Jump to content
fenderpete

The 'Am I competitive' thread - READ ME BEFORE POSTING

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Future_Chem_Professor said:

Hi everyone! I'm posting this again to hopefully get some replies. Anything helps!!!

Program: M.S/PhD in Analytical Chemistry

Schools Applying To:  SUNY Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), University of Rochester, University of Maryland College Park, Tufts University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Rutgers New Brunswick 

Interests: Analytical Chemistry (HPLC)

Undergrad Institution: State School in Pennsylvania

Undergraduate GPA: 2.7/4.0 

Undergraduate Major: Chemistry

Undergraduate Minor: Mathematics

Major GPA: ~2.5/4.0

GRE:  V 148 / Q 154 / AW 5.0

Age: 23 

Languages: English, Spanish

Work Experience: 

- Summer internship in Pharmaceutical company

- 1 year of undergraduate research (nothing published)

-6 months working in an analytical R&D lab in the liquid chromatography department (currently working)

LORs: 1 great LOR from current lab supervisor, 1 great from Math professor who's known me my entire undergraduate career, 1 okay from professor I did research with (was upset I didn't publish, but still did good work)

SOPs: Still working on and revising

Concerns: 

1. Low GPA

 

I've been networking like crazy with professors of interest who've encouraged me to apply. I'm also voluntarily meeting with a few in person. My hope is that by traveling to see them, it'll demonstrate that I am in fact serious about graduate school. Also, I will also be taking the GRE Chemistry Subject Test in a few weeks to increase my chances. Please let me know of any approach I should take. Thank you!

You're posting in the wrong forum, this is the government affairs forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, 2018Hopeful said:

Some feedback?

Why do you want an MPA if you already have an MPP? That doesn't really make sense to me, so would definitely be something you need to explain to any admissions committee. Are you aware of the degree of overlap in these degree programs that often occurs in the US? Perhaps your MPP is from an international institution, but if you want a US degree in order to try to work here, that is by no means a given. Have you considered other paths toward whatever your end goal is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, hopeful88 said:

Why do you want an MPA if you already have an MPP? That doesn't really make sense to me, so would definitely be something you need to explain to any admissions committee. Are you aware of the degree of overlap in these degree programs that often occurs in the US? Perhaps your MPP is from an international institution, but if you want a US degree in order to try to work here, that is by no means a given. Have you considered other paths toward whatever your end goal is?

Thanks!!

 

Yes, I know that I have to explain it and that MPPs/MPAs curriculums tend to be similar. My MPP was "aimed" towards a general public (more than 75% of my classmates were lawyers or political scientists) and I want to focus on economic/financial policy and development with an emphasis on quantitative methods. I think that my MPP (and my experience) will allow me to enrich the debates.

My goal is not to work in the US although I believe that a good master will help me to apply to a better position in my country and abroad. My primary goal is to come back to my country after graduation.

My strongest concern if I will be competitive to earn a tuition grant/scholarships in one of the top schools (HKS MPA-ID, WWS MPA, SIPA MPA-EPM, CIPA MPA) or if I need to think about others (suggestions?) and if my GRE scores are low (Q and AW)

Edited by 2018Hopeful

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, 2018Hopeful said:

Thanks!!

 

Yes, I know that I have to explain it and that MPPs/MPAs curriculums tend to be similar. My MPP was "aimed" towards a general public (more than 75% of my classmates were lawyers or political scientists) and I want to focus on economic/financial policy and development with an emphasis on quantitative methods. I think that my MPP (and my experience) will allow me to enrich the debates.

My goal is not to work in the US although I believe that a good master will help me to apply to a better position in my country and abroad. My primary goal is to come back to my country after graduation.

My strongest concern if I will be competitive to earn a tuition grant/scholarships in one of the top schools (HKS MPA-ID, WWS MPA, SIPA MPA-EPM, CIPA MPA) or if I need to think about others (suggestions?) and if my GRE scores are low (Q and AW)

Hmm, well, I'm no expert but your GRE quant score seems fine. Analytical writing is low but it sounds like English is a second language for you. As long as you turn in technically proficient essays (which doesn't seem like a problem since your grammar and writing appears to be fluent in these posts) I would think that wouldn't ding you too much. I don't know as much about the Cornell program, but the other three you listed (Harvard, Princeton, Columbia) are extremely competitive, especially for funding . You seem to have a decent profile but I certainly wouldn't count on getting money from any of them. SIPA is a little less competitive with admissions, but my understanding is that they only give it a tiny handful of substantial scholarships. And it's so expensive that I wouldn't advise attending for full tuition unless you have outside funding. Same for HKS. It could be smart to also apply to Michigan and Wagner, as you suggested. If you're willing to go to Texas, I recall reading claims that LBJ at UT Austin sometimes gives out generous scholarships? I don't know that to be true through first hand knowledge though, and I could be misremembering. You might also look into Duke, they have a strong program and sometimes give out scholarship money I think. I would sift through the threads on this message board for scholarship recommendations. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/3/2017 at 3:41 PM, Jon S said:

@memphismocha Yeah Princeton is the dream, with all that funding eh? For their MPP you actually need to have a minimum of 7 years work experience and most have over 10...and as for the MPA, it looks like they really emphasize quant capacities... according to their 'viewbook,' only 7% of their admitted MPA applicants scored below 60th percentile on GRE quant, which is discouraging to say the least. But then again, chance of ~$100,000 educational value, for the price of $90 application fee? Why not! 

