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Throw Your Applications to The Wind (Pt. 1 & 2)

6 Agustus 2014   20:36 Diperbarui: 18 Juni 2015   04:15 102 0 0
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Throw Your Applications to The Wind (Pt. 1 & 2)

What do we got to lose?

Baby, throw your fears to the wind…” (Oattes, 1993)

Previous article:

Part 1: Waiting for Professor Picture’s Elusive Reply

I was so obsessed with Swiss. Who wouldn’t, by the way?

ETH Zurich is one among a few that consistently breaks US & UK domination on the top tier of university rankings. Moreover, simply typing Zurich, Basel, or Lugano on Google pops up captivating images…

[caption id="attachment_351313" align="aligncenter" width="629" caption="Zurich"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_351314" align="aligncenter" width="630" caption="ETH Zurich"]



And, of course, no words needed to describe Swiss chocolate. No words, just drool… :p


The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship is opened annually around August and closed around November. However, even just to obtain the application for, we are obliged to show either an acceptance letter from a Swiss university or, at the very least, an approval statement from a Swiss professor whom states his/her consent to become our research supervisor. Very efficient, isn’t it? The scholarship committee does not even bother to include those without university or professor’s acceptance into the selection pool. I was quite determined that, unlike 2012, this year I should at least make it into the selection phase. Since most university’s prerequisites include professor’s approval before applying to the Ph.D. program, it means I should contact Swiss professors.

At the time, I was pretty optimistic because I have found a professor whose research topic greatly matched my interest, as well as most of my academic publications. After reading several papers of his, I drove myself to write him an email. That was really my first time writing an email to a professor in order to ask his consent to become his Ph.D. student. By the way, let’s say this professor’s name is Professor Picture.

What did I write on my email to Professor Picture?

I introduced myself and my intention to study Ph.D. I described how his researches matched with my interest, my educational background, and my previous publications. I’ve always thought that there is a very thin line between a good promotion and a boastful elaboration of ourselves. I hoped that I had not crossed that line and stood on the wrong side. I mentioned his papers of my upmost interest, and, some says that this is not a good idea, I suggested what would be interesting further developments on those papers. I closed the email by saying that I would really like to study under his supervision.

Then I clicked SEND

After the SEND button had been clicked, nothing but the wait began. It is typical for me that during the period while I am expecting for something, I would experience this loop:


keep checking (and refreshing) Inbox

get suddenly excited to see Unread Mail (1)

immediately get disappointed to see the unread mail’s subject is: Fly to Bali Rp. 199,000

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