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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. ExponentialDecay

    Vienna, Berlin, Barcelona? SOS!

    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.
  2. ExponentialDecay

    Prestige vs Affordability

    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.
  3. ExponentialDecay

    Prestige vs Affordability

    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.
  4. ExponentialDecay

    Prestige vs Affordability

    Which program at Harris? From what I remember, the PhD-level classes are reserved for MACRM and that quant-heavy policy program. idk if MPPs can get into them, even if they are technically allowed to take them. Regarding quantitative work, it's not only reserved for PhDs (especially the low-level stuff), but if you're definitely committed to it, I'd reconsider doing a policy degree at all. If you have a strong enough math and programming background as is, you can get a low-level policy quant job now (depending on the prestige of your undergrad, that will take more to less cold-calling, but it's totally feasible). Likewise, if you're fixated on getting another degree, I'd get a degree in stats, economics or DS. You can build a quantitative background at most policy schools right now, but the rigor is definitely geared towards humanities majors, which may work for you if you're very good at math or you're a humanities major, but if you're in between, I think you'll struggle to get a deep enough understanding to succeed in a quanty job. I wouldn't take out 6 figures for a policy degree. That's an unnecessarily high debt load for almost any degree.
  5. ExponentialDecay

    Too Old for History Phd?

    You're not arguing that a hobbyist shouldn't be admitted at all. You're arguing that a hobbyist shouldn't be admitted over a candidate who would see the PhD as a job. Do you think that a candidate who sees the PhD as a job is going to be easier competition for your internal funding or whatever else than a hobbyist? I.. wouldn't care? As long as the person knows what they're doing and is easy to work with, I don't care what their motivation is. That's their private business. And like I said, I see no reason why the quality of scholarship should be impacted by lack of desire to turn scholarship into a paid job. There's certainly more than enough examples of terrible scholars who want a job in academia. I think this is sour grapes. Like, if you're not fully committed to battling against impossible odds in obtaining TT, you can't sit with us. Your attitude is functionally no different to the attitude of some quasi-emeritus who looks down on people for having an alt-ac plan B. And your attitude is your private business, except I don't understand why you align yourself with a view that is expressly counter to stated beliefs and even interests. If you are a "serious scholar", more people getting your degree for fun is better for you in every possible way. These people represent a more (or should I say, de facto) sustainable source of demand for the training that you want to be paid for to provide, yet they at the same time are not part of your competition for those professional positions. The age of people getting generic humanities degrees to be more employable is over - so I think catering to people who get your degree for personal growth purposes only is in your field's future. And moreover, perhaps they'll be able to inject perspectives into the profession that people who are desperate for history jobs are disinclined to express even if they hold them. It may be uncomfortable to view your field as something people enter for fun, but why the hell not?
  6. ExponentialDecay

    Too Old for History Phd?

    I've seen many of the users represented here lament the overproduction of history PhDs and the state of the history job market, not to mention shepherd hopefuls towards reconsidering their PhD ambitions, so I'm curious at the viciousness with which you receive someone who has admitted that the PhD would be a hobby. Isn't it good that they've already decided not to compete for increasingly rare TT positions with the rest of y'all? Isn't it good that they'd be taking up the chair of a young person who will spend 10 years on this "career" only to be cheated out of it by the job market? Why decry the myopic attitude of history departments to alt-ac opportunities and the recruitment of fruitless strivers on one hand, and engage in this self-defeatist gatekeeping on the other? Statistically,the majority of history PhDs are doing the PhD as a very long and stressful hobby until they are forced to leave academia and get a job that only uses their PhD training in a very perverted sense of "use". How are the majority of the posters on this forum different from this hobbyist? In that you don't admit to yourselves that your chance of getting TT is miniscule and that you're going to treat the PhD as a consumption good from the outset? Why not admit people who see the PhD as a retirement project? Nothing says they can't produce compelling research, and they might actually be useful to the department in the form of cheap TA labor that then don't grow bitter when they can't get any practical benefits out of it. That's probably the only kind of PhD admit that in this climate could be called ethical. Sure, it's not prestigious or whatever for the department - but what's your incentive to protect bullshit exploitative academic practices?
  7. ExponentialDecay

    Any thoughts on the JHU SAIS MAGP executive program?