Best of luck to you :)

The MPA at Princeton is the equivalent of the MPP at other schools. Also, I'd say the scholarship is more in the realm of $150,000 (they pay full tuition for 2 years, which is about $100,000.) Additionally, they give you a generous stipend for living expenses etc. with no strings attached -- about $25,000--$28,000 per year for two years). Pretty much anyone who gets in gets this (unless you're coming in with a ton of savings or a very high previous salary, though I'm not exactly sure about the specifics on this)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, op1920 said:

The MPA at Princeton is the equivalent of the MPP at other schools. Also, I'd say the scholarship is more in the realm of $150,000 (they pay full tuition for 2 years, which is about $100,000.) Additionally, they give you a generous stipend for living expenses etc. with no strings attached -- about $25,000--$28,000 per year for two years). Pretty much anyone who gets in gets this (unless you're coming in with a ton of savings or a very high previous salary, though I'm not exactly sure about the specifics on this)

This is one of the major reason why I say there's really no competition between the Wilson School and other graduate schools of Public and International Affairs. Princeton is in a category of its own. Besides, career opportunities are superb and the scholarship results in an even more competitive cohort.

Edited by went_away

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Program: MPP/Energy and Environment

Schools Applying To: Duke Sanford MPP/Env. Science, U of Michigan MPP, Ann Arbor, Chicago Harris, Michigan-Ford (MPP), Berkeley Goldman(MPP)/ERG, others

Interests: Interested in renewable energy, workforce development, utility reform and sustainable development

Undergrad Institution: University of Washington, Seattle

Undergraduate GPA: 3.7/4 

Undergraduate: Accounting, Philosophy with Honors

GRE:  V 166 / Q 153 / AW 5

Age: 27 

Languages: Ukrainian/Russian (native), English, Spanish (beginner)

Work Experience:  +5yrs

- 2 years working in public/private accounting 

- volunteering, including installing solar in disadvantaged communities in the US and abroad

- 3 years (on-going) at a solar non-profit.  I have experience in the design/implementation of low-income solar programs, research and advocacy in utility reform

LORs: 2 current bosses (3 years) profs from phil undergrad

SOPs: Talking about regulatory reform at the state level to promote a shift towards renewable energy with strong emphasis on workforce development and economic inclusiveness 

Concerns: 

1.       GRE Quant - it's a horrible score. Taken twice - I can't crack it? 

 

Can I even apply with these stats? 

 

Thank you!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone, I'm looking at applying for NYU Wagner's MSc. Public Policy (MSPP) beginning in Fall 2018 . They did not have much information about the cohort statistics, but they did mention that what they look for in MSPP candidates are: (i) Strong academic ability and (ii) Ability to Think Critically about Policy Issues.

I did not fare well for my verbal component during the first attempt of the GRE (V: 155, Q: 163, AW: 5.5), and I just retook them today and the results were not much better (V: 156, Q: 166, AW: TBD)

A little background:

Undergraduate Institution: University of Warwick, United Kingdom (Top 3 in Economics in the UK)

Major: Economics (with strong results in (i) Econometrics and (ii) Statistics; proficient in STATA, LaTeX and MATLAB)

Undergraduate Dissertation Topic: Does debt give you a bad degree? The effect of Student Loans on Degree Classification: Empirical Study in the UK

GPA: First-class honours (converts to 4.0/4.0 GPA), ranked top 15% in the cohort of 550 students

Age: 23

Languages: English (native), Mandarin (mother tongue), German (beginner)

Work Experience: 2 internships (12 weeks) in public sector, specialising in aerospace engineering and electronics industries respectively.

Letter of References: (i) Associate professor who's the module leader of the "Economics of Public Policy" module I am taking now (ii) Director of a statutory board in Singapore whom I worked with during my internship

Additional Information: Awarded a scholarship from the government in Singapore, sponsoring full tuition fees and substantial living allowance, will return to work in the public sector after graduation from masters program.

Questions

1. Does anyone know the typical acceptance rate for NYU MSPP?

2. Are my verbal scores competitive enough?

3. Should I submit both GRE scores to NYU if I do worse than 5.5 for my AW this time round?

Thanks for your help!

