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pavlik

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  • Location
    Washington, DC
  • Application Season
    2014 Fall
  • Program
    MPP/MPA

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  1. Most of the big firms (Deloitte, EY, Accenture, PwC, Booz-Allen) have practices that work in environmental or energy sectors, and probably most if not all of them have Austin offices. I'm sure there are smaller firms in Texas as well, I know Navigant Consulting (mid-sized) has a big energy consulting branch there, albeit in Houston--not sure about Austin. The easiest way to get into that is to intern over the summer at one of the firms. Generally their summer associate programs are pipelines into full-time employment, plus they pay (pretty well) over the summer. Seek out students/alumni in your program who have experience either with consulting in general or specifically the areas that interest you--career services can help you find them if you don't know where to start. They won't be able to give you a job, but they'll be able to explain what the work is like, how they got into it, what kind of skills/background are useful, and so on. Being in Austin may give you the opportunity to intern/work part-time at one of the firms over the school year, which will be a tremendous asset since there's likely less competition for the job. And don't be too discouraged if the Deloitte/other big firm's Austin office doesn't have a huge focus on the sector you're interested in. Companies like that tend to be flexible in where someone's placed, so as long as you're willing to travel and telework often, you could stay in Austin and work closely with their San Antonio/Houston/Dallas office. I work for one of the aforementioned companies and in our health policy team, most are in D.C., but there are a few team members scattered across the country--Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania.
  2. Not really anything specific, as the only few people I know involved with that did so through their school. My advice would be to start with what you can at a local level, and see where that goes. Some relevant experience always counts for a lot.
  3. None of those options may be relevant for a non-American citizen, which it sounds like OP is. If OP is an American citizen, then living abroad wouldn't disqualify him/her from Peace Corps. If you have a college degree and are fluent in English, you can probably get a job teaching abroad, either TEFL or another subject if you have other expertise. There are also opportunities with NGOs for things like disaster relief, election monitoring, etc.
  4. Seconding this. If a bedroom in a 2BD apartment is $500-700, it’s one or more of these: a) not a 2BD, b ) not in DC but a far-flung suburb like Rockville, c) not anywhere near a metro station, d) not in what could be described as a “safe” part of town, and most assuredly e) not near downtown or GWU. In fact, you’re not going to find anything for $500 here. Unless you share a bedroom or live in Baltimore. Case in point: my first rental in DC was a month-to-month room in an older 2BD1BA for $750/month (utilities included). It met conditions c) and e) of the above—the closest metro was a 15-minute bus or bike ride away and was about 20-30 minutes from downtown/Foggy Bottom, while still being in DC. That was over 2 years ago, and it was a wonderful deal, despite the tiny kitchen and decrepit window A/C unit. Looking back, I regret moving closer into town for a slightly pricier and even more decrepit 2BD in Adams Morgan. Turned out the Adams Morgan apartment was next to a Spanish discoteca (not the best place to get sleep Thu-Sat nights), had rats, and a shitty roommate (who stole from me and left drugs all over the place). A more realistic budget to live in a 2BD near Foggy Bottom or a metro station would be $900 (on the low end) to $1300. Higher prices probably preclude roommates like the 2nd one I had.
  5. It was actually somewhat difficult tracking down the first time I did for a prospective student, but here you go: http://courses.georgetown.edu/index.cfm?Action=List&ProgramID=68&AcademicYear=2014&AcademicTerm=FallSpring#_ga=1.19267071.637415023.1417460599
  6. Здравствуй! I don't know much about Syracuse and not that much about the MPM program here, but I understand that the summer courses are not that quantitative-intensive. I think your legal background and lack of math/econ/stats won't be that important. The 4 core courses for the summer are Ethics, Public Management Innovations, Decision Making in Public Policy, and Public Policy Process. I've taken 2 similar courses, and neither are demanding in mathematical terms. I didn't have much of a math background coming into the program, and I've done so far. The professors are excellent here, and there are many opportunities to get extra help if you need. If you want to talk more, send me a private message here (click on my name and you should see an option to send message).
