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OCD or Perfection?

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About OCD or Perfection?

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    Espresso Shot

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    Male
  • Location
    Houston, TX
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Education Leadership

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  1. You've said mostly pretty solid things but I would say that the average salary number is way off, especially for SLPs. Graduates of school leadership program who end up taking leadership positions in the area start off above 80k (that's the lowest end of Assistant Principal salaries in MA, to say nothing of comps in NY, CA, IL where most SLP grads head to after). I remember when I did this research around application time, average salaries for Ed. M. was $62K. As far as the SLP program is concerned, it is worth its (financial) weight in gold.
  2. Many many congratulations to all of you. I am an HGSE' 15 graduating student and instead of living alone, I was part of a six-person house of students coming to HGSE from India, Florida, Pakistan, Texas, France, and New York. Intentionally, we are all from different cohorts and from many different countries and religions. Staying together, we have been able to make the most of the (very) short year at HGSE. Right from insight into dozens of different courses we were collectively taking, to getting the opportunity to network across HGSE’s 13 cohorts, to sharing an Uber to events happening all over the city– we had the best of times this year staying together. Not only that, we saved massively on rent! We pushed each other intellectually and personally, helped find jobs, select classes—two of us are starting a company and moving to Silicon Valley upon graduation. How did we do it? At the very beginning, two of us got together and decided on what we wanted most out of this year. Then we put up a post on the 2015 group advertising our ideas, many people were eager to be part of ‘the house’. When we started thinking about this last April, we had no idea if anyone would be interested. By the time we finalized the last six, we had over 40 people apply, around a dozen of whom we seriously considered before making decisions. We had discussions with several students to find a match (we also had a spreadsheet where each of us shared biographical information, future professional goals, experiences, political views, religious inclinations, and many other such things) and finally we diversified the house to have different cohorts, experiences and interests! You can create a house to suit your needs, all from same cohort, two cohorts or complete diversity – you will be fine anyway you go. A key part of this experience is also getting the right house. A warm welcoming house which has plenty of common space, enough to host party for an entire cohort. You should try and secure such a house, that ways you would be able to have different cohorts, professors over at your place every now and then. It’s a super-fast way to get to know your class, to form a network and to tap into opportunities at Harvard and elsewhere. Best of all, we are here to support you. If anyone, or a group, is interested in taking the lead on organizing something similar this year—we are happy to meet with you, talk to you, and connect you with both our experience and the resources we have from last year. We are excited to help you brainstorm logistically (house type, rent, distance etc) and intellectually (what to look for in roommates that will push your thinking, whether same cohort, people from across Harvard grad schools vs. MIT and many other things). We also have a list of realtors we worked with—and actually, might have just the magic house for a group of 5 or 6 (details on that later). So, if you are interested, feel free to reach out to me. I work well with messaging—feel free to add me on facebook.
  3. Congratulations to everyone who got admitted! This is such an exciting time for you and the beginning of what I promise will be a transformative journey. As current students, we are looking forward to welcoming you on campus soon and are getting ready to engage with the great minds that will be joining us soon. I saw lots of questions about scholarships and fin-aid. Based on the experience from last year, I can share that that information has not yet been released and will probably be shared out by the time you're getting ready to make a decision to fly out for admitted students' day. Once again, my heartiest congratulations and best wishes during this exciting time. Feel free to reach out if you have questions around where to stay etc. that have not already been answered on the HGSE admitted students' website!
  4. you're fine! HIGH! true-around 4%. Everyone should apply for deferral to masters. A good bird in hand.
  5. ummmm...rhfer...HGSE has programs with an acceptance rate over 50%. I wouldn't worry.
  6. Good morning HGSE hopefuls. Last year, when I was going through this extremely stressful process, a couple of current HGSE students stepped into our year's thread and gave some valuable information. As such, I want to pay it forward and offer some suggestions: 1. Connect with a current student who is an ambassador. You can do this here: http://www.gse.harvard.edu/admissions/student-and-alumni-ambassadors 2. In connecting with students or admissions department, try your best not to ask questions the answers to which are already listed on websites. 3. At the same time, questions about which program to apply to vs. others, and other such things are fair game and very helpful to you. 4. Attend any virtual/in person things you can; they help with anxiety and you get lots of answers to questions you didn't know you had. http://www.gse.harvard.edu/admissions/events 5. Start writing your personal statement three months ago. At this point, that should nearly be the only thing you are working on. Try to address not only what you already know but the burning questions you are bringing with you that will add to the learning of the entire school. In writing your personal statement, focus on these three questions: why you why now why HGSE 6. The GRE is truly one part of the application; a smaller, less significant part. Remember that HGSE is a big part of the dialogue around standardized testing, what it captures, and what it misses. They take that into consideration and when they use the word holistic, they really mean it. 7. There are two HGSE scholarships available; the urban scholars award and the leadership in education award. Whether you think you'll qualify for them or not---APPLY! You may be amazed! 8. This is no hard science but if you have extensive (5+ years) experience, it would be advisable to get two professional and one academic LOR. LORs should always be from people who know YOU very well; not from people the world knows. A generic letter from Bill Gates is a lot less impressive than from your bicycle mechanic who can speak honestly to you. This is Harvard; no shortage of impressive people here. 9. Finally, it is exciting and humbling when we hear from you; do not be shy to reach out, this is a great community.
