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About hopeful88

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    2013 Fall
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  1. Sure you can be bumped up a waitlist...because you convince the school that you really want to go there and would be a great fit. I don't think it has anything to do with how early or late you were waitlisted. The single most important thing you can do is to enthusiastically express interest in the program. Reach out the head of admissions. Let them know much you want to attend and why you would be a great fit. If possible, arrange for an in-person tour. Also, be very careful about pursuing a waitlisted position at an expensive school, as you will surely forego major funding opportunities. I
  2. Hmm, well, I'm no expert but your GRE quant score seems fine. Analytical writing is low but it sounds like English is a second language for you. As long as you turn in technically proficient essays (which doesn't seem like a problem since your grammar and writing appears to be fluent in these posts) I would think that wouldn't ding you too much. I don't know as much about the Cornell program, but the other three you listed (Harvard, Princeton, Columbia) are extremely competitive, especially for funding . You seem to have a decent profile but I certainly wouldn't count on getting money from any
  3. Why do you want an MPA if you already have an MPP? That doesn't really make sense to me, so would definitely be something you need to explain to any admissions committee. Are you aware of the degree of overlap in these degree programs that often occurs in the US? Perhaps your MPP is from an international institution, but if you want a US degree in order to try to work here, that is by no means a given. Have you considered other paths toward whatever your end goal is?
  4. I would not worry about age, at all. These are professional programs. More work experience is a positive. Depending on the school, you might find yourself to be a bit on the older end of your cohort, but I guarantee you won't be the only one. For U.S. programs, being an international student IS international experience. Take this with a grain of salt, because my area of specialty is domestic policy. But you say you are interested in finance policy in developing economies, and you have grown up in and worked in a developing economy. Maybe you can use grad school as an opportunity to become
  5. Yes, go. Sounds like you have nothing to lose. I don't think it makes a huge difference, but it can be helpful to meet admissions staff members who attend the fairs. Pick out your top programs, and make a point to talk with someone at each of those booths. Why not? Show them that you are interested in and knowledgeable about the programs you intend to apply to.
  6. I would argue that it is actually a disadvantage to earn a professional degree without any work experience. When you finish school, you will then be competing for an entirely different set of jobs, against people who have both the same credentials AND more work experience. You will be overqualified for entry level positions where you could probably excel at this point in time, and you will be underqualified for more advanced positions (at least in comparison to the competition). If you can get a full-ride somewhere, then maybe it would be worth it to go. You sound smart and motivated, and I'm
  7. What about a joint MPP/MSW? That's a good option if you're interested in social welfare policy (as opposed to just organizational management). But it sounds like that may not be your goal.
  8. Ok...I'll give it a try. 1. Sounds like you're interested in domestic policy, so I wouldn't worry so much about lack of fluency in another language (especially since you speak passable Spanish). 2. Quant score looks pretty solid to me. Maybe not as strong as your language scores, but those are stellar. Generally you want to hit 75th percentile or above for quant, which you've certainly done. 3. This is where you may run into problems. You are (relatively) fresh out of undergrad, sounds like you're making headway advancing in your current job. Why grad school, and why now? You wi
  9. Don't mean to imply any incompetence on your part :). I think the Math GRE maps better onto HS level concepts. Annoying, but nevertheless a barrier one must overcome. Good luck with the admissions process!
  10. I don't have personal experience applying to Econ PhD programs, but that seems like a really low and problematic quant score, considering how quant heavy an Econ PhD is. For reference, I got a 157Q and found that I was on the bubble for top MPP programs. I did get in, but it affected my funding options. And I'm more focused on qualitative research and had a 168V. If you're posting in this forum, I assume you're interested in econometrics, which requires substantial statistical expertise. Hence the red flag from your quant score. You might want to consider pushing back your application cycle,
  11. I agree with the above. I would also advise you to look into Research Assistant positions at policy think tanks that dabble in your areas of interest (think Brookings, Center for American Progress). The pay probably won't be great but this would allow you to develop your quant skills and gain more experience in public policy. This type of position was a common pathway into my grad program.
  12. I should add...this advice only applies if you do not already have relevant professional connections in the area you want to live. For example, if you already are working in the right field, but need additional qualifications for a promotion--go for the cheapest option and then move back to the place where you already have ties. However, assuming that you don't currently have the right connections on the West Coast, I think it's well worth it to pay more for a strong local alumni network and relevant experiences and connections during grad school. Just my two cents
  13. Short answer: Yes. If you know for sure that you want to work on the West Coast after graduation, go to school there. You will make a wealth of professional connections during your time in grad school that should ease your way into finding the right job in the place you want to be, and the local alumni network will prove valuable as well. Is it impossible to go to school in MN and then find work on the West Coast? Of course not. It will be more difficult, however. If this is is really a top criterion for what you want to get out of grad school, then I think it's worth the extra $.
  14. I'd go for the two year program--that gives you plenty of time to get a solid grounding in quantitative methods a (very marketable skill set for the type of education work you're describing), and also take interesting electives. If you do a one year program, you'll need to really buckle down and take skills oriented courses only in order to get the most value out of the program, and it may limit your ability to explore content matter courses. You can map your courses out ahead of time if you're worried about getting overwhelmed by too much choice. You'll also have more time to explore differen
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