Jump to content
fenderpete

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

Recommended Posts

Schools Applying To: Marquette, Villanova, Portland State, Montana, UW Milwaukee, Fels Institute (Penn), Georgia, Akron, U of San Francisco, San Francisco State, University of Dallas, Temple, UC Santa Barbara (Sent scores to the first four, unsure how serious I am about the others; listed in decreasing order of interest/plausibility of acceptance)

Undergraduate institution: Small liberal arts work college

Undergraduate GPA: 3.54 (3.6 in majors)

Undergraduate Majors: Political Science, Philosophy

Study Abroad: none

GRE Quantitative Score: 149

GRE Verbal Score: 155

GRE AW Score:Haven't received official scores yet, though I believe I did well.

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): Still in undergrad

Years of Relevant Work Experience: Attend work college; currently working in admission office, been working since I was 17 (currently 23)

Describe Relevant Work Experience: See above.

Languages: English

Quant:

-Macroeconomics

-American Political Economy

-International Political Economy

-Statistics

(Some quant in senior thesis)

Strength of SOP: I write well, but I have a tough time writing about myself. My thesis is related to sexual identity politics and I'm debating on whether or not I want to milk my sexual identity; technically, it's what I want to study.

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): Have a pool of professors (advisor is one), department heads (advisor is one), employers (head of municipal govt dept)...not worried here.

Other: I've worked with underrepresented groups (tutor/mentored students of undocumented Latinos, helped revitalize rural black poor neighborhoods in Alabama after tornadoes), have worked on political campaigns, have undertaken two independent studies (maybe three depending on how the Spring goes)...I've got a lot going for me, but I'm also a bit withered down by my poor GRE scores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MPA, MIA, MALD, whatever they're calling it

Schools Applying To: GWU Elliott, American SIS, Cornell CIPA, and I don’t know where else. Recommend some schools please.

Undergraduate institution: Top 50 liberal arts college, but no one’s heard of it.

Undergraduate GPA: 3.3 (It's bad but there is a compelling reason for it)

Undergraduate Majors: Sociology, Religion, Middle-Eastern Studies

Study Abroad: work/study year in Egypt, two research projects in China and Japan

GRE Quantitative Score: 580, retaking in October

GRE Verbal Score: 680

GRE AW Score: don't know yet...

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 2

Years of Work Experience: Counting undergrad, I’ve got about 6 years of relevant work experience. Out of undergrad, I’ve got about 2ish.

Describe Relevant Work Experience:

Undergrad: One year teaching ESL to refugees in Egypt [NGO], internship with IOM [unpaid], Arabic tutor and Economics Research Assistant

Postgrad: Americorps- City Year (had to leave early because of an emergency), One year as a legal assistant with JAG, 6 months with Red Cross

Languages: Tagalog [native speaker], Ilocano [native speaker], Arabic [intermediate-advanced], Japanese [intermediate], Farsi [beginner], Pashto [beginner]

Quant: Intro Stats ©, Intermediate Stats (A-), Quantitative Research Methods (A-), Macro (A), Micro (in process)

Strength of SOP: We’ll see. I’ve had 12 different people look at it and critique it, so hopefully that helps.

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): Two profs should be very strong. Americorps should be decent but not as strong in comparison (my Americorps supervisor liked me a lot but didn’t get to know me as well as the professors did).

Other: I was a diplobrat (or TCK, if you want to be polite about it) growing up, and I’m still a little unsure if I should mention that. I’ve got one quantitative research paper that’s been published and one ethnographic research paper that may be published soon. Aside from that, I’ve got a lot of volunteer work pre and post undergrad (some domestic, most international).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone! :) I'm also new to the Cafe but will be applying for Fall 2013. Thought I'd join the conversation and post my own profile here.

Program Planning on applying to: Columbia SIPA (MPA), NYU Wagner, Georgetown Global Human Dev't, American U MID, Milano School, LSE

Undergraduate institution: USC

Undergraduate GPA: 3.3

Undergraduate Major: International Relations (w/Honors) and Economics

GRE Quantitative Score:Taking this in a few weeks... :ph34r:

GRE Verbal Score:

GRE AW Score:

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 4 (by Fall 2013, will be almost 5)

Years of Work Experience: (incl undergrad?) 6

Describe Relevant Work Experience:

Worked for various nonprofits in the U.S., one was a community-based org, one was a huge state foundation, one was a thinktank, did an internship at the UN... now a Chief of Staff in the Philippine House of Representatives

Languages:

Tagalog - fluent (grew up in the Philippines and in the U.S.)

