Profile Evaluation and Advice for a Junior

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tommycali
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2022 6:22 pm

Profile Evaluation and Advice for a Junior

Post by tommycali » Sun Jan 01, 2023 12:53 am

I'm a current junior (co 2024), and I was wondering if I could get some advice from the community on bolstering my profile for graduate school, and some advice on what type of program I should shoot for this summer.

Institution: BSc at large state school, decent(?) physics reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.80
GPA: 3.80
Length of Degrees: 4 Years
Position in Class: No clue
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE: Haven't taken (don't know if I should or not)

TOEFL: NA

Research Experience: Have been participating in dark matter research since beginning of sophomore year (1.5 years). Will probably get at least one nth author paper, maybe better. I'll also present a poster in the undergraduate symposium on this project. Recently started a new project with a different professor using machine learning on exoplanet data, could get another publication if it pans out. The summer between my sophomore and junior year, I had an internship at a DOE facility in astrophysics, where I'll get one publication.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List three semesters. Awarded a scholarship by the University to continue my dark matter project.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not really sure? I might have some that I can't think of, but if there are any, I don't imagine they'd be that influential.

Special Bonus Points: The professors I've worked with are relatively influential/well known in their field. I met one of my advisors in a graduate class that he taught.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Don't think so.

Applying to Where: Want to specialize in quantum information/quantum computing (experimental). These are some schools that have caught my attention (obviously).

1. Stanford
2. MIT
3. Harvard
4. UCSB
5. Caltech
6. Duke
7. UCSD
8. Georgia Tech
9. CU - Boulder

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I was hoping to get some recommendations for match/safety schools, since I realize most of my schools are reaches. I also was wondering if I could get advice on what to do this summer. I'm applying to some selective REUs, but I could also return to the DOE facility and continue my work from last summer. I don't know my odds for the REUs, so I was thinking about just accepting and going back to the Government facility. I feel like a slightly above average applicant, but nothing that special, so I'd appreciate any advice on how I could improve my profile. Thanks!
Last edited by tommycali on Fri Jan 06, 2023 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

nogreplz
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2022 7:50 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation and Advice for a Junior

Post by nogreplz » Tue Jan 03, 2023 10:41 pm

Check out the programs at Wisconsin Madison. They have a pretty good QI/QC program.

As for your profile, you already have quite some research experience which is good. If you could do something related to QI/QC, that would be amazing. I think summer program by Chicago quantum exchange (hosted by UChicago, UIUC, and UW-Madison) is something you might be interested in. I'd say focus on finding people to write strong letters of rec for you and take classes/try to find research in QI and QC. If you can get three strong letters, not having research in your proposed field won't be a deal breaker.

tommycali
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2022 6:22 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation and Advice for a Junior

Post by tommycali » Thu Jan 05, 2023 4:18 pm

Thanks for reply. I'll definitely take all of this into account. Do you think taking the GRE would make that much of a difference for my profile?

nogreplz
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2022 7:50 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation and Advice for a Junior

Post by nogreplz » Fri Jan 06, 2023 5:30 pm

This is a tricky one given everything with covid and the trend of moving away from it even before. I applied this year and the consensus among profs I talked to was that it's not gonna be very important. My personal take is that it won't make a big difference and it really shouldn't. But we will see how that changes next year or the year after. I may also have a different perspective once I hear back from places.
Last edited by nogreplz on Mon Jan 09, 2023 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tommycali
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2022 6:22 pm

Re: Profile Evaluation and Advice for a Junior

Post by tommycali » Sun Jan 08, 2023 8:36 pm

Sounds good, appreciate the advice

lasereyeremoval
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2022 5:53 am

Re: Profile Evaluation and Advice for a Junior

Post by lasereyeremoval » Thu Jan 19, 2023 1:34 pm

You are more competitive for REUs as a rising senior, so the REUs that you're interested in are worth a shot. That said, it's all kind of a crapshoot.



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