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  1. Upvote
    dollybird got a reaction from AddSmith in Heinz QSSP Requirement   
    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. Downvote
    dollybird reacted to rising_star in CMU Heinz vs. Duke Sanford   
    If you already have significant debt, why not save yourself some money and go to CMU, especially since you know you loved it when you visited?
  3. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to Palolem in 2017 Results Thread   
    I am curious - a lot of you don't seem to have applied to WWS even though you applied to all other top programs. Any reason? As someone that is potentially going there, it would be helpful for me. Please do share if you can
  4. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to LizaBee in The (un)official Duke Sanford MPP Thread!   
    I got my email about my updated offer letter last night around 7pm eastern. Offered an additional $5k per year.
  5. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to PolicyStud in Carnegie Mellon - Heinz Current Student   
    I'm a current Heinz student. I exempted out of the core economic analysis course, so I can't speak for that specifically, but much of my economic/social science-related coursework is so focused on methodology that it's hard for me to tell whether my professors are more Keynesian or neoliberal without asking them. The empirical methods we learn in econometrics I/II, management science, decision analysis, etc. are often applicable whether you're far-right, far-left, or somewhere in between.
    If I were you, I would not immediately rule out taking classes with professors that have political leanings I disagree with. The professors you have differences with are the ones you have the most to gain from, and the pure empiricism you will hone at Heinz is far more important than ideology. That being said, when I've asked, it seems like at least a significant proportion/majority of professors lean at least slightly to the left. And whenever they've formed their political leanings, left or right, their commitment to empiricism has enabled them to bring nuance that can be appreciated by all who are willing to listen.
  6. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to WWBOD in Carnegie Mellon - Heinz Current Student   
    Are there any professors who are less exceedingly neoliberal than Prof. Lee Branstetter seems to be?
  7. Upvote
    dollybird got a reaction from GovAffairs in Admission Consultant for US MPA Programs?   
    The Art of Applying. Although I did not hire @Connie @ TheArtofApplying she has been an amazing resource and so has that organization.
  8. Upvote
    dollybird got a reaction from chipsandqueso in UT LBJ 2017   
    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.
  9. Upvote
    dollybird got a reaction from GovAffairs in Directory of MPA/MIA programs (US)   
    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.
  10. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to Obecalp in UT LBJ 2017   
    Admitted Students weekend is the 24th and 25th of March. That's really soon given that they just sent my acceptance today. 
    Also, it conflicts with the premiere of the new season of RuPaul's Drag Race and the Texas Independence Relay. More importantly, though, that's a really short turnaround for people who live out of town. 
  11. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to Think T@nk in Chicago Harris   
    A little late to the game here but I'd echo the general consensus on admitted students day being a positive experience. Perhaps the day could have been a bit more organized, but it was clear that the crowd pretty dramatically exceeded expectations. Understandable that things got a little chaotic with so many people showing up. 
    Either way, on the stuff that actually matters, I was very impressed by Harris. The current students that I met were great--down to earth, very sharp, and enthusiastic about the experiences they'd had so far. The faculty that presented were excellent. I particularly enjoyed the presentations by Ethan Bueno de Mesquita and James Robinson, and the fact that both are in leadership roles at Harris seems to bode well for the direction of the school. The administrators that presented--the director of recruitment, the director of career services, and the director of student life--were also very good. Having cruised through these forums seemingly endlessly over the past few months, it seems like there have been major concerns in the past about the people who have occupied these kinds of roles. I am pretty sure that all the administrators who presented were hired in the past few years, and seeing these folks in action assuaged my concerns--these guys clearly have their shit together now. 
    All in all, I came away from the day feeling confident that Harris would be a great place for me. I'm almost certainly going to enroll. The school clearly has a huge amount of positive momentum and energy, particularly compared to some of the other policy schools I've visited. Yes, it does seem like it will be a challenging two years, particularly with the quarter system--it seems like most professors basically are trying to get you to learn a semester's worth of material in 10 weeks or so. But isn't that a good thing? If we're paying all this money to get a masters degree, shouldn't we be pushing ourselves to learn as much as possible? Maybe it's just a personal preference, but having worked for several years before going back to school, I want my MPP to be an intense academic experience that equips me with a wide range of skills and tools that I didn't have before. I have no doubt that Harris will provide me with that.
