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kooyah

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  • Location
    East Asia
  • Application Season
    2015 Fall
  • Program
    MPP

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  1. Congrats! See you in the fall! Exciting times. MAKE SURE to take Sarah Anzia's Politics course in the Fall. I saved it especially for election year because she is a young professor on fire! And because it's part of our restricted electives requirement and it's easily the best option of the 3 we're required to take 2 of. Welcome, Golden Bear!
  2. Hi there new Golden Cubbies , Cubbies to be, and Bears to grow into! I'm a current 1st year student that found these boards quite useful last year in my decision making and just learning abut what I signed up for [hint: your life WILL change, for the better, and GSPP commands attention from Silicon Valley when it comes to job/internship search] Anyway, I'm have a full scholarship from GSPP, held a 50% (half time) GSI position last semester, and know how GSPP runs for the most part from the student side. I'm also a CA resident, born raised in San Diego, born and educated in northern California. So, ask me ANYTHING! (*almost*) I'll be seeing some of you at admit today! I just woke up, so I'll be late to class...
  3. Top ranked public schools in general do not have deeper pockets and as far as aid goes, it's mostly/all loans at the graduate level. However, tuition is much cheaper and if you score an opportunity to do some work for the school (Teaching/Research assistant, plentiful at Cal), you'll be eligible for partial or full fee remissions and a stipend. That's the case with Berkeley at least and I hear it's still doable at U Michigan but more spotty. Can't speak much for other schools but public schools are generous in the sense that they're cheaper overall and may have opportunities to bring tuition to 0 with a stipend.
  4. Tough question with a lot of variance. However, I've seen a lot of people on this board get full-rides plus a 20k stipend or some form of generous aid from the Ford School at U Michigan. It's not guaranteed like Princeton but Ford, among other top programs, seems to have deep pockets when it comes to investing in more than a few potential students.
  5. Sweet! We have a FB group going that Erin has or will invite you to. Welcome to the fam! Looking forward to meeting you
  6. Definitely a tough decision. No one can make it but you. And once you do make a decision, be happy with it and don't look back. Also, I'm actually concerned about negotiations too and the easy remedy there is to just use your electives over at Haas business school. I saw that the negotiations professor definitely has the credentials to fit the bill. I believe it's easier to cross register at Berkeley than Harvard because Harvard uses a bidding type system to get into classes you want. Sounds like at least half your worries were mine oddly enough. The Harvard name casts a sort of spell over people but I'm convinced that any of the Big Names will carry you far. It all comes back to how hard one is willing to work. Prestige can only go so far. Hopefully we'll be classmates!
  7. So this is a post I made in a similar thread about 3 weeks ago. If I were in your shoes, I would pick Berkeley hands down. I'm already slanted towards Berkeley since I will be attending! I simply do not think the debt load of 100k plus is worth it compared to the minimal debt you'd accrue at Berkeley. So, here's what I wrote: I'm just going to surmise what I've read in previous Berkeley & Harvard threads, research on the schools, and multiple skype sessions I've had with friends who are now alumni from both schools. Firstly, I'd go down the route least riddled with debt. Speaking to your points, I believe extra debt from HKS is NOT worth it, especially if you don't plan on working in DC or internationally and because you already have outstanding admissions with funding. The education you can receive at HKS is top notch, but that also holds true from your other admits. Both the Berkeley and Harvard name carry tremendous weight overseas (along with MIT, Princeton, and Stanford noted in my travels) but Harvard is undoubtedly King. Since Berkeley is in that elite class, the recognition will be there, so I wound't worry too much about prestige. To your first point, Berkeley reigns King on social issues. An alumnus also confirmed that the women's policy journal/circle is absolutely buzzing and entertains a number of prominent women that visit Goldman. It's also been noted that Berkeley doesn't get as much of a constant stream of prominent people to speak at the school. However, professors in with your interests are aplenty and actually available to talk to relative to Harvard, not to mention the different centers they have tasked with resolving such issues. Also, I am much more for a tighter knit community that push and help each other out rather than the alternative. On curriculum, Goldman's is more quant focused