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About prokem

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  • Location
    California, USA
  • Application Season
    2020 Fall
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  1. just to add on, at both Michigan and Duke you can do a great dual degree program between the public policy and environmental schools. At Ford they also have a specific track for nonprofit management. I don't know anything about your work experience, but I wouldn't count yourself out at schools like that. If you look through the forums, you will find people who got acceptances and aid despite having limited relevant work experience or less than stellar undergrad transcripts. I think for you, having a great GRE score will definitely mitigate some of the concerns about GPA or class grades etc, as will great recommendations and a compelling SOP. Most schools look at apps holistically so even if you think you have one or two glaring weaknesses, that doesn't mean your app is hopeless.
  2. If FES is online in the fall, I will strongly consider deferring. One of the big reasons why I chose it is the community, and it won't be the same if we're only meeting via Zoom. My experience with online classes hasn't been positive. Even though they'll be much better in the fall (I assume, bc they'll have had months to prepare vs just a few weeks), I'm just not learning that much and really miss the classroom setting. However, I'm not sure if they'll have a lenient enough deferral policy to allow me to do that (as I've heard HKS has done). if classes are online and they don't allow deferrals for that reason, then I'd rather do the online classes than take my chances reapplying, because I am pretty sure that admissions will be more difficult in the coming years due to more applicants and less university resources/slots.
  3. I'm not in a similar situation, but happy to talk about F&ES (or should we say SOE now?) and any concerns you have or that we share!
  4. It's definitely a tough decision. Yale is going to announce plans for the Fall by July, so hopefully you can delay until then and make a more informed decision. my experience with online classes has been subpar, and even though schools will have more time to improve them between now and the fall, I doubt that they will be worth the price of tuition. for me, a big component of grad school is the network and relationships. If that's also really important to you, it's worth considering how that aspect will be diluted thru online classes. i think a lot of it depends on how happy you are with your job. If you're dying to get out of it and aren't too worried about the implications of distance learning, then come to FES. If you like it, I'd consider staying. The last thing to think about is FES' deferral policy. It is not clear to me if they're being more lenient about it with covid. But if they are that would be a good option. I will look into it myself if classes are online.
  5. It's official, I put down my deposit at F&ES today! I am feeling a bit sad about turning down Michigan-- I really loved the professors and course offerings there, some even more so than at Yale. But in the end I was just more familiar with the program, people, and location of Yale so I felt much more comfortable committing there (among other reasons). Now I can focus on being stressed out by the possibility of online classes in the fall 😬😂
  6. Don't disagree with your main points, but it's important to point out the Boston University has NOT announced it'll have online classes. Just like any other smart educational administration, they are coming up with plans for the possibility that classes will be remote.
  7. I got into an MPP program straight out of undergrad so being an LA can only be a benefit. Like others have said it is a job where people are often rapidly promoted which will help your prospects. Admissions decisions differ every year so it's not like you'd be a guaranteed rejection at HKS/WWS if you applied after 2 years of being an LA. Some years there are overqualified people that are rejected and in others under qualified people are accepted. That being said, you might be at a slight disadvantage if all you've done is grunt work. That's why it's so important to have a well rounded app (great undergrad GPA and relevant coursework, relevant internships, high GRE scores, and perhaps most importantly coherent, well written essays with specific and clarified career goals that are backed up by your experience). You probably know all that, but it will be important to show how the few years of being an LA helped you realize your passions, gave you experience on important policy matters, etc. I would also recommend getting involved in service, professional, or interest groups outside of work to back up your stated intentions and show that you have leadership and public service in your DNA. Overall, if this is your dream job, go for it! There are always ways to weave your experiences into a great application, regardless of if you are an LA or a kindergarten teacher. You will probably find this much more rewarding than if you took a job you weren't as interested in, and that can be used to your benefit on apps. On the other hand, if you find you don't like it, it's still a valuable experience that you can use to help you pivot. And in the end, you might find you don't need that shiny (and expensive) HKS or WWS degree to do what you love!
  8. Personally I would go Ford all the way. It's a great program in its own right, maybe just a notch below HKS, and having full funding is huge. Unless HKS places immensely better in the location and specific sector you want to go into (and even then Ford would still look pretty good) or is weak in your specific policy area, it would be a no brainer for me.
  9. Am I the only one secretly hoping that my application ends up getting reviewed on the HKS blog? I wouldn't mind being put on blast for some free feedback 😂
  10. Now that Ford is mostly done with their slate of virtual admitted students events, does anyone have any impressions, know their final decision, etc?
  11. I'm still a little bit surprised SEAS hasn't moved their decision deadline back. It seems like so many other big environmental programs have. Especially surprised given their rep as a progressive school. @Aj116 I'm also deciding between SEAS(+Ford) and FES!
  12. I think that I'll add one more thing: every school is going to be what you make of it. There is no question that you could go to McCourt and work in the energy field, dig up resources at Georgetown, get involved with professional groups in the area, and come out prepared for a meaningful career in energy. I only mean to say that it will be harder to do so and you will have less to work with than at a place like Duke, for example.
  13. I am interested in climate policy, and when I looked at McCourt I was very underwhelmed. They have more classes focused on energy than climate but still very limited. Sure, they have the Georgetown Climate Center which is great, but if you want to become a specialist in the area it's probably not the right place, given that they don't have specializations. If you look at their full time faculty by specialty you'll find none in energy policy, 2 in env econ, 1 in env law, and then those three plus one other in env policy. I've definitely run into a few McCourt grads in the environmental world but not too many compared to other programs. In terms of careers, I would say an MPP in energy is not too lucrative, especially if you want to do public sector work. Even with consulting I don't think it's too lucrative because cities often work with philanthropic groups for advising on climate projects. Local government action is hit or miss. Some cities are doing lots, other not much at all. A lot of it depends on their resources, which are often limited. It's hard for them to appropriate millions and billions in their budgets for climate when they have other immediate and pressing issues. If you're really interested in the field though, then the lucrativeness of a job doesn't have to be your main priority!
  14. Definitely a tough situation for many of us. Personally, I wouldn't advise turning down your top choice based on possibilities/conjecture. I'm in NYC right now and it's definitely a sh*tshow. But they're also projecting that we'll peak in a few weeks. There are many other parts of the country that are still in their nascent stages of infection and spread, which means, in many cases, they will be dealing with this for longer than we will here in NY. It's impossible to say if Raleigh will be one of those places, but it seems to me like a risk either way. Have you considered the possibility of deferring? I am sure that schools will be more accommodating with them than usual. I completely agree that it doesn't seem totally worth it to start school online.
  15. Good points! Like I mentioned I'm hoping that this week of virtual events will bring more clarity. On the point of Yale not having too many profs in adaptation and resilience, I would only say that it is a relatively new discipline and one that is still emerging. Most of the people I've interacted with in the field do not have a graduate background in it specifically. I think it would be helpful for me to talk to some of them, regardless of what grad program they went to, about the state of the field and some essential skills they picked up in grad school.
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