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3dender

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  1. Like
    3dender got a reaction from TalkPoliticsToMe in Open House Impressions   
    Just so you know, I'd wager that you can repeat that "Diversity" section for literally every policy program that's not at an HBCU.  It's pretty much an open secret that they all love to talk about diversity way more than they actually practice it.  I'm at Sanford and it's no different (and probably worse in some respects with respect to diversity).
  2. Upvote
    3dender got a reaction from woolscarves in Open House Impressions   
    Just so you know, I'd wager that you can repeat that "Diversity" section for literally every policy program that's not at an HBCU.  It's pretty much an open secret that they all love to talk about diversity way more than they actually practice it.  I'm at Sanford and it's no different (and probably worse in some respects with respect to diversity).
  3. Like
    3dender got a reaction from Guesswho in Berkeley vs. Ford vs. Wagner   
    Have to disagree with woolscarves.  Ford seems like the best fit exactly because of cost of living.  You're talking about a difference of $20k for school alone + maybe another $30-40k for difference in cost of living between Ann Arbor and either Berkeley or NYC.  That's $50-60k more debt that you'll have for a degree that is worth as much as Ford, with a marginally easier time getting a job on either the West or East coast.
    Ford is every bit as good an education as Berkeley or Wagner - some people would say even better.  The difference certainly wouldn't be worth $50k to me.  And the Ford network is plenty strong in policy circles nationwide.  You may not have such an entrenched network as you would with Goldman/West or Wagner/East, but those networks are only for a leg up, it's not like a key to a locked door.
    I tell people that the networks can help, but they only make life easier.  You can get almost any job you want from any of the top 10-15 policy schools.  You may just have to take a little more initiative if the network isn't as strong.
  4. Upvote
    3dender got a reaction from MPA/MPP Applicant in Prestige vs Affordability   
    Do you know where you want to work?  Evans is a great school, and from what I hear near the quality of Harris.  But its network is obviously strongest on the West Coast.  Harris has more going on in the East Coast.   That said, I don't think you'd find it overly challenging to get a job on the East Coast coming from Evans, it would just be easier from Harris.  Are you able to go to the open houses?  I went to Harris's and almost immediately hated the vibe of the school.  Seemed very pretentious.  And the coffee was shitty.
    Another consideration is that if you're planning on doing quant stuff at a think tank, almost all of the policy programs are going to provide the minimum of what you need to make that happen, and you'll be able to supplement whatever you need on top.  I'm at Sanford and you can do as much or as little quant as you want.  Also, for heavier quant stuff, employers are mostly looking for PhDs to handle it.  So you won't really be able to set yourself apart just by going to Harris.  If anything it's the network and name you'll be paying for, so you have to ask yourself how much that's worth to you.  Again, you will be able to get virtually anything with Evans that you get with Harris, it just may take a little more initiative.
    Regret is a personal decision.  I know people who are so indecisive that they regret literally every decision they ever make, and every decision they DON'T make on top.  It's awful.  I remember how anxious I was about choosing schools, and how nervous I was when I first got to Sanford.  The spreadsheet and everything.  In hindsight of course it was needless.  Just remind yourself that with two such excellent choices you can't really go wrong.  Best of luck!
  5. Upvote
    3dender reacted to hbgurley in Would you apply to more of less schools?   
    I applied to 7 schools and had no idea that the acceptance rate is much higher than for undergrad studies at those same schools. I applied to too many schools that sounded good on paper but weren't located in a city or geographic are in which I would want to live. So, I would encourage you to apply to schools that you don't think you would get in (Harvard or Princeton for lots of applicants) if you would actually attend the schools once accepted, and then apply to schools that will give you a distinct advantage, whether that school offers a specialization in a particular field of public administration/policy, allows you attend because of generous financial aid, or is located in a place that you want to end up after school. Don't go through the headache of applying to schools just to have safeties if you wouldn't actually attend anyway; it isn't worth the time or money. Chances are you will get into more schools than you think you will, by default. That seems to be the consensus around here.
  6. Upvote
    3dender got a reaction from acerbicb in Would you apply to more of less schools?   
