World Domination 102
You can’t stay in WD 101 forever.
More tips and moral support for getting in, getting ahead, or just staying in the game.
Date: April 14, 2014
Friday, 19 December 2014
Life, the universe, pies, hot-pink bunnies, world domination, and everything
You can’t stay in WD 101 forever.
More tips and moral support for getting in, getting ahead, or just staying in the game.
Date: April 14, 2014
“WD 101 is not a prerequisite for this class. It is intended to be taken together with Mad Science 150. Please select both a lecture and a lab section. Ask your advisor for further details.”
That’s awesome (and well-deserved)! Congratulations.
Update: place probably secured, Kokonspiracy back on track.
Congratulations, that’s amazing!
Wow, that’s incredible!
Congratulations, Fireh! I can’t wait to hear all about it!
Fun! Those brags are well-deserved.
Congrats on all these fantastic achievements!
I’m trying to plot a rough course for myself for the rest of college. Right now, I’ve just about decided I’ll aim for a biology major – I like it, I’m good at it, it doesn’t necessarily determine my future career path if my interests change later, and deciding frees me up to take classes that won’t go towards anything if I’m confident in a solid plan there. After factoring in the number of upper-division classes I have to take for that, I’m left with a certain number of spots for other classes. Now I’m facing the age-old problem of not having enough time in college for all the classes I wish I could take: particularly Chinese, history, computer science and math, and physics/relativity, not to mention a semester of study abroad.
I feel like Chinese and study abroad are big potential break points. I’m currently registered for Chinese next semester. I took a year of it senior year of high school, but I’ll have to start all over, not that that’s really a bad thing since I don’t remember everything. I really love learning languages (I would study others if I had the time) and my school’s Chinese classes are supposed to be great, plus knowing some Chinese is a really great skill to have in the modern world. Still, I feel like the payoff only comes if I take at least two or three years of it, or else I’ll learn a year and forget most of it like I have now. Presenting this as a choice between 0 and 6 semesters makes me wonder if I would be better off doing something else…
It also ties into studying abroad since my school has a habit of offering those classes only in the fall or spring. If I spend a semester of my junior year abroad, my Chinese progression is messed up, and I can only complete two years with a year-long gap in the middle. However, because of my history with Spanish (immersion school, moved, had a hard time getting it for a while afterwards) I feel like it’s really important for me to immerse myself in a Spanish-speaking country at some point in my life. But given everything else, is that a semester abroad? A summer abroad? A shorter trip with my younger brother? And then what about other things I would miss out on over the summer, like internships or research?
I’ve been trying to go with the flow and take whatever interests me, and I did that a lot my first year (9 classes in 8 departments). But now I feel like I’m facing some complicated, interlocking choices and I’m having trouble sorting out what I really want. Any advice from those of you who have been here before?
I don’t know if I’m all that qualified to advise! However: it does seem like some kind of Spanish immersion is important to you. Maybe you could try looking for some kind of internship or research position relevant to your field, in a Spanish-speaking country? The job could be in English or Spanish but if you were living there for several weeks or months, I imagine it would be quite easy to be immersed in the local culture and language. I don’t know if those are hard to come by… Otherwise any kind of summer travelling would probably do the trick; I imagine you’re quite fluent already.
Could you maybe do a semester abroad for Chinese? You seem quite keen on learning it, and I admire you for that, it’s such a hard language! Once you’ve graduated and are on your own, it’s probably easier to revisit a familiar foreign language than to learn a new one entirely independently, so I think college is a really good time to start Chinese. Especially if your college has good Chinese classes, as you say – and if the classes are good, you might be more motivated to continue for more than a year.
Just my two cents, the best is of course to choose what you think you really want to do!
Thank you both for your advice!