Quant: Economics major in college... did minimal calculus though. The rest: Statistics, Econometrics.

Strength of SOP: I consider writing to be one of my main strengths. Will definitely focus my SOP on my experiences in the Philippines and in development here.

Letters of recommendation: 2 college professors who have become School Director/Dean since I graduated, 1 professional from an elected official I work with closely here. Crossing my fingers for good things!

:)

Edited by 1belle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@imhotep

"Use your Marine Corps background to sell yourself, that and your econ MA. I think you could apply to some top programs"

Thank you for the reply! I'm interested in Policy analysis and International Affairs, could you recommend some schools that might be a good fit for me? I've been thinking about UPitt. Until recently I've wanted to apply to Econ Phd's but like others have noted here, the admissions are very competitive in Econ and I believe I may have a comparative advantage by going for Public Policy, plus it suits my interests more.

However I'm just starting to research public policy programs so I'd like to hear any suggestions you might have. How about Indiana University?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also feeling out different schools, so I couldn't make much in the way of recommendation. I would browse faculty lists at schools you are interested in, find faculty with research interests similar to your own, and send an introductory email asking some questions. That's what I do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really worried about my lack of competitive edge! Not interested in flaunting anything, just want the feedback of some clearly qualified candidates. :)

Programs Considered: MPP in GWU, Am U, Georgetown, Rutgers, NYU. Dream schools: SIPA and WWS.

Undergraduate institution: UVa

Undergraduate GPA: 3.2 with definite upward trend, majors both GPA around 3.4-3.5

Undergraduate Major: Political Science and East Asian Studies

Study Abroad: Summer graduate courses in China

GRE: V: 162, Q: 156, AW: 4.5

Years Out of Undergrad (by enter date): 2 by Fall 2013

Years of Work Experience: 1.5 teaching English in Korea and plenty of internships and volunteer work in non-profits and public sector

Describe Relevant Work Experience: Spent about 18 months teaching English to underprivileged kids in rural Korea, interned a year at a non-profit offering free legal services for civil liberties and volunteered at grassroots level for several local candidates. These aren't that remarkable, but I was hoping it would emphasize how passionate I am about public service domestically and internationally.

Languages: Native English, working Chinese and Korean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also feeling out different schools, so I couldn't make much in the way of recommendation. I would browse faculty lists at schools you are interested in, find faculty with research interests similar to your own, and send an introductory email asking some questions. That's what I do.

What areas are you interested in? Are you looking for a more quant based policy analysis program?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really worried about my lack of competitive edge! Not interested in flaunting anything, just want the feedback of some clearly qualified candidates. :)

Programs Considered: MPP in GWU, Am U, Georgetown, Rutgers, NYU. Dream schools: SIPA and WWS.

Undergraduate institution: UVa

Undergraduate GPA: 3.2 with definite upward trend, majors both GPA around 3.4-3.5

Undergraduate Major: Political Science and East Asian Studies

Study Abroad: Summer graduate courses in China

GRE: V: 162, Q: 156, AW: 4.5

Years Out of Undergrad (by enter date): 2 by Fall 2013

Years of Work Experience: 1.5 teaching English in Korea and plenty of internships and volunteer work in non-profits and public sector

Describe Relevant Work Experience: Spent about 18 months teaching English to underprivileged kids in rural Korea, interned a year at a non-profit offering free legal services for civil liberties and volunteered at grassroots level for several local candidates. These aren't that remarkable, but I was hoping it would emphasize how passionate I am about public service domestically and internationally.

Languages: Native English, working Chinese and Korean

I'm new to this, but in the spirit of encouraging more evaluations from the forum, I'll chime in.

I think you have an impressive profile. A solid GRE, and UVa is quite a good school. Plus you have work experience abroad and are multilingual so I would assume you will definitely be competitive, especially if you are looking for an international program with a focus on Asian studies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm new to this, but in the spirit of encouraging more evaluations from the forum, I'll chime in.

I think you have an impressive profile. A solid GRE, and UVa is quite a good school. Plus you have work experience abroad and are multilingual so I would assume you will definitely be competitive, especially if you are looking for an international program with a focus on Asian studies.

