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OregonGal

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About OregonGal

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    Mocha

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  • Location
    Washington, DC
  • Program
    UCSD IR/PS MPIA '14

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  1. Most Americorps programs don't have a specific housing arrangement--however, if you're applying to one outside of your local area, of course you'll have to move. The issue with answering your question more fully is that there are a vast variety of Americorps programs with varying start and end dates, qualifications, goals, etc. My program was structured around a September start/August end date, but others start at different times. The stipend also varies a slight bit from program to program, but for most it's a locality-adjusted stipend pegged around (or possibly below) minimum wage.
  2. As others have said, many schools find online coursework (for college credit) an acceptable qualification. That being said, I was a liberal arts major with no (good) math experience since high school and no economics coursework since freshman year of college. I'm required to attend pre-term courses, which I could've waived out of by taking a course online or at a community college. I got the sense that adcoms are used to people not having a lot of quant experience coming into these programs, since it's presumably something a lot of people want to improve on through grad school coursework.
  3. You could always try and gauge shipping (i.e. order 3 days ahead of time with 3-day shipping) but there's always the chance it will arrive before you. Most furniture stores, provided you buy a certain amount of stuff (i.e. "free delivery when you spend $300!") and by a certain time, will deliver same-day. It's better to go in when the store opens if you want same-day delivery, because it gives them more leeway with their delivery schedule. If you don't spend the minimum for free delivery, they'll charge you a fee--I've heard that at Ikea it's $50. Also, make sure you're in their delivery radius--some stores won't deliver if you're more than a certain distance away. As for a US phone number, have you tried setting up a Skype or Google Voice number? That may help you until you get a US cell phone, especially if you have an overseas smartphone you can set up with the relevant app. They'll just forward the call to your computer or phone. It may cost a few cents a minute but that's definitely worth it for being able to schedule deliveries.
  4. Hi fellow GradCafers, I'm guessing more than a few of you were one of the 1245 besides myself who applied for e-internships with this year's VSFS program. I was wondering if anyone on the Cafe went through this process last year, and how that worked out with the application process, interview process, and how the remote communication/supervision went for you. Also, do you feel you benefited from the program in terms of career impact (foot in the door? Good LOR? the Holy Grail of an upon graduation job offer?). In case anyone wants to scope out how relatively competitive their chosen positions are (I'm sure there were some positions more popular than others), I applied to DOS-6, DOS-1, and DOS-37.
  5. Well, in that respect it sounds quite similar to the US Foreign Service process--exams, interviews, very low rates of getting on The List and then no guarantee of a job offer. I think it's definitely not something where you want to put all your eggs in one basket but it's definitely worth going for if that's where you'd like to work.
  6. Well one excellent aspect of the GWU masters program is that with the evening class schedule, you can go for internships or even jobs during the day. Apply for an internship/fellowship with the think tanks you're interested in and use that to get your foot in the door and assess the qualifications of those currently holding the job you want to have.
  7. So long as you can parlay in your SOP how your WE relates to international development (are you interest in microfinance? How international were the businesses/people you worked with/for?) it sounds like you're set.
  8. Last year this time I was... six months into an unpaid internship and had just sent in my application for the job I have now. I had also just taken the GRE and was starting my list of grad schools to look at (a list which was pretty different from the schools I actually applied to!) Now, I'm packing for my now-annual 3000+ mile move with what I can pack into two suitcases and a carry-on. (5 years in a row for moving trans-continent or trans-ocean between August and October!)
  9. Heh, sounds like I lucked out with my Americorps program! We had a service hours requirement that could be fulfilled at 40 hrs/wk and I usually ended up working weekends, but my service site was really good about making sure we took time off to make up for the weekend work. I'm ending up only about 30 hours over the requirement. I was talking to a City Year member and she said her scheduled hours alone were 50 hours/week, and she usually ended up doing more than that.
