rutngon Posted September 15, 2011 Share Posted September 15, 2011 Hey everyone, I've been lurking around these forums for a while but was always too intimidated to ask my questions. I guess I figured I should just do it, so here goes. I am very interested in applying to public policy programs for fall 2012. I have two main concerns, though... First, I do not have a particularly strong quantitative background. I took AP Calculus in high school (quite a while ago) and did not take any statistics or economics in undergrad. I double majored in Linguistics and French at a very good public school and graduated with a 3.8 GPA. My undergraduate thesis in linguistics did involve a bit of statistics, which was self-taught and counseled by my thesis advisor. I also worked as a research assistant on a linguistics study that involved statistics and was presented at an international conference. In my junior year I worked as an intern at the US Department of State, where I ended up being placed at the OECD in Paris. I basically had to teach myself the basics of economics as quickly as possible in order to be able to do my job. Last but not least, my quantitative GRE scores are definitely not so hot. I took the GRE twice in my senior year but I am taking it again in October and have spent considerably more time preparing. Second, regarding my work experience, this year I am not in any paying position. I interned at the OECD in my junior year, after graduation I was granted a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, but now I am a barista...full time. I spend around 20-25 hours a week volunteering at a refugee and asylum center in my town. I work in education, resettlement, and legal translating. I'm in this position because I was supposed to attend a graduate school abroad but because of visa issues that fell through at the last minute, I had get the first job I could find to pay my rent. The job market is rough right now and it looks like I won't find any paying policy work for the time being. I guess after all this rambling, my question is: will schools look down on my lack of paid work experience this year? I want to go into human rights and immigration policy (preferably related to Southeast Asia) so my volunteer work is directly related...but my paying job is making cappuccinos. I know I will be competing against people who've been working on Capitol Hill so I feel like I hardly stand a chance. I know my quant is weak. I did well in calculus in high school so I know I can learn the material. If I can afford it, I will be taking classes at the local community college this spring in economics and statistics. Do you think this will pretty much boot me off any list? For further info: I'm applying to Fletcher and Ford School (dual MA with Southeast Asian Studies). If you actually feel like reading this whole anxiety-ridden essay and answering I'd really appreciate it. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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