Edited by terencetch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Program: MPP/MSFS - public policy with international/national security focus; JD joint/concurrent degree 

Schools Applying To:  Harvard Kennedy School (MPP), Harvard Law School (JD), Georgetown SFS (MSFS), Georgetown University Law Center (JD), Yale Jackson Institute (MA), Stanford IPS (MA), Princeton WWS (MPA)

Interests: Sino-American politics, East Asian geopolitics, counterterrorism (esp. counter-radicalization), Chinese law, public international law, Chinese cybersecurity and military thought

Undergrad Institution: UCLA

Undergraduate GPA: 3.877 

Undergraduate Major: Political science with concentration in international relations, minor in classical civilization

GRE: 168V/162Q/5.5W (slightly bungled my Q score, but it's neither here nor there)

Age: 23 (24 before matriculation)

Work Experience: two DC think tank internships (one non-published research project for reasons out of my control, and an opinion editorial in a national newspaper), administrative assistant for three years part-time during undergrad, two years' experience working in education sector in China by matriculation

Other Experience: a lot of Model United Nations, including a number of awards topped with a Best Delegate gavel, Model UN summer camp counselor, traveling to New York during the school year to serve on MUN conference secretariats, helping out with the Model UN team at the school I teach at (you can see what my entire life since high school has consisted of), advisor to two extracurricular clubs at the school I teach at, volunteering for my alma mater here in China

Honors & Awards: Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, prize for outstanding work as a classical civilization minor (internal nomination process among faculty, top two students selected annually), prize for outstanding political theory work as undergraduate (internal nomination process from professor, top three out of ~200 students), outstanding research poster award at my school's annual undergraduate research extravaganza, another research award from one of my professors & recommendation letter writers

Publications: three refereed articles in undergraduate journals, aforementioned opinion editorial

Languages: English (native), Mandarin Chinese (essentially fluent, but working on building academic vocabulary)

Quantitative Background: Introduction to Data Analysis (B+), Introduction to Statistics (A), Microeconomics (A), Macroeconomics (A) 
Also, this technically doesn't count but I took AP Calculus BC in senior year of high school and received a 4 on it (AB subscore was a 5, so we all know what I should have done instead) 
(I can make a good case for being out with a serious bout of the flu in freshman year of university as to why that B+ exists)

LORs: two from professors (between the two of them, I've got three research projects and one refereed publication and another under review), one from current employer (who is also a professor that I TA for) 

SOPs: written already, got a lot of "very solid" comments from family/friends/coworkers/"it's complicated" relationship status friends
(Only one was on Model UN, I'm so proud)

Concerns: I know my numbers are very solid, but I literally freaked out after two months of continued pressure and application submission. From the list above, only Princeton WWS remains on my to-do list (still haven't written that policy memo, though I'm very sure as to what I'm going to write it on).

However, SAIS (MA-HNC) was originally on that list and in a fit of pique I decided that I don't know if I want to go to that school. I currently live in Nanjing (the site of their China campus) and I have friends currently attending that school. However, I'm really not sure whether I want to go to that school because I have such a good knowledge of it and it's striking me as "meh" now. As others have said, it has a very "undergraduate" sort of feel to it and I'm not sure whether this is the kind of environment I want to spend a year in. I think that their Bologna campus looks interesting, but I'm not sure whether I'm saying that because I want to spend a year in Italy, which would not advance my career interests. Any thoughts as to whether I should continue my application? If so, I have to take the STAMP exam and finish writing my essay on a "topic of national or international importance." 

My goals are to further my statistical and quantitative reasoning skills as well as combine my policy expertise with a legal understanding. My goal is to work in the Office of the Legal Advisor in the Department of State. I am thinking that I'll apply to the accepts-the-GRE schools this cycle and take the LSAT in June if no acceptances come my way. That will also help me set up an application for Yale Law or Stanford Law should I not get into Harvard Kennedy/Harvard Law, which is my top choice right now.

Also, any thoughts on Columbia SIPA as a school and whether it fits into this mess? After all, Columbia Law is accepting the GRE next year as well.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/4/2017 at 7:33 AM, wanderwhale said:

Hello, would be grateful for some feedback! Also, if you have any ideas for schools that would be a good fit for me, I am making my decisions inarguably last minute and could still be swayed to different programs. A program that tends to a more critical/less conservative direction is a huge plus.

Program: MA International Affairs or Human Rights (making last minute decisions atm)

Interests: Human Rights and US Foreign Policy, Latin America

Schools Applying To: Fletcher, Korbel, AU, SIPA (and open to suggestions)

Undergrad Institution: UCLA

Undergrad GPA: 3.87

Undergrad Major: Anthropology with a minor in Public Policy

GRE: Have not actually taken it yet, but my practice tests are looking around 152Q 163V

Age: 25

Languages: English, Spanish (conversational), French (basic)

Work Experience: Here is where I am most confused, honestly it's allover the place. My main work for the past few years has been in Outdoor Education and Tour Guiding. However, during college I interned for 3 years with the American Cancer Society on a state proposition campaign, I also interned post-college with a digital media strategy firm for political clients in DC. I volunteered full time for a while with a humanitarian group that works on the US/Mexican border (and is majorly controversial, I feel like it could be a big bonus or a big negative depending on who looks at it), am currently very involved (Executive Assitant to the President) in a new anti modern slavery NGO in Geneva, and have done volunteer work with refugees in Greece. I've also spent very large employment gaps traveling.

