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About WhatAmIDoingNow

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  • Gender
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  • Location
    United States
  • Application Season
    2015 Fall
  • Program
    PHD in Public Affairs

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  1. I would still try for the professor, even if you have to write the recommendation for the prof to sign. The position of prof is important.
  2. Wait, what are you asking? Do not name drop if you have no relationship with them. You do need letters of recommendation so I would reach out to a prof with whom you had a good classroom relationship. If you want to work with a prof, you can write an email about how you are interested in research and enjoyed their class, ask if there are opportunities to gain experience working with them. But do not name drop someone who would not write you a recommendation.
  3. It depends on what you want to do with your career. I see planning as fitting with administration well, where you balance planning and implementation. With policy, you would have more quantitative analysis and planning. If you want to do more analysis then the MPP would be beneficial, if you want your planning to be implement-able then an MPA would be beneficial.
  4. Tip on finances for research and career. Work on your credit to make sure it is in good standing before your graduate. Have a personal credit card that has at least $1500 limit for work related expenses. Most funding for conferences are reimbursements that you receive after the event, same for work travel expenses or emergency work purchases. If you don't have a credit card with a decent limit on the ready, you can lose on career opportunities. Different employers have different policies on p-cards. Depending on what account is funding a purchase, you may be required to work with reimbursement system rather than the organization directly purchasing the item. I have two domestic conferences this semester and they have cost about $2000 combined for registration, flight, room and board. I will be reimbursed, but the lag would have destroyed my checking account if I did not have my personal credit card ready for cushioning these costs.
  5. Caveat: Instate only works for public universities. There are many great public university programs, so angling for in-state at public institutions is a good idea.
  6. Not that this is the only source or even an important source for deciding on a program, but many people on here reference this ranking as a decision factor. There has been some shake up in rankings, worth a look. Public Affairs Graduate School Rankings
  7. Are students expected to be traditional students or working students? Some programs only hold class 9am-6pm, M-F, and hold required courses at the same time. Some schools have flipped classes, while other have options for online or in class lecture. Some programs expect that their students work 25-40 hours per week while other do not cater to part time work, or have part time student specific programs separate from their regular programs. I have seen programs where many students have families, children, and careers. There are other programs where the vast majority of students are mid twenties, no children, and not fully employed. How flexible is the curriculum? Do you have a prescribed course load or many electives that allow you to tailor your education to your career goals? Where have recent students been placed for internships? Did students have to find their own internships or did program staff facilitate finding placement. If you, a student with little to no network, are expected know the field landscape and coordinate internships, bail on that program.
  8. As I thought about it more, if you are truly interested in pursuing a PhD and being a professor in Europe, check into Public Management Research Conference (PMRC) 2016. Public Management Research Association (PMRA) holds their annual conference, alternating between US and international, every year. Two years ago it was in Seoul, last year in Minneapolis, this year in Aarhus, Denmark. Check who the speakers and presenters are. If the subject interests you, contact the presenters who have PhDs and are professors. If the academic is at a US institution and is presenting in Europe, you can deduce that they have a network in Europe or just really good funding to go to European conferences. The conference is in June, they usually have a twitter handle during the conference that you can track and start following academics on twitter too. http://ps.au.dk/en/research/conferences-and-lectures/pmrc-2016/ Edit: Also, the best Public Affairs and Policy schools in the US are not all housed in private universities and Ivy League is likely not what you want if you want "public innovation". University of Indiana, Ohio State University, University of Kansas, Arizona State University, University of North Carolina, University of Minnesota, University of Arizona, etc. are all excellent and competitive. I know I missed many other excellent institutions.
  9. In my PhD program, there is almost a 50:50 split between international and US domestic students. All of us current students have at least one masters. The international students all have undergraduate and masters from highly prestigious public universities in Asia, USC,and University of Chicago. US domestic students hold masters from highly regarded public affairs and policy schools at public and private universities. One new admit is coming from undergraduate but she is exceptional and has publications.
  10. If the MPP is focused on something you don't want to research, then the program is not for you.
  11. If you want to be a professor, you need a PhD and to speak the language of where you reside. While graduate schools in Europe tend to speak and write in English, you need to be able to teach undergraduates in most situations. If you want a position at a university in Netherlands, you need to speak Dutch. If you want to research public innovation, I would look up scholars on the topic and contact them or the admissions people at their program to see what your options are and learn about the program. The scholars' network is more important than a school's network. You will need a highly regarded scholar on your topic as an adviser and to train under in a PhD program.
  12. I will second this. Entering into a master's degree program, MPP or MPA, your quant score is not a problem. If you were applying for a PhD, I would recommend retaking the GRE. You are competing against hundreds of overachievers. Your narrative and recommendations matter. Did you take care to meet the requirements of the applications with the correct ratio and number of academics to professional recommendations? When I applied to my graduate programs, the people who wrote my recommendations had me outline what they should write, make sure they hit the important projects and achievements I accomplished. The recommendations should corroborate, not conflict, with you overall narrative. Did you show understanding of the programs and how they fit with your goals? Schools want to see that you are committed, and showing that you actually took the time to learn about them, their program, and work is important. Also, these are Ivy leagues that you are applying to, you need to show that you are applying for more reason than prestige. What will an MPP education do for your and your career goals? Did you show that you took this into consideration. What differentiates you from the hundreds of other overachievers who want to change the world, make better policy, or administrate an effective government? Maybe what you want to do is not a good fit for these programs. Maybe they want a year more of experience. Maybe the applicants from your region were more impressive and your region is over represented in acceptances and on the wait list. Maybe 50 Malalas applied this year. Only the admissions people know.
  13. It really depends on what you want to do with the degree. What are you interested in doing with your graduate degree? Where do you want to do it (Geographically, secotor, level)? If you want to work in DC, getting an internship in DC is logistically easier if you live there. It is a good idea to check out the internship opportunities in the area. If you want to do city management, go to KU for an MPA. If you want to do nonprofit work, you should go somewhere with a robust nonprofit scene. If you want to do a specific policy area, make sure the program has profs working in that area, a track in that area, and at least courses in that area. If you want to get a PhD, then check to see where assistant and associate professors went for their graduate schooling. There are so many aspects to what makes a program great and terrible.
  14. Masters are fine for upper management, experience is necessary. Once you get experience, there are executive programs, such as the Harvard program. But you need to get the experience through work. Doctorates are useful for research and psychologists.
  15. If you are at Carlson, it is right next to the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and there are usually a good amount of students looking for roommates. The best housing deals are the University Graduate housing complexes.
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