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enkayem

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About enkayem

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  • Location
    New Delhi, India
  • Program
    MPA/MPP/MPA-ID/MIA

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  1. Peach11: Agree. I did pay Chicago and Harris a visit in .... December. Hah! Unfortunately it was in the middle of the holidays and there weren't too many people around. The School looks a bit *modest* in comparison to Booth and the Law School but the U Chicago campus as such is gorgeous. I was there for just two days so didn't get to experience the city as much and stayed mostly around a pretty part of town called Andersonville (is that a place? I know it was an old erstwhile Swedish neighbourhood). Thanks for your advice.
  2. Thanks, Charlotte, and congratulations! On your upcoming marriage and school. Great new beginnings all at once, good luck with them both. I'm actually very conflicted between the two. I didn't list out my reservations about Columbia, I've done that in posts elsewhere. I guess since I'm now in a committed relationship, my commitment phobia has to surface somewhere! I wish I could be everywhere!! Unfortunately, we are looking at being apart for two years. Even with subsidized living costs, being together in the same city for us is well beyond my means unfortunately. Anyway, as I said, I am talking and making the best decision I should for my self and for us. What's the opportunity cost of forgone income, post-graduation, of not attending SAIS? If you're looking at Federal jobs upon graduation, then it probably wouldn't matter. The trouble with all of these schools that you and I have gained admission to, they're only different at the margin. Makes choosing so difficult. Well good luck with everything!
  3. Beefmaster, I hear you. But my concerns about U Chicago are: 1. It's in Chicago which is not NYC - from a networking point of view. I haven't a clue about life in Chicago, I do about NYC. I feel because of its mid-western location, it may not be cosmopolitan and international enough. As an international student, these things matter to me. Of course, I am ignorant about Chicago and open to learn more about it. 2. All social sciences school in UC probably kowtow to the economics school and don't have a personality of their own - so I worry about whether or not the degree would allow me to acquire inter-disciplinary learning. I am getting mixed views on this from alumni and public policy professionals. 3. It has more faculty who are pure academics which to my mind, as someone coming from an implementation role, is a bit of a drawback. The school I attend, I hope the Profs too can open a network of career opportunities that don't necessarily translate in to a PhD. 4. Most of its faculty is American. Which is not necessarily bad, it's a bit of a turn-off to me because I want to study international development from people who are from, and have worked, in carious parts of the world. Point 3 &4, are a cause for some concern. 5. In paying me full tuition they are paying for my network. I am still unclear as to how far and wide the Harris School's network extends. I want to work anywhere in Africa or Central Asia, and I want to work in urban policy and planning. I am waiting for the school to tell me more about their alumni. 6. The school has a reputation for promoting blind faith in market-based solutions, I come from a complex society where no one institution can overcome the deep biases that have riven my society and hold us back in poverty. I wonder whether I will encounter an intellectual community that can engage with and encourage counter-hegemonic thoughts and ideas. Again, mixed views on this. 7. Underlying all my caveats is my deep-rooted and irrational fear of Chicago weather. I come from a warm country, I love hiking through the Himalayas, in summer. I dislike humid and tropical weather, but I don't want icicles forming on my eyelashes. There are many pros to school which is why I applied to it in the first place. My biggest worry with Columbia is the size of the school and the 'cash cow' reputation. I wonder whether people in my line of work still see SIPA students as serious? So I am talking to as many people as I can now to make up my mind. In the meantime I pray and hope that WWS will take me off the waitlist. Of course then I'll wondering out loud whether I want to live on a student campus, away from the hustle and bustle of a city for two years. Gah, the tyranny of choice, even illusory choices!
  4. Also Alb, my question's in the title of the post.
  5. Alb: I wish I knew. I don't. I'm surprised and grateful. Tingschu: Because NYC is very expensive even with the scholarship. But after I posted I happened to connect with two urban sector practitioners in India (I'm working on Affordable Housing) and they both endorsed SIPA. One even studied at U Chicago but in the Sociology department, I think. Their point was essentially that U Chic is dominated by the econ department, Columbia has one of the best urban planning programs in the world, the networking opportunities in NYC are incomparable and that I should factor in Revenue sources in to Year 2 at SIPA. So now I am back to square one. And wedded to employment.
  6. No clue. on the MPA-ID waitlist and have my fingers crossed.
  7. Hi All: Canvassing opinions on SAIS. To cut a long story short, I have two great offers from SIPA and Harris. Harris is by far the most economical offer among them and I do have an interest in Urban Policy . And an appetite for quant skills since my last Master's was more a degree in political philosophy and ethics. I just got the disappointing news that though I am admitted in to SAIS's IDEV program, I won't get any funding. I feel crestfallen because it means that in all likelihood my fiance and I will have to be in separate cities. My other admit offer is from GPPI but I don't know if it's wise to reject a full tuition ride from Harris (with the U Chicago brand) for GPPI. I'm open to insights on that as well. GPPI have yet to get back to me with a funding offer. Irrespective of any funding offer I still have to take on some debt. Bah.... In the immediate term I can choose to attend my kickboxing class or go down to the pub and talk to my funny Ballantine..... On an aside, those of you in employment, having trouble putting that resignation in? I look at my MPP/MPA financials excel sheet, then look at my savings account and then go back to thinking *stick it out, you need the paychecks. Heh... And here I was naively thinking of spending summer hiking in Kashmir and then surfing in Karnataka. On a shoestring budget, but even that's out now that I've run the financials through. Scared of debt.