relative to Harvard which I personally find as a plus. Goldman trains generalists and at HKS you must choose a concentration. I find the latter a little restricting since my personal interests lay across different courses in varying concentrations. This coupled with the fact that Harvard grads do indeed use a bidding system that's a bit disconcerting because some of your said points must go to classes you need first making it harder to get into popular courses such as HBS's famed Negotiations course. It seems much easier at Goldman to tailor your MPP to what you want career wise. No core curriculum is full proof but the idea of more applicable quant as ground training is appealing to me personally. As far as practicality of what you learn, at Goldman you MUST complete the notorious 48 hour policy project designed and assigned by faculty to simulate a real work place situation, the IPA (Introduction to policy analysis final written and oral presentation based on real client pro bono cases) at the end of year 1, and the APA (Advance Policy Analysis) solo project that serves as your master's thesis that is done with a client organization (that you typically get paid somewhere around $6,000 on average) at the end of year 2, along with a REQUIRED summer internship. I'm not sure about the range of HKS required projects but I know there are definite options, one of them being spending a significant time abroad (and domestically?) at a client location serving to use your policy skills to design and implement a solution to some problem. Alumni at both schools have noted that their multiple networking events at and around the school in surrounding cities (and both in DC) are pretty legit and you can even get multiple verbal agreements on job offers in a single event. That to me is probably the most important point, because after your first job offer, the school you went to is a one second glance when applying for positions thereafter. Also, if you already have a network in New York, the degree where you're going to obtain your masters should matter a lot less. However, if you want the west coast connection and a strong naitonal brand in general, you really can't go wrong with Berkeley. Some questions I would further ask myself in your shoes. Do I like snow and the cold in general enough to live in it half the year? Do I value a tight-knit, supportive community or a bigger, seemingly more diverse sprawl of folks from around the world. How active do I want to be in interacting with professors (Berkeley is much more accessible). If not Federal or International work, what organizations would I like to work with and which schools have those connections? Just to name a few. I'm obviously slanting towards Cal because I simply see it as a place where I'll really enjoy Goldman, my life outside of it in an unbeatable environment for 20/30 somethings, and my life AFTER it, debt free and free to choose where I want to work not having to choose high paying/soul crushing work because of debt.
  8. Freeverse, Congrats! I really wish I was able to attend but I'm in Asia *trying* to save money haha. Good to hear we'll be classmates! I hear from alum and friends that GSI's are easy to come by so it'll shave your debt load considerably. So after you send you intent to register, the official email from the Graduate Division won't come for 7-10 days about. This prompts action from the Graduate Division and when you get the email it7ll send you to your app status page where it'll portal you to the formal intent. From there you submit a formal intent to register with the Graduate Division (no deposit) that asks you some personal info necessary for their records. Then, in another few days time you receive sensitive information including your student ID and what you need to do to register as a student, read some disclosures etc. That's where I'm in the process -- getting my CalNet ID (campus ID/email) and all that well and good. And then we wait for more info I suppose. Class registration isn't until August and I need to go back and read what we should be expecting. I'm guessing there will be a mass email of sorts and FB invitation groups after the April 15th deadline. I'll also note that Kari is in charge of things like student employment including GSI's. The intro packet thing says signing up for her (or someone's) list serve with GSI opportunities. It's too early to try to sign up for positions since no lists or department bulletins are up yet for the fall term. It's said that anyone who wants to GSI, can. The majority of listings go out in the summer, especially August as registration begins. Goldman students have a solid rep on campus and from what I hear, professors, more often than not, just wave lazily in approval of GSI's from Goldman. Congrats on your admits and final decision! I'm sure these will be some well spent years in the Bay for you and I. I'm looking forward to a FB group so we can huddle in our excitement and sort things out like housing... which is my only concern at this point!
