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coasts

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coasts last won the day on September 11 2016

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About coasts

  • Rank
    Caffeinated

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  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
  • Program
    MPP/MPA

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  1. coasts

    Curious of possibility...To stats or not to stats

    I had similar stats (college GPA, work experience) and decided to take an online stats course the fall while I applied to school (fun!). Obviously I don't know what the counterfactual would have been, but I ended up being fairly happy with my outcomes (especially considering that GPA...) and feel like the class must have helped ad comms feel more comfortable about my academic abilities. So I feel like it was a worthwhile thing to do. Plus, it doesn't hurt to brush up before returning to school.
  2. coasts

    CMU MSPPM or Columbia SIPA MPA?

    Not related to Heinz vs SIPA, but you should know upfront that it's not necessarily easy for international students to go into public sector consulting. Your options would be commercial consulting (which would be harder with a public policy degree rather than analytics or MBA, for example) or the state/local consulting for one of the large firms. The problem is that federal practices only take US citizens due to the security clearances usually required.
  3. coasts

    Low GPA...great work experience

    I was in a pretty similar situation as you in terms of GPA, but I ended up being fine in the admissions process. By the time I applied, I had a lot of years of work experience so that ended up mattering a lot more than my college grades. That said, I did very well on the GRE and took a statistics class while working. I didn't get into WWS, waitlisted at Ford, but got in everywhere else I applied. No money from Harris, but very generous scholarships from several less prestigious programs.
  4. coasts

    Carnegie Mellon - Heinz Current Student

    congrats on your decision! honestly, almost no classes at Heinz are calc-based...your time would be better used really getting comfortable with stats, if you decide to put in time on brushing up. stats is core to A LOT of courses and it's really not possible to be prepared enough in that department, even if you'll be taking stats as soon as you get here.
  5. coasts

    Carnegie Mellon - Heinz Current Student

    It's true that there are not a ton of ed policy classes at Heinz (http://heinz.cmu.edu/academic-resources/course-results/index.aspx?discipline_id=17), but I would say that as far as getting employed, I'm almost certain that employers will be much more interested in the skills that you develop through Heinz's curriculum over what content classes you've taken, particularly if you already have some experience in the ed sphere. If you haven't, you can find other ways to demonstrate your interest in ed (maybe part-time internship during the school year, involvement in clubs, volunteering, etc).
  6. coasts

    Let's Talk Debt

    This is super helpful to know, I'm going to investigate. I'm not sure how the calculation will come out -- whether it's better to take out money now from my IRA and not have to take out a loan and pay interest on it, or lose out on the compound interest of $10-15,000 (about what I think I'll need to bridge the gap till graduation) over decades. Hmmm.
  7. coasts

    Quant Course Recommendations

    Oh, I don't know that admissions committees would think less of a community college than one offered by a university online. I took a statistics class online through UC Berkeley Extension (think price range was also $800ish) but it was very un-rigorous, so the name means nothing. Might be worth calling to ask what programs think. I think UT Austin has much cheaper online classes.
  8. coasts

    Helpful blogs during admissions season

    Schools actually have really helpful blogs, especially around what they're looking for in your materials (personal statement, resume). I looked at the blogs of schools I didn't even apply to. HKS, SIPA, WWS all have admissions blogs. You can look at their archives too.
  9. coasts

    Resume/ CV question

    Don't make it too hard to read by making the font size etc super small. The resumes can go over more than a page. I think it is actually more CV-like. I put work experience, extra-curriculars, awards, publications, etc on mine
  10. coasts

    MPP out of undergrad

    It's certainly possible to get into programs without work experience, but it's worth considering getting some work experience anyway. I don't know your background so I don't want to make any judgments, but I'll say that as a current student, it's very obvious to me who is coming straight out of undergrad and who isn't, and those who have work experience have a lot to offer. Also, an MPP/MPA is a pretty specific professional degree so working might clarify whether this really is the path you want to pursue.
  11. coasts

    Tech background for MPP/MPA programs?

    I don't think you need to worry, but it would probably benefit your application to boost your quant score and do online classes in stats and econ (even one, if you don't have enough time for both). (Also you should do an online class for a grade to demonstrate your abilities, rather than something through, say, Coursera.) I don't know if this is a bad thing to say, but from my experience with applying last fall, my interactions with my new classmates, and reading this board, MPP/MPA programs aren't wildly competitive if you're looking at schools aside from HKS/WWS. (Of course, getting good funding is another matter.) I don't think that you need to work in a policy-oriented job in order to be a competitive candidate, though it may be good for you personally to determine whether you really do like being in the policy world and what specific part of it you want to pursue after grad school. Otherwise, if you can spin your job to explain why it made you interested in policy, then that should be plenty sufficient.
  12. coasts

    What calibre of school should I aim for?

    I had a sub-3.0 GPA, which made me so nervous that I avoided applying to school for years. In the end, I got in most places I applied and am attending a well-ranked program with a large scholarship. Working for a number of years really helps -- the admissions committee will focus more on that than your grades from 5+ years ago. High GRE scores can reassure them that you can perform well academically. You might want to consider taking an econ, math, or stats class at a local college to demonstrate your academic abilities. And you can submit a supplemental statement explaining why your grades were low during college. There might be a couple schools that you're out of the running for in part because of your GPA, but you can certainly get into a good program still! Don't be discouraged
  13. coasts

    Unorthodox Recommender

    I wasn't close to any of my professors in college so I faced a similar dilemma. Most schools I talked to said they didn't mind if all of my reccs were professional, even if their website said they preferred at least one academic. However, I'd been out of school for quite a number of years (six). A couple schools wouldn't budge and so in those cases, I used a TA from a class I did well in. One school (Chicago) required a professor so I just went out on a limb and contacted a prof whose class I had done well in, even though he didn't know me at all, and he agreed to do it. So I'd say rather than guessing, just email schools' admissions offices and ask!
  14. coasts

    Final Decisions

    This thread more or less already exists and people have already been posting to it, so maybe better to consolidate over there:
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