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chances for mpa at kennedy/princeton/other top programs?


CARRY
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Stats:

Age 28 (but will have just have turned 30 at the beginning of any mpa programme in sep2012)

First class honours in economics from LSE (equivalent to between a 3.8 and 4 GPA, loads of calculus and econometrics)

MSc Economics from LSE (fully funded by a scholarship)

4.5 years trading emerging market derivatives for a bulge bracket bank in london (good references, left as a senior associate)

i got a 740 GMAT (first time) 97 percentile (45 on quant 71 percentile and 47 on verbal 99 percentile)

here's the unorthdox bit:

I left my job to go and study Arabic 2.5 years ago because bonuses looked bad (and they were) and I felt that i was trading a lot of things in far away countries without actually knowing much about the places (sob sob ;-) ). It had always been a personal ambition of mine to study the language (properly, not just a couple of phrases for ordering tea in a cafe) and now i'm approaching fluency in it. anyway, the point i'm trying to make is i left to do something i found interesting and not because i had to (wasn't fired, made redundant or left to avoid any of these). i also have some interesting military experience, but didn't actually serve in theatre.

i'm still interested in finance/economics and want to do an mpa at a good school with a view to working in consultancy, fixed income (emerging markets again), macroeconomist role. any thoughts on my mpa-school app? chances etc? Is the 71% on quant a big deal? is my age a problem? thanks.

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I feel like you have a good shot at getting into one of these programs but how would an MPA help you become an economic consultant? I can better understand your motive for learning Arabic than doing more graduate school in public administration.

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Have you taken the GRE? AFAIK not all schools will accept the GMAT as a substitute.

Your profile looks competitive, but as jblsmith says it'd be good to know how an MPA ties in to your overall career goals :)

BTW congrats on the full funding from LSE, from what I know of them that's pretty uncommon.

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thanks for replying, the scholarship it was funded by the ESRC, which gives you all the fees and then $18k use to live on if you win it. i was definitely lucky.

to be honest i wouldn't mind working for a consultancy later or something like the world bank etc. i know a PhD would be better for the world bank but i don't want that kind of investment, plus i like the mix of maths/econ and development on these programmes. i am thinking about doing the joint mba/mpa thing as well. as i think the mba brand might be more useful for getting jobs afterwards, but the map material is just so much more interesting. to be honest, i'm annoyed that i don't find accountancy more interesting because then i could just do an mba and get a job that provided a liveable wage. i definitely know that i'd find the course interesting and it would allow me a little bit more time to narrow down career options. i think something like a country researcher for an investment bank, or a mgt consultant, or a researcher covering the economies of the middle east but for a public sector institution like the world bank etc. i definitely want to leverage my arabic now that i have spent the time studying it.

my understanding is that most schools a happy with the gmat, so i was just going to stick with that. since it's 300usd a time, and i think the gmat is considered a step up on the quant front compared to the gre. although to be honest it's all high school stuff anyway.

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From the Princeton MPA Admission FAQ:

Do you accept the GMAT or LSAT in place of the GRE?

No.

From GWU Elliott:

Q: How can I apply to a joint/dual degree program?

A: If you are interested in the MA/JD, MA/MBA, or MA/MPH program, you will need to apply separately to each school and adhere to each school's deadlines and requirements. GRE scores are required of all Elliott School MA applicants; we cannot accept GMAT or LSAT scores.

Edited by fenderpete
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Just to echo Fenderpete...

From Georgetown

U.S. Citizens and permanent residents are required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). GMAT scores will not be accepted under any circumstances.

HKS, Fletcher, SAIS, and SIPA all will take GMAT in lieu of LSA. SFS, GWES, and WWS do not. Your choice whether you're willing to forgo those schools.

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