  9. Sounds like your mind is truly being exhausted in making a decision! If I remember correctly, you're going to Berkeley's admitted students day yes? If so, looking forward to your synopsis. Since you're used to California and I'm a California native myself, I gotta warn you about *extended periods* of cold having braved two of them in Asia these past couple years for the first time (finally started warming up last week). For me personally, environment plays a major role on my physical and mental health. I've since come to learn that I do not thrive in cold weather. Maybe you will, and people do. Just my experience coming from CA. Looks like Duke and Michigan are really raining it down on you! Tough choice indeed when it comes to a matter of funding. Maybe you can try to leverage your position with Berkeley right now to yank some of the cash others aren't accepting. Also, I've talked with other friends that have done the GSI and they tell me they work something like 8 hours for 50% payment on down weeks and something like 12-13 during midterms. I too have taught the last 3 years and think it would be interesting teaching undergrads (I've taught the breadth of Kindergarten - High School formally) and don't feel like it'll take a terrible about of time from grad school things I could be doing. Most important is the fact that practicums are built into the program to what seems like great effect. Something I highly value. Proximity to all sectors in the Bay area are league above what you might find in Durham or Michigan. I could be wrong. Also, depending on where you want to work and have long term connections, each schools locality will likely have a market for you. Not sure how strong Duke and Michigan are in the Capitol but it seems like most big school's roads can lead there. I know that's true for Berkeley since students literally fly to DC specifically for networking and learning about the place. Also, I learned how 'small and mighty Goldman's alum are -- 1200 alumni in 40 years is what the career professional told me who's in prominent role for the State. Hyper responsive to fellow alum and current students alike. But yeah, funding is and should be a concern. Goldman is probably the best bang for your buck school there just about is. Try to see if you can get some money to your favor and be specific about what it'll take for you attend Goldman (I'm above what you truly would settle for, negotiation 101) and back your claim with other offers you've received and why Goldman is the best fit for you. Those are my thoughts anyway. Good luck!
  10. Great idea. Good base for future applicants. Previous Schools (Name, type, or tier): Top 10 Public. Previous Degrees and GPAs: Economics BA (3.5). GRE Scores (Verbal/Quantitative/Analytical Writing): 156/151/4.5 (I think). Previous Work Experience (Years, Type): Math and English Instructor in the U.S. and abroad for 2.5 years. Math/Econ Background: Loads. All required/preferred courses for MPP applicants plus tougher courses like Econometrics, Game Theory, and two graduate level courses on the Economics of Policy Making and Quantitative Methods in Policy Analysis. Surprised I bombed the math GRE despite my poor physical condition on exam day. Foreign Language Background (if applicable to your program): Not applicable. Intended Field of Study in Grad School: Income inequality, Economic Development, and Education. Long Term Professional Goals: To put it simply but vaguely, successful social entrepreneurship. Schools Applied to & Results: Harvard HKS (denied), UC Berkeley Goldman (accepted), and USC Price (accepted). Ultimate Decision & Why: I chose UC Berkeley Goldman. I put my soul into my application with great results (full ride plus stipend). I'm a California native who has had the fortune to live and intern in DC, travel some States, and travel the world a bit. I haven't been Stateside in about two years and I cannot think of a better place I want to set up shop next than the Bay area for the environment and professional enrichment I'm am pleased to have been offered, for free. I can (and have) written the merits of Goldman's MPP program and why I particularly fit in with, but I'll just simply state that this was a no brainer for me. I get to live and play in the pay with no worry of incurring debt with great work prospects. Truly blessed. Advice for Future Applicants: Firstly, make sure your quant background is up to scratch. A lot of people I know personally who I would consider academically more gifted than I lack quant, and that was and is their downfall. Second, this is a professional degree. You won't really have much of a better idea of where your passions lay without first going through employment for at least a couple years. Yes, experience is important for funding, but employment will help you understand your passions better and the steps to get there. A masters degree may or may not be needed, but without getting your hands dirty first, you won't know if it's worth the investment. Lastly, a perfect GPA and GREs don't mean a thing if you don't have a strong SOP, strong (not famous) letters supporting your SOP and resume, and an overall clear narrative bridging what you've accomplished, to where you are now, to what you hope to achieve with a Masters to assist you in your journey. It all should paint a vivid personality of a vivacious Public Leader in training.
  11. I'm curious to hear your current line of thinking for the schools you've listed. I'm also curious to know if you're used to California weather. Also, I received an email from a GSPP alum that's been working in the field in addition to a current student. Feeling the love.
