> Following post was shared by Prathamesh.
I have never come across someone who was so determined to do PhD. You wouldn’t believe what Prathamesh have gone through in last 5 years to get PhD admission.
Hello HSB I would like to share my personal experience on how I got PhD admission after five years constant effort.
I believe this will help all those Happy Schools Blog followers who also have been through similar experience or will go through this to understand that perseverance will definitely give you success.
It all started five years ago when I was in third year Btech Biotech when my friend said, let try for masters in USA.
Without having the slightest idea I agreed. So we thought of joining a coaching class for GRE in delhi. They charged 18000 for 20hrs.
We assumed that joining this prestigious coaching would ensure at least 1300. And of course we were wrong. This was the first time in my life that I really worked hard. But unfortunately I could manage only 980.
I was shocked and disappointed. Although I had worked only for 2 months I assumed everything was over. While giving the test I had send my scores to Drexel university. Now I was sad when I got a application form from Drexel university to apply.
So I assumed that since they send the application so I am eligible to get admission. So immediately I gave TOEFL and got 103. Now I was happy that I will get admission. By this time I had completed my Btech.
PhD Admission – Round 1 – Application – 2008
So I applied to few more universities:
- University of Wyoming
- North Dakota state university
- Quinnipiac University
- University of Alberta,Canada.
Results – Round 1
- For Wyoming when I contacted a prof he frankly said he was not personally interested in taking a student with gre of 980.
- For NDSU they never replied.
- For Alberta one prof said my academic qualification was not competitive enough. And another told my research interest did not match.
- For Quinnipiac I got admit, but the univ was very small and they gave no funding.
So now I planned to give GRE again. Still I was not concentrating on what my interest was but I just wanted a ms or Phd with funding. The second Gre I did home study I did preparation for 3 months, and I scored 1090. Again very low. The time was feb 2009.
Round 2 – Application – Feb 2009
I contacted a consultant and paid Rs20,000 and they said I could easily get fall. I never knew that all good univs deadline is dec previous year. By the time I applied it was may(obviously too late) to
- New jersey Institute of Technology
- Florida institute of technology
- San Diego state university
- University of new haven
- Missouri state university
Results – Round 2
- For New jersey Institute of Technology and University of new haven they rejected.
- For San diego state university they did not receive my complete application.
- For Florida institute of technology I got admission but for fall 2010.
- For Missouri state university there was two openings in a lab, and the prof had 3 candidates. Unfortunately I was not selected.
During this time I was constantly sending emails to different prof around the world.
Round 3 – Application – 2009
On aug 15 2009. I got email from a prof in university of Winnipeg that she might take me for msc next year. So I got this ray of hope.
Now I started searching for Europe. I applied to
- University of Iceland
- University of Helsinki(Finland)
- University of Jyvaskyla(Finland)
- Utrecht university(Netherlands)
- University of Winnipeg(Canada)
- East Strasbourg university usa(my back up university)
Results – Round 3
- For Iceland I was about to get admission but, when I prof asked my to send my research statement I added few lines of research from his personal website. I did not know that it was plagiarism but the prof told me I have committed a plagiarism so I was disqualified and they even send back my entire application packet to me. [ Big Trouble for Copying Assignment ]
- For University of Helsinki and University of Jyvaskyla rejected my application.
- For Utrecht I got admission but without and aid, the fees was about 17000 euros per year. So I couldn’t go.
- For Winnipeg the prof was not responding to my email.
- Admission at East Strasbourg university
Then suddenly I got admission from East Strasbourg university a very small university which I had applied as a back up.
So I applied for visa. During the visa interview since the university was very small with no funding and I already had lost 2 full years I couldn’t convince the VO so got my visa rejected.
After 2 Years
By now I was devastated 2 years for search, and I couldn’t get admission.
My brother who was doing phd in Korea told me he ask for vacancy in lab in his university. Here again there was a vacancy but the prof did not want an Indian(few days ago a Indian had left the lab with money) so he was not ready to trust any Indians.
I was feeling that I am the most unlucky guy in the world. They many suggested for uk. So finally I applied with for 3 univs in uk.
Round 4 – Application- UK
- University of east London
- University of Sussex
- University of Essex
I got admit for sussex I joined, the date was 8 oct 2010. I was happy that I finally got something, this was a msc course for one year. This time I was more serious as compared to my ug.
I was already searching different universities for phd. I got a good masters project. The prof was very happy and he wanted to join his lab but he did not have funds.
Round 5 – Application – Europe and USA
- I got a reply from a france Italy and LSU in usa. I applied to all three.
- For Italy they asked for recommendation letter in hard copy one of my prof in sussex forgot to send so I lost the admission.
- For France they never called back.
- For lsu the prof was interested but the admission committee rejected due to low score for spring 2012. He advised me to apply for fall 2012.
- Meanwhile I was called for interview in Vienna, Austria but I was not selected.
- Then again I had another telephonic interview from university of Heidelberg Germany but was not selected.
Now it was feb 2012. I did not give up started applying contacting prof from as many countries as possible.
Which include, Poland, Latvia, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Korea, Finland, Norway, UK, Belgium, France, Spain, Canada, Germany, Austria, Czech.
In many cases the prof liked my profile but they did not have funds or they were unable to take non eu nationals. But I was still sending emails.
Now I tried Israel, a prof contacted for skype interview.
He found that I did not have sufficient practical experience, so he send me a research paper and told me to discuss in next skype interview I liked the paper so it was more like a chat rather than interview and he selected me. This was the moment I was looking for.
Initially I was thinking it was a dream, I was happy at last. As luck would have it, the very next day I got acceptance from a Italian university.
And the next day I got email from LSU usa that he wants to talk to me over Skype to select.
Although the LSU had given me hope for the past few months I had to refuse the Skype interview since any way I had deiced to join Israel. And there would be many students waiting for reply from LSU.
Next day was short listed for a telephonic interview this also I refused so that other students also get chance.
Now I applied for the Israel institute, then came a shock my application rejected due to low gre score, but since my prof liked my profile he put of pressure on the committee and also to the dean to ignore GRE. In next few weeks I will leave for Israel.
Disappointment is Part of Life
The reason why I am sharing my experience in detail is there would be many students who would have faced disappointment.
My only advice is to keep trying.
Also for the PhD aspirants I would like to tell them as HSB had told you need passion to do PhD.
Many try for PhD since it is fully funded, but once you in PhD the interest the only thing that matters.
I would like to point out that getting admission Is not difficult but same way it is not easy.
When posted I in my facebook that I got may PhD offers my friends were asking which university I did not choose so that they can get it.
As far PhD is concerned it is not like first come first serve basis. But you fit in their profile.
Many have this wrong feeling that if a friend got it then they should also get it.
But they fail to take note of the different profiles the scores and the research statement.
During your search you might get frustrated but you should never give up.
I still remember I unsubscribed HSB twice due to frustration that I did not get admit in USA. Also if you really love science search by research interest and not by country.
Most of the Blog posts fall into one of the following category – Study in USA, Study in UK, Study in Germany, Study in Australia. I don’t have a right category for your determined effort. So, I have selected PhD as category.
You are definitely an inspiration and this post have to be highlights for years to come.