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About yellina122

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    Espresso Shot

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  • Location
    Cambridge, MA
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
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  1. I suspect that it'd be just that- they pay off whatever needs to be paid of for your tuition and then the school sends you a check for whatever is left. That's how all the federal support works, but a specific fellowship might be different!
  2. I heard on Wednesday! My total offer was originally $24k total, but SIPA actually ended up nearly doubling it to $44k total. So don't lose hope y'all!
  3. Hey guys, added all the appropriate info to the google doc, but just wanted to put it out there that Columbia SIPA ended up increasing my scholarship offer by nearly half even though I didn't have funding offers from other schools. For all my future SIPA-hopefuls reading this, it is 100% worth the time to fill out the request for additional funding! I honestly didn't think I had a leg to stand on, but they've been more generous this year (with me, and other folks I've talked to on this forum and at Admitted Students Day) than in the past.
  4. They gave me $24k for the two years, which was in itself a big surprise because they notoriously give out very little aid. If finances are a concern for you, I'd reassess your list to some degree. Like I said- SIPA isn't known for giving much aid, though that shouldn't prevent you from applying because you never know. NYU gives basically nothing- we're talking not a single person on this forum or folks I know personally who received $$$ this year. But you can go part-time while working full time, so it makes it a little more feasible. If you plan to stay in the NYC area, CUNY Baruch has a well-respected program that's pretty inexpensive for in-state folks! I definitely would have applied there had I not already heard from SIPA before I finished the application.
  5. Hey @marid I came from a similar professional background to you! I also worked at a nonprofit that provides community-based services for people with mental health conditions in my state, and recently accepted my offer for Columbia SIPA so that I can eventually advocate for the same population in a variety of policy areas. It sounds like your academics, internships, and work experience are all very solid. The biggest question I'm wondering, and that I imagine the admissions folks would also wonder, is why go back to school for an MPA when you already have a degree in public administration? MPA programs, while extremely variable depending on the school you go to and your concentration, are usually a split between practical business/management/economics/finance classes and more theoretical policy courses, but I'd expect you would have already covered a lot of that as an undergrad. If you're looking to move towards research, policy analysis, or other forms of analytics in the field then it definitely makes sense to return to school- but my recommendation would be to think more seriously about an MPP or MPH. So long as getting a higher degree really is an important step in meeting your goals and you have a solid answer for it within your SOP, you will be fine! Point to a specific problem you've encountered at your org and discuss how a higher degree, but especially that school's higher degree, will help you solve it. The biggest weakness in your application will probably be your quant grades. However, I definitely recommend explaining the lower ones in your supplemental essays, and those grades could be made null if you get a high score on your GRE Quant, so devote some significant time to studying for it.
  6. Hey there~ I went to ASD yesterday and loved it! I sat in on the talks for USP (Urban Social Policy Concentration), the panel discussing the Management, Women, and Tech Media & Communications specializations, and the one discussing the regional specializations. The USP concentration talk was really great. I got the sense that there's a lot of camaraderie and inclusiveness within the cohort, and there's a ton of flexibility in what classes you can take and not a lot of requirements. The acting director made a point to say that people in this concentration were very likely to find a job they wanted right after graduating. As for that first specialization panel, I was there mainly to hear about TMaC so when we broke into groups that's what I stuck with. I loved what the specialization director had to say though! She was a huge advocate for the cohort. It's one of the smaller specializations but apparently very tight-knit, the students are very involved in designing new classes and picking future lecturers and professors, and remain in close contact well into their careers. Anya (the specialization director) made a big pitch about how the TMaC network really supports one another in their careers, how she's personally made calls to help students get the jobs they want. There are also a lot of research and funding opportunities in the TMaC cohort.
  7. Program Applied To: MPA/MPPSchools Applied To: HKS, SIPA, Wagner, WWSSchools Admitted To: SIPA ($), Wagner Schools Rejected From: HKS, WWSUndergraduate institution: BUUndergraduate GPA: 3.46Undergraduate Major: PsychologyGRE Quantitative Score: 159GRE Verbal Score: 169GRE AW Score: 5.5Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 4.5Years of Work Experience: 4.5 Describe Relevant Work Experience: 2 Years P/T neoropsych research on Autism and other disabilities as an undergraduate; summer internship in children's psychiatric ward and 9-month internship at a hospital school in London that supported kids with disabilities; 1.5 years in cancer research management post-grad; now 3 years working in fundraising, communications, and advocacy at a nonprofit that provides services for people with disabilities (mental and intellectual/developmental) Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): Definitely strong. I framed my reason for going back to school well: that after working in research, direct care, and nonprofit administration for people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities, I realized that even the most groundbreaking research and effective treatments couldn't curtail the fallout of indifferent, inadequate policymaking. My goal is to create policy that better serves people with disabilities, who aside from needing access to affordable and effective healthcare (duh, amirite?) also need someone pulling for them in talks about transportation, supported employment, and- of great interest to me- political engagement. I launched an initiative at my nonprofit to train people with disabilities and the staff that support them in civic participation/voting, and I really want to expand it citywide by partnering with local government and nonprofits, wherever I end up for school. My experience has been pretty varied, but it has all been in support of the same population. Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): Very, very strong. My direct supervisor wrote a letter for me that was extremely specific to what I want to do in school (voter advocacy, supporting people with disabilities through policy). The CEO of my org wrote a letter that he actually had me read first that was absolutely glowing. And one of my lit. professors from BU wrote me what I have high confidence was a strong letter about my abilities as a student. Decision: SIPA all the way! I have family in Queens so I can live there for free; my current job in Boston has offered to allow me to work PT/remotewhich (along with the workstudy I got) will cover my cost of living and help me pay down some of my debt as I go. The $$$ SIPA offered me was a big surprise, but even so I've petitioned to get more so we'll see what happens. And my big brother offered to help me pay for school so I won't end up taking out more in loans than I'd make in my first year's salary after graduating. Basically all the stars have aligned to allow me to go to my dream school, and I'm very happy about it
  8. @Tk2356 Congrats, man!! I'll see you at the end of August, then. My impression (from talking to alums/perusing career sources) is more that a greater number NYU grads want to go into municipal government than those at SIPA, therefore a greater proportion achieve that goal. SIPA has many many more folks going into international work or the private sector, neither of which NYU is especially strong in- at least compared to Columbia. It also seems like the sectors of municipal govt grads go into vary significantly between the schools. NYU has a little bit of everyone everywhere, largely starting as policy analysts; but SIPA has a really strong presence at the OMB, at management levels, and in the Mayor's offices (since de Blasio is an alum).
