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Below are the 4 most recent journal entries recorded in Graduate School in Chemistry's LiveJournal:

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007
12:27 pm
vacation woes
So I just came back from my relaxing trip from Mexico with the family. Now I'm headed to Evanston and I realize that I left some of my research papers at the resort. Oye...and the thing is, I actually read only one of the four papers I brought. Damnit!
Wednesday, June 27th, 2007
3:41 pm
The Power of Internships: Academic vs Industrial
Okay, so I'm writing yet another post because I have had enough of studying for quals, and my synthesis is going well in the furnaces. One of the undergrads in my lab is a youngin and asked the difference between academic and industrial internships.So after giving my advice (damn, I give a lot of advice for someone not that high in my lab), this is what I have experienced.

The Power of $$$
-MUCHO DINERO. All my friends who did industrial internships made WAY more than I did in my academic internships (namely REUs). REUs typically pay anywhere from $3000-5000 depending on where it is and depending on whether they give you money for an apartment/dorm or not. (If you guys wanna know about my personal experience with money, I can give a complete reportlater). Now, let us compare my friends who worked at P&G, Albemarle, and other companies. They made $10,000 + housing allowances for the same amount of work I did. Actually, it wasnt even the same amount of work. I worked around 50-60 hours a week, while they worked 40. Gah...

The Power of Connections
-There's a big difference here. This is where academic internships are WAY better than industrial ones (unless your industrial one is connected to academic research, then you can have the best of both worlds). With REUs, you interact with professors, i.e. experts in field. I know that my REU letters of rec got me into several schools (it was even cited in my letter), and so impressing those people are really good since they can have pull on admissions committees. Now, letters of recommendation from industry dont have as much pull typically because the admissions committee doesnt know the person. Dont let this make you slack though. If you sucked ass in a academic REU but rocked in an industrial, your letter from industry will be better even if they dont know the person.

The Power of Publications
-Again, another big difference. Industry is typically secretive, and unless you're INCREDIBLY lucky, your work will only be published in an internal company report. You cant exactly cite that due to IP laws and agreements they typically make you sign. Now, look at academic internships where more than likely, you'll end up co-authoring something. Publications = big deal in grad school applications.

And that's pretty much it. It all comes down to do you want a lot of money for the summer, or do you want to experience graduate school lifestyle (including the underpaid-ness) of it all. I leave that up to you.
1:39 pm
Graduate Placement Exams
It's that time of the year..or at least it's going to be that time of the year soon. I know that several people have been asking me about graduate placement exams that use the ACS standardized exam. Asmuch as I am NOT a fan of these exams, I'm wondering what other people think is the best way to study for these.

My personal experience is studying through my Chemistry GRE book and review and studying the crap outta that. Also, the questions on the chem GRE and the ACS exams are similar, at least in scope. As far as textbooks to study from, here is stuff that I found most pertinent...along with little mini reviews

Physical Chemistry:
1) Physical Chemistry, Atkins, the latest edition
-THE ULTIMATE PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY BOOK. Well, it's the one I primarily used as an undergraduate (for both PChem I and II). It helped out tremendously in reviewing thermodynamics, but the electrochemistry part wasnt really useful. The exam I took covered quantum, thermodynamics, and kinetics, so I give it a A on covering the latter two topics.

2) Quantum Chemistry, 5th Edition, Levine
-In addition to my own quantum chem notes from undergrad, this book (which we used in the grad lvl class) helped out tremendously on the grad placement exam. If you're going to be a hardcore physical chemist, use this..as for me..it's in my 'library'

Inorganic Chemistry:
1) Inorganic Chemistry 2nd edition, Miessler and Tarr
-One of the books we used in undergrad. Best part is that it's not thick and does a really good review of descriptive inorganic chemistry. I highly recommend the chapter on simple bonding models which totally helps out when reviewing for group theory. Also, it has one of the best explanation of 'isolobal' and the '18 electron rule' for organometallics. Totally helped out.

2) Inorganic Chemistry: Principles of Structure and Reactivity, 4th Edition, Huheey, Keiter and Keiter
-This is what I used in the grad level class as an undergrad and it has everything. It's the Atkins for inorganic, but it's thick and it's sooooo hard to trudge through by yourself. (The same can be said for Atkins). I recommend using the Miessler and Tarr for basic studying, and then using this book to go into more detail. These two work well together IMHO.

Organic Chemistry:
1) Organic Chemistry 5th Edition, Carey
-My undergrad textbook. LOVE it. Learn it. Even though I personally am not a fan of organic chemistry, going through the summaries at the end of each chapter totally helped me study for the placement exam. I prefer this one over the Brown and Foote. In addition, if you are pursuing organic for grad school, it really helps since your advanced organic texts are by Carey as well.

2) Organic Chemistry 4th Edition, Brown, Foote, and Iverson (previous versions just had Brown and Foote)
-What my friends used. They likedit for some reason. I looked through it, and going through Carey to this one is bleh.

That's all. I only had to take these three exams, so yeah..for those who have to take the Biochem ad Analytical Placement exams..what are y'alls thoughts?
12:28 pm
New community!
This is a place where chemists (namely graduate and postdocs) can rant/rave and ask about chemistry/research.
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