  8. goodluck with that IRtoni, i come from an over-populated country so that option does not exist for me. i'm in theprocess of creating this mega complex excel sheet that identfies loan amounts for the 4 schools i am in and then back calculates an emi for 10 years based on different interest scenarios. trying to decide whether a home country loan is better than a university/federal loan. will send it to you when done. i've overthunk it so it's too complex now.
  9. Thank you everyone. Because it's the new GRE I actually don't have a clue as to what is or is not a good score. As far as the GRE is concerned I am surrounded by super brilliant IIT (extremely difficult and challenging engineering school in India) students who kinda sleepwalked through the GMAT and score 750+. I worked my butt off and got a 710, maybe that's why I sounded a bit *humph* about it, The work-ex certainly helped, but I got in to IFC without any training in finance, directly relevant work ex and without the GRE-GMATs to spruce up my credentials. Ergo, how you sell yourself has a lot to do with it. I had a friend who went to SIPA with a 1300 in the old GRE, no math since year 10 in high school, no econ but she had very relevant work experience and writes like Hemmingway. She also eventually got a full tuition off fellowship in the second year. That's something I have heard about SIPA. If they don't fund the first year and you do well, they will find a way for you to support yourself through the second year.
  10. Hi, Thanks!! Yeah, I am reeling from shock, I never thought anyone would pay me to study at their institution. I also just got some money from SIPA = $28,000. It's a lot but it doesn't match the financial offer at Harris (full tuition off). Dunno whether SIPA's a considerably better school to justify wiping out my personal savings and sending my TNW in to the sub-zeroes. Still waiting to hear the scholarship offer from SAIS and GPPI. Apparently SAIS sent out financial aid offers on Friday 16 March, but I never got my email. So profile, I have no clue what that means but I'll give it a shot: GMAT 710 GRE 166 v 167 q Do GRE-GMAT have any relevance during the application process? I really wonder. I've known people with mediocre scores (mine border on mediocrity and just good) get in to places. Nothing can compensate for work experience, your essays and your recommendations methinks. Unless of course the scores are total wipeouts. GPA - don't have one. Have a UK Masters in IPE which I aced but missed out a first div on and an Indian Econ degree where I did terribly. I mean mediocre but there are sore points in that mark sheet. Whenever I see people fussing over their grades here, I just shake my head. The moment you let that number define you, your application's gonna tank. It didn't deter me from going to the UK, it hasn't made a blip on U Chicago's radar. Work-ex: 1.5 yr internships with Indian economists after undergrad, 1 yr working in Germany doing something random, 3.8 yrs of IFC in South Asia This profile looks like a shoe-in on paper (I am waitlisted in HKS and WWS, so guess it isn't), but what it doesn't reveal is that I am mostly a dithering idiot. Re: the person who raised the PhD question. I have a friend who will graduate from MPA-ID and is going to Columbia for a PhD. I think instead of 2 more years of coursework, she's been allowed to transfer many of her credits, reducing the pre-writing up the PhD part to about 8 months of coursework. Hope this helps.
  11. if you're getting aid do they mention it where they publish the decision? i found the whole go back to the admissions page, login and find just one sentence about their decision a wholly dissatisfying experience. anyway for what it's worth a friend's friend works in SIPA admin and had told me on 28 feb that i had been admitted in to the MIA-EPD program. i only got the notification yesterday. wonder what they were doing until then. if the decision has no mention of aid then is it safe to presume none is coming my way? i don't know if SIPA's worth the loan. SAIS though i am willing to consider because of the reputation of the program and the smaller size of the class. my friends from SIPA told me that they were pretty much out by themselves when it came to the job hunt as SIPA's career services is very hands-off. that's pretty much the big reason why i'd be hesitant to consider a loan for SIPA.
  12. after reading this discussion, i'm going for the school that's giving me 80k dollars to study. taking loans terrify me and i want to avoid the cycle of getting trapped in a high-paying and potentially dissatisfying job to pay off a dollar denominated debt in my currency. for indian students, as long as you have a co-signer the us loan actually works out very well. lower interest rates, from what i hear, and nearly 20 years to pay it off. when my brother went to study in the states he took the loan from his university. when i studied in the uk, i took a loan from SBI. some schools advised me to defer by a year and apply to scholarships this year. i already have one so won't do so, but it was tempting.
  13. SIPA, come on already! Anyone got advice on choosing between SAIS IDEV, GPPI and U Chic? I have a full tuition scholarship at U Chic and the rest are TBD. Interested in International Development & Urbanization Studies.
  14. SIPA is taking so long to send out MIA decisions. What gives!?! SIPA, hurry up!!
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