New here. Can't wait for the decisions to come out, but I'm reallly nervous, too. I don't know if I have any chance for funding. I'd really appreciate your take on it.
School Applying to: HKS, SAIS, Georgetown MSFS, Tufts, American SIS, Yale, NYU GSAS, UofT Munk, Carleton NPSIA
Undergrad Institution: University of Toronto (#1 in Canada, #17 in the World), Class of 2015 (Bachelor of Commerce, Major in Management, Minor in Economics)
Undergrad GPA: 3.12 (due to one terrible, early semester)
Grad Institution: University of Toronto, Class of 2016 (Master of Arts in Germanic Languages, Literatures and Cultures). I was offered a Graduate Scholarship Award that covered my full tuition, as well as a paid course instructor position.
Grad GPA: 3.8
GRE: 157 V, 153 Q, 5.0 Writing
Years of Full-Time Work Experience: 1 year + internships, volunteer work and part-time jobs. (5 months volunteering in the Middle East, co-founder of an NPO in Toronto that gives all profits to charity, instructor of German at University of Toronto, German Translator for the Huffington Post, a couple of corporate jobs)
Published Work: Recently had an article published on the Huffington Post. Unfortunately it was after the application deadlines passed, and most admissions committees won't even get to read it.
Languages: Fluent in Arabic, English and German. Proficient in French.
Background: I grew up in the Middle East and have volunteered there through the Church or as a member of an NGO. I have a somewhat unique background story, as I took part in one of the Arab Spring Revolutions and have had some incredible experiences, which I mention in all of my essays. I plan to concentrate on Middle East issues in my studies.
Quant Experience: A bunch of economics courses as part of my undergraduate degree (Grades range from A to C, but mostly As). Some quant and analytical experience in my corporate jobs.
Strength of LoR 1: Professor and Teaching Supervisor. She is a Harvard PHD and wrote me a very strong letter.
Strength of LoR 2: From a professor who knows me very well (4 courses, all As) and offered me the graduate scholarship award
Strength of LoR 3: My former manager at a large corporation, who vouched for my business skills. I've read it and it is a solid letter.
Results: I have already gotten accepted at American SIS and NYU GSAS.
Concerns: My GRE scores obviously could have been a bit higher, but I hope that the fact that I am not a native English speaker will make up for the verbal section. As for the quant., I hope that my past econ courses make up for that. I am also worried about a lack of work experience. I felt uneasy putting 1 year on the application for 'years of full-time work experience', since I have almost always been working part-time, translating for the Huff-Post, volunteering and completing summer internships. Will that lower my chances? My undergrad GPA is also somewhat weak, but I think the fact that I was offered a graduate award by the same university will make up for that. My grad GPA is much better
Thanks for your time!