LoRs: President of NGO I'm working with now & college professor (who I am not still close with and can't guarantee an out of this world letter, I screwed this one up, and didn't stay close to my college professors)

SoP: Not yet done, but I think I can weave my odd experience into a pretty compelling story that directly relates to my academic interest

Concerns: Basically no quantitative coursework, low GRE quant score, unusual mix of experience, not stellar academic LoR

 

I hope that you're still looking at this thread. At any rate, fellow Bruin, your GPA is really good. It's enough to qualify you for top-tier MPP programs that have a lot of curricular flexibility should you wish. I think that you should work the GRE score up and take a few quant courses, and you could have a good shot at HKS/WWS etc. 

Of course, if you can write all of your experiences into a compelling narrative, I'd be interested in seeing where this application goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Program: Ph.D. in Public Policy, Climate and Energy Policy Concentration

Schools Applying To: Indiana, Syracuse, Kennedy school, Sol Price school, Goldman School, Sanford school, Harris school, UMD college park, Georgia Tech, Luskin school, Univ. of Kansas

Interests: Climate and Energy policy, renewable energy dissemination, National mitigation targets

Undergrad Institution: Top University in Korea

Undergraduate GPA: 3.15/4

Undergraduate Major: Chemistry

GRE:  155 V / 170 Q / AW 4

TOEFL:  30/23/20/28

Age: 29

Grad Institution: Top Grad School in Korea(graduated as a representative of my grad school)

Graduate GPA: 3.96/4

Graduate Major: Master of City Planning in Environmental Studies (taken various courses for public policy research: public policy, economics, statistics, IR, diplomacy, methodology)

Languages: Korean(native), English (fluent), Spanish (beginner), German(beginner)

Nationality: Korea

Quant Experience: Undergrad : Intro to Econ (B), Microecon (A), Probability & Statistics(B),  Calculus(D), Calculus Lab, (B), Mathematics 1(B), Discrete Math(A), Applied Linear Algebra(C)                                 Grad : Cost and Benefit Analysis(A),  Environmental & Energy Economics(A), Multicriteria analysis of living quality and recreation(A), Statistical Methods for Planning(A)

Work Experience:  6 months in Congress, 1 year in Governmental research center, 1 year in related NGO, 1.5 year of RA for 3 projects

Other Experience: 21 months military service for Korea, 4 years voluntary service for my undergraduate

Publication:  3 submitted and under review articles, 1 governmental report, 2 conference proceedings

Award:  2 distinguished thesis awards, Alumni scholarship, 4 Merit-based scholarships, prize in chemistry olympiad during high school

LORs: 1 from an advisory professor of my master course.  1 from my Econ professor of my master course and dissertation committee. 1 from a president of my research center and all 3 recommenders said that I am the outstanding student and researcher

Concerns: I worried about my low GPA in undergraduate even though my GPA in the master is almost perfect.

                  Are my other experiences and score able to offset my low GPA for the application for top schools? Or What should I do for my successful application and getting an admission?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Program: PhD in Comparative Literature

Schools Applying To:  CUNY, NYU, Columbia Uni, Emory, Northwestern, U. of Chicago, UC Davis, Yale, Brown, Harvard, Princeton, U. of Penn.

Interests: Feminist writing in North African and Middle Eastern Literature

Undergrad Institution: American University in Cairo

Undergraduate GPA: 3.7/4.0

Undergraduate Major: Double Major: English & Comparative Literature and Sociology

Undergraduate Minor: Theater

Major GPA: 3.8/4.0 for the literature major

Graduate Institution: Columbia University 

Graduate Major/Degree: MFA in Creative Writing

Graduate GPA: Pass/Fail grading system

GRE:  V 157/ Q 131 / AW unknown

Age: 25

Languages: fluent Arabic, English, and Italian

Work Experience:

Currently working at The Authors Guild as an assistant to the person running print-on-demand/ebook program for out of print books.

Writer/social media manager for a startup focusing on the arts.

Arabic tutor for first-graders.

Worked at the NY Times for a month as a translator from Arabic to English.

LORs: 1 from my undergraduate mentor who studied at Columbia under Edward Said, 1 from my grad professor who was the first American to win the Man Booker Prize, 1 from the head editor of Random House who studied at Yale and later worked with Toni Morrison.

Concerns: 

1. Low GRE scores

2. No professional research experience

3. Pass/Fail graduate grading scale

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/15/2017 at 11:24 PM, jj1776 said:

If you want to work in the Gov, why didn't you do any internships in the Gov? Especially at State given its extensive internship program and your professed 'goal' of working there. 

