PhD interview - travel arrangement

    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by monkyvirus)
    Or you could work with reasonable people? Reasonable people will still pay you and they exist.

    PhD's aren't so competitive you have to take the first one offered if you think it's a bad fit.
    My experience is of funded PhD's, which are immensely competitive, so that has probably coloured my perspective.

    My observation of whether employers are reasonable or not, still stands.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DrSocSciences)
    My experience is of funded PhD's, which are immensely competitive, so that has probably coloured my perspective.

    My observation of whether employers are reasonable or not, still stands.
    Both me and my friend (who I mentioned in a previous post on this thread) secured fully funded PhDs while asking for (and getting) reasonable adjustments to the interview process.

    I'm only going on about this because I feel you're telling prospective postgraduate students to just accept poor treatment and I completely disagree. You're looking to build a 3-4 year relationship, you need to like your supervisor and trust they'll be considerate.*
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by EHK)
    Hi,

    I got invited for an interview in Glasgow at 10am. I live in London and when I was looking through travel options, I found a flight that would get me there at 8:30am, so with 1.5h I guess I could make it on time (google showed that travel from the airport to the institute would take about 1h). Then I checked the time of getting to the airport from my home (1h). Adding everything in, I would need to to leave around 3:30/4am. I worry I will turn up quite tired and dishevelled (I plan to wear my formal suit).

    So I emailed them back asking if I could arrive a day earlier and stay overnight, my alternative was to take a coach, stay in hostel, all expenses kept to minimum. I hoped to meet them fresh and ready for the interview. The plan with the flight could also backfire if anything gets delayed, i.e. bus/train to airport or the plane itself so I can be late and that would be awful.

    Their replied that there are plenty of flights that would get me at 8:30am (yeah I found that) and that my statement is false (about not being able to arrive on time) and they sounded very upset at me. I get a feeling that I already made a wrong impression...

    Still, I'm not keen on travelling via plane but it seems they prefer I do that. Tbh I'm not pleased with their reply or their assumption that I tried to visit Glasgow at their expense (that was not my intention!). I'm desperate for a position, so should I just shut up and get those flight+train+buses tickets now and hope everything will be on time and I manage to still turn up all fresh and ready? But I'm already questioning what my relationship with them will be if I join them...
    Compromise. You pay for the accommodation and they pay for the travel. As long as the return journey isn't more expensive if spread over two days, they won't have grounds for complaint.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by monkyvirus)
    I feel you're telling prospective postgraduate students to just accept poor treatment and I completely disagree. You're looking to build a 3-4 year relationship, you need to like your supervisor and trust they'll be considerate.*
    I suppose that after 25yrs of professional practice, and raising 4 kids, I don't take these things so personally.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jelly1000)
    Oh I see, I didn't realise they would cover travel expenses, I can see why you asked now. I would be inclined to question whether you really want to go to that uni now with them being so rude.
    So far they made a bad impression on me, that is not to sound cocky, I know that I'm the one applying for the position but that interview is a two-way street, as much as they are assessing me, I'm also there to assess them. I will get there one way or another, I will do my best and learn as much as I can from my first PhD interview, it's definitely a valuable experience no matter what. BUT if the attitude of the main supervisor is the same as in the email replies then I will politely decline the offer, IF that happens. I will keep looking somewhere else. I hope I will get the change to talk to other members of the group and see how well their review their leader.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by monkyvirus)
    Well they sound charming....

    I would really start looking at other opportunities if you haven't already. However the interview experience would still be valuable. Just remember you're assessing whether you want to work with them as much as they're assessing you.
    I agree with you completely and that's exactly what I'm planning to do when I'm there.

    I'm willing to start fresh with them and if their attitude is way different from their email replies then I let it slide as simply of matter of a really bad day.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by monkyvirus)
    Both me and my friend (who I mentioned in a previous post on this thread) secured fully funded PhDs while asking for (and getting) reasonable adjustments to the interview process.

    I'm only going on about this because I feel you're telling prospective postgraduate students to just accept poor treatment and I completely disagree. You're looking to build a 3-4 year relationship, you need to like your supervisor and trust they'll be considerate.*
    My friend secured a fully funded PhD too and he reasoned politely but firmly to adjust his travel arrangement for the interview and both sides worked out a compromise so this is definitely possible.

    The fact that I was rudely refused in a very unpleasant manner show very badly about the prospective supervisor with whom I could work for long 3-4 years. Imagine dealing with travelling for conferences, taking annual leaves etc. it would be always tensed and feared...

    I can't stress it well enough but I was told countless times that I must secure a good and decent relationship with my supervisor. Throughout years of my undergrad studies, I worked in several labs during summer internships and industrial placements and I met students who dropped their plans to pursue a scientific career because they had a very bad experience with their labs (that's a massive shame, some of them are incredibly smart and talented). Those whole continued always urged me to never ever work for an abusive supervisor. This is an advise I will definitely follow because there are considerate supervisors.
    Offline

    3
    (Original post by EHK)
    Hi,

    I got invited for an interview in Glasgow at 10am. I live in London and when I was looking through travel options, I found a flight that would get me there at 8:30am, so with 1.5h I guess I could make it on time (google showed that travel from the airport to the institute would take about 1h). Then I checked the time of getting to the airport from my home (1h). Adding everything in, I would need to to leave around 3:30/4am. I worry I will turn up quite tired and dishevelled (I plan to wear my formal suit).