  10. Without knowing what school you're referring to, it's hard to give you specific advice about it. I will say that $12000 for a Masters is a good deal--I'm in a two-year program with a price tag about 10x that! However, grad schools are much more than the degree. I think you need to look at what you want to do and what level you want to do it. If you want to work locally, that degree is probably fine. However, the advantage that a more prestigious program gives is its connections, its career services, and its brand recognition. Attending a program with a strong alumni network and dedicated career services can really help open doors for you if you want to work in national or more prestigious companies/institutions. Your GRE scores and lack of quant are points of concern; however, your years of teaching in Japan and your experience in your local city hall really give you some strong points on your resume.
  11. Hah I'm actually starting to get nervous about my post-grad school move... I've gotten so used to moving with just a couple suitcases every year or so, and now I'm going to be buying a bunch of furniture for my new place that I'll be in for two years. I'm actually having to decide whether to invest in nice furniture or just buy the cheapest thing at Ikea!
  12. I actually have a similar situation-- My program has a "pre-term" so while official classes start at the end of September (quarter system school) I will be in grad coursework starting the second week of August. Because of the way "pre-term" is structured as not-for-credit coursework (it's designed to get students up to speed on quant/econ/writing since most of us have been out of undergrad a couple years) financial aid doesn't kick in until the regular Fall term timeline. When I asked the financial aid office to clarify that timeline for me, what they told me is this: For loans, the money is disbursed (applied to your university tuition/housing bill) two weeks before classes start. However, you don't get your cost of living (ie the money left over after the university is paid) refunded to you until the first week of classes. Presumably, the refunding timeline is similar for grant/fellowships paid directly to/from the university but you could use any external fellowships paid to you for your living expenses. So, while I am required to show up to pre-term and pay rent/living expenses for August/September, I don't see a cent of my financial aid until the last week of September. OP, if you're officially enrolled in the school starting in August you can ask the financial aid office about a bridge loan--I had a friend who used one in undergraduate, and they're designed to help you cover living costs especially in the gap between school years/terms. Unfortunately I'm not officially enrolled until September so that's not an option for me
  13. Yes, it's easy to work overseas as an English teacher--however, in my experience the amount of teaching you do really varies on the school! I had friends who were essentially teaching solo, but I had co-teachers who preferred to be in charge so I only ran drills. If I'd had ambitions to be a teacher, my year overseas would've killed them!
  14. If you want to do more of the quant/program eval stuff, I'd suggest taking another look at JHU SAIS. Their quant focus is so strong that it would provide you with that eval toolkit, and the fact that you got waitlisted without the three years of experience you have now is a good sign. You could also look at programs with strong IDEV or Non-Profit Management concentrations, as I imagine those are areas where you'd find a lot of those applicable skills being developed.
  15. If you want to have some "direct services" experience, that's great! However, if you're not planning on making teaching your career then I'm not sure that taking that route is best. My main concern is: this is a really, really bad environment for teachers in general. State/local budget issues mean that school districts are slashing payroll left and right. They're not replacing retirees, they're allowing classroom numbers to rise, they're taking away non-essentials like librarians/music/art/languages. If you're not planning on teaching math, science, or ESL you're going to have a difficult time finding a position. I have friends and relatives who are teachers; some were laid off because they were in "non-essential" positions and some haven't been able to find education-related jobs because they are social studies certified. I wouldn't want to encourage someone to step into that environment if they weren't sure that they wanted to make teaching their career. That being said, I think you can definitely spin teaching experience into a positive on your SOP/resume for an MPA degree, especially if you're planning on an education focus or want to work with education/youth-based non-profits. The good news is, you still have plenty of time to figure this out! Without knowing your major I can't speak to whether you'd have to pursue additional education to get certified, but if that's built in to your degree then you have until winter of your senior year to make a final decision about what kind of work you want to do. If you'd have to take another year to get certified, you can evaluate your senior year if you want to take that extra year or if you want to work in a direct-services agency/non-profit. There are a lot of programs out there you can work in--I currently work at a non-profit that runs after-school classes for low-income youth, and there's plenty of similar organizations out there with various focuses. That can provide you with teaching experience without needing the certification, and give you more exposure to the non-profit sector.
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