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6 hours ago, AR89 said:

My main concern is if it's a well known school in the policy sector in the US, Europe etc. I heard from some that it isn't but I don't know why. I really like the way that have structured the MALD curriculum and the flexibility that it provides. I'm also keen to understand about what tech companies think of Fletcher grads - because that's my interest area. But I guess that question can be answered by some alumni.

I work in tech, so perhaps I could answer your question about brand recognition.

 

To put things straight, tech companies value skills and experience over "brand," so we do not care that much about where you went to school. It's all about how you performed on your interviews. The interview process usually has 5 -6 rounds of interviews with both behavioral and technical questions. Even if one passed the interviews, the decision still needs to be approved by the hiring committee.

We care about how one could use his/her skill in real-world scenarios. So as long as you know how to leverage your skills and applied that to the position, you should be good. 

Edited by d2ear
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3 hours ago, d2ear said:

I work in tech, so perhaps I could answer your question about brand recognition.

 

To put things straight, tech companies value skills and experience over "brand," so we do not care that much about where you went to school. It's all about how you performed on your interviews. The interview process usually has 5 -6 rounds of interviews with both behavioral and technical questions. Even if one passed the interviews, the decision still needs to be approved by the hiring committee.

We care about how one could use his/her skill in real-world scenarios. So as long as you know how to leverage your skills and applied that to the position, you should be good. 

Thanks, it's really good to hear that. I assumed that the brand would matter in the private sector, and actually now even the public sector - that's how I've seen things evolve in India over the last few years. But quite reassuring to hear that the skills and knowledge rightfully take precedence. 

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On 3/1/2021 at 10:46 AM, ejb1998 said:

Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MPP, MPA
Schools Applied To:  Chicago Harris, Princeton SPIA, UT LBJ, Georgetown McCourt
Schools Admitted To:  McCourt ($), Harris ($$), LBJ (In-state)
Schools Rejected From:  None yet
Still Waiting:  SPIA
Undergraduate Institution:  Small Liberal Arts School
Undergraduate GPA:  3.7
Undergraduate Major:  English and Political Science, Jewish Studies Focus
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  147/160/4.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  .5
Years of Work Experience:  2
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  I have been working with the same member of the State House of Representatives for two years and I head our office's healthcare legislation. Additionally, I was part of the team that established my University's first Diversity and Inclusion Office, where I conducted research and wrote white papers about targeted Diversity Initiatives.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I really think my story is my strong-suit. I was a Gates Scholar in undergrad, first-gen, Pell Grant, minority student etc. Wrote my SOP about how I got interested in policy due to my interactions with various government programs growing up and how my approach to research in undergrad was a result of that uncommon background. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I feel like these were strong, too. One was written by my Quantitative Research Methods prof who was also my research mentor. I wanted to make sure that I had someone who could speak to my quant skills bc obvi those are not my strong-suit. Other letters were written by my academic advisor (who literally met me my first day of undergrad and is a close mentor), and my direct supervisor at my policy job.  
Other: I have presented quantitative research on Zillennial voting behavior internationally and published on Holocaust memorialization and narrative storytelling. 

 I am anxiously waiting for Princeton's response right now because if I get in, I am for sure attending in the Fall. Honestly, I am surprised at the responses I have gotten thus far. Totally thought I was going to get into one MAYBE two of the programs I applied to and that was going to be it. Who knows if I can get into Princeton? I'm turning down my McCourt offer this week so the spot can open up for folks on the Waitlist! 

Update: Got my SPIA rejection Friday. Disappointing but totally expected. Now I am trying to negotiate with Harris but that in-state tuition at LBJ is going to be reeeeaaallllyy hard to turn down! 

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8 minutes ago, swimmerwinner72 said:

Anyone hear anything yet about the GWU MPA?

I emailed admissions on Friday and they responded today with: If you submitted your application by the February 1st priority deadline, you should be hearing back soon.

Vague! But hoping for today or at least before Wednesday? 

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12 minutes ago, swimmerwinner72 said:

Soon?! I hope so too. I didn't expect it to take this long tbh.

I had a friend apply last year and GW was one of the first schools they heard back from. This has been a weird year though. Hopefully we hear tonight!

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Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MPP 
Schools Applied To:  University of Chicago - Harris, Carnegie Mellon - Heinz, Georgetown - McCourt
Schools Admitted To: Harris ($), Heinz ($$$), McCourt (only 3k per semester) 
Schools Rejected From: None
Still Waiting: None
Undergraduate Institution: Liberal Arts College
Undergraduate GPA:  3.85
Undergraduate Major: International Relations
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores: Did not take or submit due to COVID-19. 
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): ~5 years
Years of Work Experience:  ~5 years
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  I've worked in a think tank for several years. I held a variety of jobs there including as an analyst and a program manager. I also had a couple of junior roles/internships and experiences elsewhere doing cool defense/nat-sec stuff. 

Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): I thought they were good, but who knows. I asked friends and colleagues for help, including one friend who I am so grateful to. I made a good case for this as the next step in my career and talked a bit about my personal story. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I thought they were really strong. Two from my professional life; one from director of undergrad department. I asked them to reinforce aspects of my SOP materials through anecdote and what not. They were all happy to oblige and support. All impressive and wonderful people. 
Other: I will almost certainly choose Carnegie Mellon. I did not apply to the DC track at Heinz. I felt like I already had a decent network in DC, and really I wanted to focus on more math/econ centric data analysis, cost analysis, etc. I am also from Pittsburgh, so CMU makes obvious sense for me. I wish I would have applied to more schools, e.g. Princeton/HKS, and I wish I would have taken the GRE. However, I feel pretty good about the results considering I decided to apply a little late and haphazardly. I am disappointed Georgetown offered so little scholarship. I applied to Georgetown mainly as a back-up since it is local to me (currently DC based). 

This website really helped me, and I am thankful that people have been so transparent about the process. Thank you! 

Edited by notarobotratheraguy
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Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MSFS, MALD, M.Sc.
Schools Applied To:  Georgetown SFS, Fletcher, Oxford
Schools Admitted To: Georgetown SFS, Fletcher ($$)  
Schools Rejected From: 
Still Waiting: Oxford
Undergraduate Institution: Top 15 U.S. university
Undergraduate GPA:  3.88
Undergraduate Major: Political Science and History, dual major
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores: N/A
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 1 year, plus a competitive language scholarship in my final year
Years of Work Experience:  ~2.5 years (counting part-time research assistant positions and full-time internships and summer employment - 
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  1 year full-time post-grad, including 4 months working for a small NGO (not in international relations) and the rest of the time interning and then being an R.A. in an IR think-tank. 3-month internship for an NGO in the Middle East and 3-months in a state economic development agency working on local issues. Part-time RA positions in poli-sci labs doing varied levels of quant. analysis and qualitative research. 

Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): Overall, I think they were fairly strong and I got multiple rounds of feedback from friends and a little bit of advice from colleagues. Rushed the MSc. application and didn't notice a pretty obvious typo.

Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): Submitted three to each school and they were pretty strong. Two were from professors in undergrad and I gave them all my SOP, my resume, and held a meeting with each one to discuss my interests and why I was applying. Another from a supervisor at the think tank who could write about my professional abilities. 

Other: I didn't have the econ classes (micro or macro) required to matriculate for the MSFS program, so I will be completing them over the summer. The only real quant. experience I had was performing statistical analysis of survey data as an R.A. in undergrad.

Edited by docwho512
too much info
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How does everyone feel about SAIS and Fletcher in comparison to similar programs? Esp. with COVID still a part of the picture.

I have been accepted to SAIS Bologna, Fletcher, Georgetown MSFS, NYU Wagner, and LSE thus far (still waiting on HKS and SIPA) and as of now SAIS has given me the most money (about 40% tuition/yr scholarship).

Curious how people feel about the value of a SAIS education vs these others and how people are feeling about Bolgona in the fall given COVID!

Also happy to hear any info anyone has about negotiating for more scholarship funding or about SAIS's requirement of keeping a 3.4 to keep the scholarship.

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On 3/5/2021 at 11:52 AM, InternationalStudent said:

Still waiting for 2 very important results but I guess I'll just update later.

Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MPA/ID, MPA, MIEF, IDE, MA in Econ, MA in Development, Trade, and Finance
Schools Applied To:  HKS (MPA/ID), LSE (MPA), SAIS (MIEF), Yale (IDE), IHEID/Bocconi/Barcelona GSE/Central European University (MA in Econ), Barcelona GSE (Dev, Trade, Finance)
Schools Admitted To:  LSE, SAIS, IHEID, Barcelona GSE (Dev). Invited for CEU interview but turned it down.
Schools Rejected From:  Bocconi (said they didn't like I was more than 2 years out of college), Barcelona GSE (Econ) 
Still Waiting:  HKS and Yale 
Undergraduate Institution:  Top 10 IR school
Undergraduate GPA:  3.5
Undergraduate Major:  IR
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  168/169/5.0
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  3 at time of application, 4 at time of enrollment 
Years of Work Experience:  same as above
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Internships in DC think tanks, 1 year in political risk consulting, 2 years in financial policy
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Varied a ton between applications, some were fairly cookie cutter others took their time to write (especially HKS that made me write 6 different essays (4 for app 2 for financial aid) that were all fairly specific) 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  1 from current employer that (I think) really likes my work, 1 from past employer that's also a fairly well known Political Science phd, 1 from a professor that I wasn't too close to who taught me way back in 2016. Honestly getting an academic reference 3 years out of college was fairly tough. I didn't get the chance to read any of them so idk how strong they were.
Other: I didn't meet the prerequisites for the SAIS MIEF and still got in so I'd suggest everyone talk to admissions to see how flexible they are with these and shoot your shot.