  7. Try reaching out to Derricka McDaniel, who I know has been coordinating some prospective students' visits. Her email is dbm46 [at] georgetown.edu
  8. This is exactly the correct attitude about this. As long as you're prepared for the sacrifices and work it entails, you're in good shape. The key is, I think, being able to make the sacrifices to get the job/career you want, and that you know you want this.
  9. Like MPP 2016 said, McCourt runs a (mandatory, I think) econ and math boot camp after orientation in August. Those are not transferable for credit, but there is a waiver exam. Not sure on the details since I didn't bother, but email someone in admin at MSPP if you're interested. I also had to take microecon prior to enrolling. You don't need to go anywhere prestigious, but they did suggest somewhere with an in-person instructor, i.e. not online. A community college was perfectly fine. Since I was already in D.C., I took the class at USA Graduate School (formerly the USDA's professional development school). It was cheap ($400), flexible with the hours (it met Wednesday evenings after work), and I feel that they adequately prepared me for the classes here. If you're in D.C. or moving here soon, that's definitely an option for you (my class ran from April to June of last year). Otherwise, look into a community college if that's available. And some others have asked, but the funding offers are renewable in your second year so long as you maintain good standing and full-time enrollment.
  10. Also not sure what you mean by Columbian school, but someone at McCourt would be your best contact. Email is 100% fine, especially if you're not in the U.S. at the moment.
  11. This is all a personal decision, and only you will know what's best for you in the end. But there are a few things I want to point out (that others have raised as well). 1) Assuming that you'll get a job with the federal government for the loan forgiveness program is a dicey proposition at best. Unless you're a veteran or have special preference for noncompetitive eligibility such as being a former Peace Corps Volunteer, it can be very difficult to land a job through the public application process, especially if you don't have 2 years of work experience. A large number of jobs on USAJobs.gov are there as a legal formality; an agency often knows who they'll hire before the job is even posted, but they legally have to post it anyway. Pro tip: anything with oddly specific skills/experience listed is probably one of these, i.e. "Minimum 5 years of experience with research into Belarussian bilateral trade agreement policy." So, don't assume that getting a federal job will be easy as pie with a master's. 2) Similarly, assuming that the job market will be much easier to navigate once you have a master's is a very optimistic hope, to say the least. Real-world experience is worth much more to most employers than more academia. And it's a false dichotomy to assume you have to jump into the job market and settle for whatever you find if you don't stay in school. There are loads of opportunities out there--Fulbright, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America (and the various state/city spinoffs), teaching English in Korea, etc.--that will do nothing but bolster your resume, and many will give you the opportunity to save. 3) In D.C., master's degrees are like college degrees in other cities. They don't really distinguish you that much. My girlfriend formerly worked for a prestigious foreign policy think tank here. They would get literally hundreds of applications for entry-level positions in the communications department (not even one of the policy programs) paying $35,000/year from master's candidates, people with experience in the field or in other settings, etc. I interviewed for a part-time paid internship/research assistant position last fall, but took myself out of the process after I accepted another offer. The person who took that part-time, $13/hour job has a master's from one of the popular schools on this forum, according to LinkedIn. I'm not trying to scare anyone (OK, maybe a little), but just know that a master's degree isn't a guaranteed ticket to your dream job. That being said--no one knows you like you. If you know you won't ever be better prepared than now, then go for it. But think of applications to schools like a job offer. What do you have to bring to the program? Obviously, the main things they're looking for are intelligence, academic inclination, and work ethic (mostly assessed on GPA and GRE), but having demonstrated work experience in this or a related field makes you a more attractive candidate for both admission and funding.
