Hie everyone. I am relatively new to this site and in fact this is my first posting. I just got my first offer from cambridge uni today and I am over the moon. I am not really sure whether to accept becuase I have other interviews form unis that may not be the best in the Uk but offer industrial placements at astrazeneca, one of the major pharma giants.
I feeel like accepting this offer,but I dont want to short change myself.any advice
Hi there - I'm at Cambridge and like most places it varies a lot depending on your dept and supervisor. Think about whether you like the project and supervisor - and perhaps talk to people who work in the dept and see if there are any problems you should know about.
If you are thinking about industry I guess I am not in your field though.
Having been to cambridge myself; I can only say the place is fantastic. However, I would argue that having a project you love and a supervisor you get on well with is more important.
I ended up accepting an offer from Cambridge, when I had offers of projects elsewhere that I found a lot more interesting, with supervisors who would have a lot more time for their students.
I hadnt met my supervisor beforehand which was a big mistake. Things went so badly that I left my PhD after my first year review
So my advice is shop around, dont accept cambridge purely on the basis that it is cambridge. if you do really like the project and have a good feeling about the sup then there is no reason not to accept it but just consider other options first.
contratulations on your offer and best of luck
Wise words rjb. I have found the total lack of support challenging but then I have seen others micromanaged and pushed too much. And then for some it seems to go well. Definitely check out that particular option carefully. Basically the same advice for anone going anywhere.
I usually describe my postgrad experience here like this. As grad students, you are told to swim out across the ocean to an island. Then you are thrown in and told to get going, no whinging, no complaining no asking for help. Some will be eaten by sharks. Some will drink the water and go mad. Some will get lost and never be seen again. Some will make it to the island, where their supervisor will be sitting in a deckchair smoking a cigar and drinking champagne.
It's the Darwinian system of supervision
Thanks guys that helps a lot. Unfortunately, I could not hold my horses. I was too excited about Cambridge, My first offer that I have totaly accepted the offer.The project is good and inline with my first degree and MSC, its also funded by the BBSRC,
I thought it would be unwise to wait seeing as if I only have interviews not offers and I may not get into those other places.
So I am off to cam in Oct. very excited.
Tell me whats the best college there
Well that's exciting! What kind of college would you like? I'm at a postgrad college - Darwin. It's quite small, in the centre and on the river. I has a lot of international students and I espeically like it because I am a bit older. There are 2-3 (I forget) other postgrad colleges - but I definitely like this one best.
It can be hard to get a place at the very popular old colleges because many of thier postgrad places are taken by students who were undergrads there (e.g. Trinity, Kings). So if you put them first and don't get in you will be assigned a college without further choice. So it might be worth picking a college you are likely to get in to so that at least you get your own choice (I forget if you put 1 or 2 choices).
choosing a college in Cambs is very difficult especially if you dont know anyone already there. it all depends on whether you like colleges which have nice old buildings, famous alumni or new and contemporary. also consider that the services the colleges offer to students can differ quite a bit from college to college...
Trinity is the most famous and richist college of them all. if you think you might have a chance of winning the nobel prize or an olympic gold medal you shouldnt have any probs getting in there
I went to wolfson, one of the graduate colleges and although its a fairly ugly college with no nice buildings or famous alumni. the college tutorial system is excellent, they can offer grad accommodation for three years and the bar is one of the best out of the college bars.
the best thing for you to do is take a trip to cambridge have a look around the colleges, the porters should be able to tell you everything you need to know.
St Johns is my favourite college based purely on the architecture! Very nice choice. Not familiar with Clare - but there are so many colleges and I don't know all that many first-hand.
rjb - the parties at Darwin are pretty good too!
I live in Cambridge (home-owner, married, small child, the whole nine yards). As a postgrad you are required to live within 10 miles of the city (3 miles for undergrads). I'll try to remember to ask next time I go in to the dept (could be a while as I'm working at home over easter then going to the US).
Do you have a bike? You MUST get a good bike. And a very good lock for it.
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