 

 

Rejected at Yale IDE. Pretty disappointing but somewhat expected, seems like they don't like people without an econ background. Only HKS MPA/ID left and this result kinda made me lose a bit of confidence there... 

Edited by InternationalStudent
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13 minutes ago, academiaenthusiast said:

Currently debating between Columbia SIPA ($$), Johns Hopkins SAIS ($$), Tufts Fletcher (&&), and IHEID Geneva ($$$$). I am hoping to work in international conflict resolution either at the UN or any multilateral org. Any recs?

Depends on the multilateral org that you want. IHEID and SIPA would probably be best for the UN due to their locations, while SAIS has a better network with the development banks. Try to look at the placement info for each of the schools and think about which one's median placement you'd feel most comfortable with. 

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2 hours ago, EscapingBrexit said:

Does anyone know if GWU Elliott negotiates on funding? 

I'm also considering declining an offer or two. Is it too early to do that really?

I tried. The grad admissions office told me funding was final. 

And I have a couple offers where I know I am not going for various reasons. Probably should decline them sooner than later but I haven't yet ?‍♂️

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Programs Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): IR/MPP/MPA
Schools Applied To:  Georgetown (MSFS), SAIS (MAIR Dual Degree w/Tsinghua), American SIS (Intl. Affairs Policy/Analysis), GWU Elliott (MAIA), Columbia SIPA (MIA), UVA Batten (MPP) Cornell CIPA (MPA), Syracuse Maxwell (MPA/IR Dual Degree), Tufts Fletcher (MALD), NUS LKY School (MPP), UCSD GPS (MIA).

Schools Admitted To:  SAIS (27% of tuition), Cornell (38%), GWU (40%), UCSD(in-state, financial aid TBD), American (33%), Tufts (23%), Georgetown, Columbia SIPA.
Schools Rejected From:  Syracuse Maxwell
Schools Waitlisted From: UVA Batten
Still Waiting: NUS
Undergraduate Institution: Mid-tier UC
Undergraduate GPA:   3.7
Undergraduate Major:  Politics & History Double Major
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  Didn't take
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  4 by the start of the program
Years of Work Experience: Around 2.5 years
Describe Relevant Work Experience: Full time experience at an international development organization focused on education in South/Southeast Asia. Also had an internship at an Asia-focused nonprofit organization after graduation. Other post-grad experience included a yearlong language study scholarship from a foreign government.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): 8/10. I think I had a clear/concise narrative tying my previous experience to why I want to go back to school and what I want to do afterwards. It was a compelling enough read that I think it probably stood out, even though the content is what basically every other applicant wrote (State Department as the main goal, etc). Somehow I think my recommendations helped me more. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): 10/10, very strong. One from my CEO who I reported to directly, one from a professor who I have a personal relationship with (and is the chair of the department), and one who I took 4 courses with and can speak to my language abilities. I felt really good about these.

Other: Funding offers were surprisingly low this year, but it must be a product of the tough cycle. SAIS, GWU, and CIPA leave me with the least debt, but of that group, SAIS stands out as the best. It also gives me the opportunity to live overseas again, which I am thrilled about. UCSD is a wildcard, as in-state tuition is cheap, but my career goals are more suited to DC.
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On 2/22/2021 at 3:12 PM, mildlyconfusedmar said:

Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.):  MPA/MPP/MIA/MALD
Schools Applied To: Columbia SIPA, Tufts Fletcher, HKS, Princeton SPIA, Georgetown SFS, Johns Hopkins SAIS, NYU Wagner, LSE
Schools Admitted To: None yet
Schools Rejected From:  None yet
Still Waiting: 
All
Undergraduate Institution: #1 public university
Undergraduate GPA:  3.78
Undergraduate Major: Economics, Peace and Conflict Studies minor
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  165/168/4.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  2
Years of Work Experience:  2 full-time, 3 if count internships
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Global development research center at top research university
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I think it was decent, covered how my current work experience influences what I would like to do in the future-- had a clear path outlined.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  One professional, one academic, one who is the faculty director of research center and was my professor. Fairly confident.