  9. Hey there! I was also deciding between Wagner and SIPA (and chose SIPA, for a whole bunch of reasons pretty specific to my situation/interests). Would you go to NYU full-time? NYU is a little less expensive than SIPA but the prospect of working while in school to at least cover cost of living- so you don't have to take out loans for it- was very enticing for me. If we're talking american education policy, my gut reaction is that NYU is the better deal. I've talked to alums there and they all agree that NYU is THE place to go if you're committed to working in the nonprofit world and/or municipal government locally, or at the very least domestically. From my understanding, the rankings are accrued by asking professors at public administration schools what they think of other schools, so not necessarily an objective metric. I totally understand the allure of going to an ivy because it's an ivy and you got into an ivy holy shit, but brand value for schools doesn't mean a ton in this field. The biggest factor should be fit for you- in terms of money, your interests, etc.
  10. I would strongly recommend taking an econometrics or stats course! I took econ through Erie Community College online and it was both a cake-walk and definitely significantly contributed to my getting into my top school (SIPA). I had actually talked with a couple admissions reps from SIPA beforehand and they expressed that despite getting 159 on the quant section, because I didn't have a strong history of coursework for economics, I should take a class if I can. It's kind of costly (~$1k if I remember correctly), but can be worth it!
  11. A one-way amtrak leaving at 9 or 10 pm would run you ~50 if you book soon and it is HIGHLY preferable to taking the bus. You never know what will happen as far as busses go, but amtrak is comfortable and usually on time (unless there is pre-announced delays).
  12. No worries! If you're based on the East Coast now, you should try to visit SIPA too in the next few weeks (if you haven't already been there). Even though I've already made my decision, I'm actually really looking forward to my the Admitted Students Day as a chance to be on campus now knowing that I can actually attend. If you're seriously considering doing NYC in the long-run anyways, I'd go for SIPA. That's at least how I'm thinking about it- better to make friends, lay down roots, and do internships in the city where I'm planning to stay. The thought of going to Cali or London for a couple years was tempting, but it can be hard to find connections in one city that'll give you an "in" elsewhere- though not impossible. And two years isn't that long! I do know a handful of people who work in the architecture sphere around BOS. It tends to be a split between people who went to Wentworth and people who started blue collar and worked their way up/did night school. There are definitely jobs to be had, but probably fewer than in NY just by merit of the fact that Boston is much smaller than NY is.
  13. Hey there, congratulations! Columbia and Harvard are both incredible schools, and while no one can tell you which will be the perfect fit, here are some recommendations on comparison points from a lifelong compulsive list-maker: 1. What type of job in what field (i.e. nonprofit, municipal govt, NGO, etc.) would you want after graduating? What are the stats like for each school in terms of how many students go into that area? Be sure to also look at the average salary they report. 2. Classes and professors that interest you from both schools. Are there more from one school than the other? 3. Basic program stats: Class size, international population, average age, number of courses offered, number of alumni, and number of students in your graduating class. My personal take on this (from the research I did) is that Columbia would be a slightly younger population than HKS, but with a more internationally diverse student body, and a larger veteran population. 4. Which city would you be happier living in? I'm a big believer in making decisions like these based not only on what's practical, but what excites you and suits your personality. I'm a born-and-bred NYer whose been living in Boston for the past 8 years, and I can say that the choice between NYC and BOS is an easy one for me- NYC all the way. But they are very different. Boston, at least to me, is a quiet town. There's plenty to do if you go looking for it, but certainly not the endless possibilities you get in NYC. It's safe, proud, very white, and very homogenous in terms of the types of people who live here- college kids and lifelong Bostonians. Most of the non-college kids will tell you their major interests are the Pats, the Red Sox, the bruins, and drinking beer. That's not a bad thing at all, but it's definitely part of the culture! You'll of course most likely find more diversity in race, background, and interests on Harvard's campus and in your program. Boston is beautiful for at least 6 months of the year (fuck these March snow storms), and Cambridge (where I live!) is a really pleasant place to live. "Pleasant" is actually the best word I can think of to describe it. There's very little to dislike. New York, on the other hand, is a true city. It's endlessly diverse, and no matter your interest you'll be able to find a group of people who share it. There are a million opportunities to try new things, get exposed to new ideas and new types of people. You can also find that same sense of homey camaraderie in your local neighborhood (depending on where you live) that you would anywhere else in America. There's this sense once you find your way in NY that you've earned something, and that you belong, which I've always loved. It's a place that can feel big and overwhelming, but IMO that's true of most places while you're still finding your niche. But once you find it, NYC has this way of feeling magical that other cities just never match. (Again...I'm a bit biased haha). 5. Is $40k worth your happiness? $40,000 is a lot of money. A free ride is a better deal by far. But the experience of going to your dream school (if HKS is your dream school) might be worth that $40k. You're the only one who can decide that If you have any NYC/BOS q's, feel free to hit me up!
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