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UCLA Admitted Students Day?


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Did anyone go? I'm in Beijing and couldn't make it, but I wish I could have. Anything interesting to report? Anyone want to do a good writeup? :D

UCLA is my best west coast option, which gives it some more weight in my decision because I really really really really want to live and work in the western half of the US. I get the feeling that Duke, Michigan, and Chicago are better options though (even if all three, especially Michigan and Chicago, are substantially more expensive). Anyone wanna counter that? Please? ;)

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I went to the UCLA admitted students day on Monday. Overall, I came away with a mixed view of the program.

Academics: The faculty and staff stressed the strong academic bent of the program. It seems that the school provides a solid quantitative base, with two quarters of microeconomics and two quarters of stats. Also, the professors had interesting areas of study, and there seemed to be a good mix between theory and real-world application. Almost all of the professors are academics--as opposed to practitioners--but they seemed to be actively engaged in local and national policymaking as well. That said, Michael Dukakis teaches a class in the winter, and he was there for the lunch on Monday.

Student body: The student body seemed interesting and intelligent--at least the ones who mingled at the lunch. Also, the recent alumni they invited to speak all had interesting jobs: one was a PMF, one was working at a campaign consulting company, another was working for a private consulting firm and the last was director of sustainability at UCLA.

Career services: Is non-existent. The university career services center is open to MPPs, but it doesn't seem like a very valuable resource. The SPA staff sends students opportunities that come along, but there is no one in the school dedicated to helping students finds jobs or internships.

Opportunities after graduation: It seems that a majority of the opportunities come from within the Los Angeles area and California. The program is pretty new, so there are only about 10 years' worth of MPP grads, so the alumni network is small. I got the sense that there were opportunities throughout the city and state, but it seems that most of the Federal opportunities are at GAO and OMB (or was it CBO?), who both recruit at the school. If you're looking for employment in California, I think you will be fine, but if you're looking to go to DC for a while, it might be a bit dicier.

I'm still considering the school, and it seems that the academics are strong. The academics is the main focus, though, so you're kind of on your own when it comes to getting internships or finding a job.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and hopefully I can answer them.

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Yikes. That career services situation as you describe it kinda scares me.

I already went to an institution that provided me with a great education but nothing in the way of career services help and as a result I frankly haven't done that well in the job market. I'm going to grad school largely to guarantee me good a job - if a school's not going to seriously help me on that end, it's a huge mark against their program as far as I'm concerned.

I don't need to go into serious debt just for another piece of paper or personal edification - I want a job.

BTW, something that has me nervous about this as well: I emailed Maciek Kolodziejczak, Director of Student Services, twice last week with questions about jobs and PhD stuff. I have yet to hear back from him. Duke, by contrast, has always contacted me back the same day that I send an email, regardless of which staff member I write.

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I went to the UCLA admitted students day on Monday. Overall, I came away with a mixed view of the program.

Academics: The faculty and staff stressed the strong academic bent of the program. It seems that the school provides a solid quantitative base, with two quarters of microeconomics and two quarters of stats. Also, the professors had interesting areas of study, and there seemed to be a good mix between theory and real-world application. Almost all of the professors are academics--as opposed to practitioners--but they seemed to be actively engaged in local and national policymaking as well. That said, Michael Dukakis teaches a class in the winter, and he was there for the lunch on Monday.

Student body: The student body seemed interesting and intelligent--at least the ones who mingled at the lunch. Also, the recent alumni they invited to speak all had interesting jobs: one was a PMF, one was working at a campaign consulting company, another was working for a private consulting firm and the last was director of sustainability at UCLA.

Career services: Is non-existent. The university career services center is open to MPPs, but it doesn't seem like a very valuable resource. The SPA staff sends students opportunities that come along, but there is no one in the school dedicated to helping students finds jobs or internships.

Opportunities after graduation: It seems that a majority of the opportunities come from within the Los Angeles area and California. The program is pretty new, so there are only about 10 years' worth of MPP grads, so the alumni network is small. I got the sense that there were opportunities throughout the city and state, but it seems that most of the Federal opportunities are at GAO and OMB (or was it CBO?), who both recruit at the school. If you're looking for employment in California, I think you will be fine, but if you're looking to go to DC for a while, it might be a bit dicier.

I'm still considering the school, and it seems that the academics are strong. The academics is the main focus, though, so you're kind of on your own when it comes to getting internships or finding a job.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and hopefully I can answer them.

Hi Policy_Applicant,

Out of curiosity, after UCLA's Admit Day and I believe you said in another thread that you attended USC's, how do you know feel about UCLA vs. USC issue? Between the two, are you feeling more UCLA or USC ?

Also, out of all your choices, which school are you leaning towards and why?

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Out of curiosity, after UCLA's Admit Day and I believe you said in another thread that you attended USC's, how do you know feel about UCLA vs. USC issue? Between the two, are you feeling more UCLA or USC ?

Also, out of all your choices, which school are you leaning towards and why?

Interestingly, the sense I got from both programs is that USC's program is more applied, and they're willing to let academics take a back seat to internships if the two are in conflict. Also, USC is really focused on connections and the "Trojan Family."

The USC students who took part in the student panel characterized UCLA students as more academic and "probably trying to go on for a PhD." The UCLA students and faculty, on the other hand, caricatured (?) USC as a place to go if you don't care as much about academics, but want to get hooked up with a consulting job.

I'm currently leaning strongly toward Georgetown, and will probably end up there in the fall. The only thing keeping other schools in the mix right now is the money.

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