Another thing that worries me is my background in economics. I'm really interested in public policy, but I didn't do well in the various economics classes I took. :/ But thanks for the reply! I guess at this point all I can do is just cross my fingers and apply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Programs Considered: MSFS in GTown, WWS, HKS, UC Berkeley GSPP, Columbia SIPA

Undergraduate institution: UC San Diego

Undergraduate GPA: 3.2 with definite upward trend, majors both GPA around 3.4-3.5

Undergraduate Major: International Studies-Political Science

Study Abroad: None

GRE: V: 150 Q: 148 W: 5.0

Years Out of Undergrad (by enter date): 2 years

Years of Work Experience: 1 year working at Red Cross, 1 year working at an immigration law firm

Describe Relevant Work Experience: Did internship at State Department and did volunteer work in Costa Rica, Ecuador. Went to Greece as a exchange student during summer between 1st year of college and senior in high school.

Languages: Native English, proficient in Spanish and Korean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Schools Applying To: MPA at UPenn, USC, U of Washington, Indiana U, MIIS, NYU, American, safeties

Undergraduate institution: Washington and Lee University 2007

Undergraduate GPA: 3.45 (general and major)

Undergraduate Majors: Sociology/Anthropology and History

Study Abroad: none but traveled and volunteered extensively following college

GRE Quantitative Score: 159 (750, 77%)

GRE Verbal Score: 165 (690, 95%)

GRE AW Score: not sure yet, but a little less than 5 years ago I scored a 5.5

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 5

Years of Relevant Work Experience: 2 + lots of volunteering/travelling

Describe Relevant Work Experience: Currently finishing up my Peace Corps service in Ukraine, volunteer experience in Greece and Ecuador

Languages: Ukrainian (proficient), Spanish (proficient)

Quant: Calc, Stat, no econ

Strength of SOP: Focusing on animal welfare, which I've worked on in Ukraine and my other volunteer experiences abroad and in the states

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): All should be decent - one from a professor, one from my Peace Corps manager, and one from my volunteer coordinator in Greece

Other: I am really hoping to not only get into these schools but also get funding as I'm a poor returning PCV!

Thanks for the help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Schools Applying To: USC MPA - specializing in Environmental Management and Land-Use Policy, I'm not applying anywhere else yet because of family/financial/traffic (looking at you UCLA) reasons.

Undergraduate institution: Reed College - 2009, one year of part-time community college.

Undergraduate GPA: 2.8 Cumulative

Undergraduate Majors: History

Study Abroad: None, is Hawaii a foreign country again like Kenya/Indonesia?

GRE: Taking it one time in mid-October. If it goes anything like my normal scoring on standardized tests I expect a high score in Verbal and Analytical Writing and a middling-low score in Quantitative

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 3

Years of Relevant Work Experience: 2 - 10 months AmeriCorps internship with Hawaii State Parks and 1-year with a local city parks and recreation department.

Languages: American English, Hawaiian Pidgin (brah), and a little French.

Quant: None, no requirement.

Strength of SOP: Focusing on work experience as a public servant and upbringing in SoCal in relation to my specialization. I really want to advance my career in public service by developing my professional skills (and going from hourly to salary!).

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): Strong letters from my former Hawaii and current SoCal supervisor, second reader on my senior thesis, and the president of a non-profit I interacted with with in Hawaii as part of Americorps.

Other: I'm attaching an addendum describing the Reed undergrad experience: grade deflation, academic integrity, and my senior thesis (133 pgs) on 19th century American foreign policy/imperialism in the Asia-Pacific. Also, I need $$$. Fight on.

Am I loco?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Schools Applying To: MPP (or whatever variation each university uses): American U, Carnegie Mellon (traditional 2 year Pittsburgh track), U of Texas-Austin, Texas A&M; Agricultural economics: Ohio State (PhD), U of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign

Undergraduate institution: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Undergraduate GPA: 3.71 (3.85 last 60 hours)

Undergraduate Majors: Economics

Study Abroad: No

GRE: V: 159 (80 percentile) Q:159 (77 percentile)

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 2 by fall 2013

Years of Relevant Work Experience: Internships; some relevant volunteer experience; full-time experience isn't relevant.

Describe Relevant Work Experience: Internship at Statehouse, undergraduate research assistant, intern at Brookings Institution

Languages: English (native), Spanish (intermediate)

Quant: Calculus I, Statistics, Probability, Linear Algebra, Econometrics (if that counts)

Strength of SOP: I wrote an original one for each university. I have had them reviewed by a former English professor and a relative who is on an admissions committee at Michigan (not the Ford School). Although these people liked them a lot, I would evaluate my SOP as good, not great.