  7. I am going to Harvard. My 4 roommates are as follows: 1. Fresh out of India's top school undergrad, never worked a day in his life. GRE=similar to yours. 2. 2 years ago undergrad from no-name uni. Worked at non-profits (started a non-profit connecting people). Average academics. 3. 4 years experience working for ed-tech startup, out of UC-Berkley. No idea about scores. 4. 7 years experience teaching in district schools. Scores are slightly higher than yours. 5. My story is below. I think you have a great chance of getting into the schools you've mentioned. I would venture to suggest not to consider TC along the same lines as Penn and HGSE. If you have time, retake the GRE; in the GRE forum I have some specific advice on how you can increase your scores significantly-the scores are pretty decent anyway, not stellar-in particular that writing score. As someone mentioned, especially for someone who is an English major-for top 1% schools, you probably want to do better than 72%ile in writing. Your GPA is strong-HGSE will weigh the difference between a gpa from Berkley vs. a 4.0 from a no-name school. Vis-a-vis the application, the often-ignored part of it is the recommendations and the personal statement. Don't try to get Bill Gates to write your letter---the letter is about your hard work and professionalism, not some accomplished chair or alumnus. None of the three people that wrote my letters had a PhD. I selected people who I thought could speak best about my academics and experience. You should get 2 professors and 1 supervisor (most recent) to write your letters. At the end of the day--the most important thing is your personal statement. Remember to focus your personal statement on three questions: 1. Why you? 2. Why Harvard (or another school)? 3. Why now? If you need help, feel free to reach out!
  8. Direct supervisors, always. Between LORs, you should have: 1. Direct (and current) supervisor 2. Professor-preferably someone you've done research with 3. Pick one between an ex-supervisor and ex-professor-whoever is strongest.
  9. Jordan and I are two, recently introduced, incoming HGSE students, super excited to make the most out of our short time at HGSE. We’re seeking 3-4 roommates who are just as pumped. We’d like to find a big house where we can live together, community-style, among folks who enjoy deep conversation about educational equity, social entrepreneurship and other creative outlets to get the most out of our collective experience. Hopefully, by the end of the year we’ll discover/develop some type of social project that resonates with each of our passions. If not, that’s cool too. More importantly, our home will be a place of friendship, collaboration, critical thinking, awesomeness, and challenging/provocative (yet meaningful) conversations. This is going to be fun. It will be an inclusive space for all those who want it. Even if we’re not roommates, I’m sure we’ll spend a few late nights brainstorming in the house soon! If you’re interested in these ideas, and want to be a roommate shoot me or Jordan a message and we can chat more from there!! Looking for (in a roommate): You’re open-minded, sociable, well-traveled (or just have plenty of stories to share), and motivated most by your surroundings. You also have some experience with, or curiosity in, tech/entrepreneurship/nonprofits/media/business. All genders are welcome, and maybe even a cute couple or dog (though it might strain the housing search). Looking for (in a house): The house will be a hub for creativity and intellectual growth. Costs (rent+utilities) will ideally be under $1000/person, and location will be within 20 minutes of Harvard by public transport. We have shortlisted some gorgeous houses and could use some help from other roommates to choose the spot. 5/10 of the houses we're looking at are within 6 minute walk of campus. Again - If you’re interested in these ideas, and want to be a roommate shoot me or Jordan a message on facebook and we can chat more from there!! Ali: https://www.facebook.com/nomanimali Jordan: https://www.facebook.com/jordan.magid?fref=ts
  10. This is hard to advise on without any names. If your choices are Harvard, Columbia and University of Miami; Harvard is the best pick in terms of slightly cheaper/better housing than NYC. Harvard's name is also usually immune from fluctuations in the job market and gives you the best shot at getting sponsored for work visas post graduation. This is a shot in the complete dark btw.
  11. This is good to hear. I don't mean to, at all, undermine the work people do for education outside of the campus either; just that I think that when kids interact with people from Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, xyz these big intimidating names seem pretty accessible and within reach to them
  12. You are right. Harvard has 13 concentrations at the Master's level. Out of these (arguably) only three prepare students to unequivocally work directly with students at the school level. These are Prevention Science and Practice (PSP), School Leadership Program (SLP) and the Teacher Education Program (TEP). This is not to say that other concentrations cannot go into working directly with students; it just seems that the programs are not designed for them to do so. While I fully appreciate the importance of educators' preparation for research and policymaking that HGSE designs most of its programs for, I really wish there were more Harvard people actually interacting with students instead of going to work in leadership positions in UN, district leadership positions or other policy areas. If anything, it would make more students see these people as normal everyday people that went to a great school which they, too, can one day attend. I was able to access mine but my friend is having the same issues as you are. Hopefully it will become available soon. Best of luck with the aid package
  13. Wait longer. I was called and notified of my scholarship decision three weeks ago. And then I received it by email two days ago. The official email info stated it was $2000 less than what I had been told on the phone, was a minority scholarship (no thank you) and was not guaranteed ("all TC scholarships are subject to change").
  14. Seems very close to my assessment. Acceptance rates within programs also differ. I think my program, School Leadership, has a high acceptance rate. Could be complete untrue.
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