Sorry for the late reply, but I had originally thought of doing more research-oriented work and possibly earning a PhD. Then I talked to friends who are in the process of getting a PhD and a number of mentors, who all are in academia themselves. I realized that I wanted to do more advocacy work in the public sector rather than research. Hence, the two research-oriented internships. With that being said, I contended adding an internship with Senator Feinstein to my academic year workload, but with Model UN and my part-time job at a law office (for three years) that proved to be quite impossible without sacrificing my GPA. I am confident that I'll be able to get a government-side internship while in graduate school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, milliedaisy said:

Program: JD to defer for one year

Schools Applying To:  Georgetown University Law Center and Harvard Law School 

Interests: bioethics, health law/policy, research law/policy

Undergrad Institution: UC Berkeley

Undergraduate GPA: 3.9 

Undergraduate Major: Anthropology with focus on medical anthropology

GRE: studying now! Last practice test was 164 V 160 Q

Age: 21

Work Experience: The contracted community partner to serve all MA DOC facilities to provide services to incarcerated populations around matters of sexual violence (current)

Research Assistantships for faculty at UC Berkeley, UCSF

Other Experience: Current Master of Bioethics student at Harvard Medical School 

Honors & Awards: Phi Beta Kappa, departmental prize for outstanding thesis, best paper award from institute of international studies at my undergrad university, first undergrad selected for a fellowship in center for technology, society and policy, a prestigious undergrad research grant 

Publications: non-peer reviewed articles in journals... but a paper was selected for my presenting the American Anthropological Association meetings (so scared!)

Languages: English 

LORs: Taken care of 

SOPs: Very worried about a personal statement 

Concerns: I do not have any idea what it takes to get into law school and I feel very concerned that I might not be a traditional candidate. I am very young and fear that I may be naive about the possibility I would get in to either of the schools I am applying to (which I am only able to consider vis a vis their pilot GRE as opposed to LSAT programs). I think my GRE scores are too low to be a fair substitute for the LSAT. I really suck at math and don't expect to get much better. 

 

The best place to consider what it takes to get into law school would be on top-law-schools.com in their forums. However, as I'm someone applying to the exact same schools but not as a deferral student, I'd say that this year might very well be the best year to apply with the GRE seeing as how no one knows what the results will be like. Apparently someone on r/lawschooladmissions got a Harvard Law interview with a 340 combined score, so it's best that you consider that your ballpark.

With that being said, the GRE pilot program is intended for nontraditional candidates. I'm fairly sure that's why the LSAT-only policy is being substituted across the T14. What matters is that you can conceivably write a stellar narrative as to why you want to do a JD on top of your existing master's degree. You have to convince an adcom that yes, you can succeed in law school, that yes, you do want to do law work (ABA-required disclosures do not advantage graduates who do not select bar-required or JD advantage work), and that yes, you can be a useful graduate that will contribute to the legacy and reputation of the school (esp. in the T14).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Program: MIA-type programs with a security focus

Schools Applying To:  Georgetown MSFS & SSP, American SIS, GWU Elliot, SAIS, Tufts Fletcher, Yale Jackson

Interests: Security studies, military partnerships and defense cooperation

Undergrad Institution: Top 50 university

Undergraduate GPA: 3.995, best academics from program

Undergraduate Majors: IT with Cyber focus, Political Science (semester abroad at Sciences Po w/ focus on Security Studies)

GRE: Not taken yet

Quantitative Courses: Microeco (A-), calc(A), data science(A)

Years of Work Experience: 0, but couple years in the Army Reserve (Civil Affairs)

Age: 23

Languages: French (native), English (fluent), Hebrew (notions)

Work Experience: Multiple internships with Defense contractors and across the U.S. Intelligence Community. I am also about to commission as a Military Intelligence Officer in the Army Reserve. About to co-publish with renown Professor on Blockchain. Previously co-published through the French National Defense University on Russia/Europe. Lots of research sponsored by DoD (I even presented at the Pentagon during a DoD Lab Day). Initiated bilateral defense partnerships between France and the U.S. and graduated from prestigious programs. About to spend my last semester in D.C. for an internship on Security Policy at the Pentagon.

LORs:  1 from my research professor, very respected across DoD and cyber security, 1 from Professor of Military Science at my ROTC department, 1 from Political Science/ IoT/Blockchain renown professor, SAIS graduate and current MIT lecturer. I have been working with the Chancellor at my University and he is a Georgetown graduate. He said he would call Georgetown President to recommend me (not sure if joking or not though). 

SOPs: Why I dropped out of French law school and left my family to join the U.S. Army to eventually serve as a liaison and close the cultural gap between the two countries. After grad school, I would like to join a Federal Agency for a 1811 serie or go back to the IC. 

Concerns: I know for a fact that I will trash my GRE. I am taking 23 credits this semester so I don't have the time to study. However, I am hoping they will put more value on a 23 credits semester with a 4.0 than good GRE scores. 

Edited by L'Enfant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What does "graduated from prestigious programs" mean, did you already finish undergrad and are currently enrolled in a grad program? It's also hard to envisage how an intern managed to "initiate bilateral defense partnerships between France and the U.S."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope, I'll finish undergrad next May. 

Those programs were two two-weeks seminars (one a the French National Defense University, the other at the French Reserve CGSC) that never had any U.S. military students. I worked with the U.S. Embassy in Paris to make it happen. I should have better explained myself: while those are defense related partnerships, they are probably irrelevant to the bigger strategic picture. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all, would definitely appreciate some feedback if possible! 

Program: MIA for Fall 2018

Schools Applying To:  University of Denver Korbel (Security), George Washington University Elliott (Security)

Interests: East Asian Security, US-Japan relations, National Security  

Undergrad Institution: Large public university

Undergraduate GPA: 3.9

Undergraduate Majors: Political Science (Foreign Affairs), Linguistics, East Asian Studies (Japanese language) – and a Spanish language minor.

