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TheOfficeFan

UC Berkeley Goldman -- Fall 2018

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Hi Everyone!

I haven't seen a Goldman thread for Fall 2018, so I thought I'd get the ball rolling -- as well as try to offload some of this anxiety I'm feeling waiting for more results!

I applied to 9 schools, mainly for MPPs, and want to study environmental policy (focusing on progressive climate adaptation/mitigation responses). I've been accepted at UCDenver and UWashington Evans so far, with a nice funding offer from the latter (which was an incredible surprise and confidence booster). 

Berkeley is my top choice, and I waver between feeling good about my chances and having no idea how competitive I am, which feels normal at this point in this lengthy, harrowing process...

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Hi there! @TheOfficeFan, I also applied to GSPP with a focus on environmental/climate policy! While I applied to some environmental-focused programs as well, I really like that an MPP would allow me to collaborate with people from different policy backgrounds. I visited campus for their Open House back in September and I loved the atmosphere and the professors/current students I met.

Totally agree about wavering between feeling confident/not confident. For what it's worth, I think having a clear focus on a certain topic area (like climate policy) can only help strengthen your chances. Goldman's blog says we should hear back in "early March," which is fast approaching! 

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Hey! I applied to GSPP too! My focus, however, is business regulation in technology. I applied to 10 other programs (sigh, I really wanted to get into the policy circles), and now have admits from UMN, UCSD GPS, and UChicago. UC Berkeley, though, is my top choice because the work I want to do is very well represented in the research there. 

As an international student, I feel like I am missing out on a lot of information because I miss most webinars (their timing is exceptionally bad), open houses and such. My entire information comes from one student at GSPP who is my senior from undergrad. Other than that, my SCiPP peer advisor had been quite helpful in the one month he worked with me.

I agree with @tropisk_winter . A clear focus definitely helps the applications because you are also looked at as a prospective aid to the research at the institute. That said, my confidence level is switching between the two extremes - I have been obsessively reading my SoP, I love it sometimes, and absolutely hate it at other times! It's becoming hard to carry on the way that I am now :P

For the last five years Berkeley has rolled out the results on the first Friday of March, so should we be expecting the results by 3rd?

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I hope they'll come the third but I think last year they started coming out Monday, March 6th and the year before that it was Monday, March 7. So I am thinking the week of the 5th.....but I hope you are right, because next Friday would be awesome!! The wait is killing me. I refuse to re-read my SOPs because I know I will overthink something I can no longer change, but that doesn't stop me from thinking I'm totally qualified one day to thinking I'm a joke the next. It would be nice to just know :)

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Seconded on never wanting to read my SOP again, as I'm such a ridiculous editor that I'm sure I'd find many things to "fix" or change! I hit submit and resigned that thing to the dustbin of history, RIP.

@tropisk_winter, what other programs did you apply to?  I did a mix of MPP/MPA with some environmental programs too (Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute, for example) and I'd love to chat about what you think of the programs. I'm concerned some of them (UWashington Evans, for instance) might be really rooted in environmental economics/market-based solutions instead of the more progressive/social science lens I'm looking to approach climate through. Although I think that'd be fine, the faculty at places like Berkeley and Michigan SEAS are way more up my alley with the equity/environmental justice stuff they're doing.

At Berkeley, Dan Kammen is doing my wheelhouse low-cost/low-carbon energy democratization stuff that I dream about working on in grad school... I met with him and the former dean Michael Nacht (nuclear policy, mostly) this fall as I live in the area, and they were incredibly friendly and helpful. Nacht in particular had illuminating and hilarious things to say about various MPP programs, especially HKS (he taught there for 10 years) and how they differed from Goldman. Really reinforced that the small class sizes and equity focus were for me.

Fingers crossed for everyone! I was expecting news sometime next week, but obviously would be thrilled to find out this Friday.

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I agree with @gelatinskeleton, based on previous years it looks more like the week of March 5th--but you never know! :) I also re-read my SOP and that was definitely a bad decision for me. What's done is done! Not too much longer of a wait.

@TheOfficeFan I've heard awesome things about Dan Kammen's work! Did you apply to the MPP-ERG concurrent degree program at Berkeley? I didn't, but I considered it. 3 years just feels like a long time. I also applied to a mix of MPP/MPA programs, with an MEM thrown in for good measure, and also got into UWashington Evans -- it would be great to chat about programs and compare notes! I'll message you.

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Well it didn't help that Berkeley had among the earliest application deadlines. My SoP has seen so many iterations even since I submitted it to the university...

If any of you guys have information that you're sure might be essential to an international student, do you mind sharing? I would like to know what I missed before making the decision definitely.

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12 hours ago, TheOfficeFan said:

Nacht in particular had illuminating and hilarious things to say about various MPP programs, especially HKS (he taught there for 10 years) and how they differed from Goldman. Really reinforced that the small class sizes and equity focus were for me.

@TheOfficeFan do you mind sharing? I am really confused between a few places and this would probably help me make a decision.

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Hi! I also applied to GSPP with focus on energy policy. 

Do you have any idea about the availability of funding at GSPP? Is it too difficult to acquire a fellowship?

Good luck in the process!!

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@VeryCheesey and @gelatinskeleton: Nacht mostly explained what can already be inferred by the differences in sizes and geographic area of HKS and Goldman. He said that HKS is a massive policy school, isn't as focused on equity/progressive issues as Goldman is, and you're going to encounter a lot of people who want to rule the world -- Goldman, on the other hand, is relatively small, has strong progressive leanings, and will train more of the civil servant types. That's not to say that HKS doesn't do good work, or that there aren't people there making a difference -- it just sounds like a culture that I am not comfortable with. I originally planned to apply to HKS, but scrapped my app before I even started because I realized I'd probably be miserable there. In my opinion, there's a whole ugly world that comes with the prestige of Ivys, one that I have no desire to be a part of -- but then again, I'm an active and open democratic socialist, so take that for what it's worth. Berkeley, to me, hits the sweet spot of wanting to train people to make the world better while delivering a legacy that it deserves (for the most part).

Nacht also spoke highly of D.C. policy schools in general simply due to their access/vicinity to government.

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Thanks @TheOfficeFan, the points you indicate are all very relevant to my decision-making process, especially the size of the cohort. I do believe that interaction between the faculty and students is essential to my learning process. 

BTW, I've heard the financial aid from UC Berkeley/Goldman is not significant. With the out of state tuition running as high as it is, what plans do you guys have?

Also, gradcafe trends show we should be expecting results in the next few days. Excited?

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On 3/5/2018 at 11:33 PM, VeryCheesey said:

Also, gradcafe trends show we should be expecting results in the next few days. Excited?

Does anyone know when we're supposed to hear back? I'm hoping today/tomorrow because that qualifies as "early March" as noted in their most recent blog post...

Edited by Ellen123

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I thought it was going to be yesterday, so my irrational spidey sense now says today. Good luck to everyone!

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Very much hoping for today or tomorrow! The suspense is killing me... Good luck all!

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Sigh, I received a reject. All the best to all of you who got in! It was my top choice, I'll hate myself for two days and get back to the admission process.

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55 minutes ago, VeryCheesey said:

Sigh, I received a reject. All the best to all of you who got in! It was my top choice, I'll hate myself for two days and get back to the admission process.

You still got into Harris! :) I'm sure you'll be all right no matter what.

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