Accepted: Columbia SIPA ($$), Johns Hopkins SAIS ($$), Tufts Fletcher ($), Georgetown SFS, NYU Wagner ($), LSE

Rejected: Princeton SPIA

Still waiting: HKS

Anyone have any advice on negotiating funding?

Edited by mildlyconfusedmar
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7 minutes ago, swimmerwinner72 said:

For all those waiting for Trachtenberg decisions - I just got accepted for the MPA program! No email yet, I just happened to check my portal. 

Congrats! Did they have anything on the portal about funding or do you think that'll be in an email later?

Mine still doesn't have any MPP updates, but glad they're FINALLY rolling these out.

We've also started a GW MPP forum here if anyone was looking for one. 

 

Edited by qwertympp
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12 minutes ago, swimmerwinner72 said:

For all those waiting for Trachtenberg decisions - I just got accepted for the MPA program! No email yet, I just happened to check my portal. 

This is thrilling -- I may just be refreshing my application portal all day, but it is good to hear that the decisions are starting to roll out! 

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12 minutes ago, qwertympp said:

Congrats! Did they have anything on the portal about funding or do you think that'll be in an email later?

Mine still doesn't have any MPP updates, but glad they're FINALLY rolling these out.

We've also started a GW MPP forum here if anyone was looking for one. 

 

My decision for the MPP program in the portal states: "You have been selected to receive an award of merit-based financial assistance. Details will be sent shortly by email to the address you provided on your application."

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15 minutes ago, qwertympp said:

Congrats! Did they have anything on the portal about funding or do you think that'll be in an email later?

Mine still doesn't have any MPP updates, but glad they're FINALLY rolling these out.

We've also started a GW MPP forum here if anyone was looking for one. 

 

My letter says I received $ but it doesn't say the amount; it says a separate email will be sent soon. 

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Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MPA
Schools Applied To:  Maxwell School (Syracuse University), CIPA (Cornell)
Schools Admitted To:  Maxwell (about 98% funding with a GA Assistantship, scholarships, etc), CIPA (~65% funding with fellowship, summer stipend, small assistantship)
Schools Rejected From: None
Still Waiting:  n/a
Undergraduate Institution:  Highly ranked private liberal arts school 
Undergraduate GPA:  4.0
Undergraduate Major:  Economics, minor in Entrepreneurial Studies
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  154 (ouch!)/168/5.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  3
Years of Work Experience:  3+ years of fulltime experience after graduation in nonprofits and political campaign support, I also have internship experience from every summer in undergrad, and worked for my undergrad institution throughout my senior year. 
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Lots of experience in the philanthropy sector, supporting foundations and nonprofits. 
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  It was pretty strong (got into both institutions). It detailed my professional goals of working with nonprofit strategy planning and support, gave specific examples of where I want to gain more experience and how each program could help. Since I only applied to two programs, each SOP was highly tailored. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Very strong, I used one professor recommendation and two professional references (including my current boss). They were all more than happy to write letters  - I was only able to view my boss's letter, but I'm sure the other two were good as well. 
Other: Torn between the two choices at the moment, I definitely have heard a lot of comments about how CIPA is a newer program but they've been very helpful throughout the application process, and you have access to courses from all of the schools at Cornell. The flexible curriculum, opportunity to have an internship during the summer, gain extra experience in consulting experiences, and general name recognition make this an attractive option. If I were able to obtain a Research or Graduate Assistantship in my second year, I'd have very little debt (and I'd definitely hustle to make that happen). 

Maxwell has a great reputation based on alumni conversations and most of the remarks on this forum. I'm worried about the tight timeline and rather inflexible curriculum, since I do want to gain enough experience to be a viable applicant at consulting firms. Of course, the shortened time out of the workforce is a benefit. The massive aid offer and strong alumni presence are obviously a big draw. One major consideration for me is that I don't intend to stay in the NY, NYC, or DC area (hoping to move to the West Coast after graduation), so I'm conflicted about which name will be the best one across the country, and not just the northeast.

I keep going back and forth, and know that whichever choice will have its costs and benefits...Any advice would be appreciated! 

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On 3/16/2021 at 1:03 PM, academiaenthusiast said:

Currently debating between Columbia SIPA ($$), Johns Hopkins SAIS ($$), Tufts Fletcher (&&), and IHEID Geneva ($$$$). I am hoping to work in international conflict resolution either at the UN or any multilateral org. Any recs?

To me IHEID seems like the clear winner, congratulations! Why are you doubting that offer? ?

Edited by EscapingBrexit
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