As early career professionals, Ertegun Scholars must work to balance the enjoyment of our present moment with taking meaningful steps toward promising futures. Fortunately, in the presence of colleagues who are eminently qualified and who display such generosity in their mentorship, even the most serious matters are animated by a convivial spirit. A number of conversations in Ertegun House this term made it apparent that thoughts of further graduate study were in the minds of several of the Scholars and application season loomed with equal amounts of excitement and dread. It was consequently decided to hold a forum on doctoral applications. This took the form of an informal Q&A with five Ertegun Scholars, past and present, who are currently on doctoral programmes and kindly gave time to talk about their experiences and to answer our multiple queries.
They were: Friar Andrew Hochstedler, Lena Zlock, and Andrew Sanchez, who have all been in Oxford this term as Continuing Scholars, Emily Cox, now studying for a PhD in Art History at Yale University, and Lacy Jones, also at Yale where, in the English department, she is working on a PhD on poetry and theology. A fascinating discussion flowed as we were able to gain a better sense of the comparative experiences of doctoral programmes in the UK and the US; of what is being looked for by prospective faculties and supervisors; and how to stay calm when one feels as though one is drowning in the quantity of forms and submissions. For those Ertegun Scholars keen to take their academic studies to the next level, this conversation was invaluable.