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Found out I received an offer to the Harvard SAO Astronomy REU

  1. Feb 28, 2015 #1

    Tonight, I received an email from the Harvard faculty that they wish to call me regarding their REU. I was incredibly excited, but I do not know what questions to ask. I am in total shock as I thought I would never believed I would have received an offer from Harvard of all places. What questions should I ask and what tips and advice should I employ? I don't want to make a bad first impression.

    Edit: I understand I have not been accepted to the Harvard REU. I made a typo. I meant to say I received an offer as they wish to call me.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2015 #2


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    What questions do you want to ask?

    A lot can depend on who you are talking to and the context of the conversation. If you are a candidate short-listed for the position, the conversation might be a little different than if you already have the position and you are being contacted by an administrator to work out the logistics.

    The first thing I would do is establish the context. Are you being interviewed as a potential candidate? If so, then do your best to answer whatever questions they have and convince them that you're the best person for the position. Be ready with answers to common questions like why you chose to apply to that position, what you hope to get out of the position, how it might fit with your long-term goals, etc. Good questions to ask in this context might include what will be expected of you, what equipment will you be working with, what are the specific goals of the project, etc.

    After that, it's fine to ask questions along the logistics of the position - where will you be stationed, who will you report to, what are the working hours, how is housing typically handled, remuneration or support, etc.
  4. Mar 2, 2015 #3


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    Awesome! I did that one myself many years ago. When they called, it was to tell me I had been selected. They hadn't assigned a mentor to me yet, but I accepted even though I had no idea what field it would be in. Try to see if you can narrow yours down and get contact info for your mentor to see if you should be doing any advance reading or getting some programming experience.
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