Once you have 50 posts (I believe its 50) nothing gets flagged for moderation. Until then, multiple posts within a short time frame, quoting others, and urls get flagged. Chill.
(3/7) Since my main goal is to go to the best PhD program I can get into (dreaming of Harvard and MIT), I know I need to take a Master's degree in Economics. Lucky for me, UH Manoa is changing their Master's program to suit schedules for people who have jobs, meaning Friday evening and all day Saturday classes. I thought this would allow me to take a math course during each of the four semesters, and I plan to take three math courses next summer (Calculus IV, Linear Alg/Diff Eq, Intro to Advanced Math).
This is exactly the kind of background material that will help people give you good advice. Here are a few initial thoughts.
- Go talk to whatever faculty members you know best in Hawaii. They'll know you better than anonymous people on the internet.
- Look at where the folks in Hawaii got their PhDs. That will give you an idea of which rank schools they hire from.
- If you want to do the master's route in Hawaii, consider the Master's Degree on the Doctoral Track.
- Before you sign up for a master's program, ask to see a list of which PhD programs students have gone on to.
- Your grades are not competitive for good PhD programs, as you understand.
- Your record does not look like one that is anywhere near what Harvard or MIT want. I don't think that your record is repairable with a master's from Hawaii.
- Basically, you will need letters of recommendation that say "dogbones is one of the best students I have ever seen."
- Interning at the CIA is extremely unlikely to help your application. A summer internship at a Fed might, but only a little. You need letters of recommendation from economists who regularly publish academic material. Folks at the CIA don't generally do this. (Those at the Fed do.)
- An MBA will help not whatsoever.
Hawaii offers a math review session during the summer. You might want to try and talk your way into this. Not so much to review math, but because it will be an opportunity to learn more about what graduate training in economics is like and whether getting an econ PhD should be your goal.
startz: Thank you for your ideas, it's so great to have someone offer me feedback at this stage in my career.
1. Actually, I'd say half of the 20 or so Econ faculty at UH Manoa know me personally (since I was an eager Econ major & doctoral program admit in 2013).
2. Actually, the faculty at UH Manoa are amazing, there's Princeton, Rice, Caltech, Columbia, UPenn, Berkeley, Michigan, and more among others. Which is one reason why I want to get my PhD on the mainland, because nobody in the dept. has a PhD from Hawaii and I understand that people don't really select from their own crop to serve on faculty unless it's a top school.
3. I'd consider it, but it's one of the last places I'd want to get a PhD. I don't even think it pays a stipend, in addition to making it extremely difficult to work as a professor at UH Manoa afterwards.
4. I'm all for the MA at UH Manoa because I've been informally accepted already and it's the only respectable Econ MA program in Hawaii where I live. Otherwise I'd have to do online since I can't afford to live outside of Hawaii, and online programs like Johns Hopkins are also expensive in themselves.
5. Yes, my undergraduate GPA wasn't good, but it's good enough to have a compelling comeback in my MA program and then be admitted, provided there are other very positive factors.
6. You might be right, but shoot for the stars and I'll land on the moon, right? I find it highly motivating to make Harvard & MIT my target schools too, which helps me learn the material with a lot of zest.
7. I think I might be able to get letters like that with some publications and a cum laude GPA.
8. I tried to contact the Fed and ask them what their acceptance rate was and what would make me a more competitive applicant. After 3 emails, the email they provided said to email this lady called Brittney, who I did email and haven't heard back from yet. I emailed her over a month ago. Not good with follow up...
9. I thought an MBA would give me a broader worldview, and I want to be an entrepreneur at a later point in my life too anyway!
Yes, I've been to the math review session back in 2012, and it was decent. But I'm learning a whole lot more now in my weekends and evenings...
Also, I may have sounded too discouraging. A summer internship could be very valuable in learning stuff, including how interested you are in doing economics. They're just not likely to do a huge amount of good as a credential for getting into graduate school.
Moreover, I’m confident, at this point, to recommend you go work for 3 or 4 years instead of undertaking expensive degrees. If you still are interested, pursue it then.
tm_member: I have worked for 4 years now in insurance sales since finishing college, and it has helped me tremendously. I had lots of good mentoring and learned from different coaching programs. I've heard it before when people say a degree won't help you do something, but the something that I want to do is understand and experience business from a serious perspective with rigor. And an online MBA is perfect for me, and I've seen it with my own two eyes in the insurance business of working with small business owners and HR/CFO/Controllers of larger companies, that an MBA would definitely serve me well and give me structure and credentials for my future.
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