    I applied to 8 programs.  It wasn't a financial hardship for me and I'm glad I did.  I don't think extra apps necessarily take all that much more effort.  I.e. the essays are subtly different but if you write out a template you can adapt it to different applications without much extra work.
    Take my advice with salt though, because I was so long away from school and so far from policy that I really had no idea of my qualifications.  I even had 4-5 lesser programs (with later deadlines) on deck in case I got rejected from all of my 1st-tier attempts.  Thankfully that ended up being unnecessary.  Hearing back from so many schools of varying quality with varying offers helped clarify my decision-making.
    If you already have a good idea how you rate compared to other applicants, applying to more than 4-5 schools is probably not necessary.  You should try to cultivate a more specific idea of what you want with respect to programs, locations, and eventual job.  If you do that thinking up front, applying to less schools will happen organically.
  7. Upvote
    3dender reacted to MPPKollege in Prestige vs Affordability   
    Do not take excessive debt for a public policy/public affairs degree. Unless the school is Kennedy or SAIS, it is not worth spending close to $100,000 for a masters. 
  8. Upvote
    3dender reacted to PaoloC in Difference Between MPP/MIA/MPA Programs and Career Prospects   
    To me, it's just different names for the similar programs. Policy schools aren't standardized like, say, business or law schools where an MBA or JD is the universally recognized degree program. 
    The one-year MPP at WWS is almost identical in its flexibility and entrance requirements as the MC/MPA at HKS; whereas MPP at HKS is a two-year program. So, don't read too much into the titles of the degree and choose a program that aligns with your learning priorities. 
  9. Upvote
    3dender got a reaction from pubpolgal in 2019 M.P.P. UC Berkeley (Goldman) v/s Georgetown (McCourt)   
    People who have been to policy school will value Goldman over SIPA domestically.  People who don't know about policy will probably consider them all at a similar level, I imagine in the close order of Columbia-Georgetown-Berkeley.  If you want to work internationally it's SIPA with McCourt a close 2nd and Goldman a more distant third.  If you want to work on the West Coast it's Berkeley all the way with Columbia 2nd and McCourt 3rd.  If you want to work in NYC it's obviously Columbia. If you want to work in DC it's obviously McCourt.  Each school has a solid network so you have about the same chances of someone pulling strings for you to get a job.  Columbia is a bigger program so maybe more networking possibilities, but most of them go international making the net domestic effect about the same as the other programs.
    So yeah basically it depends on where you want to be and what you want to do.  The reputational pecking order also doesn't matter as much as some people often convince themselves.  if you don't write a compelling cover letter and give a good interview your $120k Columbia degree won't get you anything over a solid candidate from a twenty-something-ranked school.  E.g. I'm about to graduate from Sanford and have a handful of job opportunities that are everything I could have wanted from any policy school.  At no point have I ever felt disadvantaged in comparison to folks from HKS or Columbia or Berkeley or McCourt, etc.
  10. Upvote
    3dender reacted to SketchesOfSpain in SIPA vs Heinz vs UW Evans vs Syracuse Maxwell - MPA 2019   
    Unless your family is uber wealthy, there's no world where an Ivy League MPA is worth another $120,000 in debt over Syracuse (and that's before you factor in the living expenses of NYC vs. Syracuse).
    If name is that big of a deal to you (and I get that), look deeper into CMU but for whatever little it's worth Syracuse is the #1 ranked Public Affairs program and #1 specifically in Public Finance
  11. Like
    3dender got a reaction from indecisivemf in Prestige vs Affordability   
    Do you know where you want to work?  Evans is a great school, and from what I hear near the quality of Harris.  But its network is obviously strongest on the West Coast.  Harris has more going on in the East Coast.   That said, I don't think you'd find it overly challenging to get a job on the East Coast coming from Evans, it would just be easier from Harris.  Are you able to go to the open houses?  I went to Harris's and almost immediately hated the vibe of the school.  Seemed very pretentious.  And the coffee was shitty.
    Another consideration is that if you're planning on doing quant stuff at a think tank, almost all of the policy programs are going to provide the minimum of what you need to make that happen, and you'll be able to supplement whatever you need on top.  I'm at Sanford and you can do as much or as little quant as you want.  Also, for heavier quant stuff, employers are mostly looking for PhDs to handle it.  So you won't really be able to set yourself apart just by going to Harris.  If anything it's the network and name you'll be paying for, so you have to ask yourself how much that's worth to you.  Again, you will be able to get virtually anything with Evans that you get with Harris, it just may take a little more initiative.
