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About plddp

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  1. Thanks everyone, this is really helpful
  2. Hi everyone, just looking for a sounding board on this one: is it crazy to be considering Duke vs. Princeton? I was fortunate to get full funding from Duke, and I think with differences in cost of living (particularly if my partner lives in NY) the stipend from Princeton just evens things out. I did a campus visit to Duke and went to the hosting weekend at Princeton. Both programs felt very similar in terms of their very personal/welcoming approach and focus on strong academics. The class I sat in on at Duke was very impressive (both in terms of lecturer and student engagement) but less so at Princeton, but they were different subjects and I'm sure there are idiosyncrasies across courses at any school. The student culture at Princeton was amazing, but I don't want to be too swayed by that because I didn't get to experience it at Duke. Both seem to have good opportunities to pursue my interests in behavioural science and program evaluation, albeit in quite different contexts. Right now, the main thing making me lean towards Princeton is that I'm not American, and the campus/town/alumni felt more cosmopolitan than at Duke/Durham. The Princeton name is also much more recognised where I'm from (maybe Fresh Prince of Bel Air/West Wing played a role?) but name isn't everything to me. On the other hand, Princeton seems to have strengths in international policy but I am more interested in domestic, developed country issues (just not the US in particular). Thanks for reading and for any thoughts
  3. Neither did I (traveling from Australia)
  4. Great, thanks for confirming!
  5. Still no details right? Just want to make sure I haven't lost a link somewhere in my inbox...
  6. Hey, looks like the email was sent around 6 hours ago
  7. Yes for me too! So unexpected! Good luck to everyone else waiting
  8. I'm in the same boat (from Australia) - is it worth flying over for the new admits days? Do many students from different continents go to them?
  9. Accepted!
  10. I was accepted with $42k - very pleasantly surprised and grateful after receiving no funding from Chicago. Thanks @chocolatecheesecake for encouraging me to apply!
  11. I was admitted but with no funding -- which was only confirmed by emailing the admissions staff. (A bit disappointed that there was no separate letter informing me of the scholarship decision, like the acceptance letter implied.)
  12. Has anyone else had the experience of applying to grad school from an existing policy role, wanting to switch or broaden policy focus, but also relying on a letter from a current employer who does not want you to leave? I'm worried that my personal statement will imply that I want to eventually leave the organisation and that this might induce a less positive letter or weaken my relationship with my letter writer if I do return to my current role after study or in case I am unsuccessful in my applications. I've spoken to the letter writer and explained the divergence between my interests and the work that the organisation does, but she (very persuasively) made an argument that I could apply my interests while remaining in the organisation. But on reflection, I'm less convinced, and while I've given a shout-out to her ideas in my personal statement, I didn't want to limit my personal statement to the application of my interests to my current organisation. I'll have to send my letter writer my personal statement soon so she can get started on the letter, but was hoping for any advice on how to deal with the situation. Thanks in advance
  13. Hi everyone, I'm new here (applying for the first time for Fall 2017) and would very much appreciate any feedback and advice. The whole application process has made me feel quite anxious, given all the very impressive people on this forum as well as all the high achievers that I work with, but at the same time I acknowledge that parts of my profile seem quite strong - so I hope I don't intimidate anyone else or sound ridiculously insecure! My main concern is consistency; I have a good academic record, but am more mediocre in other aspects (I'm quite introverted/shy by nature so have not put myself out there as much as I should have, but am slowly trying to change this). Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): US MPP/MPAs and some UK MSc/MPhils as backups if I don't get any offers with funding for the former (which are so expensive!) Schools Applying To: MPP/MPAs: WWS, HKS, Chicago Harris and possibly GSPP and Heinz. Undergraduate institution: One of the higher profile Australian unis Undergraduate GPA: 3.98 Undergraduate Majors: Economics (incl. Honours year) and Psychology, with a minor in Computer Science. Study Abroad: none GRE: I lucked out and got 170Q, 170V and 6.0 AWA Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 6 Years of Work Experience: 6 Describe Relevant Work Experience: 5 years working as an economist/analyst at a central bank and a year working on financial regulation/consumer policy at a federal government department. Languages: none really - I really struggle to learn new languages. Have some basic fluency in my parents' subcontinental language (not one of the more common ones) and have tried to self-teach Spanish and French in the past but have no conversational ability. Quant: first year linear algebra/calculus/discrete maths (for science undergrads); advanced undergrad micro/macroeconomics and 'mathematical economics'; and a bunch of compulsory econometrics/applied stats from my economics and psychology majors. Strength of SOP: Working on this; don't have too much unique experience to draw on and will have to explain my desire to change direction from macroeconomic analysis and policy to more microeconomic/social policy development and evaluation (all with a focus on incorporating a better understanding of human behaviour and well-being). Rather than wanting to build on existing experience, my main motivation for wanting to pursue graduate study is to shift direction and apply my skills to a broader range of policy issues. I also can't convincingly say that I have a specific area of public policy that I'd like to focus on. Instead, I want to develop my expertise in behavioural science and policy evaluation since these seem to be relevant to a wide range of domains. Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): I've approached a former immediate manager in the public service who I suspect will write a very positive letter; the head of my department (who is very enthusiastic about my behavioural science interests but is keen to have me stay at my current institution) also offered to write one but it might not be as personal since I haven't worked directly with her. My main concern is my third, academic reference, who supervised my economics Honours thesis but strongly recommended I pursue a US economics PhD rather than an MPP/MSc since he considers the latter to be a waste of time/money apart from the uni's brand. I am about to write an email to him explaining the decision I've come to and hopefully he respects my choice and writes positively about my academic ability and initiative. Other: I've done a bit of volunteering, including a couple of years tutoring high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds in maths and physics, tutoring and social development outings with younger children from refugee backgrounds, and a bit of data analysis for a charity, but none of it on a long-term/frequent basis. I have also co-authored a couple of journal articles in economics and data analysis, plus co-authored central bank publications if that's worth anything at all. Thanks a bunch for reading
  14. Thanks both, really appreciate the suggestions. The CMU Heinz program was one that I hadn't looked at before. Do any other schools come to mind?
  15. Hi, I'm planning to apply for MPP/MPA programs in the coming months and am looking for more information about the schools that I should apply to. I am particularly interested in the ways in which research from behavioural science (psychology in particular) can be used to both improve the effectiveness of policy and assess the impacts of policy on well-being. So in addition to solid training in microeconomics, econometrics and program evaluation, I'm looking for schools where I will have an opportunity to explore the applications of behavioural science to public policy. It seems like Harvard, Princeton and Chicago will be a good fit given their faculty and courses in this area, but do you know of other schools in the US or UK that have this focus? (I have undergraduate degrees in economics and psychology, but my career so far has been in central banking/macrofinancial policy; I'm looking to transition into micro/social policy over time). Thanks in advance for any advice!