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PHL City Planner

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  1. Thanks both! Have either of you thought about an MBA instead? I've been talking to some coworkers and friends and they've floated the idea of an MBA because of its versatility, and you can often take policy courses at other schools within the university/sister institutions. One good friend of mine was in the same policy/business debate and opted for her MBA. If so, I imagine there are specific MBA programs that are "softer" on business, and have policy or public finance concentrations. Interested in your thoughts.
  2. I have a good friend who was HKS '17. She was able to defer for professional reasons; she worked in ID and wanted to stay abroad for one more year. I know HKS isn't on your list, but it's at least possible at some schools. Not sure about funding, but I'd have to assume deferring wouldn't result in a reevaluation of funding in your favor. They'd hold your place at your current offer of admission and/or not be able to commit to funding levels next year (those allocations vary each year and aren't committed that far in the future). If you want to do the Fulbright and get additional funding by starting a year later, my scientific guess would be that you'd need to reapply.
  3. Throwing my hat in the ring for 2019 matriculation. Any thoughts/pointers would be appreciated Program: MPP/MPA Schools Applying To: WWS, HKS - see below for concerns Interests: Domestic/urban policy - specifically economic development and government-business policy Undergrad Institution: Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude in biology from top 20 competitive liberal arts college (2010) Undergraduate GPA: 3.71 Grad Institution: Master's of City Planning from top 3 Ivy League program (2012) with a few fellowships/scholarships thrown in Graduate GPA: 3.73 GRE: TBD - taking August 2018 Quantitative Courses: calc, micro econ, urban econ, statistics, plenty of science classes, etc. (not worried about my quant experience) Age: 29 Work Experience: after finishing my master's I worked for 3 years in consulting working on public-private partnership deal structures, public sector real estate redevelopment, and economic development projects. For the past 3 years I've been a civil servant working for DOT in one of their policy offices, focused on real estate projects and some fine-grained accounting and financial analyses projects for some very large federal grant recipients. I also participate in some industry forums on urban revitalization, and volunteer for LGBT organizations. LORs: TBD but three in total. Likely two from work: 1) my office director, who is an HKS grad and an SES, and 2) my current division chief. Third will probably be from my undergrad thesis advisor/close mentor (biology professor) who supervised my senior thesis. Concerns: I have arrived at wanting an MPA/MPP degree slowly - if you told me even 1-2 years ago that I'd be considering going back to school I wouldn't believe you. I think the rigor of a policy program would do a lot to catalyze my career; I eventually want to work at the city-level. Reading through the courses, simulations, and curricula available at these programs really excites me. I have a few concerns. I am a bit nervous that my GRE score will not be super competitive (92%+ percentile) for HKS and WWS because it's been a while since I've had to study for a standardized test. I'm sure lots of us deal with "imposter's syndrome" but it's especially true for me so I need to build my confidence to really sell myself. Also, I am really interested in domestic urban policy, which seems to be less popular among MPA/MPP programs. HKS and WWS both have solid programs focused on that concentration. What are some others? The other constraint is that my husband and I are located in the Northeast and would like to stay in that region. I'm tempted to apply to only 2-4 programs that really fit my interests and see what happens.
  4. I thought I read on HKS's Admissions Blog (a post from 2016 I think) that they do not do rolling admission; has this changed? Anyone know what their policy is now/if there is a benefit to applying as early as possible?
  5. Hey everyone - I realize it's only April, but I figured I'd get started on the HKS thread for 2019 matriculation. A little about me: I'm a 2010 grad from a competitive small liberal arts college, 2012 masters in city planning from an ivy (both with honors), worked in public finance consulting for three years, now working as a civil servant in a policy office in transportation. I'm active in a few LGBT causes, and have a fellowship with a large, international professional organization that focuses on urban revitalization. I'm taking the GRE in August. I'm attracted to HKS and other MPP programs that offer programs in domestic policy, economic development, and urban policy. I'm nervous but excited to go through the application process, and to be nearly 30(!). Currently brainstorming essay topics, and how to best hone my story. What about you?
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