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Thread: 2018 (or 2019) Ph.D (unorthodox) applicant profile evaluation / advice

  1. #11
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    Re: 2018 (or 2019) Ph.D (unorthodox) applicant profile evaluation / advice

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    Looks like @specious has figured out where I go to school, ha. Not that I made it very difficult


    A few comments/clarifications:


    1. I'm currently doing M.S. part-time. During the day, I work full-time in public policy econ development research. My job doesn't involve much serious quant research, and I don't work for a Ph.D economist. Thus the reason I'm looking to RA part-time for a Ph.D economist.


    If all goes according to plan, my next 18 months are (all while working full-time during the day at my current job):


    Spring 2017
    Classes: Finish my two classes


    Summer 2017
    Classes: Real Analysis
    Research: RA for prof
    Other: GRE studying, applying for grants


    Fall 2017
    Classes: (pick 2 of) Measure and Integration Theory, Stochastic Processes, and Numeric Methods
    Research: Continuing research for prof
    Other: Ph.D applications


    Spring 2018
    Classes: Bayesian Statistics, Intro to Statistical Learning (these will likely be enough to complete my M.S.)
    Other: Visting Ph.D programs (hopefully!)


    Fall 2018
    Start Ph.D (hopefully!)


    It sounds like a lot, but I've managed a similar schedule the last two years. These plans are up in the air, though. I've applied for full-time RA gigs at some premiere econ research institutions (to start this summer). If I were to get one, I'd likely defer applying this fall, get more RA experience, and take some extra classes like Real Analysis II, Partial Diff Eq, Measure Theory, another grad econ class, etc., and apply in Fall 2018.


    2. I already took MA-level Micro I and PhD-level Micro II. I'm wondering if @specious meant to type "Grad MACRO"? I'm trying to finish my math/stats M.S. by Spring 2018, so taking extra grad-level econ courses will be difficult, since they wouldn't count toward my degree. (Plus, I don't know if $5k for a course + all the time required is worth it just for a bullet point under "courses taken.") And I've considered not finishing my M.S., but I'll be taking my final courses in the semester I'd hear back about Ph.D admissions, so best to just graduate.


    3. I don't really have a rec from a "famous" professor (though #1 below is fairly well known in the econ blog world). My LORs currently I can currently bank on are:
    1. Prof at top-50 econ school, Ph.D from top-5 econ program, doesn't publish many papers now but writes books received A+ in Ph.D course
    2. Prof at top-50 econ school, Ph.D from top-20 econ program received A in Ph.D course
    3. Prof at top-50 econ school, Ph.D from top-70 econ program RA-ed for


    I'm considering RA-ing a prof at top-40 econ school, who publishes regularly (Ph.D from top-5 econ program). That prof would likely bump out #3. I imagine it would be a sizable upgrade.

  2. #12
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    Re: 2018 (or 2019) Ph.D (unorthodox) applicant profile evaluation / advice

    Your plan looks good, but I would honestly push to apply to PhD programs this Fall.

  3. #13
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    Re: 2018 (or 2019) Ph.D (unorthodox) applicant profile evaluation / advice

    Quick update: So I had been set on applying to programs this fall. However, I've just received an offer to be an RA at a top institution for a two-year term.

    Given the fact that academic research experience is a big hole on my resume, it seems like it's worth it (in terms of boosting my application) to take the job, work for two years, take some more classes, and get solid rec letters rather than applying this fall, no?

  4. #14
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    Re: 2018 (or 2019) Ph.D (unorthodox) applicant profile evaluation / advice

    your plan is good and if you can see it through you'll hopefully do really well !
    I hope your RA gig is at the Fed or CGD. Both are nicely geared to help students take those evening class, while the Fed provides funding. The Fund won't provide tution funding and depending on the division, balancing evening classes will be harder. Don't know much aboutt the bank, except that DECRG is best for RA positions - many other are more operational/non-research work. Best wishes to you.


    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside972 View Post
    Quick update: So I had been set on applying to programs this fall. However, I've just received an offer to be an RA at a top institution for a two-year term.

    Given the fact that academic research experience is a big hole on my resume, it seems like it's worth it (in terms of boosting my application) to take the job, work for two years, take some more classes, and get solid rec letters rather than applying this fall, no?
    Last edited by econphd1992; 04-29-2017 at 02:31 PM.

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    0 out of 3 members found this post helpful. Good post? Yes | No

    Re: 2018 (or 2019) Ph.D (unorthodox) applicant profile evaluation / advice

    Not sure about top 30 programs. But for the top 2 programs you need non-linear functional analysis, and/or SDE, and/or differential topology, and/or publications on at least tier 2 journals. ODE from CC will only damage your application.

    Though I am confidence (emotionally) that you could get in one of the top 25 programs.

    If you need advises, here is what you could try: Let your adviser (who graduated from a top 30 program) introduce you to his Alma mater, and get recommendations from there.

    Since you are currently in a top 20 university, why not cross-register econ classes there and meet your potential professors? Go partying with the PhD students there and get your name on their next publication. Even if you are only the fifth/sixth author, you "coauthored" an econ paper with world's top faculty!

    And do not overlook the overall university rank. If you graduated without secured faculty position, the overall university prestige will most of time out weight the program ranking in industry.

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