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): All from former professors (2 economics, 1 math). I followed my aforementioned relative's advice on letters and picked the people that could best speak to my academic background. Overall, I expect this to be one of the stronger aspects of my application.

I have already submitted all but 2 of my applications, so I am just posting in hopes of encouraging more people to post their profile. However, I might submit a few more applications later, so feel free to evaluate my profile.

Best wishes to all of you during this admissions cycle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quant: None, no requirement.

There's a stats requirement.

I'm a first year MPA at USC (1/2 merit scholarship) - let me know if you have any questions about the program. In advance, I don't know if you'll get in but happy to answer anything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a stats requirement.

I'm a first year MPA at USC (1/2 merit scholarship) - let me know if you have any questions about the program. In advance, I don't know if you'll get in but happy to answer anything else.

Sure, thanks for responding. I'm aware of the stats requirement, and to prevent confusion I would just add for anyone reading this thread also interested in USC that it's a course requirement rather than an admissions requirement. If accepted, I'll probably just complete the requirement at USC since the community college system here in California has gone down the tube. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I applied to grad programs for Spring 2013 and wanted to know my chances of getting in because I'm afraid my GPA will hold me back. Any advice/comments would be greatly appreciated, even the negative ones.

Schools Applied To: Georgetown SSP (concentration in Intelligence); George Washington SPS (concentration in Intelligence). I applied only to these two because I want to stay in the DC area for work.

Undergraduate institution: University of Maryland

Undergraduate GPA: 3.1 something overall GPA (ALMOST hitting the 3.2 mark...cry). Major GPA is very good. I switched from pre-dental to Criminology in my sophomore year. Extreme upward trend in grades, but it wasn't enough to bring up my horrible GPA from those science courses...you can see why I am very, very worried.

Undergraduate Major: Criminology and Criminal Justice

Study Abroad: Winter study abroad to Europe for course on Counterterrorism; Internship for State Department in Europe; Have traveled to more than thirteen different countries in Europe and Asia. I travel to Asia very frequently to visit family.

GRE Quantitative Score: 155 (69%)

GRE Verbal Score: 160 (86%)

GRE AW Score: 4.5 (72%)

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 2

Years of Relevant Work Experience: 5

Describe Relevant Work Experience: Multiple on-campus internships conducting research on terrorist groups and dynamics; State Department internship in Europe; one summer and one semester internship with Administrative Office of U.S. Courts; currently working for federal government (straight out of undergrad)

Languages: English; Chinese (Speaking: Fluent; Writing: Limited; Reading: Working knowledge).

Quant: I'll be honest -- I hate math. I've taken calc, macroecon, and statistics, all with not stellar, but passing grades (Whew! Glad that's over).

Strength of SOP: I emphasized my desire to work in the intelligence field and applying my knowledge to work with human trafficking issues as well as victims. I didn't bother to explain my very low GPA -- I figured there's no point trying to BS my way around this because frankly, I just didn't study hard enough for those science courses.

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): Very strong recs. Two recs from former U.S. Attorneys, one rec from department head of Criminology program at UMD, and one rec from my supervisor when I interned with the State Department.

Other: I've attended various trainings and conferences in my current job that I've highlighted on my resume. Aside from my internships during the school semester, I also worked part-time at restaurants throughout my college years.

Sigh. My GPA gives me no confidence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

I gave my GRE's a few days back and did not score as much as I would have liked to. I intend to apply to MPA/ID program at KSG, MPA at WWS and I-Dev at SAIS for Fall 2013. I was wondering if somebody from these schools would provide any insights on whether my overall application package seems up to the mark for these programs. Any insights will be deeply appreciated.

Schools Applying To: KSG - MPA/ID, WWS, SAIS -I-DEV

Undergraduate institution: Highest ranked Private Engineering School in India. Top 5 overall.

Undergraduate GPA: 7.5 on a scale of 10.

Undergraduate Major: Information Systems - consisting of 2 calculus coursework (with several electives in analytical economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology,etc)

Study Abroad: Worked in almost all parts of India and traveled extensively on grassroots or social enterprise based work.

