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Thread: Profile Evaluation, Fall 2019

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Profile Evaluation, Fall 2019

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    Hi all! I have a noisy/unconventional profile, so I'm hoping to receive some thoughtful responses to help narrow down my application list. I plan to apply for Fall 2019 to test the waters, but understand that my profile will likely benefit from another year of math classes / that I may need to reapply for 2020.


    Type of Undergrad: Top 50ish State Flagship University

    Undergrad GPA (Economics major, History minor): 4.0

    Type of Grad: Grad Certificate in Data Mining (1 year program, same as undergrad)

    Grad GPA: 4.0

    GRE: 167Q/167V 4.5 AW
    (retaking in Nov. to hopefully improve Q)

    Math/Stats Courses:
    - Undergrad: (all A+) Calculus w/ Applications, Calculus I, Statistics
    - Grad: (all As): Statistical Data Mgmt I and II, Data Mining I & II
    - Non degree seeking: (taken after grad at a different State U, while working full-time): Calc II (A), Linear Algebra (A), Calc III (in progress, Fall 2018, likely will not wait for grade to apply), may take Differential Eq. and/or Real Analysis in Spring 2019 depending on how cycle goes.

    Econ Courses: (All A+s unless otherwise specified): Intro Micro, Intro Macro, Intermediate Micro (A-), Intermediate Macro, Public Finance, Urban Economics (A-), International Trade, Industrial Org, Environmental Econ

    Other Academic Stuff: skilled with predictive modelling and data mining/analysis, somewhat skilled with programming and querying

    Letters of Recommendation: 1 econ professor that I RA'ed for in grad school (will be excellent), 1 econ professor from undergrad (will be very good), 1 grad stats professor (should be strong).

    Research Experience:
    1 year of graduate-level, part-time RAing, in risk/insurance. Will end up as co-author on forthcoming paper(s).

    Teaching Experience:
    nothing formal

    Work Experience:
    1 year for non-profit (unrelated to econ); 1 year in high-level public sector consulting (tangentially related to econ)

    Research Interests:
    Housing markets; International development; Behavioral; RCTs

    - My grad program was initially supposed to be a 2-year Applied Econ program, but I left after 1 year since I determined at the time that I only wanted the Data Mining certificate (wanted to explore, travel, work in the real world, etc.)
    - No econometrics
    - Probably no grade for Calc III when I apply, and nothing past LA (no RA, no Diff Eq yet)
    - Undergrad institution rank
    - Perception of math grades, which came later in life from non degree seeking courses
    - Not a ton of research

    Schools I'm looking at:
    Wisconsin, Michigan, Duke, Brown, Ohio State, Boston College, Boston University, Texas, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Georgetown, UVa, Brown, Iowa, Illinois

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Profile Evaluation, Fall 2019

    Data mining / predictive stats courses are similar conceptually to a first/second course in linear regression, but expressed very differently than in standard econometrics. Adcoms will be concerned about your ability to transition into metrics-speak and pass first-year prelims; most students will have encountered the terms before and use their prior definitions to infer what the probabilistic/matrix expressions refer to, but you'll have nowhere to start. You'll also struggle with grad macro initially without diff equations. Grad micro may or may not be an issue depending on how rigorous your undergrad intermediate course is. I'd say the institution for the math/econ courses are less of an issue; 4.0/4.0 in a state flagship econ program and then a grad stats program is a very strong signal of problem-solving ability and work ethic. Problem is that you'll have some material to catch up on all three core sequences if you enroll next year, and top/mid-tier programs may be wary of providing you first-year funding if there's a high chance of you dropping/failing out. Some departments in public institutions are particularly concerned with attrition due to internal regulations/scrutiny.

    I think 1 extra year of coursework may help a lot with your chances; you can possibly take some courses in econometrics and game theory while getting paid for RA work (which you also need more of, but this is a secondary concern for your range). But in either case, no harm in applying; I'd just suggest that if you don't get admitted with funding, take an extra year and aim for the same range of programs rather than settling for lower-ranked programs or an unfunded offer.

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