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About yoh_rrg

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    2018 Fall
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  1. So obviously some of this will depend on what programs you decide to apply to, but it sounds like you have a good background and reason for wanting to go to grad school. It will probably be good to focus on those that have strong connections for careers in public service. Probably the best thing you have going for you is your "logical path" for how what you've been doing will take you where you want to go, and the more you can demonstrate how the programs you apply to will help you achieve your career goals (SPECIFIC career goals, you can't just say foreign service and policy work but what kind of foreign service and policy work-- specific countries/regions, policy issues, people/organizations you would like to work with some day) the better your application will be. Good luck!
  2. I think the best way to find the answer to this question would be to look back through the results threads on this forum. People usually post their years out of undergrad and where they were accepted. Some that come to mind as taking applicants without real work experience would be Harris, Sanford, SIPA, Wagner, Heinz, and Georgetown. I'm sure there are others-- in fact I know of someone who was accepted to WWS straight from undergrad but I would say that is against the norm. The issue of course is whether funding is important to you at all. Based on threads here, it seems the students without experience receive smaller funding packages, and a lot of the programs are awfully expensive to be taking out loans for. I at least am really glad I took several years to work (and save up money!) so I can take on no debt and feel confident that I am getting what I want out of my degree. I know that's probably not what you want to hear, so I'll cut myself off and let other people who can really answer your question reply. In the meantime, I highly recommend digging through the results threads as a starting point.
  3. I agree that it's likely impossible to switch-- the grants are just so different. I know in my placement country there are specific grants at specific universities for a specific number of researchers and then for ETAs there are a number of schools that provide funding to receive their own, so it's not as if the funding is available to be moved around. Other countries I know of have something similar (except sometimes the ETAs are funded by a government agency, but again, unrelated to university research placements). Furthermore, the amount of preparation that researchers put into their applications (selecting a university with the right program or research focus, identifying and reaching out to an advisor, revising their statements over and over in order to be selected as a candidate) indicates that someone else isn't just going to slide into a research role. If a role were even available for what you want in your country of choice, likely there is someone else who would have applied and the spot wouldn't be transferable. Obviously you won't know if you don't ask, but the idea that someone accepted as an ETA would be able to transfer to some research role (even if one did exist for your interests) just sounds so far-fetched.
  4. It sounds like you are already leaning heavily towards Heinz and based on your interests it does seem like a good fit. You might want to take a look at each school's employment outcomes and determine who found roles like the one you want. Here is the data from Heinz, with a link to the DA track 2016 graduate career outcomes near the bottom. It's a really small cohort, but you can see that one person in that group is now working in New York as a regional planner in transportation which sounds awfully similar to your own interests. If you really enjoy working with data and have some background in programming, Heinz seems like the obvious choice. Good luck!
  5. It might be worthwhile to try to figure out the quant requirements for each school. I say this primarily because I see CMU on your list, and they made passing stats with "at least a B" a condition of my acceptance. For some of the schools taking stats (or a more difficult quant course) might simply demonstrate how serious you are about returning to grad school, while for others it might be a requirement for enrollment. You just need to read up on these schools and their "eligibility" requirements to see if you need it. Naturally it wouldn't hurt to take a course, but since they're pretty expensive I would only take one if necessary for any programs you've selected.
  6. I kind of disagree, and think they're more likely to have new resources than before as people should have heard from schools by now and might have turned down their own funding offers. I know I just turned down $10,000 this week, and that's not to say that they will necessarily turn around and give it away immediately (they may have been over-extended as is) but the worst they can say is no. It's still a negotiation-- you asked for something, they offered something else, you're trying to find that sweet spot in the middle that works for both of you. In this case it seems that the best approach would be to consider exactly how much $$ you need and be really prepared to turn down any offer less than that. If you can say definitively "I need $25,000 or I'm going to have to turn this down for ______" then I feel like that's compelling and reasonable (especially since they didn't meet your full match). I wouldn't say this unless it's 100% true, but their resources and finances are going to continue changing until everyone makes their choice and 5k is a relatively small amount compared to what I'm sure some others are requesting. It just depends on how certain you are that would make such a big difference.