GRE Quantitative Score: 158

GRE Verbal Score: 155

GRE AW Score: not received yet, 4.5 would be a good guess

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 3

Years of Relevant Work Experience:3

Describe Relevant Work Experience: Started at a Peace Corps equivalent organization in India and worked on a project in building a sustainable infrastructure development program based on community monitoring and participatory principles. Started a waste management social enterprise while I was there. Then moved on to private sector led affordable housing development for low-income informal sector households in India with a multinational social enterprise organization. received a Fulbright this year.

Languages: English; Hindi and score of other Indian languages

Quant: absolutely love quant but havent scored well enough in undergrads or GRE to reflect that. The executive program is highly quant driven so hoping that would still be a little bit of something to fall back on. Intend to take the preparatory courses on 3 calculus courses and micro and macro econ in the coming months.

Strength of SOP: highlighting the urban economics and urban sustainable development as my focus of studies. Also drawing on field level insights to share some important milestones in life.

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): Very strong recs. One reco from a university professor, two from two different mentors/managers.

Other: Executive Education in Business Analytics at #1 business school in India. Intend to publish a case study on informal sector mortgages in India before Fall-2013 as part of the program.

A little nervous about the GRE scores and GPA's. I know and am sure that it doesn't paint the right picture! Let me know what you guys think.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re-posting with GRE scores:

Schools Applying To: USC MPA - specializing in Environmental Management and Land-Use Policy, I'm not applying anywhere else yet because of family/financial/traffic (looking at you UCLA) reasons.

Undergraduate institution: Reed College - 2009, one year of part-time community college.

Undergraduate GPA: 2.8 Cumulative

Undergraduate Majors: History

Study Abroad: None, is Hawaii a foreign country again like Kenya/Indonesia?

GRE: 162 Verbal (89%), 149 Quantitative (39%), 5.5 Analytical Writing (96%) (I won't retake)

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 3

Years of Relevant Work Experience: 2 - 10 months AmeriCorps internship with Hawaii State Parks and 1-year with a local city parks and recreation department.

Languages: American English, Hawaiian Pidgin (brah), and a little French.

Quant: None, no requirement.

Strength of SOP: Focusing on work experience as a public servant and upbringing in SoCal in relation to my specialization. I really want to advance my career in public service by developing my professional skills (and going from hourly to salary!).

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): Strong letters from my former Hawaii and current SoCal supervisor, second reader on my senior thesis, and the president of a non-profit I interacted with with in Hawaii as part of Americorps.

Other: I'm attaching an addendum describing the Reed undergrad experience: grade deflation, academic integrity, and my senior thesis (133 pgs) on 19th century American foreign policy/imperialism in the Asia-Pacific. Also, I need $$$. Fight on.

Edited by ZacharyObama

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Schools Applying To: MPP (Oxford) and MSc Social Policy (Social Policy and Planning (LSE)

Undergraduate institution: Canadian University that isn't UofT, McGill, or UBC

Undergraduate GPA: 3.67 (Major: 3.75)

Undergraduate Majors: International Relations & Chinese

Study Abroad: Yes - three times to various countries

GRE: 167 (Q), 165 (V), 5.5

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 0

Years of Relevant Work Experience: Internships; some relevant volunteer experience/work experience

Describe Relevant Work Experience: Interned at a Korean NGO, worked for my local Students' Association as Elections Manager; currently work as a Volunteer Coordinator; volunteer for a restorative justice program; volunteer for a democracy promotion society; volunteered as a Coordinator for a sunday school

Languages: English (native), Chinese (Advanced), Japanese (Intermediate), Korean, (Intermediate), Urdu (Intermediate), Spanish (Beginner)

Quant: Calculus I, Statistics, Economics (Macro and Micro)

Strength of SOP: I am currently on my 10th draft of my SOP. As I am only applying to two schools, they need to be STRONG. I am also getting them reviewed by our Writing Center on campus.

