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Thread: Profile Evaluation for RA/Possible PhD 2019

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Profile Evaluation for RA/Possible PhD 2019

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    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad:
    US T40 public school
    Undergrad GPA: 3.72
    GRE: Havenít taken
    Math Courses: Calc 1/2 (AP), Calc 3 (B+), Linear Algebra (A), Proofs (A-), Prob/Stats (computational) (A-), ODE (A-), Analysis (C+), Probability (A), Mathematical Statistics (B+), Algebra (A-), Stochastic Optimization (B), plan to take advanced linear algebra and intermediate analysis
    Econ Courses: Intro micro/macro (A/A-), Intermediate micro/macro (A/A), Econometrics (A), Game Theory (A), Advanced Macro (A), IO (A), plan to take two more econometrics classes
    Other Courses: assorted social science, some physics
    Letters of Recommendation: 1) Professor I worked for as an RA for a year, who is advising my thesis. Should be good.
    2/3) Unsure. There are a few professors whose classes I have done well in, but Iím not sure if their letters would be informative enough for admissions, since they havenít observed me in a research setting.
    Research Experience: One year of RA experience. Will spend this summer working as an RA (for letter writer #1) and starting my senior thesis, which I expect to be a decent empirical piece but nothing amazing (although itís very early to say).
    Teaching Experience: NA
    Research Interests: Most likely applied micro (labor), although I am interested in political economy, macro, and development as well
    Other: I worry that some of my less-than-stellar math grades and lack of strong letter writers (for 2/3) would prevent me from being accepted into a decent program, so hopefully I can secure an RA position and work hard to improve my profile in those two years. Iím wondering what my chances are in applying for NBER/Fed positions. Any other advice is more than welcome.

  2. #2
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Re: Profile Evaluation for RA/Possible PhD 2019

    That might suffice for top 20.

  3. #3
    Within my grasp!
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    Re: Profile Evaluation for RA/Possible PhD 2019

    No, a top 20 is not reasonable for this profile

  4. #4
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    Re: Profile Evaluation for RA/Possible PhD 2019

    Your profile is competitive for Fed or NBER positions. There is still plenty signal to send beyond what you list here, however, as many applicants will look similar on these stats alone.

    In cover letters, focus on your experience with coding and with empirical research projects (your own and/or your RA work).

    If you pass the first round of screening at the NBER or similar places, you'll likely be given a short empirical data task to do which is the second round. If you get this, really spend the effort to demonstrate your coding/analytical/writing capabilities. Be clean, organized, and effective. The task will likely be the dominant signal when these places decide whether to hire you, since it's a direct look at how you work as an RA.

  5. #5
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Profile Evaluation for RA/Possible PhD 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by rockystone2018 View Post
    That might suffice for top 20.
    Not even close. OP's self-evaluation is more accurate than your evaluation.

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