  7. I found this forum so immensely helpful during my application process (including someone's keen eye noticing one school's unusual resume structure roughly 24 hours before the due date), so I hope something I share can help future applicants like others have helped me Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.) MSPPM, MPA, MSCAPP Schools Applied To: Carnegie Mellon Heinz (MSPPM-DA), UChicago Harris (MSCAPP), and Princeton WWS (MPA) Schools Admitted To: Harris ($), Heinz ($$), and WWS ($$$$) Schools Rejected From: None Still Waiting: None Undergraduate institution: Huge State School Undergraduate GPA: 3.76 Last 60 hours of Undergraduate GPA (if applicable): ?? Undergraduate Major: History & French GRE Quantitative Score: 168 GRE Verbal Score: 163 GRE AW Score: 4.5 Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 5 Years of Work Experience: 5 Describe Relevant Work Experience: AmeriCorps, TFA, Fulbright ETA, and some summer fellowships; I have been a teacher for the last 5 years which is obviously considered public service although not particularly relevant to my interests as stated in my application; obviously my work experience led me to this even if I'm trying to go in a different direction Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): For Harris, I don't think it was great (with only 300 words, I felt like they barely knew anything about me), but I worked for basically a full month editing every day and getting feedback from family and friends on the one for Princeton. I literally wrote down the six things they said they were looking for in the application instructions and structured my SOP to answers those questions while weaving a narrative about how my career trajectory led me here. I was really proud of the result and obviously it paid off. My Heinz SOP was a pared down version of that one, so still pretty solid. It helps that I am essentially working part time this year (Fulbright ETAs are limited to 24 hours classroom time each week) so even though I decided pretty late to apply (around November 15th), I was able to put in many hours of work to perfect it. Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): I only saw two of them but they were both extremely kind and I think complimented my SOP well by helping show what I've managed to accomplish beyond teaching. I had one from my mentor from my first graduate program and two from mentors at the school where I taught. Other: I spent a lot of time narrowing down my list of schools I wanted to apply to and I feel like it was exactly right. The only benefit of applying to more schools might have been to try to use them to negotiate funding, but I think it helped me to really focus in on the programs I was excited about and would actually want to attend. There weren't 10 programs I loved, there were only 3, and by focusing on those 3 I was able to perfect my statements and not feel guilty about the workload I was putting on my recommenders. Overall, happy with the result!
  8. Thanks everyone! And lol with the interesting questions-- my name is indeed before O and there has been no change to my portal.
  9. Got my YES! email while sitting in the "silent" car of the train and definitely broke that rule in my freak-out moment. Excited to see who else here gets in as I feel like we've all been through this incredibly arduous process together for so long now. Good luck to everyone!!
  10. Same-- but since both of my results so far have come when I wake up in the morning (one came at 3:00 am and one at 11:30 pm), first thing in the a.m. is basically the best time to check!
  11. I'm also trying to decide between CMU's DA track and the CAPP program and am leaning towards CMU at the moment (although I won't have the opportunity to visit either which makes the decision rather difficult). I have spoken to students in both programs who confirm that both are extremely rigorous and I don't doubt I would be happy at either. I've come to preference CMU due to their scholarship offer (roughly 4X what Chicago offered) and the fact that CMU has some focus on the management side of things (which I would like) that I think Chicago doesn't. I've been pretty meticulously looking at the course requirements and electives at both schools (I found this with syllabi for all of the courses at CMU but haven't found an equivalent page for Chicago so it's taking me a little longer to find detailed course info). It feels like CAPP has more emphasis on computer science skills as part of the core curriculum while the DA track does not (which is a negative for me), although clearly Heinz offers classes focusing on CS skills for policy, they just have to be taken as electives. The other big question I have (for Heinz, or for anyone here who knows) is how big the DA track is at Heinz. I know the CAPP program is expected to be in the low 40s this year, but I haven't seen anything or spoken to Heinz about it, but I would certainly consider it a negative if the DA track had 80 people. So yeah, I am kind of in the same boat as you (more funding from CMU, picking between two quant-heavy programs), but I'm leaning towards not taking on huge debts especially when I think I would be happy at either school.
  12. Has anyone been following this story? Or think it will have any impact on Harris course offerings in the next couple of years? It seems like several of the global development classes would be negatively affected if this lawsuit holds any weight. Also interesting to see this isn't the first time the Pearson foundation has sued a university for not managing the money exactly as it would have liked. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-university-of-chicago-donation-lawsuit-20180305-story.html
  13. Not if they're out with school closures! Did I read that they're expecting over a foot of snow?
  14. hmmm I was not asked to participate in the QSSP but I was told that I need to take a stats class. I wonder what the difference is. Definitely regretting not taking stats in undergrad and just one more (little) thing to factor into the cost of attendance!
  15. What great news to wake up to! Accepted to the data analytics track with scholarship. Congrats to everyone else as well
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