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): All from former professors (2 Chinese, 1 Japanese). I think the subject areas are going to be the issue here, honestly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Programs Considered: MPP/MPA/MSPPM from CMU, Brown, USC, Indiana, Pitt, Cornell, OSU, Ford

Undergraduate institution: Roughly top 50 LAC

Undergraduate GPA: 3.51

Undergraduate Major: Philosophy

Study Abroad: Semester abroad in Mongolia

GRE: V: 157 Q: 152 AW: Wating on score (scores may change when I get the scaled versions in, I just took the GRE today)

Years Out of Undergrad (by enter date): 1 by Fall 2013

Years of Work Experience: 1 Year of AmeriCorps and several very substantive internships during undergrad

Languages: Native English

My top choice is CMU for a number of reasons. Any thoughts? Especially on my competitiveness at CMU?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Schools Applying To: MPP/MPAs - Berekeley (Goldman), Brown (Taubman), Chicago (Harris), Columbia (SIPA), Cornell (CIPA), Georgetown (GSFS), Johns Hopkins (SAIS), Penn (Fels), UCLA (Luskin), USC (Price) - Considering Harvard (KSG) and Princeton (WWS) but I doubt 3.6 GPA and 2 weeks to make this SOP awesome enough is sufficient to be completely honest - insight here would be helpful.

Undergraduate institution: Los Angeles Pierce College ---> transferred to University of Southern California (USC) - Fight On! - on full academic scholarship

Undergraduate GPA: ~3.6 (depending on how this semester shakes out it could bump up to around 3.74+)

Undergraduate Majors: Philosophy, Politics, and Law (PPL - modeled after Oxford's PPE program)

Study Abroad: None

GRE: Taking it in 2 weeks but every test I've taken at puts me at the following - 162-167 (Q), 159-164 (V), 5-6 (W)

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): None but I worked for 4 years after high school before deciding to go to college (see below)

Years of Relevant Work Experience: 6 years of full-time work, see below for full explanation

Describe Relevant Work Experience: A bit lengthy, I'll try to be brief:

1. Co-Founder and Operations Director, 2006-Present, uFish: Started a nonprofit program (uFish) my senior year of high school. Program is a 10 week curriculum aimed at the job training, employment, and life skills education of at-risk and homeless youths in Los Angeles (15-27 yrs old). In my 6 years as co-founder and Operations Director, over 250 kids have gained employment and at least 135 could be identified as no longer being impoverished or at-risk. At uFish, we have partnered with the Salvation Army, Pointe Hope Foundation, Homeboy Industries, People for Parks, and the Sheila Kar Foundation for projects and collaborations. I was homeless as a kid after my parents' divorce - goal is for it to not happen to anyone ever again.

2. President and Executive Director - Students for Obama, California: Students for Obama is the official student wing of the Obama for America re-election campaign. I was a volunteer, then bumped to Political Director, and then Executive Director since July 2011. Over 8000 members, over 70K new voter registrees in CA, raised over $192K towards the President's campaign. (Stoked about the election results of course).

3. Presidential Delegate to the Democratic National Convention 2012 from Congressional District 30 - Was voted as a delegate through normal means election last year. Went to the DNC in Charlotte and chaired the platform writing committee. One of the better experiences of my life.

4. Political Editor at Sonic Eclectic Magazine - first just a contributing writer, then political columnist, and now political editor.

Languages: English (native), Farsi (Advanced), French (Intermediate), Spanish (Intermediate)

Quant: Economics (Macro and Micro), probably taking Calculus next semester.

Strength of SOP: My SOP should be good, I suppose. I'm a fairly good writer, however I have not committed an incredible amount of time to it, or had it edited by super-qualified people. I'm focusing more on being direct and honest about my life, my work, and my goals - all of which are fairly straightforward.

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): 1 from Salvation Army Director (non-profit insight), 1 from a Philosophy Professor (academic insight), and 1 from the Executive Director of OFA-CA (Obama for America) (political/community organizing insight)

If anyone has any comments, concerns, insight on schools I probably will not be getting into, or really anything at all - I am very open to any criticism or information from people who inevitably have a fair amount of experience with this process.

Thank you!

Edited by Thelongshot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll jump in as well!

Schools Applying To: NYU, SIPA, Georgetown PPI, GW - Trachtenberg, AU, HKS

Undergraduate institution: St. John's New York (not a top tier)

Undergraduate GPA: 3.6

Undergraduate Majors: Economics, Philosophy

Study Abroad: Italy

GRE: 155 Verbal (65th); 161 Quantitative (83rd), n/a Analytical Writing - Thinking of re-taking to increase the quant to at least 160

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 5

Years of Relevant Work Experience: Teach For America, Peacecorps type program for Indians, Teach For All organization recently for two years

