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I finished my masters (UK) in media studies last year, and hope to apply for PhD this year. I recently resigned from an industry job at a large MNC during probation.

It is an industry job which I intended to keep while preparing for my PhD application and gaining 'real world' experience (since my topic of interest is related to this industry). However it turned out I could not manage the heavy workload (12-hour days and long commute), researching schools, preparing for GRE and other tests, hence I resigned before I was a confirmed staff so I didn't have to give a longer notice, and hoped to get another job when I feel ready again. I believe I did make solid contributions while on said job; and have had industry placement in the same area during my undergrad years; if these are relevant.

So my questions are,

Would keeping this job which I quitted during probation on my CV reflect badly in PhD applications? Should I just not list it, and let there be a (almost a year long) gap? If not, how should I mention it?

I have this concern because many current students in top programs (US, UK, Europe) in my field had industry experiences, and I am worried I am not competitive enough.

My field is media and cultural studies.

  • Please ask one question per post. I've edited the secondary questions out of this one. You can ask the other questions (e.g. "what can you do now to fill the gap if you can't find a research assistant job") in separate posts if you like. – ff524 Apr 21 '16 at 6:49
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    (1) Definitely mention it. Always keep your CV honest and complete. (2) I'm unfamiliar with your field; but in the fields I'm familiar with, a fairly casual "Was excited about opportunity, and to gain some industry experience, but my passion is academia" should be enough. A lot of people don't go straight from undergrad to Ph.D. - most of those worked in industry for a while to realize that they'd rather do research. I don't see how when you quit matters. Shouldn't be a biggie. (this is not commenting on whatever field-specific requirements or conventions you allude to) – gnometorule Apr 21 '16 at 7:37
  • @gnometorule Can you please turn your comment into an answer so that I can vote for it? – jakebeal Jun 12 '16 at 1:11
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  1. Definitely mention it. Always keep your CV honest and complete.

  2. I'm unfamiliar with your field; but in the fields I'm familiar with, a fairly casual "Was excited about opportunity, and to gain some industry experience, but my passion is academia" should be enough. A lot of people don't go straight from undergrad to Ph.D. - most of those worked in industry for a while to realize that they'd rather do research. I don't see how when you quit matters. Shouldn't be a biggie. (I'm not commenting on whatever field-specific requirements or conventions you allude to)

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