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About sleeplesswithcoffee

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
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    Public Policy

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  1. Thanks to @3dender, @dollybird, @thex11factor and @nahuja32 for your assistance and feedback. I apologize for suggesting that McCourt might have been weaker with the last bullet-point there. I stand corrected and it sounds like McCourt is right up there with the best of the policy schools I can tell from to some of the McCourt-set propsies that the students there are really nice and competent people. I believe I'll be able to work unconditionally following the first year at anywhere that doesn't require citizenship or has a residence requirement (like some state govs. will). I want to stay in the United States but not sure if I want to work in DC though I'm keen on interning there during the summer. 3dender, I don't know if you know but the Fall Course Offerings draft for Sanford has Democracy Lab as a course option! Sounds right up your alley. I'm updating what I wrote above with some more insight I gained from looking at Open House material and talking with students: Columbia (SIPA) I've heard it said repeated that coming here you should have an idea of what you want or you'll be lost. Overwhelming if you try to dabble in whatever looks interesting because too many things will. Also, there's lots of Type A people, so it can feel academically stifling and competitive but this raises the bar for everyone. Professional Development course and Career Services office has improved dramatically in 6 years with the feedback from current students and alumni. A few years ago, GradCafe really had poor things to say about SIPA's career services so this is a promising change. SIPA has apparently Regional Centers that do research with a ton of money and seemingly are eager for research internships. So if you're interested in policy in a specific region, I would go to SIPA. It makes sense that the faculty working at these centers specialize and teach corresponding classes as well. Global alum. network is very helpful in a way Sanford probably wouldn't be if you want an international career. Example of alum in Sierra Leone who helped with a student's workshop project in class and difficulties they had in the country. Sanford: One con, and it's something I expected though didn't really think about, is there are fewer student groups than in the other schools. You can of course start your own but if you want to join in something existing, that may not be there for you. I feel like they've been the most on top of it in terms of materials and access they gives students to help them understand their MPP program. I'm choosing Sanford in the end! Thanks again, and I hope this thread can continue!
  2. Hi all, I hope this will be an interesting discussion between three great public policy schools in three different locations and I'm going to attempt to make this as comprehensive as I can. So I will edit as I think of more stuff and as I hear more stuff. I've been accepted to all 3 as an international student who's one year removed from undergrad with no full-time professional experience but some internships and a few months of military service. I'd like to work in the future in something policy-related (research associate, policy analyst @ J-Pal kind of deal) in either a non-profit or local/state government where I can craft and evaluate policy. I think I'll have a green card by the end of my first academic year so for all intents and purposes, let's assume I have a permanent work authorization. Georgetown (McCourt): As a DC school, the program is designed to allow you to work during the day with lots of once a week evening classes. And it may be best positioned for a future career in DC. Obviously, the school LOVEEEEES to play up its DC advantage. Problem is, I can almost certainly not work off-campus the first year (international organizations only) and believe a rigorous, academic structure would be good for me. Anybody out there take classes in a program like this without working? What's it like to have this kind of schedule? Known for being quant-heavy. 5 required quant. classes with 3 of them specifically focused on public policy. A lot of flexibility in the curriculum due to 18 credits allocated for electives + Georgetown's other great graduate schools like SFS and their law and business schools. School is relatively new though it existed as an Institute and program before 2013. This suggests that its reputation, quality of faculty and alumni may be weaker than more established schools. Then again, new schools are more adaptable so it would be cool to get information on McCourt's "newness" if this is the case. Columbia (SIPA): Class size is gigantic compared to the other schools with almost 400 students counting MIAs and MPAs. I know that means more electives and resources (for example, specializations @ Columbia don't seem to be an option anywhere else though lots of schools have concentrations) but the environment sounds like one where you really have to know what you want and have to be a go-getter to seize opportunities. For some people, especially those with more experience, that could be perfect but I'm thinking I need more support. Presumably, the school lives up to its promise of being a "global" school and Columbia in general has a reputation that is unmatched. Based on these forums, SIPA seems to share that reputation. Half of the class consists of international students and with IR and international economics classes, the curriculum is tilted in that direction. Like Georgetown, classes at other graduate schools look quite strong. You get some pretty amazing practitioners as adjunct faculty, individuals who might be working during the day but can teach classes at night. If you do well in their classes and develop a relationship with them, that could lead to some wonderful things. While the curriculum has impressive breadth, the core seems kind of scattershot and not as cohesively designed. The forums seem to have the least recent information on SIPA despite it being held in such high regard... Duke (Sanford): Personalized attention, and close-knit cohort. The FB page is full of people who have meaningful experiences in a variety of policy-related fields and they all seem like super nice people. This is the most distinguishing factor in my case and permeates every part of the program, from the class community to career services & alumni support to student-faculty interaction. The Admissions Ambassadors, students at Sanford, have done an amazing job reaching out to us. Emphasis on practical experiences and innovation through both the curriculum (ex: Spring Consulting Project) and co-curricular projects. Who doesn't want to be able to say by graduation that they have both the academic credentials & the experience working on client projects? Reputation for being strong in social policy, which is what I'm primarily interested in. A lot of students there seem to also want to specialize in social policy, to the point where I'm a little concerned there won't be enough variety to enrich classroom discussions/activities outside of class. Greatest weakness might be the location of Durham... though it will obviously be a lot cheaper to live here than in the other two cities. It does sound like a good city to live in but less to do than the other two. As for funding, I'm fortunate enough where that isn't a factor I'm considering. Sanford is currently my top choice but I'm doing my due diligence. Looking for insight from current students and alum and prospectives who have heard from current students on the validity of these points but more importantly, whether I'm missing some key qualities these schools possess.