  12. Gov2School is right, basically everyone wants to live in Dupont Circle/Adams Morgan (and to a lesser extent, Cleveland Park). I'd start with where your classes are--i.e. if GWU, then Foggy Bottom, SAIS is in Dupont, Georgetown, AU is in Tenleytown, etc.--and look around the immediate area there and areas well-connected to that by rail or bus. Biking is also an excellent way to get around--usually faster than any other means of transport (even driving) for distances under 2-3 miles--although some of the hills in NW DC can be killer (the rest of the city is pretty flat). Also, it will save you occasional frustration to live where you don't need to transfer buses/metro lines to get to campus--i.e. live on the blue, orange, or silver lines if you go to GWU, red line (which, as noted, is a hot mess 50% of the time) if SAIS. Here are some general neighborhoods you and other students coming to DC may want to look in: Brookland: It's in NE DC, but on the red line and manages the rare combination of being cheap, reasonably safe, and connected. Catholic University is nearby, so there are a lot of students in the area. I think they got a new grocery store lately. Mt. Pleasant: quiet corner of NW DC between Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights. Not super close to a metro but has bus lines and is a 10-15 minute walk from metro stations. Bikeable to/from downtown, although it's on a hill. Tenleytown: further away, but still in DC and on the metro line. Good grocery stores, safe, fairly car-friendly if you're bringing one. Near AU, bus access to Georgetown also. (red line) Glover Park: Not near a metro, but fairly cheap, safe, and neighborhood-feeling area north of Georgetown. Walkable to both Georgetown and AU, decent bus access to Foggy Bottom and Dupont. Lots of grad/med students from AU/Georgetown/GWU here. Rosslyn: in Arlington just across the river. Not the most character, but very close to Foggy Bottom (one station) and Georgetown (across the bridge and free shuttle). Fairly cheap. Lots of GU/GWU students. (blue/orange/silver line) Shaw: Just east of Logan Circle (which is just east of Dupont). Rapidly gentrifying and hip area. Close to (parts of) downtown. Metro station and all that (green and yellow line) Petworth:Similar to Shaw, but north of Columbia Heights instead. Further away from downtown and up a hill, but it's a fairly popular neighborhood (also green/yellow line) Cathedral Heights:kind of the no-man's-land between Glover Park and Tenleytown, but has a brand-new grocery store that's super nice and is connected by bus to Georgetown, Tenleytown, and Foggy Bottom (a pretty long ride for FB though). Apartments are cheap here, and it's very safe, but pretty boring and not near a metro. Best views in town, though. And a good pizzeria (called 2Amy's). On what I think is the tallest hill in town (hence the views), so biking should be fun. That's a short and biased assessment of some neighborhoods. I think the most important thing is to 1) figure out what your budget is then 2) figure out what your values in living are--short commute, fun vs. quiet neighborhood, safety and 3) find a neighborhood and apartment that suits your needs. It's difficult to do remotely and too far in advance (most landlords don't bother advertising until a month or so before the apartment becomes vacant), but it's manageable once you're here.
  13. "Prestige" is a pretty subjective concept, and varies from person to person and place to place. It sometimes matters and never does at once. Will coming from a better-known program help you get an internship or interview more readily? That's probably the case. Will it get you the position? Not if you don't interview well and seem like a good fit for the organization. It's a very regional thing, as well. SAIS is probably likely to count for more on the East Coast of the U.S. or in Western Europe, while places like Berkeley would count for more in California. As you and beefmaster noted, experience counts for a lot more. "Prestige" is useful insofar as it helps you get experience. It may give you a slight leg up in an application for an internship or entry-level position, but that's probably about it. More important is probably the size and helpfulness of the alumni network, career services support, and connections of the faculty. Which correlate with prestige, but aren't necessarily exclusive to the "top" schools.
  14. If you live alone, be prepared to pay for it. Probably the cheapest you can find is $1200 or $1300 per month for a shitty studio/1BD, and that would be a very good find. Probably more likely to find studios for $1400+ and 1BDs for $1500+. If you live with roommates, you can lower that cost to less than $1000, as low as $700 or so potentially (depending on the neighborhood). So it's a good way to save in an expensive city. It won't be hard to team up with incoming classmates or other students in DC, there are thousands coming here every summer. And almost everyone I know here lived with roommates off Craigslist for at least some time, so it's completely normal here. You could stick to looking at houses/apartments only with other graduate students if you want to be sure everyone will be on the same page when it comes to studying, schedules, etc. If cost isn't a concern, then by all means go for your own place. But otherwise, living with other students (even if they're from another school/program) should be a fine experience, plus an easy way to meet people early on.
  15. That's actually pretty disappointing to hear. I'd hold out hope that this means they're putting together lots of funding offers. At least "the end of March" is only 10 days away or so.
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