    Also, for any forum readers interested in urban policy (as I am), Harris has a huge amount of opportunities in that space. A ton of coursework geared towards urban and municipal topics, great opportunities to do applied stuff via the Policy Labs, and an array of organizations to get involved in outside the classroom (the Urban Labs, the Place Lab, perhaps the new Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation?). Harris--and the University of Chicago more broadly--seems to recognize that they have a serious competitive advantage in addressing a wide range of city-related topics, and they've clearly been making major investments to back that up. If you're interested in city stuff, come to Harris and lets hang out!
  12. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to turkish coffee in Michigan Ford 2017   
    thank you so much, but don't give up hope yet, especially if this is your top choice school. There is a fellowship that covers full tuition for two years and provides you with an internship in the Mayor of Detroit's office (that's a big deal!), and Michigan will give you an answer if you apply before you have to accept/reject your offers from other schools, so you'll know ahead of time if you have the funding or not. 
    On top of that, Michigan has a lot of GSI (same thing as TA) positions available and there's a good chance you'd get it for at least one semester. These positions cover tuition fully for that semester that you work, and also provide you with health insurance I believe. Let's say you only did it for 2 out of your 4 semester, that's still a 50% scholarship essentially, along with your 1/3 tuition scholarship, your tuition is suddenly is much more manageable and maybe comparable to other schools you are considering. I don't want to push you in one way or another, I just want you to know that these opportunities exist, and Michigan probably has more money to give than any other school when it comes to TA/RA positions and summer internship funding. If you're interested in studying a language, which Ford allows, you could always apply to the FLAS academic year fellowship, which would fully cover your tuition the second year as long as you take at least 1 regional studies course and 1 language course each semester of that year. 
  13. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to sturdyelm in 2017 Results Thread   
    Debt is definitely a major factor, especially if you want to be an ED of a non-profit and have a decent amount of undergrad debt. So, in agreement with @fallmpp2017I think if you limit it to that, your decision is between LBJ and Heinz. I think one of the major questions you should be asking of each school is about the feasibility to take courses outside the program (including other schools in the area) and/or customize your program to your needs and interests.
    Fit is also a really important factor for graduate school so I can see why this is such a hard decision (and one I am struggling with myself when trying to compare to funding!). If you believe Michigan is the perfect curricular fit, consider why Michigan seems like the perfect curricular fit for you and see if it's possible to make that happen at the other schools that have offered lower debt funding options. Also if you're worried about the course level at Heinz, they wouldn't have admitted you if they didn't think you could handle it! Sorry I don't offer much help - but I think just continue to ask questions and definitely visit the schools if you can, as you get a perspective shift when you do.
  14. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to fallmpp2017 in 2017 Results Thread   
    Where do you want to work post-grad? LBJ is a great school, but it probably carries more weight in the south / midwest. If you want to be in DC or similar coastal hubs, Heinz would probably be better bang for your buck. But then again, Austin probably totally beats Pittsburgh in terms of culture / city life, so if that is important to you for the next two years, it is definitely an important consideration. 
    Plus, I know you said you are afraid of it's quantitative focus at Heinz (and I am too as a person from a social sciences background) but it probably will do you good in terms of becoming a competitive candidate for nonprofit / gov't jobs. 
    My gut reaction says Heinz with the great offer that you have, but LBJ sounds like a fantastic option too. Good luck! 
  15. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to sturdyelm in Michigan Ford 2017   
    Got in, but with no funding. Disappointed, but I guess that helps narrow my decision. Best of luck to all who got in!
  16. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to cabraloca in How are you going to afford moving?   
    I am honestly wondering the same thing, and I am moving from out of the country. So according to my calculations I need around 5k to move to the US to start grad school. That's including airfare, two months rent + security deposit (move-in date is August 15th but the first check comes in October), two months food, supplies, books, and a new laptop. I was thinking of making a GoFundMe if I can't raise half of it by May.
  17. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to dwestlakeg in Michigan Ford 2017   
    Same as y'all @Garcia, @sandover, and @dollybird! Anyone planning on going to the visit day?
  18. Upvote
    dollybird got a reaction from turkish coffee in Michigan Ford 2017   
    Same as @sandover
  19. Upvote
    dollybird got a reaction from TheSenator in Michigan Ford 2017   
    @turkish coffee, amazing sleuthing! A million kudos to you. 
  20. Upvote
    dollybird got a reaction from turkish coffee in Michigan Ford 2017   
    @turkish coffee, amazing sleuthing! A million kudos to you. 