  3. @3dender Thanks for your detailed reply! It sure sounds like they do possess the advantages that you would hope come with choosing a small, high-caliber school. And everyone I've seen in the Admitted Student FB group seems really qualified and nice so I can only imagine the cohort would feel tight-knit also. I love how the director approached you after hearing from another admin about your area of interest! Two questions: Could you tell me what led to your rigor takeaway and was there any discussion about safety in Durham? I know you might be able to answer the second question because you live close to Duke - it's a pretty important concern for me and I won't be able to assess it firsthand before the school year starts.
  4. Bump for request of recap and thoughts on Admitted Student Open House that happened yesterday!
  5. Anyone here able to recap the March 8th webinar and/or the online chat on the 16th? Would be helpful for those of us who couldn't make it. And if anyone could do it for future chat sessions + Open House I'd be super grateful also
  6. Philosophy! Went down the CS minor route for a while before it got too dull + frustrating for me.
  7. @nahuja32 Hi Natasha! Congratulations on your acceptance to Mccourt! It's cool to hear you've made your decision already. I'm considering McCourt and wanted to know how you heard about your first point and if you can elaborate on it. I saw your post in the McCourt page where you talk about how you can do this by being an RA/TA for the professors but reading that I thought about the traditional research assistant job doing research in an academic setting for a paper or book that the professor would be working on. Considering Sanford too, for what it's worth
  8. Accepted with 0 funding for MIA but still the school under consideration. Looking back at previous years' threads about SIPA, there's quite a lof of controversy over faculty-student interaction and career outcomes for MIA/MPA graduates. My look at the employment stats suggest that outcomes are pretty good (lots of internationals mean that a lot of outcomes involve people going back to home countries to work for their own governments) but wanted to know if there are any current SIPA students (lurkers? :P) or alum who can talk about both of these factors and any other significant positives and negatives in the program
  9. @mpamppquestions I'm still waiting! Though they emailed me saying they needed some information they had already received from me, so I replied to sort out the misunderstanding.
  10. I'm also considering American though I've been admitted to the MPP program. There is so little available information for this school though... Anyone out there headed to the Spring Engagement Day on the 10th or the 31st?
  11. Hi you three, also considering Michigan. I'm keen on working in either international policy or social policy. @dollybird, thanks for the update regarding admissions decisions. Really like many of the places that Michigan MPP grads end up (https://fordschool.umich.edu/sites/default/files/file-assets/2016postgrad_external_final_electronic.pdf) though I wasn't aware that Michigan had a solid rep for social policy though I am aware of The Michigan Program on Poverty and Social Welfare Policy and National Poverty Center.
  12. I feel like I'm going to ask this several times for different schools but would any of the domestic admitted students here who are going to the Admitted Students Weekend (March 24-25) be willing to share their experiences? Can't make it as an international applicant but I'm intensely curious as to what the school feels like, quantitative or practical emphasis in the curriculum and how they'll try to distinguish their program from other MPP programs.
  13. Hmm I've definitely read strongly contradicting reports from other LBJ people on this forum about the name recognition issue so it's difficult to ascertain the true. Appreciate your input though! @PaulRR Could you tell me why you feel like it may be a much more enjoyable place for study than the other schools you mentioned? Georgetown happens to be another school I applied to. Hope they don't release any new funding information past the end of March...
  14. Got in for MPaff! No funding also but I'm considering the school. Would like to hear what people like and dislike about the school, specifically what they may have heard from current students and alumni to help inform me and others. I'll start! Likes: Affordability of the school: As an international student, it's very, very affordable compared to other private options. Emphasis on social policy through Center for Health and Social Policy and the Social Policy Network of Students and Alumni Austin and Texas: Austin as a place to live in for 2 years and Texas as a place to see how public policy is practiced in a pretty dynamic state. Dislikes/concerns: I might not want to live in Texas after my time there so would like to know how valuable this degree is in DC, or in other major metro areas. Their career outcomes section is arguably quite thin. In fact, the website as a whole could use some supplementation. Lots for me to learn about the school but I believe others, especially non-Texans, are in the same situation
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