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This is a complicated post. I am anticipating some brutally honest responses which will hopefully be constructive. I'm also anticipating some rude ones.

First, I'm an escort. I have a bachelors in English literature from an average sized state school in Washington State. Outside the west coast my school doesn't matter to anybody. After I graduated I was a teaching assistant in Spain for a year and then came home and worked as a technical writer. Then I became a whore. Now I'm still a whore, and damn good at it, but stuck in a masters program in English studies where I did my undergraduate degree. It's a terrible idea. I'm aware. 

My undergraduate profile is as follows:

Associates degree: 2.9 Lol.

The second two years of my major: 3.4

I had a fat athletic scholarship which is why I went to this school instead of a bigger one. I'm graduating from my current MA program early because I need to get the fuck out of this city but also because I do not, DO NOT, want to do a PhD in the humanities. I don't think that's the right thing for me to do. One thing I've learned from escorting is that it's hard work that earns success not necessarily brains. There isn't anything exceptional about my clients except that they picked a goal and worked towards it. I have never been good at this. I come from white trash and hardly graduated high school.

I am DYING to start over. At age 24 (almost 25) I have a small window of time to do so as I don't have any children (and don't want any for another decade), have a good amount of money saved, no debt, and am able to relocate anywhere in the world (happily so).

I want to do a PhD in economics. How the FUCK do I get into a decent program? Are there any postbacs I should be aware of? There are a few in the US and obviously there are good schools that offer them. There are conversion diplomas in the UK (the University of London Birbeck for example).

 

Thoughts? Anybody do this? Am I doomed?

 

I believe it's important to be realistic. But it's also important to listen to the heart and trust the gut. I know I can do this. 

 

But what's the best route?

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I'm not in Economics but thought long and hard about pivoting towards an Econ PhD and what I would need to do for it (and ultimately decided not too, because I'm older than you and also much happier with my existing available academic directions) but this is what I could figure out: seems like you need to switch to a relevant masters - something very strongly quantitative, since Econ PhD's care about that above all.

Economics, Mathematics...that's probably it, actually. You'll need it to make up for the wonky humanities background. You want to do it at a well-regarded university, but the content is probably more important. I'm not sure yout could get into an Econ MSc/MA right now either, but it seems extreme to go all the way back to re-doing a BA. Take a look at some online options, maybe, as a first step. LSE has an online graduate economics diploma, and a 2-year economics/mathematics BSc if you already have a BA, IIRC. Doing well on that, or even part of that, (community college classes might play the same role,) could be a stepping stone to a good 1-year Econ MA (think about continental Europe, maybe, to minimize costs and debts,) which is what you need for a shot at an Econ PhD at this point.

Particularly if you're interested in something more applied in Economics - like development work, health, policy, etc - you might also look into finding work/volunteering/internships at something like an international NGO or government or municipality, or even political campaign or a labour union or a banking firm or whatever (especially if you go the online route and have flexibility to work and travel while you're doing it). That would add a nice line or two to the old CV, though gettiing in enough calculus classes is probably more important.

Basically, you need to restart from the MA stage and focus on maths. 24 is really young for that and I wouldn't feel stressed about it. Current employment history would appear irrelevant. (Unless you feel it can add an interesting twist to future statements of purpose or personal history bits on applications. I'm only like half-joking...my impressions of economists is some departments could easily think of themselves as cynical enough find economic insights from prostitution just brilliant.)

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6 hours ago, TK2 said:

Economics, Mathematics...that's probably it, actually. You'll need it to make up for the wonky humanities background. You want to do it at a well-regarded university, but the content is probably more important. I'm not sure yout could get into an Econ MSc/MA right now either, but it seems extreme to go all the way back to re-doing a BA. Take a look at some online options, maybe, as a first step. LSE has an online graduate economics diploma, and a 2-year economics/mathematics BSc if you already have a BA, IIRC. Doing well on that, or even part of that, (community college classes might play the same role,) could be a stepping stone to a good 1-year Econ MA (think about continental Europe, maybe, to minimize costs and debts,) which is what you need for a shot at an Econ PhD at this point.