    Regret is a personal decision.  I know people who are so indecisive that they regret literally every decision they ever make, and every decision they DON'T make on top.  It's awful.  I remember how anxious I was about choosing schools, and how nervous I was when I first got to Sanford.  The spreadsheet and everything.  In hindsight of course it was needless.  Just remind yourself that with two such excellent choices you can't really go wrong.  Best of luck!
  12. Upvote
    3dender reacted to ExponentialDecay in Prestige vs Affordability   
    Which program at Harris? From what I remember, the PhD-level classes are reserved for MACRM and that quant-heavy policy program. idk if MPPs can get into them, even if they are technically allowed to take them. 
    Regarding quantitative work, it's not only reserved for PhDs (especially the low-level stuff), but if you're definitely committed to it, I'd reconsider doing a policy degree at all. If you have a strong enough math and programming background as is, you can get a low-level policy quant job now (depending on the prestige of your undergrad, that will take more to less cold-calling, but it's totally feasible). Likewise, if you're fixated on getting another degree, I'd get a degree in stats, economics or DS. You can build a quantitative background at most policy schools right now, but the rigor is definitely geared towards humanities majors, which may work for you if you're very good at math or you're a humanities major, but if you're in between, I think you'll struggle to get a deep enough understanding to succeed in a quanty job. 
    I wouldn't take out 6 figures for a policy degree. That's an unnecessarily high debt load for almost any degree. 
  13. Upvote
    3dender got a reaction from MPP2468 in Duke Sanford 2019   
    I'm graduating from Sanford in about a month.  A couple of notes on themes I've seen in this thread:
    1) I was able to leverage a strong offer from another school into getting $5k more per year back in 2017.  I'm not sure if they still do this but it's worth asking Jessica Pan.  You might be able to get more for all I know.
    2) I have actually been able to get an assistantship for 3/4 semesters, and this is pretty common so you can mostly count on an extra $4k (really $3600 since it is taxed as income).
  14. Upvote
    3dender reacted to indecisivemf in Prestige vs Affordability   
    Hello Everyone, 
    Accepted to: 
    Harris (MPP) Scholarship 15k
    Evans (MPA) some fellowship 
    UCSD GPS was not considering it until it gave me full scholarship
    Maxwell, Boston (MAEP), GW: no aid
    Leaning towards: Harris. for its reputation, courses and faculty members. I  want to work in the quant side of policy analysis which Harris is known for. But I will have to take loan to afford it and it is a VERY expensive school 
    Evans: I plan to concentrate on policy analysis for MPA so I can study courses I am interested in without breaking the bank 
    I have never been to chicago and liked Seattle. Hoping to work for a think tank!  
    What are your suggestions? As a first generation college student having to take all these decisions by myself is very overwhelming. I am always afraid that I will regret the decision of choosing one over the other. 
    Thank you! 
     
  15. Upvote
    3dender reacted to SketchesOfSpain in Prestige vs Affordability   
    @3dender has the correct take here. Overall, UDub is probably the highest thought of school in the NW by the average person and there's no public sector job up there that would look down on a UW degree. U Chicago is going to have much better name prestige nationwide.
    Now, if your career path is D.C. think tank or bust, Harris will probably help you out a bit more but you're not losing in either direction. You're in a great spot to be debating whether you want to go to UDub or Harris and no matter what you do, there'll be moments you regret the decision, but that's life and every decision we make.
  16. Upvote
    3dender got a reaction from eakatz123 in McCourt, Sanford, Or Ford? (MPP)   
    Hi, I am soon to be graduating from Sanford.
    1)  Ford and Sanford have a stronger reputation nationally than McCourt.  As for curriculum, I can't speak to McCourt but Sanford is strongest with education, social policy and NatSec.  They also have a decent international development curriculum.  I am a generalist and have been a little disappointed that they don't offer more on local government and nonprofits (which is what I'm ultimately gravitating toward).  I know that Ford is good for health and environmental policy, not sure about other areas.