Quant: Business stats, Econometrics, Microeconomics

Strength of SOP: First generation college graduate

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): Professor, Principal of school where I taught, and current supervisor -all great things!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Schools Applying To: MPP/MPAs - Berekeley (Goldman), Brown (Taubman), Chicago (Harris), Columbia (SIPA), Cornell (CIPA), Georgetown (GSFS), Johns Hopkins (SAIS), Penn (Fels), UCLA (Luskin), USC (Price)

Undergraduate institution: Los Angeles Pierce College ---> transferred to University of Southern California (USC) - Fight On! - on full academic scholarship

Undergraduate GPA: Cumulative - 3.5, At USC - 3.1

Undergraduate Majors: Philosophy, Politics, and Law (PPL - modeled after Oxford's PPE program)

Study Abroad: None

GRE: Taking it in 2 weeks but every test I've taken at puts me at the following - 162-167 (Q), 159-164 (V), 5-6 (W)

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): None but I worked for 4 years after high school before deciding to go to college (see below)

Years of Relevant Work Experience: 6 years of full-time work, see below for full explanation

Describe Relevant Work Experience: A bit lengthy, I'll try to be brief:

1. Co-Founder and Operations Director, 2006-Present, uFish: Started a nonprofit program (uFish) my senior year of high school. Program is a 10 week curriculum aimed at the job training, employment, and life skills education of at-risk and homeless youths in Los Angeles (15-27 yrs old). In my 6 years as co-founder and Operations Director, over 250 kids have gained employment and at least 135 could be identified as no longer being impoverished or at-risk. At uFish, we have partnered with the Salvation Army, Pointe Hope Foundation, Homeboy Industries, People for Parks, and the Sheila Kar Foundation for projects and collaborations. I was homeless as a kid after my parents' divorce - goal is for it to not happen to anyone ever again.

2. President and Executive Director - Students for Obama, California: Students for Obama is the official student wing of the Obama for America re-election campaign. I was a volunteer, then bumped to Political Director, and then Executive Director since July 2011. Over 8000 members, over 70K new voter registrees in CA, raised over $192K towards the President's campaign. (Stoked about the election results of course).

3. Presidential Delegate to the Democratic National Convention 2012 from Congressional District 30 - Was voted as a delegate through normal means election last year. Went to the DNC in Charlotte and chaired the platform writing committee. One of the better experiences of my life.

4. Political Editor at Sonic Eclectic Magazine - first just a contributing writer, then political columnist, and now political editor.

Languages: English (native), Farsi (Advanced), French (Intermediate), Spanish (Intermediate)

Quant: Economics (Macro and Micro), probably taking Calculus next semester.

Strength of SOP: My SOP should be good, I suppose. I'm a fairly good writer, however I have not committed an incredible amount of time to it, or had it edited by super-qualified people. I'm focusing more on being direct and honest about my life, my work, and my goals - all of which are fairly straightforward.

Strength of LOR (be honest, describe the process, etc): 1 from Salvation Army Director (non-profit insight), 1 from a Philosophy Professor (academic insight), and 1 from the Executive Director of OFA-CA (Obama for America) (political/community organizing insight)

If anyone has any comments, concerns, insight on schools I probably will not be getting into, or really anything at all - I am very open to any criticism or information from people who inevitably have a fair amount of experience with this process.

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rejected from George Washington...and got into Georgetown. Georgetown was my first choice anyway. :)

Applied to George Washington's Security Policy Studies and Georgetown's Security Studies Program. Will be starting in the spring. Yippee doo da.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are your thoughts on my chances at WWS (clear first choice) given my profile? I know my GRE is rather poor, at least in quant and my GPA could be highe, but hoping other pieces make up for it. What sticks out the most or is a key area to improve?

Schools Applying To: Fletcher, NYU, SIPA, SAIS, WWS

Undergraduate institution: Brown U.

Undergraduate GPA: 3.4 cum, upward trend (3.6 cum major)

Undergraduate Majors: Political Science, Africana Studies

Study Abroad: None

GRE: 159 Verbal/153 Quantitative, n/a Analytical Writing - Retaking in 30 days to break 160 for Verbal and at least 80th percentile for Quant.

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 3

Years of Relevant Work Experience: Peace Corps Volunteer 2+ years with leadership position, Internships in Education and Banking

Quant: Statistics, Calculus (2nd semester), Intro Econ (Macro/Micro), Macro

Strength of SOP:Fairly confident about PC experience and background

Strength of LOR: Professor, Direct PC Supervisor, PC Regional Superviosr

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

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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