It’s Not GREek!is a GRE blog dedicated to decoding, demystifying, and deciphering the GRE and graduate school admissions. Have questions? Concerns? Want to rant about your experiences? We want to hear all about it!
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In this, our latest post in the series GRE Vocab and the Seven Deadly Sins, we turn to the sin of envy and its corresponding heavenly virtue, kindness. According to Catholic theology, the sin of envy is defined as ill will for those whom one believes are better off than oneself. The Latin word the church uses for envy is invidia, which evolved into the Old French envie before entering English as “envy” in the late 1200s. There are a few good potential GRE vocab words related to envy that are worth mentioning, including invidious, covetous, begrudge, and jealousy.
Invidious, as you may have guessed, is derived from the Latin invidia. The reason it bears a greater similarity to its root than the word “envy” does is because it entered English straight from Latin in the first decade of the 1600s. While it originally simply meant envious, over time its meaning changed to causing or tending to cause not only envy, but also general animosity or resentment. For example: “The twins grew upset when their teacher invidiously compared their academic abilities.” In other words, they got mad when the teacher said one was smarter than the other, a comparison that would cause envy or ill will. Continue reading “GRE Vocab and the Seven Deadly Sins: Part VI – Envy” »
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This advice may not be immediately relevant, but today we’re presenting some things we appreciate about graduate program advisors:
- Research success: There’s no two ways about it: graduate school is about publications, and advisors with a good history of publishing give you a better chance of being successful as a graduate student. Your advisor doesn’t have to be churning out papers like a Xerox machine, but they should be putting out solid, relevant papers at a good clip. If a professor hasn’t published much recently, perhaps his/her passion or excellence in the field has diminished, so you may want to look elsewhere
- Understanding and compassion: A very close second is the compassion your advisor displays. The advisor’s personality dictates the feel of the research group, so make sure you find an advisor who understands and empathizes with the struggles of being a graduate student. You don’t want to work under a slave driver for 6 years, and you certainly don’t want to feel like you have no one to turn to during the inevitable dark times ahead.
- Passion for teaching graduate students: Though research is a self-motivated pursuit, you’ll still want an advisor who is there to guide you and teach the things you don’t quite understand. Some researchers have little patience for teaching those below him/her, so try to avoid these! You’re not simply there to produce results, after all. The purpose of graduate studies is to learn, so make sure you have someone who is willing and delighted to facilitate this learning!
Many graduate programs require in-person interviews for admissions, and the most dreaded question that comes up is the one at the end: “Do you have any questions for me?” Today we’ll be discussing the purpose of this question and offer up some example questions you can ask if you have trouble coming up with one on the spot.
Why do Interviewers Ask This Question?
First and foremost, the reason interviewers ask “Do you have any questions for us” is so that you have an opportunity to clarify anything that may not have made sense during your campus tour or interview. Clear up anything that might’ve confused you (curriculum, funding, etc.), but try not to ask questions that could easily be found on the school’s website.
The second reason for this question is for the interviewer to determine how much interest you have in the program/interviewer. Questions demonstrate interest and sincerity, so use this opportunity to show how in love you are with the program!
What Questions Should I Ask?
Take a look at some of the example questions below for ideas on what to ask your interviewer at the end!
- “What do you like most about [School Name/Department]?”
- “How did you choose to focus your research on [primary research topic]”
- “Is there anything you wish you could change about [School/Department]”
- “What challenges have you faced during your time as a professor?”
- “What do you think the biggest change to this field will be?”
- “Are there any advisers I should avoid?”
- Only ask this if you’re interviewing with a current student and you feel like you’ve built up a good rapport with him/her!
- “What advice do you have for new graduate students?”
- “What do you think most new graduate students should do, but don’t?”