    2) McCourt clearly would have the best DC connections, although Sanford has an extensive DC network as well, and they organize a networking trip over your first winter break.  Ford, afaik, is a distant 3rd in this aspect.
    3) Ranking does not really matter when you get into the top 20-30 schools.  It's all about where you want to ultimately be and which program can best facilitate that.  I do tend to agree with USNWR that the education at McCourt is not as good as you will get at Sanford or Ford.  The McCourt attraction is mostly for the DC connections, which definitely have their own value.
    4) This is a personal question so I'd have to know more about you to adequately answer.  Feel free to message me with specific questions.  I will say that my favorite professor at Sanford got his PhD at Ford and raves about it.  According to him the education at Ford blows Sanford out of the water.  I will say Durham is a really cool city and one of the more interesting places to be in the country right now, not only from a social perspective but policy-wise as well.
     
  17. Downvote
    3dender got a reaction from LizKay in My husband has turned into something horrible   
    You need to get a divorce.  Now.  You didn't mention kids which makes it even more of a no-brainer.  Any avowed Nazi in 2017 is essentially a psychopath.  Get out, and tell everyone you (and he) know how big of a Nazi your ex is.
    Make Nazis/fascists/racists/sexists afraid again.
  18. Upvote
    3dender got a reaction from thismustbetheplace in Sanford MPP Fall 2018   
    That's what I'd suggest. Jessica Pan will be your point of contact.
  19. Upvote
    3dender reacted to TheOfficeFan in Sanford MPP Fall 2018   
    I want to thank you three, @3dender, @frsc, and @LizFromCA -- you've made me feel really welcome, and cleared up a lot of questions/concerns I had about the program! I'll be in touch directly, and maybe we can grab coffee during that open house weekend of April 6th.
  20. Like
    3dender reacted to TheOfficeFan in Sanford MPP Fall 2018   
    Hey folks! I was recently accepted to Sanford, and I wanted to reach out and see if anyone will be attending the Open House weekend, as it's looking like Duke is a major possibility for me and I'm planning on being in Durham for the event. I'm still dealing with a fair bit of frustration/sadness about being rejected from Berkeley Goldman, as my partner looks like she's going to be admitted to the MCP program there and as a result we might soon be a bicoastal couple. Any awesome words about the Sanford program would be appreciated! I know it's an incredible program and I'm exceedingly grateful for getting in, so I'm trying to pull out of the Berkeley rejection as much as possible and focus on what a great opportunity I have at Duke.
    I'm interested in progressive climate policy -- any other open house attendees interested in environmental policy? Would love to start making some connections.
    Best of luck with the rest of your decision-making processes!
  21. Upvote
    3dender reacted to frsc in Sanford MPP Fall 2018   
    Yo! Totally agree with above comment and I'm guessing im friends with that above individual HAHA As a first year MPP thats as far left as you'll get + I'm from Cali, lived in Oakland, I had similar concerns to you. But... Durham is a hub of progressive, radical energy. In some ways, I like it more than Oakland cuz its smaller and there aren't already a ton of radicals doing stuff all the time. There is a mix of families, young, old, black, white, etc. at protests, ENTIRE city council and mayor are trying to be progressive in regressive state, and it feels better to be involved (just my opinion) because you feel like you can really contribute in a place thats trying but isn't quite (YET???) where Berkeley and Oakland are at. Durham is the unexpected highlight for me in any case. Duke itself is unavoidably a conservative institution as mentioned (ie spent at least 2 million dollars to kill grad student union last year),  which again, provides opportunities to make changes. But Sanford is sort of dominated by center-left, probably happily voted HRC types, with a new faction of young professors trying to move it Left (seemingly). Type of view that "market failures are problem," not "lets take down capitalism." Common philosophical viewpoint of policy as technical skill (data data data) rather than political power game (ie people are not talking Foucault/Angela Davis in class all that much, though we try), common acceptance of Voltaire-style free speech liberalism rather than widespread acceptance of deplatforming/ANTIFA etc. But you will absolutely find a sizable minority contingent that are basically outright against the neoclassical microeconomics curriculum, anticapitalist, openly antiracist, etc. As mentioned, there are also the military folk (maybe 10/80 students in my year), and honestly, I second the fact that they are typically more conservative, but I also love exchanging with some of them. Just today had some fun jokes cuz one of them invited me to a defense class (mostly as a joke cuz they know I would just rant anti-imperialism the whole time). They have a different viewpoint that is often irreconcilable with mine but you can really get a lot of knowledge/perspective on empire/intelligence/etc from them. And most of them are really cool people, often officers, and at Sanford to learn first and foremost. A few engage with Left ideas for first time, quite earnestly. Plus, personally, I want to stay in touch with people I disagree with while in school, left Oakland partly cuz I was bored of nothing but radicalism. If you get nothing out of talking to centrists and the right, you'll NOT love a lot of the chat and class. If you get something from bringing Left perspective and energy to center and right, then you'll like it.