    My friend did this program. MIPP students take the same courses as the MA students; I think the salient difference is that it is one year vs two. MAGP is a completely separate program with a separate cohort that has if I recall 6 hour sessions every Saturday and lasts 1.5 years. The curriculum is the same for all MAGP students whereas MIPPs can choose whatever classes they want, so they can make their program of study more quantitative by choice. In regards to career options, you're better off speaking to people in the departments/jobs you're interested in. There's economic policy people who need an economics PhD to do their job, there's economic policy people who are economists only in name and really are selling their business connections or somesuch, and there's a lot of space in between.
  8. ExponentialDecay

    The 'Am I competitive' thread - READ ME BEFORE POSTING

    @Tako you know you're posting in the chance thread for policy masters, right?
  9. ExponentialDecay

    PhD in Public Affairs

    Firstly, read carefully: it's not a requirement. It clearly says you can apply without one, but that most accepted students have one. Secondly, if your standard for an attainable program is one that says "we love kids out of undergrad, please apply out of undergrad", you won't find any programs to apply to. PP is not an academic field. PhDs in this field all (ime) have prior relevant work experience, a master's degree, and often both. Most policy PhD programs are designed for working professionals who want to get the PhD done with and move back into industry or who want to use the PhD to move into public policy academia (which is extremely rare). There is virtually no academic employment for PP PhDs, so they are structured fundamentally differently to academic PhDs. They're not preparing you for academia, so they're looking for people who can get a non-academic job. That's usually not fresh undergrads. I don't know anyone doing this out of UG, but I haven't looked and maybe they exist. But if you're going to apply, I think you need to realize that this degree isn't like most other PhDs.
  10. ExponentialDecay

    The 'Am I competitive' thread - READ ME BEFORE POSTING

    "Chance me for programs I won't name". solid logic bro
  11. ExponentialDecay

    The 'Am I competitive' thread - READ ME BEFORE POSTING

    Those with previous finance experience can use it as a stepping stone to careers in social finance and impact investing or finance-related careers in the public sector or multinationals. A lot of people use prestigious public policy schools as a backdoor to analyst/associate roles at the usual suspects (although usually in their consulting arms). If you're looking to stay in finance, as you know, prestige matters, so I would be careful about picking schools (i.e. I wouldn't go to GWU). Big corporates are pretty broad as entities, so people do a broad range of things, from more obvious fits like CSR or innovation/entrepreneurship to standard middle management stuff. If you're looking to stay in the private sector, an MBA is also an excellent and arguably more prudent choice. The coursework is similar and most programs these days offer concentrations in sustainable business. The main distinguishing feature of MBAs imo is that the on-campus recruiting efforts are a lot stronger, whereas at MPAs you have to hustle.
  12. ExponentialDecay

    The 'Am I competitive' thread - READ ME BEFORE POSTING

    The obvious question in my mind is, do you know what you're getting into? What is it that you think we do here, hold hands and sing kumbayah? Banks and big corps are the biggest players in this arena, second only to governments (and that's only in certain areas). If you have a disdain for corporations, don't go to public policy school, quit your job, go work at a small-time NGO or get a humanities PhD, and you will find yourself in excellent company. If you're ready to join us in the real world, your banking experience will be extremely valuable. But think carefully about whether you can see yourself advancing the same interests for half the money.
  13. Don't ask us. Ask the admissions department.
  14. ExponentialDecay

    Oxford MPHIL V Harvard MPP

    Your career goals have nothing to do with MPP/history/political science programs of any sort. So, if you have money to burn, attend whatever program makes you happier. Otherwise, I'd take your "typical two year stint" and for example work as an Au Pair in England if it's calling your name, then when you're done fucking around, go to law school.
  15. ayyyyyy naming names! Spicy! Srsly tho I like this new development. I hope future don't-go ranters take up this tradition instead of vaguebooking about "a top IR school". I wouldn't dismiss OP out of hand. I have no experience with Fletcher (to add salt to the wound, I haven't even heard of it until I started reading this board), but speaking to top IR schools generally, they do provide a very general education that's not worth the sticker price. I wouldn't say these degrees are only for the wealthy - there is a non-trivial number of people on full scholarships, whether from the government, an employer, or the school itself, getting them - but there's definitely a lot of considerations for anyone thinking of getting one, some of which OP touches on. Firstly, if your first response to breaking into the field is to get a graduate degree, that's probably a bad start. Getting your foot in the door doesn't mean you'll easily get a job. Secondly, taking on large debt often contradicts the goals for which you'd be getting the degree. If you want to work in development, you need field experience. That usually means doing twoish years at some shitty NGO in sub-Saharan Africa making shit money (it's not the 70s, nobody's gonna pay you an expat salary unless you're ridiculously skilled). You can't do that with any kind of USD-denominated loans. Thirdly, it's finishing school. People who get the best outcomes from IR grad school are like investment bankers transitioning into impact investment. I see the utility for humanities majors looking for an analytical skillset: the better option is a specialized analytical masters, but those are taught for the benefit of people who like math, whereas policy math is taught for humanities majors. You can get a decent skillset especially if you select based on quantitative exposure and apply yourself, but the transition will be easier, I think. For everyone else, eh. Apply for jobs.

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