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Hey everyone - I realize it's only April, but I figured I'd get started on the HKS thread for 2019 matriculation. 

A little about me: I'm a 2010 grad from a competitive small liberal arts college, 2012 masters in city planning from an ivy (both with honors), worked in public finance consulting for three years, now working as a civil servant in a policy office in transportation. I'm active in a few LGBT causes, and have a fellowship with a large, international professional organization that focuses on urban revitalization. I'm taking the GRE in August. I'm attracted to HKS and other MPP programs that offer programs in domestic policy, economic development, and urban policy. I'm nervous but excited to go through the application process, and to be nearly 30(!). Currently brainstorming essay topics, and how to best hone my story.

What about you?

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The text above mine also just disappeared. This has happened in previous years and apparently is no indication of anything.

Wow I got the public service scholarship! I am befuddled... and puts it in real competiton with wws. can’t wait for the open house! 

Good luck to you all! I remember being in this position last year. Right now I'm in the throes of my first semester finals and figured I'd stop by to remind myself why I decided to come here.

This is actually the post that made me get an account, might as well kick off the 2019 nail biting.

2014 grad from a state school better known for football than academics. Worked in  public planning for two years then got a big promotion to department head and an office in the city manager's suite. Been doing that about a year. I'm taking the GRE at the end of September.

I'll be applying to HKS and WWS for MPA as my hail marys. I'm hoping my dedication to public service and improvement from high school through college will sneak me in as my grades and practice (assuming they translate to real) GRE scores would have me around average.

I never thought I would be in a position where applying to these schools wouldn't be a waste of money and it's kinda stressful

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Hello! I'm a potential applicant to HKS for a concurrent degree (currently interviewing for partner MBA programs as well). I'd appreciate if anyone had advice for HKS applicants who are coming from business backgrounds/business school mindset. My goal is to work in nonprofit/social impact consulting but I don't really have experience in this area, and my work experience is nontraditional for both policy & business programs.

About me:
-Male, not URM
-2014 graduate in Economics
-3.3 GPA, average state institution
-4 years of work experience
-Worked as a business analyst at a public policy research firm
-Worked in a research support position at a research center affiliated with several academic institutions worldwide (including HKS)
-Strong quantitative resume I think... 2/3 of my transcript are math, econ, finance classes and I did well in advance logic course series, and my work experience has involved a lot of data and financial analysis
-740 GMAT score

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10 hours ago, worldleader2018 said:

Who's applying this year? This thread has been quite inactive! so nervous to submit my app...

Applied last night! Glad the application is out of the way, now onto the 4+ months of waiting... I think what'll bring down my chances of getting in/getting scholarships is my limited work experience (1.5 years, though plenty of internships in undergrad) but hoping that my academic stats will make up for it (3.99 GPA, 168/168/5 GRE)

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So crazy to have the apps go out already, the result can't come soon enough...

I applied too and getting ready to submit the next round of apps for other schools. I'm nervous about my GRE - 154V/160Q, but I've got about 5 years of work experience and I started a non-profit so I really hope that it will carry me through. The GRE is really giving me nightmares though.

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On 12/3/2018 at 7:23 AM, worldleader2018 said:

Who's applying this year? This thread has been quite inactive! so nervous to submit my app...

I did - submitted a month ago, so I'm already a month into the long wait!

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3 hours ago, bigdreamer2018 said:

Just got my "complete" status e-mail from HKS today. I feel like I keep going back to look at my app lol...bad idea

What are everyone's stats like?

Applied to HKS as a "reach", figuring I have a chance, but not a very good one.

Undergrad: 3.36 GPA in Political Science and Spanish from a decently good liberal arts school. Limited quant experience, really just one econ course that I got a B- in, so I took an undergrad-level Stats course this fall, expecting to get an A or A-, so hopefully that helps.

GRE: 163V, 163Q, 5.5 AW - pretty solid, hoping that 163Q alleviates some concerns about my quant qualifications. 

Work experience: 4 years of nonprofit experience in a few different capacities, including a postgrad volunteer corps. 

Essays and recs both pretty good, not amazing. Commitment to public service is quite good. 

My hope is that my commitment to public service really shines through in my experience, recs, and essays, and that despite so-so undegrad stats, my GRE, recs, and recent Stats course convince them that I can handle the coursework. Like I said, applied to give myself a shot, but I expect it'll be tough odds.

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Hi guys. I applied HKS mpp. May I know whether your application has been processed or not? Or how long had you waited before it got processed? My GRE scores and TOEFL/IELTS scores are still showing "awaiting".

GRE: 162/162/3.5; TOEFL 106; GPA: 3.7 (from a pretty good university in China, but not on very top); Extremely strong recommendation letters (one from a Harvard alumni); 4 years' amazing working experience in a government-sponsored think tank: coauthored two policy articles submitted for top leaders in China and Hong Kong; interviewed with quotes by WSJ through telephone in English several times; published two articles on a policy journal in English, where one article was intensively cited by an editorial piece on WSJ; single authored one book chapter in English, coauthored three book chapters in English (authors in the books were quite famous in academia); columnist bilingually for several top newspapers in East Asia; invited by a TV program as the youngest speaker and debated there with a former secretary of an Asian country's president and with a senior research fellow of Stanford; coauthored a policy article submitted to a forum hosted by China's central government, and several HKS professors attended the forum; presented three papers in English at international conferences, where one conference was co-orgainzed by a famous research institution of Harvard; Commitment to public service is quite good; Quantitative experience is good, and I learned some caculus, linear algebra and MATLAB/Python/R/STATA programming

Shortcomings: (1) not from a real elite university of China, (2) GRE/Toefl writing scores suck (22 in TOEFL writing). Hopefully so many English publications could help, otherwise my other materials of application would not be reviewed simply because the below-requirement writing score (already stated in optional essay); (3) two nightmare typos in JFK essay, including a spelling error of the name of a harvard institution.

