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Everything posted by GradSchoolGrad

  1. If you want to do intelligence work, Elliot has better connections than SIPA. SIPA might be a better brand overall. However, it isn't exactly the best for intelligence or defense.
  2. I don't think the biggest issue are the academics or even the administration (at least directly). It has to do with the market (which are students). Universities are being treated as consumer product now. This is why by in large, universities often come off as eco-chambers (be it with a liberal slant or a conservative slant - and yes there are conservative slant Universities or programs) because students are to a certain extent self-segregating to the University culture they want to be a part of. The University of Austin is essentially appealing to an untapped market of those students (and the
  3. I think you are super competitive, and I recommend for you to shoot higher as well (like throw in HKS in there). This is due to: A. Your diversity of experience B. Your interest in less academically popular policy focus area (believe or not housing policy, is not that popular in policy schools because of the amount of intersection with real estate business understanding that is required to fully understand everything) C. You got quant down (I'm assuming you went to Boston College). One thing I recommend you think about is if you want to go to a California school or not.
  4. So one big deciding factor that neither I nor anyone can know is how competitive the next cycle will be. It is way to early to project that. I am saying that right now, in a less competitive cycle, even as a US student, you should struggle (although not be precluded) to get acceptance - even if you get a promotion to management. I think you have to appreciate the 3 core issues to your HKS application. 1. You need satisfy doubts about your ability to graduate. Your grad school program sounds non-quanty, and given the number of diploma mill grad programs out there (even among name bran
  5. Generally speaking - yes this is expected to be an easier year for policy school applications for US students. However, there is an expectation of the mass return of the international students. I don't know how they would bucket you coming from Canada. If you they count you as an international student, the odds are against you because most international students have academic marks better than that of the average American. If you they bucket you with the Americans, you would be going uphill, but it would be as challenging. Your low GPA could have been a reason why you were not ac
  6. If I were you, I would look into schools that have recently got massive donations - funding, but may not be as established as a top brand yet. Again, I don't know what they are targeting, but both Yale - Jackson and Georgetown McCourt got massive amounts of funding. Be warned, these are programs trying to be a top brand, but they have different issues for a reason.
  7. Its being pigeon holed by career services I was speaking to. If you come into MPP/MPA with no (or less than 1 year) full time work experience, you get bucketed as the same as a straight from undergrad. Then you would be pigeon holed for straight from undergrad career opportunities (can apply for research or graduate school support job opportunities as well). You do not want to pigeon-holed with the straight from undergrads, because for the most part, they are targeted for jobs that don't require a masters (although there might be master's pay bump or bonus, but that is increasingly going
  8. I am very uncomfortable with this question at large because there is no real way to rank schools like that. 1. Schools are rather secretive about what their strategic scholarship spending plans are 2. What was relevant last year may change the next year. 3. Even the stingiest schools may put aside money for specific people they are looking for (for example, I know of a graduate program willing to give Indian/Latin American students more scholarships one year in order to grow the Indian international student community to avoid being to Chinese international student exclusive). Th
  9. Ya even though you went to an awesome school and all, not having a job for 6 months is not a good look. I recommend you do well on a full time job for a year (pref 2) and then apply to max your chances of admissions plus funding. Even if you do get in, not being able to get hired is not a good look to career services and I am afraid you might get pigeon holed.
  10. I think you should have no problem getting in. The issue is funding. That is all tied to how diverse/unique you are given other people like you.
  11. The right answer is I don't know because I don't know how they will value your diversity. If they value it a lot, they might overlook your work experience and give you some funding. If they don't, they might just give you a little. Not only are schools different, but they change regularly.
  12. The issue is not the lack of your work experience, but the prestige/quality of your work experience compared to the competition (at least how you describe it now).