GRE: 163V, 152Q, 5.0W

Quantitative Courses: Statistics (A), Intro Economics (A)

Years of Work Experience: ~2

Work Experience: Almost 2 years teaching English in Japan (still abroad)

Undergraduate Activities: I did a study abroad in Japan for two summers, and interned for a summer in South Korea teaching English. Completed an undergraduate honor’s thesis and senior capstone research project. I tutored students with learning disabilities throughout my undergraduate years and interned with the humanities department my senior year to recruit prospective students.

Age: 24

Languages: Japanese (advanced - certified), Spanish (advanced – native)

LORs: One from my current supervisor in the states, she also has a Master’s in the field I want to study and says she’s familiar with what they might be looking for in a LOR. The second from a professor I worked together with on my senior year capstone. She’s written several LORs for me throughout the years.

Concerns: Definitely concerned about the Quant score, but I’m not confident in my ability to retake the test and significantly raise the score. I wrote a capstone and thesis my senior year, but that’s the extent of my research experience, and compared to others on here, not sure it’s enough. Also, I’ve spent a number of years teaching and tutoring, and while a good amount of that time has been abroad, I’m worried it’s ultimately not very relevant work experience.

Edited by Megabyte

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/18/2017 at 4:06 AM, milliedaisy said:

Thank you so much! I really don't think my score is going to near perfect at all... I guess we will have to see. I did see that you were applying as well and was hoping you'd respond! I just made an account to check out the top-law-schools thing. Alas, it is time to write a good statement. Just a quick lame question- do you know if many people are applying with this pilot? Glad to hear of another, thank you! 

I recently revisited that thread on top-law-schools.com, and suffice to say that I remembered the GRE score incorrectly: it was a 170V and 165Q, meaning a 335 combined score. I hope this (mildly) alleviates your anxiety.

I'm applying with a 168V + 162Q, 330 combined score, but since my letters of recommendation and LSAC report just sailed out yesterday, I have no idea if/when I'll be called to interview. I will let you know if/when that happens though, fingers crossed!

Most of what I've heard about this GRE pilot fall into two categories:

  1. People with low GPAs and high LSATs are worried that they're going to be pushed out in favor of applicants with high GREs and high GPAs and are going positively neurotic about the application experience
  2. Some international students are wondering if they should hail Mary an application because they want to get a shot at the famed Harvard Law School

I would argue that this is the best year to submit the GRE application to Harvard, ever. This is because there is no precedent. Starting from next year (if they continue this pilot program) there will always be a previous class of GRE applicants and their HLS performance to base future admissions decisions off of. However, this year is quite unique in the sense that since they're flying blind and taking a chance on this entire program, having an interesting and compelling application might very well help. Of course, the reverse logic is that since this is the pilot program, the adcomm might be particularly stringent in not letting unqualified applicants in, if their scores might adversely impact Harvard's rankings. However, this is the school where Dean Minow eliminated the traditional grading scheme and much has been done to increase non-traditional applicants (esp. from STEM fields) in recent years, so not taking risks goes against the school's recent ethos. Harvard is playing with its rankings by even letting this GRE pilot program kick off, so we might as well see where it goes together.

As for me, since I went to the school where Legally Blonde was actually filmed (shout out to Kerckhoff Hall!), at least I get to say that I've already been to "Harvard Law." Making stupid jokes like this helps me ride out this anxiety-inducing waiting process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/24/2017 at 6:42 PM, doglover5 said:

Hi all, posting again since I didn't get replies to my last post back in August.

Program: MIA-type programs with a security focus

Schools Applying To:  Georgetown MSFS & SSP, American SIS, GWU Elliot, Tufts Fletcher, Uppsala Masters in Peace and Conflict

Interests: Conflict analysis and security studies, but I'm not sure I want to pigeonhole myself with a security-focused degree

Undergrad Institution: Top 50 university

Undergraduate GPA: 3.75

Undergraduate Major: International Relations, French

GRE: 165 V, 168 Q, 5.0 AWA

Quantitative Courses: 3 honors calc classes (A, A-, B+), stats for polisci majors (A-), intro to economics (A), intermediate microeconomics (C),  taking an intro to micro course online for credit at the moment to replace the C

Years of Work Experience: 4 years full-time experience

Age: 26

Languages: English (native), French (fluent), random West African language (conversational)

Work Experience: 2.5 years working in West Africa at a large well-known NGO in the security department, supporting security management and doing analysis of regional issues (terrorism, organized crime, civil conflict). I've worked my way up from an intern to an important member of the office. Before this, I worked with small local NGOs in the same country in various development sectors (health, microfinance) for 1.5 years. I've been living in West Africa for 4.5 years.

LORs:  1 from my current supervisor who is the director of the security department. 1 from a French professor in college that I was somewhat close with during undergrad. A third for Georgetown SSP from an IR professor I didn't really keep in touch with but who still agreed to write me a letter.