Yeah, for sure. There's no way I could get into an Econ MSc right now and there's no way I'm doing a second bachelors. I can't do online though (at least not for longer than 6 months). OK, so for the prereqs to a good Econ masters which is no doubt the best and probably only route for me.... I'm thinking a school on the west coast, NYC, or London. This is because I support myself through escorting and there's a lot of money to be made in those areas. Maybe a postbac? Colombia? They let anybody in for postbac classes (lol). Thoughts on this? I wonder if US schools are held in higher regard.

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Although, come to think of it, if you are American, doing a 3-4 year BA in economics might not actually take you longer than doing the pre-reqs for a master followed by the master itself. Though I assume applying with a good MA is better than applying with a good BA, i'm honestly not certain about that. I know someone doing econ at Harvard, and was surprised at how generic and minimalist his application was in terms of professional experience, research interests and RA and TA experience etc. All of which he had - you know, the stuff that comes with an MA over a BA. It was all letters and grades, apparently.

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It sounds like any road to a PhD would have to go through an MA first, because you'll want to have better and current grades, as well as access to professors who could act as recommenders. You should read up on requirements and figure out what it takes to get into a good program. That said, nothing in your post makes it sound like you have any good reason to want or need a PhD in the first place, so I think that's the place for you to start. A PhD is a degree that more often than not prepares you for a career in academia; is that what you want? If you want a job in industry, are you sure that a PhD is required? It is more likely that another degree -- an MA or a professional degree of some kind -- are better choices. So my advice is that, as a first step, you should step back and ask yourself what career you hope to have, and then what it takes to get there. I wouldn't do anything drastic like move to another city or spend a lot of money on a terminal degree before knowing that it's the right career move (to the best that anyone can know these things). Spend time doing your research first, make decisions only once you have all the relevant information at hand. 25 is young, so don't feel like you have to rush anywhere. 

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On 3/5/2017 at 0:23 PM, SomaticSailing said:

This is a complicated post. I am anticipating some brutally honest responses which will hopefully be constructive. I'm also anticipating some rude ones.

First, I'm an escort. I have a bachelors in English literature from an average sized state school in Washington State. Outside the west coast my school doesn't matter to anybody. After I graduated I was a teaching assistant in Spain for a year and then came home and worked as a technical writer. Then I became a whore. Now I'm still a whore, and damn good at it, but stuck in a masters program in English studies where I did my undergraduate degree. It's a terrible idea. I'm aware. 

My undergraduate profile is as follows:

Associates degree: 2.9 Lol.

The second two years of my major: 3.4

I had a fat athletic scholarship which is why I went to this school instead of a bigger one. I'm graduating from my current MA program early because I need to get the fuck out of this city but also because I do not, DO NOT, want to do a PhD in the humanities. I don't think that's the right thing for me to do. One thing I've learned from escorting is that it's hard work that earns success not necessarily brains. There isn't anything exceptional about my clients except that they picked a goal and worked towards it. I have never been good at this. I come from white trash and hardly graduated high school.

I am DYING to start over. At age 24 (almost 25) I have a small window of time to do so as I don't have any children (and don't want any for another decade), have a good amount of money saved, no debt, and am able to relocate anywhere in the world (happily so).

I want to do a PhD in economics. How the FUCK do I get into a decent program? Are there any postbacs I should be aware of? There are a few in the US and obviously there are good schools that offer them. There are conversion diplomas in the UK (the University of London Birbeck for example).

 

Thoughts? Anybody do this? Am I doomed?

 

I believe it's important to be realistic. But it's also important to listen to the heart and trust the gut. I know I can do this. 

 

But what's the best route?

 

As a first step, you will need to do a conversion diploma. I highly recommend Birbeck's as not only is it a constituent college of the UoL but it's specialised in helping students who come from non-traditional backgrounds (as is your case). But I'm assuming from your post that you're American. If that is indeed the case, going to London may end up being very expensive for you. 

My suggestion would be to try and do online courses. The University of London does also offer an online version of its diploma: http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/courses/diploma-graduates/lse/diploma-graduates-economics My experience of this is relatively limited but it may help you convince the admission committees that you are dedicated to the course. It does not however a sound grounding in the quantitive aspects of economics and you may need to supplement this.

On a more personal note, I am a few years older than you: at 30 and nearly 31, I've decided to completely change my career and focus on going to medical school at 32. I won't be qualified doctor until my 40s but knowing that I will most likely not stop working until well into my 70s, I'm happy spending the rest of my working life doing something I enjoy. You're young; doing something you enjoy is as important as earning good money.

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