I’m going to email my adviser to ask her advice about study abroad messing up Chinese language progression (she’s a Chinese professor, conveniently). There have got to be people before who have been in similar boats. Once school gets back in session, I’ll talk with the study abroad office about programs that might have biology or Chinese – or history or computer science, or any of those other classes I think I’m interested in. I’ll also try to remember that I have a lot of life ahead of me to learn and experience things and not worry too far ahead!
oh my god that is legitimately a huge deal wow i’m so happy for you!! definitely let is know so we can listen to you omg
Saw this thread in “Recent Comments”, ignored it because I assumed it was… okay, I don’t really know what I assumed it was, probably some sort of creative writing thing I guess (I have realized that creative writing is not exactly my forte and I should stick to academic writing).
Anyway, I’ve now taken a look at this and realized that hey, this applies to me! So I’ve decided that next summer I will be applying to work at several different biotech companies/startups — I’ve discussed this with the grad student I currently work with at my lab, and he agrees that this is a Good Idea (he is aiming to graduate within a year and then work at a bio company himself)! The challenging part of that, I fear, will be my grades. I’m not really very good at studying (still… haha *twitch*), and I took extremely competitive classes for the last couple of years, so my grades kind of tanked. I’m above a 3.0, which is good, but I’m worried that among other Stanford student *cough*pre-med*cough* applicants my GPA will not be terribly stellar or impressive. I guess I do have an extensive amount of lab experience going for me (and, most likely, the good graces of a Stanford professor and grad student as well as — hopefully — my adviser and/or a professor this fall), so. Hopefully I can work at an actual, real live company next year!
P.S. oh god I’m going to be a junior and what do I do with my life after college??? I think I mentioned this elsewhere but I’m planning on getting a 5-year combined master’s/bachelor’s degree but do I go to grad school??? go to work??? do I even have to think about this yet??? people have been asking me and aaaaaa what do
the plan was always grad school before but I think I just took that for granted because I wanted to “beat” my parents, who both have MBAs, but honestly grad school seems a little depressing and not terribly worth it if I don’t want to stay in academia and I think it might be better to get a somewhat low-level position in a company and then work my way up from there than work for 4-6 years to start at only a slightly higher level and meanwhile live off of ramen???
Hmm, well, I am certainly not a Real Person With Money, but as a starting point for determining how much money “money” really means, I guess just start by looking up housing prices in your area? For example, here in the Bay Area $2K/month for one person is a good rough estimate. And then maybe from there create a rough budget, always rounding up? Maybe that can help you get a grasp on how much money you need to survive, though just aiming for the highest possible number is also a valid approach I suppose.
I had to re-check because $500/month seemed so low / $2000 seemed so high, but with just a quick scan of Craigslist it looks like $2000/month for one person is a little high but not unreasonable. My friend is living in East Palo Alto for the summer and has a rent of $1900/month I believe. (It’s a little ridiculous, but yeah. Gentrification, man.)
Also, I have no idea where utilities are factored in. Probably included in the $2000. Food is definitely not included though.
Grad school — in a techie or fuzzy field? I mean obviously it would be easier in a techie field, because you’re getting a stipend (and I know plenty of grad students who get along just fine, albeit living a little frugally), but grad students do manage to live here, even fuzzies. Especially if you go to a private school that has funding. I dunno. Do more research before housing costs put you off, I guess.
Sorry, Stanford lingo — “techie” is just any STEM field, and “fuzzy” is just any humanities field. Neither are derogatory, just shorthand. What I have heard is that techie grad students get a stipend, while fuzzy grad students don’t.
Well, salaries in the Bay Area are also adjusted for the cost of living expenses, I believe.
Hey, great minds think alike! I think the Bay Area is definitely one of those places that’s worth living in, even for just a short while. Leaving Minnesota for California has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my [admittedly quite short] life thus far.
It would be like Magic Tree House! You would wander around a bit, see what life is like, realize that everyone (or even just a few people) is/are in some way doomed, and then immediately find the single most important person in the area.
I’ll grant you that the Cities are exciting, but every place is different, right? I like NorCal because you can basically do anything you want. Like to ski? All right, go to Tahoe. Gamble? Vegas. Beach? Half-Moon Bay. A proper beach for swimming? Santa Cruz or SoCal. Hike? There are billions of trails. Also, in Minnesota, the diversity is distinctly lacking; almost everyone (this is probably less true in the Cities) is white with Scandinavian or German descent — and while I have no problem with that, when everyone has a very similar perspective (and especially when you’re a part of a relatively small minority), it gets tiring.
