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Thread: Profile Evaluation - PhD in Economics

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Profile Evaluation - PhD in Economics

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    I requested a profile evaluation before but quite a few details have changed and I figured that it would be useful to request one again. My profile has some glaring oddities because I went through a very strange period in my life between 2012-2014 as a youth - I, more or less, dropped out of a school I got into and pressed the reset button. If you think this may matter a lot, let me know. That would be very valuable and useful to me - may be necessary to get a MA then. I'm not worried or concerned about this now.

    Profile
    Ethnicity: URM/Latino
    Type of Undergrad: Economics/Math (statistics option) low-ranked public university - you haven't heard of it.
    GRE: Quant 163, Verbal 167 (I'm going to retake it, obviously, and I expect to do better - I'm a much stronger math student now than I was when I first took it.)
    Undergrad GPA (overall): 3.82
    Undergrad GPA (institutional): 4.0
    Undergrad GPA (math): 4.0
    Math/Statistics Courses: Intro to Analysis (A), Stochastic Processes (A), Mathematical Statistics (A), Probability Theory (A), Linear Algebra (A), Statistical Learning (grad course, A), Cal Series (A in all courses), Differential Equations (A), Discrete Math (A), Number Theory (A),
    Economics: Intermediate Micro (A), Intermediate Macro (A), Labor Econ (A), Industrial Organization (A), International Economics (A), Money & Banking (A), Math for Economics (A, grad), Advanced Micro (A-, grad, took through program), Econometrics (A)
    Research Experience:
    I'll be working as a RA in the Federal Reserve system for two years. I'm not sure who will be writing my LORs from there but I will be working with some economists with PhDs from top-ranked programs. I know Stata/R and some Python. I'd say I'm very proficient in R.
    Research Interests: Labor, Household Finance, Econometrics, Public Policy

    Concerns/Questions:
    1. I have no idea which schools I should target or which schools I could plausibly target. I last thought about graduate school ~9 months ago or so - I try not to think about such things when I'm "in the trenches", it produces unnecessary stress - and my profile was much weaker 9 months ago! As a result, I'm pretty clueless about my current profile.
    2. I'm interested in profile-strengthening tips. I can take classes/courses on the side rather easily and, if I really go out of my way, from good universities. I'm interested in continuing my Math/Stats education (I don't feel satisfied yet and I love Math/Stats) while also gaining more exposure to graduate-level Economics. If you see a weakness or have a recommendation, I'd love to hear it, though I refuse to do something solely to get a LOR or an "in".
    3. The big question relates to the MA - do you think it's necessary if I want to get into top 20 programs? I suspect that it is. I have no idea though.

  2. #2
    Eager!
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    Re: Profile Evaluation - PhD in Economics

    Have you considered taking math/grad econ courses while working at the Fed? I know some Feds support this. I don't know if an MA is necessary considering you have plenty of math and econ courses (imo it is better to be working and getting paid while taking classes)

    In fact, if you still don't feel ready to apply after your Fed stint, I'd apply for RA positions for famous professors over doing an MA.

    Nice username btw - I saw GYBE live in March and they were great.
    Last edited by pulsars; 05-22-2018 at 08:41 PM.

  3. #3
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage applicant12's Avatar
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    Re: Profile Evaluation - PhD in Economics

    Why would you post this now when you'll spend the next 2 yrs at the Fed? I would only take extra math/stat if you're confident in getting As; otherwise don't. The A- in grad micro may be problematic depending on where you take it. If it's from your home institution that I haven't heard of, it's a big red flag. Generally the people coming out of the Fed's RA program seem to do well in terms of PhD admission.

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