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Thread: Poeple who made it despite the odds

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    its hapening! baffourakoto's Avatar
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    My Two Cents Poeple who made it despite the odds

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    ok so most of us have wrapped up our applications and most closing dates have come and gone and now, we're nervously waiting for the outcome (february and march should get here already!!) a cursury walk through TM paints the picture clearly...most of us have good academic records, did brilliantly on the GREs, tried to get a solid SOP in and did our best to get some good LORs but we are still FREAKING OUT about what our chances of really getting in are!! we know competition is very tough out there and we're all pretty much aiming for the same places.

    so i thought i'd start this thread where we can share stories of poeple who got accepted to econ phd programmes despite the fact that their academics were not so solid, their GRE scores were not so good or they couldnt get all their material in on time etc. basically, poeple who beat the odds to gain admission. if you know of any such poeple or have heard any such stories, please share. if nothing at all, it'll help ease a few minds and be a nice way to pass our time here while we wait for the results to come out

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage chisquared's Avatar
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    One of my professors had a letter writer who didn't submit an letter of recommendation to Berkeley till well after the deadline. These were the days before applications were done over the internet.

    Berkeley wrote to him saying that they hadn't received one of his LORs. Since this was done via snail mail, he obviously only received the letter well after the application deadline. He was eventually still admitted. In fact, he decided to do his PhD there.

    It's important to note that Berkeley did that despite the large costs (in time, at least) associated with notifying candidates of missing materials. So given that communication can be conducted much more efficiently today, there's no reason why they wouldn't do the same this time around.

    So seriously guys and gals, if Berkeley says they will contact you regarding missing materials, they WILL contact you. Chill out.
    Last edited by chisquared; 01-13-2011 at 11:11 AM.

  3. #3
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    One person from my department got a 730 in the Quantitative part of the GRE, and he thought he was going to get rejected from all of the programs he applied to. He only applied to 4, I think, and he did get rejected from two, but he got two admits from Michigan and Washington. He's now at Michigan.

    It probably helped, though, that he received a thesis award, did spectacularly well in his MA classes, and did good in his math classes (he got to take Calc I-III and linear algebra only though).

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    The last line juliep's Avatar
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    The friend of a friend (hey, it's no imaginary friend, even though this beginning may sound like that, I've actually talked to him on the phone for advice) got 720 on Q GRE. He got rejected from everywhere but... Berkeley! Without funding though.

    He had done a good/very good French Master , and he had a letter of recommendation from the most famous economist of this master. He had done his master's thesis with him but they had not sopken so much and he told me he was not very happy with his thesis. So he had really no idea what this guy would put in the letter, or if he would call someone... Maybe he did...
    UC3M

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    i know someone who got into UCI and UCSB without even taking multi-variable calculus. not sure how well he is doing in the ph.d. program right now though. He is at one of those two schools with funding.

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    Remember the story about Steve Levitt, on his first day at MIT, asking the guy sitting next to him what the difference is between the curly and the straight derivative signs? And just look at him now.

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage chisquared's Avatar
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    Last edited by chisquared; 01-15-2011 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Retracting a statement that turned out to be false.

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    Sorry, I hope I'm not hi-jacking the author's original intent, but what would be interesting for me is if anyone else knows someone who from humble beginnings beat the odds just to make it to the stage of getting a Phd?

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    THE HUMAN OUTLIER
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    3 out of 4 members found this post helpful. Good post? Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by liamc View Post
    Remember the story about Steve Levitt, on his first day at MIT, asking the guy sitting next to him what the difference is between the curly and the straight derivative signs? And just look at him now.
    I heard Adam Smith never even took principles of micro.
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    The last line juliep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charis View Post
    Sorry, I hope I'm not hi-jacking the author's original intent, but what would be interesting for me is if anyone else knows someone who from humble beginnings beat the odds just to make it to the stage of getting a Phd?
    The economist quoted in Freakonomics who carried out the surveys about racial inequalities in the US, and who came from a terrible background (mother abandonned him right after birth, dad violent and alcoholic, very poor neighborhood and high school, almost dropped out of school during high school...) The story told by Levitt is that he entered a university out of sportive distinction, to play futball. He then realized that he was not so good at football but that mathematics and statisitics were very interesting and he ended up doing its econ phd at Harvard!

    I don't know more details that the ones told in the book
    UC3M

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