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About OldMan77

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    International Relations

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  1. Yes. IDev is one of the concentrations within the 2 year MA degree. You would apply to the MA program.
  2. It certainly can't hurt. If you have been out of school for a while (as I had been), it shows you are serious about the field and will get your academic re-adjustment before you arrive at their program. It definitely helped me when I applied for masters programs. If you can handle the extra work, are confident you will do well, and it is free for you, I can't imagine a reason not to pursue it.
  3. OldMan77

    Grad School/Interning with a family

    Hi Nico, I hope you have heard good things from your schools both on admissions and financial aid. I was in a similar position of wanting to pivot to an IR career after being established in a solely domestic industry, and trying to figure out how to do it with a family. While I strongly encourage you to pursue another degree to open up the new career paths, I regret to tell you sacrifices will almost certainly need to be made. These programs are expensive (as you obviously know), and more time consuming than you might anticipate. My classmates who kept their jobs either had to quit or significantly scale back their work commitments as the first semester progressed. I came in ready to treat grad school like a 10-hour per day job, and quickly learned that was not enough time to complete the reading and accompanying work. Like you, I couldn't have my family living in a hovel eating bread and water every meal, so we needed to figure out financing. The only solution we arrived at was to delay and save. Instead of starting in 2015 as I would have liked, we pushed it back to 2017 and saved like crazy to soften the blow. Since we knew we were going to move (there are no decent programs in my home area), we prepared the kids for a smaller living space. We also incorporated cheaper food like pasta and bean soup into our routine so the kids started liking them, and our grocery bill plummeted. It's not filet, but it isn't Ramen either. We ate out less, bought cheaper clothes, took cheaper vacations or skipped them entirely, etc...just overall minimized expenses. And it sucked. Often, a lot. But now I'm in school pursuing my dream and my family is perfectly comfortable. And next year, I'll be working again and we can return to our previous standard of living. Obviously, everyone's situation is different, and I know what worked for me won't work for everyone, and vice versa. However, when considering whether to sacrifice to pursue our goals, my wife and I realized that, although we were established in our careers and a regular paycheck is a nice security blanket, we still have over 25 years of working left. Wouldn't we rather have a rough year or two followed by 25-30 years of a satisfying career instead of 27-32 years of a mildly comfortable life? And since we have so much of a work life remaining, does it make much of a difference if we start one year vs. a year or two later? So while I'm sorry to deliver some bad news, I hope this was at least somewhat helpful. Best of luck!
  4. I'm at SAIS, and I can tell you that you'd be very competitive here. It is quant heavy, so they get really excited when someone who can handle really high level math/econ arrives. As for age and career change, myself and several of my classmates are older come from areas far afield from international relations and public policy. I have found this to be not only tolerated, but celebrated as the professors will lean on students strong in certain areas other than the traditional poli sci/econ track, and try to bring the knowledge of the unorthodox discipline into the courses. And don't worry about the first GPA over ten years ago. You've demonstrated more recently that you can do well. Good luck. I'm sure you'll have several great options.
  5. OldMan77

    MA International Affairs in Europe

    I can second that Science Po and Hertie are really good options. I would also recommend University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. It is slanted towards quant/econ courses, and is incredibly affordable (although Swiss visas are difficult after graduation, especially if you don't speak German.) I have also heard good things about the EUI, but like College of Europe in Bruges, if you aren't European, you miss out on a lot of the jobs the school feeds into. IHEID is also very well-respected; but tuition is high and living in Geneva is not cheap.
  6. OldMan77

    Low GPA...great work experience

    I completely agree with @justkelia, the grad school review is not as focused on grades as it is program fit. I enjoy reading the "Am I Competitive" thread to see insanely qualified people freak out for no reason, but don't let it intimidate you. My undergrad grades were decent from a decent state school and my law school grades were solid from a good law school; but nobody would have confused me for an overachiever. But my letters were great, I agonized over my SOP, and prepped like hell for the GRE. I found the programs that fit my career goals, and could explain how the degree would lead to my next step. I got into every school to which I applied, and even got money at most. Figure out the best way to show you are much more than your grades and that you are exactly what their program is looking for. Good luck!
  7. OldMan77

    Johns Hopkins SAIS 2017

    I was admitted in December and received some aid. I asked for little more, but didn't get any. I'm not sure if that is a common result, but it was my experience.
  8. OldMan77

    Johns Hopkins SAIS 2017

    Good luck everyone! I got the heartburn out of the way in December through early decision and can't wait to get to Bologna! Hopefully I see some of you there!
  9. OldMan77

    SAIS Early Notification - Fall 2017

    I was accepted into the MA-Global Risk program in Bologna. It may be the best Christmas present I have ever received. Anyone else planning on attending the Bologna campus this fall?
  10. OldMan77


    Hi there. I was curious if you had this and how it went. I am applying to the MAGR program in Bologna and am waiting to hear about scheduling an interview.
  11. I have come back to read this several times when I'm stressed about applications. Thank you!
  12. OldMan77

    Helpful blogs during admissions season

    Both SAIS DC and SAIS Bologna have good blogs. DC's is more nuts and bolts about admission while Bologna's has a lot of info regarding what is happening on campus and what students have done. http://saisdcadmissions.blogspot.com/ http://saisbolognaadmissions.blogspot.it/#uds-search-results
  13. Program: International Relations Interests: Political Risk, Security Schools Applying To: SAIS - Global Risk (Bologna), St. Gallen MIA, Science Po Undergrad Institution: Large Public School - Relatively well-respected but not a public Ivy. Undergraduate GPA: 3.1, political science GPA is 3.4 Undergraduate Major: BS in Political Science Law School: Mid-tier (top 20% of class) GRE: 164V, 158Q, and 5.0W Years of Work Experience: Fourteen years. Languages: English, some French and Russian. Work Experience: Fourteen years in every type of legal setting imaginable: large firm, mid-sized firm, solo, and now running a company's legal department. LORs: One strong one from the CEO of my current company. A relatively strong one from a former colleague who later became a supervisor. All programs told me professional letters were fine considering my time out of school. Other Things: I am currently working on a certificate in International Security from an Ivy, and will likely complete that with a 4.0. I am especially interested in hearing from people with knowledge of the SAIS Global Risk degree program. Thanks in advance for any thoughts anyone wishes to share.
  14. OldMan77

    Advantages of Early Notification

    I'm debating this now, and the only real advantage appears to be knowledge of where you will be next year. If you have a family or are moving internationally (like the SAIS Bologna campus), getting the visas, schooling, housing, etc. lined up well before you get there takes some stress off. If you don't have a family and are remaining domestic, I'm not sure there is much of an advantage. I think it's a simple "getting it off of your plate vs. perfecting it" dilemma, and preferences will differ.
  15. OldMan77

    European IR/Political Risk

    Thank you so much for the info, @CakeTea! I am hoping the MA Global Risk admission is slightly less intense than the traditional MA; but I am also concerned that they want to start small with a talented bunch and loosen standards. They only have 12 students in the initial class, and they haven't yet released the incoming class profile of grades, GRE scores, etc. The info on HSG is very appreciated. My friend who attended HSG was in econ, so it could be that her peers were recruited by the banks and insurers. I will check back with her regarding MIA students. She also emphasized the university-wide emphasis on quant, so I am using every free moment for GRE prep. I'm glad to hear Fletcher students found it appropriately rigorous, as my goal is to work in Europe for a while, but eventually return to the States. By that point my experience would be my primary selling point; but I don't want to have a degree on my resume from a school either nobody has heard of or, worse, commands no respect. Thanks again for the response, and I welcome any additional info anyone may have on these three programs.

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