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  1. Schools/Programs Applying To: Below are the programs that I have applied to for this application cycle: Georgetown-McCourt (April 1 application deadline), GWU-Trachtenburg (Accepted), UVA-Batten (Waitlist), GMU-Schar (May 1 app. Deadline) I was late to finding this forum and after reading more in depth about the MPP programs out there, I’m debating waiting an additional year to apply to other programs that I neglected to include for this application cycle, especially given the competitive nature this year. Those programs I’m considering are: Duke Sanford, Michigan Ford, CMU Heinz, HKS (I know this is a reach, but would like to see if there’s any chance in a less competitive application cycle), UT-Austin LBJ, Chicago Harris Undergraduate institution: UVA Undergraduate GPA: 3.42 Undergraduate Major: Politics w/ a concentration in Government GRE Quantitative Score: 163 (80th percentile) GRE Verbal Score: 157 (75th percentile) GRE AW Score: 4.5 (80th percentile) Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 3 years Years of Work Experience: 3 years Quant/Econ Experience: A in Calculus, B in Microeconomics, B- in Statistics. I also have a professional certificate in Data Analytics from Georgetown SCS (though I know this prob doesn’t hold much weight) Describe Relevant Work Experience: 3 years working as a government contractor in the field of emergency management for a federal agency. I started out as an analyst (taking notes, putting together PowerPoints, writing analytical reports) and have assumed leadership roles/positions during my time, to include managing a significant program within my branch and leading meetings/interactions with private sector stakeholders. Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): Average to slightly above average I’d say. I don’t have a crazy story or anything, but I talk about the impact that my parents have had on me as they are both career civil servants and how I have aspirations of working at a non-partisan think tank/research center because, naively or not, I want to help find evidence-based actionable solutions to everyday real world problems. Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): I think two out of the three I have are pretty strong. One is from my former manager, one is from a current colleague (I’m not one of her direct reports, but she is in a more senior position than myself), and the final, weaker one is from a federal client I work with regularly. I know this is a knock on me because I don’t have an academic reference, but it wasn’t for lack of trying; my undergrad senior seminar professor agreed to write one on my behalf and then ghosted me for the past three months *sigh* Questions/comments I have: I want to offer some background into my pursuit of an MPP. For one, I recognize that I’m quant deficient based on my undergrad resume and in my current job (and there’s no real way to change this in my current professional setting) so I think the MPP could really help me in this area, and thus my overall future job prospects. With the MPP program, I’m really focused on the career outcomes that I will receive, the skills I acquire, and the social/overall experience with my peers and professors of the program, in that order. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do for a career, but I see myself working in some kind of domestic social policy…I really know more of what I DON’T want to do (i.e. emergency management) more so than anything else. Additional professional areas of interest for me include research stuff, legislative stuff, and operations stuff, but in all honesty these just really sound cool/interesting to me and I’m not fully aware of what they explicitly could entail/involve (I have what I’d call a ‘rough idea’). My chances at being accepted to any of these schools along with any insights and/or feedback would be much appreciated! And I’d love to be able to continue the conversation if you're open to it. Thank you!
  2. Hi all, Thanks in advance for your input. I could really use it! I've been accepted to the following schools for the Master of Public Policy. I intend to study education policy. UVA (with sizable scholarship) Berkeley (no scholarship) Columbia (1/4 scholarship) Duke (about 1/2 scholarship) UChicago (about 1/4 scholarship, but could change) Michigan (about 1/3 scholarship, but could change) Carnegie Mellon (about 3/4 scholarship) Vanderbilt (very small scholarship) I was also waitlisted at HKS. Because of financial concerns, I'm prioritizing UVA, Duke, UChicago, Michigan, and Carnegie Mellon. However, Berkeley's got such a wonderful reputation... What are your thoughts?
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