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yeahgradschool!

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About yeahgradschool!

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    Public Policy

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  1. Love this idea. Let me know if you set something up!
  2. bahaha thanks for the info! I lived in NYC for three years so I'm fairly used to the crazies on public transpo. I'm looking at shadyside or squirrel hill so in terms of getting to and from class I definitely plan on busing it but I guess I'm wondering about things like grocery shopping, late night activities, weekend trips outside of the city, or traveling to DC for interviews. I'm thinking I will try it without a car at first and see how it goes!
  3. I'm headed to CMU in the fall for public policy! Unfortunately, I'm living abroad and won't be home until June. My plan is to visit Pittsburgh July fourth weekend to secure an apartment for August 1. Is that going to be way too late? I'm still not sure about bringing a car either. I've heard a lot of people have done fine without one but I think I'd feel better having it around just in case. Anyone else still deciding about a car? Congrats to everyone on getting in and making a decision!!
  4. Thanks for all the info fishpoo (and mppgal)! Have you decided where you´re going to attend? I´ll be headed to CMU in the fall, maybe I´ll see you there?!
  5. Bump! Would love to hear people's opinions on the CMU open house!!
  6. Previous Schools (Name, type, or tier): Large public research Previous Degrees and GPA's: BA in Political Science, focus in Public Law, and Psychology; GPA: 3.84 GRE Scores (Verbal/Quantitative/Analytical Writing): 620/770/5 Previous Work Experience (Years, Type): 4.5 years; 2.5 years working in finance; 2 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, working in Tourism and English education Math/Econ Background: Calc 1/2/3 and 2 Stats courses; No Econ Foreign Language Background: Fluent in Spanish Intended Field of Study in Grad School: Policy Analysis Long Term Professional Goals: Consulting; Interested in education and budget reform Schools Applied to & Results: USC SPPD (Accepted, $$$), Carnegie Mellon Heinz DC track (Accepted, $$), Michigan Ford (Accepted, $$), Penn Fels (Accepted, $$), Duke Sanford (Accepted, $$), Syracuse Maxwell (Accepted, No funding) Ultimate Decision & Why: Carnegie Mellon DC-track!! In the end, it came down to program fit and funding and CMU offered the best combination, especially with the nearly full-time apprenticeship (hopefully paid!) in D.C. the 2nd year. Any advice to Future Applicants? Like most people have been saying, don’t sell yourself short! Sometimes I wish I had applied to a few crazy reaches like Harvard or WWS. Focus all of your energy on finding really great programs that match your interests. I narrowed down my list of schools to only the ones that I would actually attend (and be excited about attending!) if admitted. Don’t apply to a school just to apply. Also, no point in stressing over your college GPA or anything beyond your control at this point. Spend your time worrying about the parts of the application that you do have control over. Study hard for the GRE and ace it; awesome GRE scores can lead to some nice funding. I’d say around June or July, start contacting recommenders and get working on a draft SOP. Reach out to the recommenders to see if they’re interested and once they say yes, send them copies of your resume/SOP/info about the various programs and why they interest you/things that you’d like them to touch upon in the reco/etc. Most importantly, remember that a rejection isn’t the end of the world. For one reason or another, the school just didn’t think you were a good fit, but that doesn’t mean you won’t do amazing somewhere else!!! It’s always their loss!!!
  7. So this might seem like a silly question but I figured the people on this thread would be able to help me out! My question is: why consulting? and what does it entail exactly? I see the career goal of becoming a consultant thrown around all the time on these boards (including from myself!) and I'm wondering what people are expecting from a job in consulting and for those who have worked as consultants before, what is the reality? I have no shame in saying that I want to make as much money as possible after graduation so I can get to work on paying off my debt, and if consulting is where the money is at then I'm all in! But in terms of grad school course load, what should I focus on? While still deciding between Carnegie Mellon's DC track and Michigan, I'm worried that with CMU I will only have 1 year of classes based around courses such as applied economic analysis, database managment, information and communication technologies, financial analysis, etc. All of which seem important enough, but are the consulting firms looking for people with a generic background in policy analysis (which is what I'm thinking I'd obtain from the 1st year at CMU) or someone with more specialized knowledge? I'm worried I'm not going to have time to take enough electives at CMU to become specialized in anything. The DC track includes a 2nd year apprenticeship in Washington which is what really won me over but what kind of consulting firm is going to take me on when my knowledge set is so general? Part of my problem is also that my interests are pretty broad. Education/housing/tax/financial/budget reform, it all interests me! Any information/advice would be greatly appreciated!!
  8. Thank you both for your thoughtful responses! I think I'm leaning toward CMU. The 2nd year apprenticeship in D.C. is pretty much what does it for me. mppgal, would I be able to work part-time during my 1st year in Pittsburgh? What is the class schedule like? Morning/afternoon/night? 1hr/3hr classes? A few days per week or every day? I recently emailed about additional funding (crossing fingers)!
  9. Great topic! I'd also be very interested to hear people's thoughts on this. I am currently deciding between Michigan, Carnegie Mellon (DC track) and USC and would love to know if any of the top consulting firms recruit frrom these schools.
  10. Decision time!! I’m currently deciding between 3 schools: USC, Michigan and Carnegie Mellon (the DC-track) USC offered me a full tuition fellowship, Michigan offered the difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition and Carnegie offered 22K the first year and 26K the second year. With the fellowships I’ve received, along with some additional funding, I’ve calculated my total debt after 2 years, (including rent, food, transport, books, fees, health insurance, miscellaneous) to be the following: USC: $30,000 Carnegie Mellon: $50,000 Michigan: $55,000 This is not considering the possibility of a part-time job, RA/TAship or paid apprenticeship in DC the 2nd year for CMU. I wanted to go in thinking the worst ha. I’m looking to eventually find a job working in the private sector as a consultant, hopefully in education or housing policy. I’d like to end up in D.C. but that’s not a deal breaker. All the programs seem to have great electives in social policy so my main concern isn’t with the program fit but where most of the graduates end up afterward. USC: Obviously the total debt is less than CMU and Michigan. But how are their connections to East coast internships/jobs? In the end, is a $20,000 difference in debt really all that much? If it weren’t for the money, I would definitely be leaning toward Michigan or CMU. And if the 20k difference isn’t enough to choose USC, what are people’s thoughts on the pros/cons of Michigan and CMU? Also, has anyone tried asking for more money from a school by using other offers as leverage? What’s the best way to go about doing it? Any and all advice is welcome!!!! I am currently living abroad and won’t be able to make any of the open houses so I’m relying on the amazing gradcafe forum to help me out.
  11. I received the same award. Not sure it's going to be enough. Time to crunch some numbers!
  12. Finally got in today! I'll be passing on the offer, but it was nice to be accepted anyway.
  13. In!!! So excited/relieved. And god bless them for writing 'congratulations' in the subject line of the email. It felt so good to open my inbox and immediately see that. Congrats to everyone who got in so far and good luck to those still waiting! Here's hoping they offer us all loads of money!!!
  14. ahhhh! so nervous/excited to hear from michigan!!!!
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