Good luck to you all.

Edited by Benjamin Shuai
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On 12/11/2018 at 5:40 PM, bigdreamer2018 said:

Just got my "complete" status e-mail from HKS today. I feel like I keep going back to look at my app lol...bad idea

What are everyone's stats like?

Answering for my BF:

Undergrad Poli Sci major, sub 3.5 GPA. Limited quant courses, but Arabic language skills
GRE: low quant, high percentile verbal, 4.5 AWA
3 major internships; two separate state legislatures and one state agency
7 years of state legislature experience with increasing responsibilities and seniority 
Great LOR writers: one from state rep (current boss), one HKS alum, one academic 
 

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Just a quick question.

 

Does anyone still have their app status as incomplete? I submitted my GRE scores over a month ago but it still hasn't been processed by the university.

 

Secondly, I took the GRE twice in 2014 and 2017. While sending the scores, we have to choose a score to send. I chose the 2017 scores but the HKS will still receive both scores, right? Because I have said in my application that I took GRE twice and in my portal, it says both scores are pending. Should I be paying twice and sending two different scores from ETS to HKS? Can anyone clarify? 

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3 hours ago, invincible49 said:

Just a quick question.

 

Does anyone still have their app status as incomplete? I submitted my GRE scores over a month ago but it still hasn't been processed by the university.

  

Secondly, I took the GRE twice in 2014 and 2017. While sending the scores, we have to choose a score to send. I chose the 2017 scores but the HKS will still receive both scores, right? Because I have said in my application that I took GRE twice and in my portal, it says both scores are pending. Should I be paying twice and sending two different scores from ETS to HKS? Can anyone clarify? 

You're fine even if the app status is still showing as incomplete. Have a look at this blog post from the admissions team: http://hksadmissionblog.tumblr.com/post/181078275158/2019-application-reading-and-decision-process :

"Based upon our work in previous years, we will not certify some applications as complete until January. As has been stated in previous entries, the order in which files are certified as complete has no bearing upon the final admission decision." 

 

Not sure about the GRE question, but my understanding is that with ETS/GRE you get to pick which score to send. So if you only chose 2017 scores, only those will be sent. 

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On 12/19/2018 at 2:52 PM, PaoloC said:

You're fine even if the app status is still showing as incomplete. Have a look at this blog post from the admissions team: http://hksadmissionblog.tumblr.com/post/181078275158/2019-application-reading-and-decision-process :

"Based upon our work in previous years, we will not certify some applications as complete until January. As has been stated in previous entries, the order in which files are certified as complete has no bearing upon the final admission decision." 

 

Not sure about the GRE question, but my understanding is that with ETS/GRE you get to pick which score to send. So if you only chose 2017 scores, only those will be sent. 

Yeah you are right, but I just read on the blog that they've completed one round of all applications. If thats the case wheres my GRE score? I submitted it on November 16 but still doesnt show in the portal. Started to get a little freaked out. Dont know if I should resend my score to the school. Double and triple checked on the ETS website that I've code the right

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12 hours ago, invincible49 said:

Yeah you are right, but I just read on the blog that they've completed one round of all applications. If thats the case wheres my GRE score? I submitted it on November 16 but still doesnt show in the portal. Started to get a little freaked out. Dont know if I should resend my score to the school. Double and triple checked on the ETS website that I've code the right

Personally, I wouldn't resend or even contact them about it. Their admissions blog is full of pleas to not email them with queries on status of the application, that if there are issues they will reach out, and that if you made a good faith effort to get info to them on time (and it sounds like you did) they would not hold it against you if scores happened to get lost somewhere along the way. 

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6 hours ago, PaoloC said:

Personally, I wouldn't resend or even contact them about it. Their admissions blog is full of pleas to not email them with queries on status of the application, that if there are issues they will reach out, and that if you made a good faith effort to get info to them on time (and it sounds like you did) they would not hold it against you if scores happened to get lost somewhere along the way. 

Yup. That is true. I've decided to just try and not think about and it and wait till something happens.

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1 hour ago, somewhatslightlydazed said:

Just got admitted to SAIS Europe! (DC decisions may be coming out later today) No word on funding yet - I'm hoping that'll come out later today but it might not be until March, not sure how that works with the Bologna campus...

Hi, congratulations! Was this communicated via email? What is the cut-off date for you to confirm your admission?

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On 12/12/2018 at 7:14 PM, Damis said:

Good luck to you all! I remember being in this position last year.

Right now I'm in the throes of my first semester finals and figured I'd stop by to remind myself why I decided to come here. :)

Hi Damis, 

I have been following HKS grad cafe forums for years and preparing myself to apply in 2019 (to matriculate in 2020). I would love to pick your brain... shoot me a message when you have some time. I'd really appreciate it. thanks :)

 

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Does anyone know how soon interview invites go out for CPL fellowships? I know the interviews are at the end of the month. Just wondering when we'll be notified if we've been selected to interview.

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On 2/8/2019 at 6:20 AM, MPPhopeful322 said:

Does anyone know how soon interview invites go out for CPL fellowships? I know the interviews are at the end of the month. Just wondering when we'll be notified if we've been selected to interview.

I was on their webinar a couple of weeks back. I recall something about third week of Feb or thereabouts for the interview invites. 

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