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ExponentialDecay last won the day on September 1 2018

ExponentialDecay had the most liked content!


About ExponentialDecay

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  1. Not commenting w/r/t the specific situation with your visa, but I wouldn't attack @PokePsych for trying to be helpful and saying something that is very true. Moreover, not only are departments usually clueless about visa policies, but HR, legal and even the ISO can make mistakes and give bad advice. From the State Department's perspective, you and you alone are responsible for maintaining your visa status, so if you have problems because of some bad advice you followed - from your school, your lawyer, who cares - you are screwed. So just as a general piece of advice from someone who has spent a decade on F1, by all means listen to your provost and the international office, but double check everything they say with a second (qualified, of course) opinion or by reading all of the relevant legal documents yourself. Most visa stuff is handled on the USCIS website, but you may need to look up tax treaties etc for financial matters. Seriously, your visa status in the US is serious shit, especially in this administration. So stay vigilant and don't get nasty with people who try to help you out
  2. This is probably way late, but depending on what you mean by sustainable finance (i.e. financial instruments and financing structures vs finance that targets environmental sustainability goals) you are better served doing a straight finance MA or MBA with a concentration on sustainable finance in the former case, and an environmental program in the latter. An international development program is going to be too unfocused to efficiently serve either of those goals. The SAIS energy program is well-reputed and you can switch into it. In either case, if you are committed to doing a public policy degree, I recommend prioritizing strong, well-connected finance faculty. The SIPA network at multilaterals is fine. Don't know where you're getting the info that MPA-DP cohort is significantly older than the SAIS IDEV one.
  3. afaik SAIS is getting restructured imminently so just a thought overall though, unless CIPA is giving you a ton of money, you should do SAIS, especially if you want to work in an IO. I also don't know any country where Cornell is better respected than Johns Hopkins, but I know many countries where Johns Hopkins is a brand name and Cornell is virtually unknown.
  4. @GradSchoolGrad I mean, I don't know when you got your masters, but things changed a lot in the policy masters arena even in the past 5 years. None but the most competitive programs have out of undergrad proportions as low as 25% lol. Programs at the level of Georgetown, SAIS, SIPA accept anyone who can put together an application in English. Really? It's pretty common. Harvard may disclose when spotlighted applicants are dual-degree, but they absolutely still feature them. HOWEVER, it is one thing for a well-established school to add a new program, create a new research center, or create a joint degree. I'm talking about reorganizing or eliminating existing flagship programs and culling staff. This sector is in a great deal of upheaval. Every policy masters today is having an identity crisis because employment options for policy generalists with 6 figure debt from a 2 year masters have dried up long ago. Schools are trying to plug large and persistent cash flow holes. Of course no one knows what will happen post-corona - hopefully, there will be a boom in student applications and at least the top schools will get more time and budgetary space to work through a gradual transition, but shit was moving scary fast in the past two years. I'm not privy to the reorg happening at CIPA and it is indeed not a good idea to go to a grad school that's going through a major transition. What I'm saying is that many of the students who are matriculating this fall at schools you consider "prestigious" are stepping into the same mire. I think a policy degree is still the right career choice for many people. But I don't think the decision can be made on prestige anymore. Most of the grads from Harvard and Princeton are stuck in the same employment situation as people from lesser schools.
  5. How the fuck are you going to pay back 200k in debt with interest working in the humanitarian sector???
  6. Check that the people placing into 120k consulting jobs from HKS aren't dual-degree MBA students. To my knowledge, the MPP placement is not great. If you want to work in consulting, stop wasting your time with policy programs and get an MBA. If you must get a policy degree, take the option that minimizes your debt. A policy degree isn't a huge hamper to your career options, but the humongous student debt will screw over your professional and general life choices for decades.
  7. SAIS econ courses are not rigorous and will not improve your PhD application. The only people who go on to econ PhDs from SAIS are people who had a strong econ and math background prior to coming to SAIS. If you think you need to improve your academics, you should have applied to econ MAs, not policy programs; although, as you already have real analysis, you may be more competitive as a PhD applicant than you think. If you can take graduate courses from the actual econ department at Columbia, you are better off going to SIPA than SAIS (since it would be difficult to take classes in Baltimore from DC...) but in general, the notion of attending a very expensive professional program in order to prepare yourself for an academic program is inherently wrong-headed.
  8. @GradSchoolGrad I have also never met anyone from CIPA, but all of the red flags you point out are true of almost all policy programs, including Georgetown McCourt. The proportion of students matriculating straight from undergrad has risen everywhere in the past few years, including very competitive programs like the HKS MPA-ID. I'm sure that share will tumble now that we are entering the recession, but if this is an issue for you (and I agree that it should be an issue if you are an early or mid-career professional looking to expand their knowledge and professional network with people who have held at least one job), you should apply to highly ranked MBAs. That's the only professional masters that isn't riddled with undergrads. Most policy programs don't differentiate between regular and dual degree graduates in their job publications. They also don't track how many people went back to their employer after the degree (which is a lot of people). And reorgs, unfortunately, are underway at several highly-ranked policy programs that I shan't mention on the internet and, in the coming couple of years, are likely to hit even more schools. In large part the education reorgs are part of a structural change happening all over the policy world, which now values a very focused training in in-demand skills over 2 more years of liberal arts education.
