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piquant777

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About piquant777

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    MPA/MBA Joint Degree

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  1. Thanks for the thoughts! It wasn't meant to be comprehensive obviously, and is definitely east-coast biased as that was my geographical focus when I applied. Feel free to comment though so others can have additional suggestions when they read. I don't consider UP to be specifically a development degree as it is a specialty degree, and covers both domestic and international. Same with MPH, masters in education/teaching, and other things that can be done internationally but aren't international development programs per se.
  2. Throughout a couple of application seasons now, I have asked and been asked many questions about going to graduate school for people in the field of international development. The range of choices is so wide (MPA? MIA? MPA-ID? PhD? MBA? JD? MPH?) and the application process can be quite opaque. Now that I've finally finished my first year (at Princeton WWS), I thought I'd write up a quick FAQ for posterity's sake and pass it along to those still thinking about the process. Feel free to share/comment. http://beccazsky.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/graduate-school-for-international-development/
  3. Econpp, if you're still making a decision, feel free to PM me. Would be happy to talk to you about HKS vs. WWS, and connect you with urban policy students here. I think you pretty much got it right in terms of your pros/cons list. I will say though that having used the Harvard alum network (Crimson Compass), barely anyone replies to you and those who do will not go out on a limb to help you, since there are so many people in the network. The WWS network, people literally are giving out jobs to each other right and left (not really an exaggeration), and empirical evidence suggests you'll ge
  4. Just a note that one of the main things WWS tends to look for in its admissions process is a commitment to public service. Therefore, even if you have lots of work experience, it would be particularly unadvisable to put all your eggs in one basket if you don't have a demonstrated history of work experience in public service (i.e. the NGO and government sectors). Of course this can include the whole package too (extensive volunteer or extracurricular experience, internships, etc.). I'm not sure if your jobs were public sector, but just wanted to throw that out there as food for thought. SAIS is
  5. Also having applied from abroad, I understand the draw of the Harvard name and the appeal of the HKS program. I think you can't go wrong with either decision, and agree with other posters that it kind of depends on what sort of career path you might want to pursue. WWS is not the best place for those who want to go into the private sector after graduation, for example (the stipend is explicitly to allow graduates to pursue public service). If you are dedicated to public service however, you will meet a lot of like-minded students, faculty and administrators at WWS that will help you immensely
  6. I was accepted to Jackson last year with a fellowship and strongly considered it. I think you have a good grasp of the pros and cons. It is a very small program but they make good use of Yale University's resources as a whole and you can tap into interesting classes at the business and law schools since the second year is (I believe still) all electives. You can take courses with visiting fellows like David Brooks and Stanley McChrystal, who have real-world connections that can help you. Career services may not be the most well-established or connected alum-wise, but at least they will know yo
  7. I know, right? Just a funny coincidence! Ha, ha. But seriously, I don't know of a single person here who is a WWS or even Princeton legacy (other than the SINSI scholars, who are chosen their junior year from Princeton undergrad).
  8. Hey everyone, also a current MPA here. Fenderpete and I will be helping Admissions answer questions for admits after decisions come out, but happy to do so here too and help people think about their upcoming decisions in advance! I want to second everything he said, and also add a note about Princeton the town/uni and how it relates to the academic environment and potential off-campus work. When I was deciding between schools, I considered myself a big-city person. I like people, have enjoyed my time in DC, and thought it would be nice to be in the "real world" while at grad school. I almo
  9. Yale gives good funding to its most qualified candidates, plus generous teaching assistantships if you can land one. Georgetown SFS has been known to be a bit stingy, but the new MGHD program for international development gave several full scholarships this year. Fletcher generally gives up to half-tuition for its top candidates, sometimes a bit over. SAIS in my experience was very meh, but if you can land one of their few application-only scholarships (essay contests, etc.) that could make a big difference. SIPA is notoriously horrible for first-year funding (giving NONE to the vast majority
  10. Previous Schools (Name, type, or tier): Ivy Previous Degrees and GPAs: 3.6+ GRE Scores (Verbal/Quantitative/Analytical Writing): 170V/169Q/5.5AW Previous Work Experience (Years, Type): 4 years in non-profit, 3 in my geographical region of expertise
 Math/Econ Background: micro/macro in college, A-. absolutely no math
 Foreign Language Background (if applicable to your program): fluent in two of the (difficult) UN languages, native English
 Intended Field of Study in Grad School: International development
 Long Term Professional Goals: INGOs, UN, contractors, election monitoring...haven'
  11. I heard from a friend at admit weekend that 1) they played a slideshow in which one slide depicted other schools at the bottom and SIPA at the top with a big trophy next to it, claiming they were the most elite institution (mathematically, it's the opposite) and 2) that someone from the finaid office when pressed admitted SIPA tuition funded other aspects of the university and actually used the word "Cash Cow." Wow. She thought the atmosphere among the admits was one of depression and anxiety on how to pay back their 6-figure loans. Anyone else have this experience?
  12. OP: With your interests, I would recommend SAIS. It does seem more finance-oriented and plugged into those networks than Gtown (as the current student posted, which was super useful!). And SIPA is just not a great school: large, bureaucratic, not much community which also means not as strong of a connection and network with alums.
  13. This has been discussed in various places, but I personally think Georgetown's reputation for international affairs exceeds that of SIPA's. SIPA is known for being stingy with funding and very large/impersonal (i.e. paying $50k/year and not even being able to take the classes you want), but then again you're talking about a new program that I'm not familiar with so it may very well be different. I would not count on getting second year funding since many SIPA students do that only to be disappointed, but then again if second-year funding is definitely not an option at GHD (did you ask?) then t
  14. Can you take the WWS hosting weekend money and visit both schools? I think that will really help you decide. Did Harvard give you any scholarship money, because that could be a big headache factor for an international student. You are right that the Harvard name will always open more doors for you outside of the states. But I think the HKS MPP is also very quant-based and rigorous. Really, visiting is your best bet so you can really meet fellow students and professors and get a feel for both schools. I think the "culture" is very different between them. WWS is really for people geared towards
  15. IMHO Fletcher is by far the better program. SIPA is huge, impersonal, and kind of has a cash cow reputation (maybe bc they give no aid!). I talked to multiple grads from both places when applying and Fletcher grads always raved, whereas SIPA grads always were lukewarm, gave caveats or were even downright out to warn me. My impression was so strong that I didn't even end up applying in the end, despite having submitted recs. Don't get sucked in, esp. when as I said before in SIPA's case, reputation in your field of study is NOT better. More people get into the program than don't, for heaven's s
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