SOPs: Exploring a link between poverty/underdevelopment and conflict through my various experiences working with refugees, in the development sector, and with the current conflict contexts that I work on in West Africa.

Concerns: Is this a good range of schools? Am I reaching to high here? I'd like to include at least one school where I know I can get decent scholarships in case nothing else works out. Any schools I should add or remove?

I'm also getting a lot of conflicting feedback from my recommenders and friends on how the structure and format of my SoP should be. Some say it should read more like a basic job cover letter, discussing experiences and qualifications, others say I should talk more about my academic and research interests and career objectives. Since many of these programs have such short word limits for SoP, I find I can't really do both of these effectively. Any advice from anyone here?

I think that your GRE and GPA qualify you for the top programs that have the most cachet in the United States and abroad (e.g. Harvard, Stanford, Yale). The GPA might be "under the medians" so to speak but you have a wealth of international experience, which will really help you. I understand that you want to focus on security issues, but seeing as policy analysis is increasingly a data-driven field, it might be more financially worthwhile to get a public policy or foreign affairs degree with a security concentration/focus evident in your coursework. That way you can have your security degree without pigeonholing yourself.

The most important thing about the statement of purpose is to craft a compelling narrative about who you are, what impact you hope to make, and how this drive to create change has led you to apply to this school. I would never write a statement of purpose like a cover letter - your resume can and should do that for you. Your career objectives and academic interests should be made clear from the statement of purpose in a "show, not tell" sort of way, for this is a professional degree. Both objectives should be intertwined, after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all, would love some feedback on my chances - 

Program: MIA where available, else MPA/IA programs

Schools Applying To:  Columbia SIPA, NYU Wagner, CUNY Baruch, Fordham IPED, The New School Milano, Rutgers Newark. As you can probably tell, I need to live in NY for personal reasons, hence the above choices. HOWEVER, I am also considering applying to Yale Jackson and Princeton WWS (a bit put off by the uber small clas size tho) and Tufts Fletcher, BU Pardee.

Interests: Education and International Development

Undergrad Institution: #1 ranked college in India for Business and Commerce within top university in India [I will be applying as an international student]

Undergraduate GPA: My university doesn't calculate G.P.A but I graduated with 1st Division, should be around 3.5/4. 

Undergraduate Major: Economics

GRE: 159 V, 162 Q, 5.0 AWA

TOEFL: Haven't received scores yet but confident of at least 105 [Does it really make a difference tho?]

Quantitative Courses: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics up till intermediate level, Statistics Methods in Economics, Mathematical Methods for Economics, Introductory Econometrics,  Linear Algebra and Calculus. Sponsored by workplace for 1 week Executive Education program from J-PAL on Evaluating Social Programs. 

Years of Work Experience: 3 years full-time not including any internships etc.

Age: 24

Languages: Hindi (native), English (fluent), French (basic)

Work Experience: 3 years working in a top education sector firm in India. Developed and launched an adaptive and personalised learning product for English as a first and second language. Spearheaded multiple successful grant applications to large, international NGOs for bringing the product to public schools in India. Executed capacity building programs for large scale government clients. Have one publication from this time. In college, worked for 3 years as part of an international organization, creating business models for communities most in need. Led a project working with traditional puppeteers from start to finish and acted in advisory positions after graduation. 1 month internship with Action Contre La Faim in Nepal.

LORs:  1 from supervisor at my workplace. 1 from professor of microeconomics from college. In places that require a third I will get it either from CEO of my workplace who I also worked directly with, or faculty advisor who oversaw my work at the international organization in college.

SOPs: Exploring the link between my global upbringing (lived and studied in 6 countries being from a diplomatic family) to my interest in development, deep work in public education setting in India to now wanting a set of schools to jump-start international career in education. 

Concerns: 

1. GRE - I know it is not the most impressive for SIPA, but am I safe for the other programs, especially NYU?

2. Is this a good range of schools? In New York my options are limited so I think I've pretty much covered them all. Are there any I am missing tho? Outside the city, I'm looking at colleges within 6 hours so that I can make a trip home on the weekends at least. If all else fails, I am open to applying in DC and would appreciate recommendations based on my profile.

3. I would also like to go to a school which has a strong 'international' profile. I am looking to work internationally after graduation so do not want to go to some place focused on domestic US policy. Are there any like that on my list? 

4. Though I have worked in the field of education, the company is a private limited firm. Will it be an issue that it is not a public sector firm or NGO?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, brown queer said:

anyone?

You seem like a good candidate to get in anywhere. Why don't you work for 2-3 years? You're still young and you have time. Working for 3 years will not only increase your chances of admission but will increase your chances of funding which is critical if you're planning to get back to India and have a loan on you.

My 2 cents? Just work at a good place for a couple of years without even thinking about a Masters for the time being. Your interests are in politics so  continue full time work at a place like PRS or even a political party of your interest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 23/11/2017 at 8:38 PM, aaprabhakar said:

Hi all, would love some feedback on my chances - 

Program: MIA where available, else MPA/IA programs

Schools Applying To:  Columbia SIPA, NYU Wagner, CUNY Baruch, Fordham IPED, The New School Milano, Rutgers Newark. As you can probably tell, I need to live in NY for personal reasons, hence the above choices. HOWEVER, I am also considering applying to Yale Jackson and Princeton WWS (a bit put off by the uber small clas size tho) and Tufts Fletcher, BU Pardee.