    So I emailed them back asking if I could arrive a day earlier and stay overnight, my alternative was to take a coach, stay in hostel, all expenses kept to minimum. I hoped to meet them fresh and ready for the interview. The plan with the flight could also backfire if anything gets delayed, i.e. bus/train to airport or the plane itself so I can be late and that would be awful.

    Their replied that there are plenty of flights that would get me at 8:30am (yeah I found that) and that my statement is false (about not being able to arrive on time) and they sounded very upset at me. I get a feeling that I already made a wrong impression...

    Still, I'm not keen on travelling via plane but it seems they prefer I do that. Tbh I'm not pleased with their reply or their assumption that I tried to visit Glasgow at their expense (that was not my intention!). I'm desperate for a position, so should I just shut up and get those flight+train+buses tickets now and hope everything will be on time and I manage to still turn up all fresh and ready? But I'm already questioning what my relationship with them will be if I join them...
    Agree with what jelly said
    .
    1. I would go the night before to make sure I was on time. I would cmpare prices as well.
    2. Not sure why you had to tell them.
    3. Not sure why they would reply as they did.
    4. 1.5h is too small a window for me unless i had done it before. Any delay or mishap and you wont make it.

    The but that i find odd is the wording of their reply, which may well seem odd due to the way you have described it. The way as described sounds on the edge of calling you a liar , bit it might just be your explanation. It should really be a non issue and they should be more impressed with your careful planning and the fact you are prepared o spend an extra day to avoid missing it.
    I wouldnt let it bother you, go and do your best. It may not have been their intention and maybe they make the flight regularly.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Remember - it is not all about you. Academics are extremely busy people and you need to fit yourself around their schedules, not the other way round.

    It is not all about you.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Agree with what jelly said
    .
    1. I would go the night before to make sure I was on time. I would cmpare prices as well.
    2. Not sure why you had to tell them.
    3. Not sure why they would reply as they did.
    4. 1.5h is too small a window for me unless i had done it before. Any delay or mishap and you wont make it.

    The but that i find odd is the wording of their reply, which may well seem odd due to the way you have described it. The way as described sounds on the edge of calling you a liar , bit it might just be your explanation. It should really be a non issue and they should be more impressed with your careful planning and the fact you are prepared o spend an extra day to avoid missing it.
    I wouldnt let it bother you, go and do your best. It may not have been their intention and maybe they make the flight regularly.
    Point 4 is exactly my main concern, which I don't think it's exaggerated. This is my very first trip there.

    I don't mind if they said no, but it was the way they said that and that rude accusation of me trying to take advantage of them.

    I wil go, do my best and see how it goes.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by #ChaosKass)
    Remember - it is not all about you. Academics are extremely busy people and you need to fit yourself around their schedules, not the other way round.

    It is not all about you.
    I'm fully aware of that, I worked alongside academics during my internships and yes they are very busy people, I always make sure that any meetings is convenient for them primarily, I can adjust. I will do my best to arrive for the allocated time but why it matters how I get there?

    I was trying to do everything in my power to not be late and waste their time, hence my careful plan regarding my journey with the main goal of being on time, on the exact allocated time that they have given me.

    No matter what, it's still about me, about my next career move, my contribution to them, I'm studying further to become independent in my profession, I won't be treated like some lap dog.
    Offline

    3
    (Original post by EHK)
    Point 4 is exactly my main concern, which I don't think it's exaggerated. This is my very first trip there.

    I don't mind if they said no, but it was the way they said that and that rude accusation of me trying to take advantage of them.

    I wil go, do my best and see how it goes.
    Go, get them to offer you the job and then turn it down if you dont wnat it. Surely the costs of coach and hostel is similar or its cheaper by coach?

    ChaosKass is just trolling you.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Go, get them to offer you the job and then turn it down if you dont wnat it. Surely the costs of coach and hostel is similar or its cheaper by coach?
    Way cheaper! I plan to talk to other members of the group as well, hear how their feel about the group leader. I'm willing to cooperate, see how they treat me there, I like the project and the ongoing research there, funded PhD are very limited and since I'm EU it will get more and more restricted in next years following the reference outcome.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by EHK)
    My friend secured a fully funded PhD too and he reasoned politely but firmly to adjust his travel arrangement for the interview and both sides worked out a compromise so this is definitely possible.

    The fact that I was rudely refused in a very unpleasant manner show very badly about the prospective supervisor with whom I could work for long 3-4 years. Imagine dealing with travelling for conferences, taking annual leaves etc. it would be always tensed and feared...

    I can't stress it well enough but I was told countless times that I must secure a good and decent relationship with my supervisor. Throughout years of my undergrad studies, I worked in several labs during summer internships and industrial placements and I met students who dropped their plans to pursue a scientific career because they had a very bad experience with their labs (that's a massive shame, some of them are incredibly smart and talented). Those whole continued always urged me to never ever work for an abusive supervisor. This is an advise I will definitely follow because there are considerate supervisors.
    I wish you the best of luck with your interviews. I'm glad you haven't been convinced by people telling you to accept bad treatment as an occupational hazard.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I think you should appreciate the fact that they are paying your travel expenses! If it is more convenient for you to travel up the day before then book some accommodation (there is loads in Central Glasgow and near the airport). Make the most of the opportunity to look round the city and the uni - if you are going to live there for 3 years it's worth getting a good look at the place. All it will cost you is a night in a hotel. Bargain trip to a great city with the added bonus that you might get to do your PhD there!


    Posted from TSR Mobile
 
 
 
Write a reply… Reply
Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. Oops, you need to agree to our Ts&Cs to register
  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: September 23, 2016
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Poll
Have you ever bought a piece of work and submitted it as your own?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.