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dollybird

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About dollybird

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    Caffeinated

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  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    CMU Heinz MSPPM

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  1. I'm a first-year here at Heinz. I didn't do QSSP, but a lot of my peers did. It seems like a short but somewhat rigorous course. I heard that most people went out together afterward daily. That means it can't be too bad. It also sounds like it was a great way to get to know people. Let me know if you have other Qs. It's great here. Also! -- The econ and stats courses were challenging for me, especially stats, and I got placed into higher courses. That means QSSP would have been really helpful as a refresher.
  2. I don't have really great advice because I specifically did NOT want to work in DC. But when I was researching schools, people said the schools in DC have the best access to DC networks. Heinz has a really great DC apprenticeship program where you spend your second year working *I think* almost full-time in DC and taking class at night. Duke, Michigan, and LBJ also seemed to have decent/good DC networks based on alumni titles/employment outcomes.
  3. How many total schools do you want to apply to? If you still haven't found any good resources, I would just use a spreadsheet and google to research whether the top 30 or so programs have the focus area you're looking for. It's tedious, I know. But if you visit the schools' websites you can start to track other data points that interest you.
  4. I would encourage you to retake the exam, since you have plenty of time, and it's one of the only elements of your application you can still control (the other major element being your statements). I took my first exam in late October, and though my results were good, I wonder whether my scholarship offers at specific places (like Duke) would have increased with a higher quant score. Different programs in the same "tier" weigh scores differently. Make sure you can increase or maintain your score in each area. With your existing scores, you will definitely get some scholarship money from most of those schools.
  5. Ahhhhh! I'm going to Heinz in the fall! MSPPM2. Anyone else? Are you excited? Can we link up? The summer is at once too short and too long. I'll be in Pitt in about a month looking for apartments. I think I'll also be brushing up on calc and econ, although my enrollment wasn't conditional. I'm excited to get my email address to make things more "real." I think that also gives us access to course reviews.
  6. Thank you so much @PolicyStudand @rising_starfor weighing in. I know it's impossible to know someone's circumstances and make a decision for them. Headed to CMU in fall and excited. Big steps.
  7. Thanks, all. Headed to CMU. Congrats to everyone for their success. Application/decision season is over and it's for real now! Cheers.
  8. Does anyone who went to the various Admitted Students' Days (ASD) or who are familiar with these programs want to weigh in on my decision?! Annually, in tuition, I'd be paying $7,300 at CMU and $17,000 at Sanford. I went to ASD at Heinz but not Duke. I've spent 7 years at non-profits so am looking to branch out and intern/work in the private or public sectors before ultimately going back to the non-profit sector as an ED. I'm interested in human services. I loved the diversity at Heinz, the "personality," and the city. I love what CMU represents (innovation, technology). The students I met were very bright, engaging, and driven. They have had awesome practical experiences and say that their various classes have all begun to fit together and are helping them tackle problems in a way they never thought they would/could. CMU appears to have excellent career services and lots of students going into consulting. Basically, I'm also in love with the prestige of Duke and the social policy courses/faculty/resources they offer. I didn't go to their ASD so I didn't get a feel for Durham or the culture. Can anyone weigh in on culture/personality? Or anything else about these 2 programs gleaned from firsthand? Feel free to PM me! I will be 30 when I start this fall, so I'm sensitive about professionalism. I want to be around open, curious, and engaging people who are independent and know what they want. I already have significant debt from undergrad, btw
  9. I think Sanford should be your first choice, then Georgetown, then Columbia. Sanford has great D.C. relationships and a great Career Services Office. I haven't heard anyone say the location negatively impacted their experience. Plus,social policy! Congrats and good luck
  10. That is so weird... There were tons of MGPS at the admitted student event, so they had obviously already sent out SOME acceptances. Really weird.
  11. The Art of Applying. Although I did not hire @Connie @ TheArtofApplying she has been an amazing resource and so has that organization.
  12. I was at the admitted students' weekend this past weekend. Lots of thoughts that I'm happy to share! PM me directly if you want. I will say that the building was very nice and well-appointed, and that the staff and faculty were incredibly organized, eager, and gracious. They put together a great 2 days' worth of events. The staff was very, very impressive and clearly have wonderful relationships with students.
  13. Reading closely through these forums helped me understand each program's personality. Also requesting literature from them, or class profiles when they aren't published online (average age, GPA, GRE, etc...). I LOVE this resource: http://portal.publicpolicy.utoronto.ca/en/Pages/index.aspx It doesn't explore reputation so much as curriculum. Look at schools' websites and browse through faculty profiles to see what sort of appointments they have and where their research is published. Look through LinkedIn to see where graduates are working, or where students are interning. It is time-consuming! Make a nice spreadsheet Also! -- I sat at bookstores looking through peterson's/USNWR stuff and they were NOT helpful. Maybe for law and biz, but not these programs.
  14. I think your GRE scores could play an important role. If you're applying for Fall 2018 you have plenty of time to boost them. I myself regret not taking the test again to increase my quant from 158. It could have meant much better funding. If you received poor grades in quant classes, you might take a class as well to show that you can succeed under better circumstances. Your work experience sounds fantastic and your letters of rec will play an important role too. If you have the money, you might also talk to a consultant about how best to "frame" your grades. There are plenty of opportunities as part of the application process to explain. Depending on what your definition of "Top 10" is, you definitely have a shot! Hope my advice isn't too rote.
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