Request for Profile Evaluation
Ok, so I thought I had my master list for applications completed when a couple of different people told me to aim higher (including a professor). However, after looking at the 2012 Profiles and Acceptances thread, I now feel like my top end is too high. So, I figure the best thing to do at this point is to subject my profile to analysis by the collective wisdom of the masses here at urch. I want to avoid being the guy who spends $1000 applying to schools I never had a chance of getting into in the first place. Higher-end schools surely don't need the money!
I know I have a bunch of safety schools on here, but I'm more concerned whether my top end it too high, too low or just right (yes, I'm Goldilocks in this metaphor). I really appreciate the feedback. This forum is such a great resource!
(Note to the member who sent me a message on this earlier: Please don't look at this as me discarding your opinion! I just wanted to see if I could get a few more before making a decision. )
Type of Undergrad: Dual degrees in Finance and Poly Sci. (with a whole slew of engineering courses – I changed majors after 3 years). Top 40 undergrad.
Undergrad GPA: 3.05
Type of Grad: MA in Financial Economics at a non-ranked local state school
Grad GPA: 4.0
GRE: 165Q / 160V / 4.0 AWA
Math Courses: Calc III (A), Diff. Eq (A), Linear Algebra (A), Probability and Statistics (A), Data Mining-Grad (A), Statistical Computing-Grad (A),
Math Statistics-Grad (Fall), Real Analysis (Fall), Adv. Linear Algebra-Grad (Fall), Partial Diff Eq.-Grad (Fall)
[Note: In 2003-2004 as an engineering student, I took calc I, II and III (A,C,B respectively) and Diff Eq (C), Matrices (A) and Grad-Level Advanced Engineering Math (B), but re-took the courses from Calc III and up during my Grad program – and boy had I forgotten a lot!]
Econ Courses (grad-level): Quantitative Methods (A), Micro Theory (A), Macro Theory (A), Financial Markets and Institutions (A), Public Finance (A), Econometrics (A), Time-Series (Fall)
Econ Courses (undergrad-level): Micro Principles (B), Macro Principles (C), International Finance (D)
[note: obviously I wasn’t trying to be an economist at this point- back in 2007. Also, the D is only because I thought the final was 3 hours later than it actually was…I had an A going into it. Not that I can address that on the application]
Other Courses: Grad Advanced Financial Analysis (A) Grad Securities Analysis (A), Grad Financial Management (A), OK grades in engineering courses (~3.4 average).
Letters of Recommendation: Should be stellar recommendation letters, 3 from econ, but with a couple math professors if needed. Two of the Econ professors still publish often and graduated from top 40 econ schools. However, the school I’m at isn’t fantastic, so definitely a disadvantage in that sense.
Research Experience: Senior thesis using econometric techniques to study campaign finance. First-year research paper on crime stats in Grad. Will be doing Grad-thesis in spring
Teaching Experience: Grad assistantship including tutoring for micro, macro, and stats. Also tutored finance courses through a different dept. Teaching Macro Principles in the Fall
Research Interests: Macro/Financial and possibly Public Econ (Tax)
SOP: Many thoughts....none to paper as of yet. I'll briefly address my poor undergrad performance as a lack of direction, but the vast difference in grades between grad and undergrad should speak for itself.
Concerns: Terrible undergrad grades!!!!!!! Need to find a school to look past that. Also, I should have done more research during my first year in grad school.
Applying to: OSU, UVa, Iowa, UNC, Vandy, Pitt, Indiana, NCState, Iowa State, UGA, Kansas, Mizzou, Clemson, WVU…maybe some more at the bottom end just to make sure I get in somewhere
I was thinking of maybe adding Duke, Rochester and maaaayybe Wisconsin. Or, if I'm aiming too high, I might add Syracuse and Kentucky. But, I'm super open to suggestions.
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