No words for last night. I took the psych GRE yesterday morning and drove home (had to take it 4 hours away…) I took a break from most other work the rest of the day save for maybe an hour or two of random stuff, and thus decided to go out with friends and be social for literally the first time in 10 weeks. While we were having some beers, I check my phone around 10:30 pm and have an email from a professor at one of the top clinical psychology programs (1.2% of those who apply end up going). Literally, top 5 in terms of funding opportunities, impact power of the research they do, the credibility of their work, their professors leading multiple organizations and special interest groups, etc. and it said:
I just checked with the DCT, and it should be possible for us to consider your application at [university] to potentially match with my lab even though I am not officially taking a student this cycle. Based on my experience working with you on the chapter, the discussions we had around it, and the various research work we’ve done, I am confident that it would be a lot of fun and very productive working together.
Anyhow, if you are still interested in the possibility of working together, I am encouraging you to apply.
I’ve worked with him for probably a year and a half now and I’ve known for a while that he was not going to be taking anyone in his lab for the 2015 admission cycle as he took two for the 2014 cycle, but he has apparently been looking into changing that so he can offer me a spot. This was completely unbeknownst to me until last night.
I’m just overwhelmed. I was shaking when I read that email. Because he was not originally listed to take a student, it’s not a guarantee that room can be made, but just him telling me that he’s trying to change that for me is like…beyond words.
And I think a lot of this comes down to what I’ve said in a previous post. If there’s someone you are working with you and want to get as much as you can out of it, then go above and beyond. It obviously depends on the person you are working with, as some may not appreciate the tips I provided in that linked post above, so you have to get a feel for the person yourself before taking any of my [anecdotal] advice. But with this researcher, I would just email him questions semi-regularly regarding the nature of the work we were doing and posing ideas for future areas of work, and I think a lot of that showed him characteristics about me not always captured through more formal means (e.g., personal statements, applications, etc.) I think a lot of him trying to get me into his lab despite not having room comes from me emailing him those “random-ish” questions/study ideas because it made it apparent that I was thinking very critically about that specific area of study, and that I could actually contribute beyond just doing grunt work. It sort of helped him see the way I was thinking about this area of study that is his specialty.
I don’t know…this is such a major thing for me. I’m just gloating/rambling at this point, but yeah…beyond overwhelmed just at the prospect. Even if it doesn’t work out, that’s just an incredible email to receive.