  12. I'm just going to surmise what I've read in previous Berkeley & Harvard threads, research on the schools, and multiple skype sessions I've had with friends who are now alumni from both schools. Firstly, I'd go down the route least riddled with debt. Speaking to your points, I believe extra debt from HKS is NOT worth it, especially if you don't plan on working in DC or internationally and because you already have outstanding admissions with funding. The education you can receive at HKS is top notch, but that also holds true from your other admits. Both the Berkeley and Harvard name carry tremendous weight overseas (along with MIT, Princeton, and Stanford noted in my travels) but Harvard is undoubtedly King. Since Berkeley is in that elite class, the recognition will be there, so I wound't worry too much about it. Also, I don't think either school will harm your case for a doctorate more than it can help, which isn't much either. To your first point, Berkeley reigns King on social issues. An alumnus also confirmed that the women's policy journal/circle is absolutely buzzing and entertains a number of prominent women that visit Goldman. It's also been noted that Berkeley doesn't get as much of a constant stream of prominent people to speak at the school. On curriculum, Goldman's is more quant focused relative to Harvard which I personally find as a plus. Goldman trains generalists and at HKS you must choose a concentration. I find the latter a little restricting since my personal interests lay across different courses in varying concentrations. This coupled with the fact that Harvard grads do indeed use a bidding system that's a bit disconcerting because some of your said points must go to classes you need first making it harder to get into popular courses such as HBS's famed Negotiations course. It seems much easier at Goldman to tailor your MPP to what you want career wise. No core curriculum is full proof but the idea of more applicable quant as ground training is appealing to me personally. As far as practicality of what you learn, at Goldman you MUST complete the notorious 48 hour policy project designed and assigned by faculty to simulate a real work place situation, the IPA (Introduction to policy analysis final written and oral presentation based on real client pro bono cases) at the end of year 1, and the APA (Advance Policy Analysis) solo project that serves as your master's thesis that is done with a client organization (that you typically get paid somewhere around $6,000 on average) at the end of year 2, along with a REQUIRED summer internship. I'm not sure about the range of HKS required projects but I know there are definite options, one of them being spending a significant time abroad (and domestically?) at a client location serving to use your policy skills to design and implement a solution to some problem. Alumni at both schools have noted that their multiple networking events at and around the school in surrounding cities (and both in DC) are pretty legit and you can even get multiple verbal agreements on job offers in a single event. That to me is probably the most important point, because after your first job offer, the school you went to is a one second glance when applying for positions thereafter. Also, if you already have a network in New York, the degree where you're going to obtain your masters should matter a lot less. However, if you want the west coast connection, Berkeley. Some questions I would further ask myself in your shoes. Do I like snow and the cold in general enough to live in it half the year? Do I value a tight-knit, supportive community or a bigger, seemingly more diverse sprawl of folks from around the world. How active do I want to be in interacting with professors (Berkeley is much more accessible). If not Federal or International work, what organizations would I like to work with and which schools have those connections? Just to name a few. I'm obviously slanting towards Cal because I simply see it as a place where I'll really enjoy Goldman, my life outside of it in an unbeatable environment for 20/30 somethings, and my life AFTER it, debt free and free to choose where I want to work not having to choose high paying/soul crushing work because of debt. Side note: we must be a couple of the very few people who was offered substantial funding since Berkeley is public and doesn't have deep pockets. Good luck!
  13. Woke up to an email from admissions to sign in for the SIR and got contacted by a current student. One step closer indeed!
  14. Me either. An alum said it definitely takes a little while to get the notification from the Graduate Division. With 100 or so graduate programs, it must be busy season!
  15. Seconded. If you're going for a doctorate, maybe a retake is in order. For a masters, I'd only retake it if you have ample time and the drive to raise it a few points to be ultra competitive, but your stats seem competitive as is for top programs. HOWEVER, like WhatAmIdoingNow mentioned, what you write to highlight your passions, explaining why you want a masters, and procuring strong letters that confirm what you write is quite significant in your applications. Perfect stats get rejected all the time if there's no passion and personality behind them. I guess I'm an example of this. My stats are mostly below elite school averages, yet I poured my soul into my apps and ask only for strong letters from people I knew that could write them. To reiterate, you're relatively competitive compared with other users on this board so just make sure you and your letter writers speak to your passions, capability, and how X university will help you get to your specified destination. I'd even throw some apps at U Texas LBJ, Michigan Ford, USC Price, UCLA Luskin, and Duke Sanford if I were you for the $$$$$ I'm seeing people get with comparable numbers. But again, make sure you really sell your story. Good luck!
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