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catchermiscount last won the day on May 16 2014

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  1. I wouldn't take this advice too seriously. Yes, having a good GPA helps, but a 3.9 is not absolutely necessary. A good rest-of-the-application-packet can more than make up for a 3.4 or whatever.
  2. There was a time when this is true, and that time might still be today. But, the current trends within methodology seem to be steering methodologists away from econometrics and toward statistics. Look at all of the methodologists (and smart applied folks) that are crushing it today (particularly those that have come out of Harvard), and you'll see a lot of the potential outcomes framework, a lot of experimental language (hell, a lot of experiments and field experiments), and so on. Many of the top methods rockstars have master's degrees in statistics. Now, I don't know that this means
  3. Look at the scholars you most like to read in your particular area. If they're assistant professors or young associates, consider where they did their PhD. If they're advanced associates or fulls, consider where they work now.
  4. I think it's interesting how the public-private thing plays out across social sciences. It really isn't that big of a deal, but it's not-a-big-deal-ness varies a bit across disciplines. Think about a discipline generally more liberal than our own (like sociology) or one more conservative than our own (like economics). I'm painting with really broad brushstrokes here, by the way. Anyway, I took some US News data for the top 50 or so schools in each discipline and made this plot. Note that the divide is stronger in econ than it is in polisci, and that the divide in polisci is stronger th
  5. There many not be a conventional wisdom. I contacted the professor that ended up being my committee chair, but he's adamant that contacting faculty is at best futile and at worst annoying. If it does matter, it's at the margins.
  6. It happens. You should do your best to avoid Doubt Time, but fact is, Doubt Time happens. Doubt Time is sometimes good for you; for example, it's the thing that lets you know if an idea you thought was good last week is, in fact, terrible. But there's an Aristotelian balance on this one.
  7. That's pretty much what I was getting at, yeah. In celebration of the upcoming job market season, I'm not letting myself use jargon, even if it's appropriate and the first word that comes to mind (e.g. endogenous). Otherwise, my job market paper is going to be a real killer. Anyway, to the point: if you come across as a reasonably smart, reasonably nice, reasonably hardworking, reasonably creative person, "the department" (and yes, they probably talk about you, which would make them able to coordinate if they so chose) would do the right thing. This applies to lots of things, including
  8. That said, "the bar" is a somewhat qualitative thing, and the relationship between grades and over-the-bar-ness can go in either direction.
  9. You work, and you work, and you work. You work in the office. You take laps around the office every now and again to make sure that you're seen. You demonstrate that you're perceptive, hard-working, and collegial on a daily basis: in classes, in the office, everywhere. You do that, and you do just fine. You have more background than some of us did (myself included). This is the last summer that you'll get to do a lot of things, and you should do them. You should read for fun. You should spend time with folks you care about. And you should just keep breathing, which is the most
  10. Definitely not expected. Quite rare to see. I had nothing close to a pub during my transfer, though my writing sample was probably better than many folks that didn't benefit from graduate experience.
  11. This. There really isn't a "day in the life of an RA." The gigs are far too idiosyncratic. When you get to campus, it will be very important that you have the expectations of the gig stated in no uncertain terms.
  12. I coordinated it; it sort of gave a reason for them to respond to my email, even if the response was "I will be monumentally busy at APSA, so go fly a kite, kid."
  13. I did decide not to apply to a place based on an email exchange with a faculty member. My email had the usual "here's what I want to study and here's why I think you and I could be a fit," and his response was a very terse "I'm taking on students, but I wouldn't want you. You should apply to Rochester. But if you came here, I guess it could work maybe." So, I didn't apply. My general impression is that the email thing doesn't matter very much. The professor that I emailed before applying here, who is now my dissertation committee chair, claims that it has nothing to do with anything.
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