  22. Upvote
    3dender got a reaction from Aradhana94 in My husband has turned into something horrible   
    You need to get a divorce.  Now.  You didn't mention kids which makes it even more of a no-brainer.  Any avowed Nazi in 2017 is essentially a psychopath.  Get out, and tell everyone you (and he) know how big of a Nazi your ex is.
    Make Nazis/fascists/racists/sexists afraid again.
  23. Like
    3dender got a reaction from sc9an in Chapel Hill, NC   
    April is a little early to find a lot of stuff.  We are on a college schedule here, so you see leases starting in either June or August for the most part.  
    As far as specific places to look, there are some decent townhouse complexes that will be in your price range located on Fidelity St., which is a great location in proximity to downtown Carrboro.  There's a complex at the end of Fidelity (400 Davie) that has a bunch of brick townhouses, maybe not 3BR but at least 2.  There is also the White Oak complex at 105 Fidelity that's even closer to town.
    On the North side of town, there are a few complexes off of N. Greensboro St. which are also at an excellent, walking/bus location.  These complexes are located on Todd St., Sue Ann Ct., Thomas Ln. and possibly even Pleasant St. (though I haven't been down there for awhile).  Finally, there's a complex a little further west of downtown (actually very near where I live), on Westview Dr. which is right off of W Main St. near a cool coffee shop called Johnny's.  I'd be surprised if you couldn't find something that fits your family out of all of these possibilities.  (Garages, however, are few and far between in the rental community.)
    I'm much less familiar with Durham, but I know that in general you will get more bang for your buck over there.  The 25-min. commute gets unpleasant from what I hear, but if you're a student you get a free pass on the Robertson's shuttle that connects Duke and UNC.  I will be attending Duke this fall and will be commuting via shuttle.  I hope this helps, and if you have any further questions just let me know.
  24. Upvote
    3dender got a reaction from devpolicy in Duke vs Princeton   
    I think @QK91 summed it up pretty well.  And from reading between the lines it looks like you're leaning toward Princeton on points 2 and 3.  I would actually go further than QK on both points, because it's my impression that Princeton is one of the 3 or 4 globally recognized U.S. universities, whereas you can't say the same about Duke.  
    Also, for point 3, I heartily agree with your suspicion that the Princeton area -- an hour or so from NYC -- is way more interesting for an international student.  That's where I'd want to be if I were coming to the U.S. for the first time.  Don't get me wrong -- I've lived near Durham for 15 years now and I like the area.  It's only 20 minutes from Raleigh too, which is a cool, up-and-coming mid-size city.  But it's no NYC.
    So unless you see something about the Core or other course offerings at Sanford that really sways you, it seems like Princeton is a better fit.  I say this reluctantly because I too am going to Sanford and would love to have another highly-competent international student in my cohort. . . but the good news it that you can't really go wrong when choosing between two amazing places, so congratulations on that at least! 
  25. Upvote
    3dender got a reaction from alisham in Best computer for Graduate Life? (Do I really need to save up for a MacBook Pro?)   
    If it's compatible, Macbooks are worth the premium (not Pro, I agree you don't need that).  They require hardly any maintenance and a few years down the road are still running 90% as fast as when new.  I've never met a PC I can say the same about -- and that's before even taking into account all the countless hours you will spend running virus/malware scans.  
    I don't like Apple snobbery but their machines are simply better and it's not particularly close.
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