So, I meant to write about my visit to Philadelphia yesterday but I was a teeny tiny bit exhausted upon my return home.
Saturday consisted of an introduction by the chair of the department and three faculty research presentations. And then the real fun began. Have you ever had nine interviews in one afternoon? ‘Cause I have and it’s super fun! Kind of like what I imagine being the dog on the table at a dog show is like. I felt very judged.
However, I discovered that the potential advisor I had been communicating with is way, way cool. Luckily, he was my last interviewer for the day so we got to spend a little bit more time chatting. In fact, we spent so much time chatting that I ended up missing the pre-dinner campus tour. Fortunately, this faculty member rocks and was kind enough to give me a tour that was probably far more entertaining than the official tour. Of course, there are down sides to having new, untenured faculty as an advisor. But I am excited by the prospect of helping to build a new lab. Also, I know I will get a lot more personal attention than I would as a graduate student in some established hotshot's lab.
The fact that my laboratory environment would overlook historic brick buildings and trees is pretty sweet. But the most appealing thing about the laboratory is that I can go out one side of the building and walk a few feet to the medical school or go out the other side and walk a few feet to the veterinary school. This is an unheard of luxury for me. Sadly, I was to busy to actually take photos of my own but my potential home for the next 5-6 years looks like this.
Of course, I will go to Atlanta with an open mind in two weeks. But by the time I am once again boarding a plane, I will know if I have a spot at UPenn this fall. As it stands, I have been told by two faculty members that I am an excellent candidate. Although the ultimate decision rests with the graduate admissions committee as a whole, I have already been unofficially promised a position in the laboratory of my choice. I think it's finally safe to get my hopes up.