  9. I suggest reading the stickied chance me thread. You will find that a large proportion of applicants are both 3+ years out of undergrad and coming from an unrelated field. The thread is also a trove of advice on several years' worth of applications - assuming, of course, that you are willing to see yourself as not so unique that nobody else's experience could possibly apply to you.
  10. You should read your own "article" for MPA-PhD stuff, because the guy with the MPA and PhD in Public Policy is perfectly right - an MPA is not good preparation for a PhD. If you attend open days or prospective applicant presentations for the top policy masters like Princeton and Harvard, their reps will tell you the same thing. The reason is not so much that a bunch of classes will be irrelevant, since curricula at these programs are pretty malleable, but that even the relevant classes are designed for practitioners, not researchers. For example, your econometrics class will focus on interpreting and understanding regression outputs, not on how to build an econometric model and apply it to data. You will also have limited opportunities to work on stuff that will make you more competitive for PhDs, like writing a great thesis or getting real tight with professors in your subfield, because the program will be focused on trotting you out to employers and getting you a job at the end. There are programs that are better geared for an academic application, like the MPA-ID or some of the Harris School's programs, but they are an obsecenely expensive option that isn't tailored to what you want, and choosing them over going to a dedicated poli sci MRes in Europe that will cost you pennies on the dollar is a strange decision. I don't think a master's is a bad idea, but if you want a PhD, don't get an MPA. I don't think your GPA is bad at all (although I'm confused if that's a first or an upper second), but the GRE really is quite low for top programs and unfortunately they pay extra attention to that when you're not from a US school.
  11. The fears over getting a job on this forum are a bit overstated - the difficulty highlighted here really applies to international students and people who are unemployable because of some exogenous factor, like being really picky or being unable to hold eye contact with anyone but their mother - and your consulting experience will be a definite plus on the job market. That said, a lot of people who go into international development drop out the moment they understand what these career paths are actually like. The downside risk here is that you will realize by the end of your first semester (at which point applications are probably past due) that the jobs you can get in this sector aren't worth your effort. Further, I wouldn't waste your 2 years on learning IR - it's not useful in international development, and in diplomacy only nominally so. The useful classes at SAIS and such will be roughly the same as offered at an MBA program. If you can be bothered to, I'd apply and see how much funding you get. You have good experience so I don't think you'll strike out (also, I'd investigate whether SAIS allows you to dual-degree with a program outside of those three on a case to case basis, as many schools do).
  12. You can just as easily work in the non-profit sector with an MBA as with a policy degree, but you would have to at minimum take a pay cut relative MBA grads to work in the private sector with a policy degree. If you have a specific target organization, a specific policy program can be more efficient at getting you networked there, but outside of that, the on-campus hiring at policy programs is vastly inferior to MBA programs. The core of useful classes, assuming you are aiming at industry and not at reading IR at some PhD program afterwards, is the same at both. The difference is in the time invested (policy programs are 1-2 years, MBAs are 3), cost (although among elite programs that gap is pretty narrow), and difficulty of getting in. The three programs you mention are very similar in every respect. There's really no point in delving into the fine details like their respective quant training (weak across the board), professor and student quality and so on. They admit a comparable student body according to comparable criteria. Unless there is a specific professor you want to work with at either of the three and you know they are open to working with you closely, I'd pick based on cost, location, and ability to get a STEM extension on your OPT (which none of these three will give you, but there exist econ/finance programs, including at policy schools, that will). Regarding DC private sector, word of caution: much of the private sector employment here, including the big MNCs that traditionally hire many internationals, works primarily with or around the US government, which means that employers may require a security clearance or simply have an unwritten requirement to not hire foreigners.
  13. Haven't been to Berlin, but would 100% go back in time and spend my youth in either Vienna or Barcelona. Both are very cosmopolitan, fairly cheap, and there's a lot to do any day of the week, especially for young people.
  14. Only if you perceive the verbiage as hostile in itself, which is a strange choice in our life and times, but whatever. Given the paucity of data, any employment effects comparison between these schools is untempered speculation.
  15. This is a strange dick-measuring contest. Both Harris and HKS have constrained programs that are objectively quanty and competitive and therefore have separate admissions processes, but the vanilla MPP at any of the three programs is going to be the same 200-person bullshit humanities deal that isn't worth the paper it's printed on. You can take your American Foreign Policy class with the risen spirits of all 44 former US presidents and it's not going to matter because no employer cares about that.
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