Just my two cents. Minneapolis is nice, and Minnesota is definitely a great place to raise kids, but a bigger city might be worth the high rent for the sheer experience of it all.
“I grew up in Maryland, but I don’t consider myself as living there anymore, when people now ask me where I’m from I say I live in Asheville, because I’ve spent the most time residing there for the past three years and will continue to do so for another year, which is interesting. My parents still live in Maryland in the house I grew up in and I call going there “home”, but it’s becoming less my personal home and more my parent’s house.”
I find this interesting, because I’ve spent almost all of the last two years here in the Bay Area (including summers), but when people ask me where I’m from, I still say Minnesota. I guess it’s different from college, but I feel like even when I graduate from Stanford and if I continue to live in the Bay Area, I’ll still say I’m “from” Minnesota. Until my parents move, that is; then I have no idea what I’ll say. (Probably still Minnesota?) Did you live in Maryland your entire life?
I say I’m from Washington but I actually emphasize eastern Washington quite frequently. If anything, this would go against avoiding cultural assumptions as Lizzie suggested. I think one reason I do this is because almost everybody here who is from Washington is from Seattle, a Seattle suburb, or another part of western Washington, so I head off the assumption that I am too.
Well done, that’s amazing!
Well, now I feel like an Actual Person: I’m sending out resumes like crazy and looking for open intern positions for next summer (it’s so early! but Dropbox, Facebook, and Google are all interviewing people already so I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon) at Bay Area biotech companies. Genentech and 23andMe are high on my list right now, but as they are larger companies I’m emailing smaller companies and startups first — they would probably be more forgiving of mistakes, as they (probably) aren’t receiving hundreds of emails, and more personal.
The goal is to A) actually work at a company doing biomedical computation (or biology, I’m not picky, but I’d prefer to do real-life CS as well), and B) actually have some pocket money left over after the summer rather than spending 3/4 of my salary on housing (like I’ve done the last two summers). Wish me luck!
There’s this new website out there called Pymetrics which is trying to replace self-assessments used by companies for recruiting with “unbiased” reports developed from how you play various neuroscience-based games. The idea is that companies can quantitatively measure aspects of candidates’ cognitive, emotional, and social processing and reach out to/continue the process with ones who are a good fit. I got an email this morning that my college is part of the Beta or something, so I decided to try the games for the heck of it (didn’t take too long and broke up my homework routine).
The results (which are given as percentages) are interesting, though I’m having a little trouble interpreting all of them. Some make sense to me; for example, I have very strong attention control and attention duration, I’m fair-minded, and I am far more internally motivated than sensitive to award. Others were surprising: according to the report, I prefer all kinds of risks (and in fact have a stronger preference for high than for medium than for low risks), I don’t really go above and beyond to get what I want, and I don’t learn from mistakes particularly quickly or well. Actually, now that I think about that last one, in some situations I do tend to make the same mistake multiple times. So maybe that is the advantage of something like this rather than a self-assessment? It still seems like there might be some artifacts of the games that affect the results.
Anyways, I don’t expect to get a lot out of this, since only 12 companies are currently participating, and the three “Featured Companies” (the only ones they tell you about at this point) are Fidelity Investments, Anheuser-Busch Brewing, and Egon Zehnder Management Consulting. And there is no category for Science/Research (closest is “Education”. Which I had a 12% fit on. And according to their description, teachers and professors “do not need strong verbal creativity to excel at their jobs”? Not the good teachers I’ve had.)
I am skeptical of its value. But hey, didn’t take that long.
I like your insights.
Also, during the games that had to do with faces, I was distracted the entire time by thinking about the Muse article from forever ago about reading micro-expressions. “Is this really disgust, or this fear? Which one of those had the raised eyebrows?” Perhaps I’m better at reading faces when you don’t make me think about it.
Past ZNZ, I can’t say much with the Time Police watching but your college education is vitally important to our mission. Study hard and download all the waltz music you can, if you know what I’m saying. [TRANSMISSION ENDED]