  21. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to MidByMidwest in Help me decide between Heinz and Sanford   
    I am stuck right in the middle between these two. I got into the Heinz DC Track with 75% tuition fellowship and into Sanford with 50% tuition fellowship. I cannot for the life of me decide between these two programs. I attended both of the open houses and I will say that I prefer Duke (think intangibles). I also think I would enjoy living in Durham more than Pittsburgh (even if it's only the first year in Pittsburgh). However I would be paying about twice as much for my education at Duke as compared to Carnegie-Mellon. Whether or not this is accurate, I have it in my head that Duke is the "better" program. Can any shed some light on this? My career aspirations are working in the Foreign Service or with offices such as OMB or GAO. Like everyone else I would also be open to consulting. Is Duke worth twice as much? Am I judging Heinz too negatively? Any insight would be appreciated. 
  22. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to shadowclaw in Long distance moving, and funding it.   
    I initially considered the idea of packing up the car, shipping a few items, and buying all new furniture. It seemed like it would be cheaper than $2000. Then I realized how much stuff we actually have that we can't just get rid of... my husband's insulator collection would cost over $600 to ship, and that's probably a conservative estimate. I have an armoire that my grandmother gave me which will take up a lot of space in the car or be expensive to ship. One of the dressers is old but high quality. It would probably cost close to $1000 to buy something comparable, and even replacing both of our dressers with cheaper ones would still cost $500. A queen size bed frame and mattress would run us for at least $500 (if not more), and we'd also need a couch. Plus not all of my books, camping gear, etc. are going to fit in the car. It would be cheaper to ship than rebuy many of those items. Depending on if we decide to keep both cars or not, I would also have to ship my kayak, which I'm sure would be expensive due to its size. My canoe can go on the car roof.

    So yeah, if I was 22 and heading across the country, I wouldn't have accrued much stuff yet, nor would I have a husband who also accrued a bunch of stuff. It would easy to just pack up the car and go. But I'm almost 30 and married, and I have a lot of things that have sentimental value, aren't made anymore, or are expensive. It's hard to leave that stuff behind, and what can be replaced would still cost a good chunk of change. Used furniture is actually a great way to go (pretty much all of my furniture is used aside from a walmart desk and entertainment center), but it's not always easy to find everything that you're looking for, and if you don't own a truck (or know somebody with a truck) it's hard to get some furniture home.
  23. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to TakeruK in Long distance moving, and funding it.   
    My wife and I used a UHaul U-box from near Toronto to Southern California, a really long distance! We sold or donated most of our big furniture and just kept everything that is high value (we considered the value per unit volume). Our mattress and couch make up most of our value. We ended up paying about $1800 total to move it all. We paid for it from our savings since my graduate stipend in Canada was pretty good and with my spouse working as well, we were able to save up some money.
  24. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to aberrant in Long distance moving, and funding it.   
    I moved from the most southwest end of the country to the most southeast end of the country.
    - Sold / gave away my furnitures
    - Sold large electronics/appliances
    - Sold books that I don't need to carry with me
    - Shipped books, a bike, some clothes, small electronics to the new location by UPS (gathered boxes from my research building)
    - Flew myself to the new location
    I know two friends of mine who are also from the same state to where I am -- they drove all the way to here, with their books, clothes, and electronics (specifically computer and peripherals).
    There is another thread about how to reduce costs to move cross-country, coast-to-coast. Just look it up.
  25. Upvote
    dollybird reacted to ylimer in Tips on cutting some moving costs   
    - Ship all your media (books, CDs, DVDs) via USPS. It is shipped at a much cheaper rate. I think you can send about 200lbs. for less than $100.
    - Ship your heaviest stuff in large flat rate boxes. I stuffed all my shoes in two boxes and it was $16ish a box. They would have taken up a lot of room in my car.
    - Price out freight for shipping furniture. You can get a mattress box from a store and ship it freight for cheaper than it would cost to get a uhaul rental sometimes. 
    - If you know your parents will be sending you package, leave a bag of off-season clothing for them to use as packaging materials.
    - Sell everything you can and rebuy/CL when you get there. You'll be sad when you realize how much you spend in shipping vs. how much it really would have cost to just sell and rebuy.
    - Don't forget, the heavier your car, the more gas you go through.
    Hope some of these help!
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