Interests: Education and International Development

Undergrad Institution: #1 ranked college in India for Business and Commerce within top university in India [I will be applying as an international student]

Undergraduate GPA: My university doesn't calculate G.P.A but I graduated with 1st Division, should be around 3.5/4. 

Undergraduate Major: Economics

GRE: 159 V, 162 Q, 5.0 AWA

TOEFL: Haven't received scores yet but confident of at least 105 [Does it really make a difference tho?]

Quantitative Courses: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics up till intermediate level, Statistics Methods in Economics, Mathematical Methods for Economics, Introductory Econometrics,  Linear Algebra and Calculus. Sponsored by workplace for 1 week Executive Education program from J-PAL on Evaluating Social Programs. 

Years of Work Experience: 3 years full-time not including any internships etc.

Age: 24

Languages: Hindi (native), English (fluent), French (basic)

Work Experience: 3 years working in a top education sector firm in India. Developed and launched an adaptive and personalised learning product for English as a first and second language. Spearheaded multiple successful grant applications to large, international NGOs for bringing the product to public schools in India. Executed capacity building programs for large scale government clients. Have one publication from this time. In college, worked for 3 years as part of an international organization, creating business models for communities most in need. Led a project working with traditional puppeteers from start to finish and acted in advisory positions after graduation. 1 month internship with Action Contre La Faim in Nepal.

LORs:  1 from supervisor at my workplace. 1 from professor of microeconomics from college. In places that require a third I will get it either from CEO of my workplace who I also worked directly with, or faculty advisor who oversaw my work at the international organization in college.

SOPs: Exploring the link between my global upbringing (lived and studied in 6 countries being from a diplomatic family) to my interest in development, deep work in public education setting in India to now wanting a set of schools to jump-start international career in education. 

Concerns: 

1. GRE - I know it is not the most impressive for SIPA, but am I safe for the other programs, especially NYU?

2. Is this a good range of schools? In New York my options are limited so I think I've pretty much covered them all. Are there any I am missing tho? Outside the city, I'm looking at colleges within 6 hours so that I can make a trip home on the weekends at least. If all else fails, I am open to applying in DC and would appreciate recommendations based on my profile.

3. I would also like to go to a school which has a strong 'international' profile. I am looking to work internationally after graduation so do not want to go to some place focused on domestic US policy. Are there any like that on my list? 

4. Though I have worked in the field of education, the company is a private limited firm. Will it be an issue that it is not a public sector firm or NGO?

Anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Schools Applying To: UCLA Luskin (MPP), UC Berkeley Goldman (MPP), Columbia SIPA (MIA), Columbia QMSS, Chicago Harris (MPP), UPenn Fels (MPA), HKS (MPP), Yale Jackson, Stanford IPS

Undergraduate institution: University of California, Davis

Undergraduate GPA: 3.45

Undergraduate Majors: Economics and International Relations (Double Major)

Study Abroad: None

GRE Quantitative Score: 159 (73%)

GRE Verbal Score: 157 (76%)

GRE AW Score: 4.5 (82%)

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): Would be around 9 months, graduating in December. 

Years of Relevant Work Experience: 1+ (worked before attending college)

Describe Relevant Work Experience: Business management apprentice at a real estate company for 1 year, more than 50 million worth of commercial properties. Campaign staff for a Member of Parliament candidate in my country in the upcoming General Elections. Private paid tutor of Cambridge A-level Economics and Maths. 

*Disclaimer: I come from a very rural village/township in a developing Southeast Asian country where professional work opportunities are virtually non-existent. Most job opportunities comes in the form of neighbourhood family-owned businesses. Not sure how to explain this to the adcoms. 

Languages: Native (trilingual) proficiency in English, Chinese, and Malay

Quantitative Courses: Calculus, Multivariate Calculus, Linear Algebra (Proof-based), Differential Equations, Intermediate Micro, Intermediate Macro, International Trade and Finance, Econometrics, Applied Statistics for Economics, Non-parametric Statistics

Strength of SOP: Described passion for public and international policy, domestic social issues, and intention to become a cabinet minister in my home country. All three of my letter writers said that it is a good SOP. 

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): Extremely strong. Three full Economics professors, two of whom I have been an RA for, one year each. One UC Berkeley graduate, two Harvard graduates. All three of them have given me assurance in writing that they will write very strong letters for me. 

 

Remarks:

Initially, I had planned on getting a PhD in Economics. That was before I found out how ridiculously competitive it was. I also found out that I was not particularly good at Math. So I abandoned math as my second major and replaced it with Poli Science, which was then replaced with IR. I know work experience is very important to these programs, but I have also seen people who entered these programs right out of undergrad. I wish to stay in NorCal, so Stanford and Berkeley are my preferences. I hope someone can give me a realistic opinion on my chances at these two programs, as well as the rest of them. Thanks in advance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.