  13. Sooo, I wouldn't be completely sure that you are hitting #2 or how hard you are hitting it. Hitting #2 isn't competing against the entire class. It is competing against those that the admissions office equated to be of a similar diversity group as you (I am not sure how each school would designate you to be honest). That being said, 2 years of work experience by the time you start isn't that low. The issue is that unless there is something you aren't fully explaining, your work experience isn't anything too glitzy (I call it the cool stuff to publish on the alumni magazine standard). Sch
  14. So when admissions offices evaluate candidates, there are 3 mile markers. 1. Shows ability to graduate 2. Shows great potential to be asset to the school (this can be due to many different reasons, career potential, diversity, unique story and etc.) You hit this mile marker, and you'll get some scholarship 3. Rock star candidate, needs to be considered for full scholarship. I'm saying you obviously hit mile marker 1. You have the foundations for mile marker 2, but I'm struggling to connect the dots. You ain't hitting #3. I think your biggest challenge is that given yo
  15. Very rarely have I seen a case where a MPP or MPA combined with an IR masters as a dual degree makes any career sense (I mean I know people who did it for Ego reasons, wanted more time in grad school, or etc.) In terms of checking the box of being able to graduate - I think you got that. That might get you into some of the less competitive programs like UCLA Luskin or NYU Wagner. As for the more competitive ones like Harris - you need to have a good story too. Right now I see awesome bullet points, and I'm sure the story is there, but you aren't telling it. BTW... Stanford MPP is a
  16. Georgetown Security Studies is essential the top Security Studies program in the country, and GWU's is probably #1. Security Programs are super fickle. The reality is that they are essentially money makers for Universities. It is really hard to predict the chances of anyone getting in. As for going to a traditional IR program (like SAIS MAIR and SIPA MIA) - yes it can be a pathway to security, but that school's bread and butter isn't security. I'm not sure how much you'll really enjoy it. Also it makes no sense to go to New York only to try to shoot for a jobs in DC (where most Security j
  17. Yes, there will be one quant oriented class that will be challenging for you (probably the Strategy class or marketing class - depending on program where you at least have to conceptually understand derivatives). However, in terms of getting in, you know stats, and that is far better than many applicants. Your biggest weakness is that you haven't taken a standardized test yet. GRE or GMAT (for MBA, I do recommend GMAT because if you score well, you can get scholarship).
  18. I think you would be better off going to an MBA program and focusing on social impact / non-profit. Yale School of Management actually does a lot of Ed non-profit stuff.
  19. I don't doubt that each spot seems to think you can accomplish your goals within those degrees just like you could probably accomplish your goals without a degree (granted it would be harder). I just don't want you eat the marketing and get the constipation later. Grad schools (unlike undergrad) are profit centers for Universities and have recently come under a lot of pressure to grow their class sizes to help boost their financial intake for the University. More often than not, the after the admissions come in triangulation approach forces people to think about how they fit a school rather
  20. The number of schools you are applying to is a bit out of control. Not only is it a lot of schools, you are applying to 3 different types of programs (MPP, MPA, and Data oriented policy programs). I don't think you completely though through what programs best serve you and you are going the shotgun approach. More often than not, people I know who do that approach end up in grad schools that doesn't necessarily fit them well. Not exactly sure what side of software you did at FANG, but if you know data science already, a data programs makes zero sense for you.
  21. You are asking a really good question. And my recommendation is this. Unless you really really really need to be guided by someone and struggle to independently come up with your own course of research/study, it makes sense to go to a program for its functional capabilities over the specialization that offers AS LONG as the specialization isn't nothing (or next to nothing). The reason is because in IR - region, absolutely matters... BUT I will argue that for career purposes, its better to be grounded on functional area first (e.g., Trade, Security, Development, and etc.) and then region s
  22. If you are going for a scholarship or nothing approach, you might want to apply with consideration of what schools have money. Yes some of them will be the prestigious ones you applied to (Chicago and Harvard). However some of the prestigious ones like Columbia SIPA and Michigan aren't exactly scholarship friendly. You might want to consider lower tiered programs that actually have money to burn (especially for diversity like yourself) Georgetown MPP has pools of scholarship to give (in my other posts I warn about the issues of the program, but if you are all about the dollars, that might make
  23. Unless your essays suck and you can’t raise your scores a bit, you should be easy for HKS. Your diversity is rare plus you have all the quant background.
  24. You want to focus on schools that have a really strong founder / non-profit innovation network. HKS, U.Chicago, and Duke MPP are strong in this space. Georgetown definitely is not (they are more focused on traditional Fed government stuff). USC - I don't know enough about. Another route to consider is maybe think about MBA and go to the social impact route. You might actually get more out of it + better opportunities.
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