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jeffster last won the day on July 31 2013

jeffster had the most liked content!

About jeffster

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    Double Shot

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  • Location
    Washington, DC
  • Program
    Economics PhD

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  1. It's definitely worth applying. You don't say how much math you've actually had, but your more recent classes will make up a great deal for your past classes. My advice would be to find some mid-tier schools that have research interests that match your own, and write a great SOP about why you would be a good fit there. Emphasise your research experience. At the worst, if you get rejected you might try contacting them and finding out what they thought were your strengths and weaknesses, and improving for the next cycle. It's not unusual to try twice.
  2. Why do you want to leave the program you're doing so well in? Are they not funding you? Are you sure your current professors would be happy to write LORs for you while you use their program as a stepping-stone to get into another one?
  3. A shared desk in an office? Gee, that sounds nice! I go to school right in the center of a big, crowded city where every inch of space is at a premium. My entire department has one (1) small room for all the PhD students, and a handful of communal offices that you can check out a key for if you need it for office hours or something. So, good luck with what you've got!
  4. There are a few other threads in the econ forum here where people ask for help figuring out what schools they should apply to based on their profile. Check those out for some more perspective.
  5. The hardest part you'll run into is probably difficulty in relating to others in your cohort. It's not necessarily a trivial difficulty, either, since these are the people you'll probably want to study and collaborate with. That said, it's certainly something you can overcome; it just takes a bit of effort. Good luck!
  6. It seems like this is pretty specific to your department. You should speak with an advisor. I don't see why they would look bad on your transcript though. If anything a self-driven study course could be quite a plus, where you show you can step up and self-motivate.
  7. I second MsDarjeeling's advice. Your health is a private matter; what should count is that you're better now and can illustrate this with your increase in performance. But don't try to hide it, or avoid it; do it just like she posted.
  8. As others have been pointing out, name recognition matters quite a bit. I did my undergrad at a school ranked in the low 30s in my field, and almost every one of my professors had attended top-10 or even top-5 programs for their PhDs. This seems less rigid outside of academia, if your goal is public or private sector. Employers seem far more likely to be happy with relatively good quality programs of only regional influence. Just an anecdote to illustrate, I have a friend from central Europe who did her undergrad at Brown. When we first met and I expressed my admiriation for going to such a fine school, she was *overjoyed* that someone finally recognized it. In her home country it basically carries no weight at all, because no one in the private sector has heard of it. This might be different if she was in academia.
  9. Just keep practicing all the tricks the various prep books teach you. The GRE quant section is really about speed, and little else. I think most people with rudimentary math skills and a bit of practice before hand could ace this section... given time to work through everything. But you don't have that time; you have to identify all the shortcuts. If they don't come really naturally to you, the only way is through repetition and practice. So, good luck!
  10. Most econ phd programs require you to pick fields from within their "program" so to speak. So, if econ+finance is your interest, you'll probably have around two finance courses, and the rest econ theory or a sub field. If finance is your only interest, you would probably be better off in a pure finanace PhD program. Otherwise, pull up some rankings and find a few schools in the 20-50 range and see if any of them have a econ PhD with a finance field that you like. Maybe run it by some of your LOR professors. Apply to a handful, some closer to 20 and some closer to 50, just to cover your bases. Good luck!
  11. I'm not really a finance guy, but I can talk about it from a general econ perspective. Your undergrad GPA is a little low, but you covered a great selection of math courses and if you got all As in all them too, that will be a big standout. Having some grad econ is nice also. I'm assuming you have a masters? Have you done any research work? My initial reaction based solely on the little you wrote there is that you should maybe aim for schools ranked somewhere between the top 20 and top 50. You might toss out a hail mary for something higher than that, but without a perfect GRE quant score and a higher GPA it's a bit of a stretch. The GMAT shouldn't be particularly relevant for econ programs. Are you interested in academia, or in the public or private sectors? You should strongly consider that when looking into locations. For example, DC is great for the public sector, NY for the private, etc. Makes it (relatively) very easy to get internships at relevant locations, including some duruing the school year when people from other programs can't do it, and is potentially worth trading a few rankings off the school. Also if you're interested in approaching finance from the field of economics (rather than going straight finance), you will want to look for programs with a specific strength there. Try looking at faculty bios and research interests at a prospective program, for example.
  12. A resume isn't a chronological list of everything you've done your whole life. As someone who has reviewed CVs for hiring purposes, wasting space on something that isn't particularly relevant (such as a year of studies at a school before you even started your current PhD) just so you don't have any "gaps" in the years listed strikes me as a terrible idea. Your resume space is extremely valuable, and the little bit of it that gets read needs to be directly relevant to your goals. If the employer wants to know all the jobs you've had and schools you've attended, I imagine they'll give you a supplemental form that asks that. So, if time spent at an institution that didn't result in a degree is a valuable piece of your experience and relevant to the position you're applying for, by all means list it. Otherwise, particularly if you just went on to another institution and completed the same degree later, my advice is to keep it off. Of course if they ask you about it in an interview you should not lie or decieve. It's just not a highlight, and therefore doesn't belong on your CV.
  13. On a side note, sorry about your father; glad you were able to (apparently) turn at least a little bit of it into something constructive. Good luck.
  14. jeffster

    TA training

    I guess it might be especially challenging in my field, since the majority of people in it likely plan on going into the public or private sector, with very few expecting academia to be their primary career. Just how much effort do you put into learning to teach when you don't want to be a teacher? Couple that with little support from the department for their TAs, and, well, doesn't make for a great learning environment. This might also explain why no one likes taking undergraduate economics courses.
  15. jeffster

    TA training

    So when I started TAing last year, I was surprised at the level of training we got. Or to be more specific, the complete lack of training. Both semesters I taught smaller sections of huge undergrad econ intro lectures, where I was responsible for meeting with smaller groups twice a week, being their point of contact for all questions, and grading their work. They literally just tossed my colleagues and I into it with narry a word. I didn't really have a problem, since I've done some teaching and am naturally good at presenting in front of others, but many in my cohort had no experience and/or are the quiet, introverted types. But still, this type of "figure it out as you go" thing doesn't seem particularly fair to the undergrads. Is this standard practice? What kind of prep do people get in other departments?
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