors

- the most obvious preparation for a PhD in marketing, since that is the whole reason it exists

- has some non-academic marketability, but will reduce my likelihood of PhD psychology programs in the future (should I decide to go that route in the end)

- location sucks for Robert

- unanswered questions regarding funding, whether they accept the GRE (I am not taking the GMAT for this round), and actual placement into PhD programs (I will be contacting them.)

Claremont Graduate University, MA Applied Social Psychology & Evaluation:

Applied psychology degrees (as in many other fields, such as econ) tend to be regarded as inferior to "pure" degrees by (generally "pure") psychology faculty. But in my situation, an applied degree is in some ways more useful than a general psychology degree because consumer behavior is an applied discipline.


- school has excellent reputation

- would be a reasonably decent terminal masters if I didn't want to get a PhD

- the curriculum is excellent (and half is stat and evaluation coursework)

- can apply openly as a person ultimately interested in an applied discipline like marketing

- good location for Robert - the Los Angeles area


- need/want information on success in placing students into PhD programs

- no thesis!

- it will cost me money because full tuition remissions are not given to masters students from what I can tell

- not a natural bridge to a non-applied psychology PhD program

Purdue, MS Consumer Behavior:

This is probably the weirdest program on the list, and is one I found in the process of my extremely thorough review of the masters degrees held by current marketing PhD students at all of the programs still on my list (something like 46 of them). Although it resides in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, it has a consumer psychology and consumer research focus. It would be a reasonable program for a direct re-entry into industry but also a good springboard for a PhD in marketing.


- good preparation for PhD in marketing

- curriculum is very useful

- good reputation


- sucky location for Robert in West Lafayette, Indiana

- funding is uncertain (and they do have PhD students who may get the best funding and other opportunities)

- match to specific faculty research interests is surprisingly mediocre, though I seriously expect that finding support for a thesis project will not be difficult

- does not lend itself to a psychology PhD follow-up

Villanova University, MS General Psychology:

This program is just basically solid all around. It does not have any outstandingly excellent features, nor any serious drawbacks. I like the fact that the masters students are at the top of the food chain and that about 55% of students receive merit-based research assistanceships that give a full tuition remission plus about $12,000 per year stipend. The location works well for Robert because it's about half an hour from Philly.

American University, MA Psychology:

This is one of your standard good-not-great quality, pay-your-own way masters degrees. I could make this program work, but it's not ideal. It does have the advantage of being in perhaps Robert's highest-probability career location: Washington DC. (Isn't that where all successful bureaucrats end up eventually?) Also the flip side to not getting a teaching or research assistanceship is that you don't have to work for anybody while earning your degree. The cost would be in the range of $33,000 total for two years. This is the only program at which I would have the opportunity to transfer my Attitude Change graduate course from Texas State, though, saving me a whole $3,500 or so.

University at Buffalo (SUNY), MA General Psychology:

This is another familiar type of masters degree program - one that exists so that people applying to PhD programs have something to fall back on when they get rejected. (The late admission deadline of May 1, two weeks after psychology PhD programs are required to make their final offers, is always a good indicator of this.) I would be paying my own way to the tune of about $17,000 total for two years. There is also a full-fledged PhD program there, so the masters students will be down the priority list for everything. The location is also bad for Robert. But it's a good school and would not be a poor choice if I didn't get in at one of the more favored schools with a funding package.

Wesleyan University, MA Psychology:

This program is, like the one at Wake Forest, a rigorous pre-doctoral program at a highly regarded liberal arts school. I think this will probably be the least likely program for me to be admitted to because the program places a high level of import on the match between faculty and student research interests and such a match is mediocre at best in my case. I plan to try writing a statement of purpose for this program to see if I can even make a case that satisfies myself. Otherwise, the program sounds excellent. All accepted students pay no tuition for two years and get health insurance and a stipend.

University of North Carolina - Greensboro, MA General Experimental Psychology:

This program is kind of an "eh." The location is okay (Winston-Salem, NC area) and the match is reasonable. The funding is probably partial at best (they also have a PhD program), so it could cost over $20,000 total for two years. I doubt it will come to this, but

Temple University, MS Marketing Research:

This is my back-up program in case I don't get in with the funding and advisor at any of my desired programs, which is very unlikely to happen. It's a cash cow for the university, like an MBA program is, so it will cost me anywhere from $21,000 - $40,000 total for two or three years, depending on what business prereqs I need to satisfy, and the program is probably not very selective. It doesn't have a thesis option, but does have a final project. This being said, it would be a reasonably good program with flexibility for immediate employment or getting a marketing PhD (not a psych PhD). It has a late deadline of June 1, so I would only apply after hearing back from the other schools. 

It's interesting to look back on this list, and think about how it played out, and realize, Yep, I was really really happy with how my stint at My Masters University turned out.  (Too bad I didn't make such a great choice for my PhD program but I am pretty pleased to be living in the Coldville/Snow City area, which wouldn't have happened otherwise.)

1 comment:

rvman said...

I suspect this one didn't get posted before because you were concerned that it contained too much identifiable information. (Someone at the program googling it might have been able to ID you as an applicant from context clues in the blog and your application materials/essays.)