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View Full Version : Slightly atypical profile? Please provide opinions / advices.



smurf
11-04-2010, 04:19 PM
I have been out of school for 4 years and working in the private sector, so my profile has typical and untypical elements... I'm even confused about what elements help, what don't.


Areas of Interest:
Financial Economics, Econometrics, Microtheory

Undergraduate:
School: International student, good LAC (good in science)
Grades: 3.8 overall, >3.95 Math but only 3.7 Econ
Courses: We do not have A+, but I did very well for all my Math courses (top or one of top scorers), including all Stat courses (including Probability Theory, Math Stats), Real Analysis, Advanced Real Analysis (including Lebesgue theory and measure theory).

Extra Math / Computer Science courses that might be helpful that I did: Math Modeling, Scientific Programming.

I had slightly more problems with Economics courses, especially those that are more 'subjective' (more essay writing / non theory classes). For standard classes, I got As in Micro, Macro, A- in Advanced Econometrics, also Finance. However, only B+ in Econometrics. To be honest, I feel like I didn't learn the theory in the Econometrics classes since all the math was skipped, and the grade depended on papers in which we just 'applied' techniques.

This is probably the reason that led me to try to do more Econometrics graduate courses to see if things are different then.

Graduate courses:
I took a few classes at a top 5 institution in my own time (while working) and got As in the following:
Econometrics I & II, Microtheory III & IV (I audited / self-studied Micro I & II)
Will take: Time Series

Research experience:
- Did an REU on an applied math project at a good institution outside of school and went to a conference
- Did an Economics honor thesis

I don't see this as a lot. This is probably a weak point. However, with regard to financial economics topics, my work experience does give me more ideas for research.

Teaching Experience:
I was the TA for various Math, Econ and even Computer Science classes. I would say that teaching is smth I do enjoy and can do well.

LORs:
Here is what I'm concerned about too. If I pick a Math prof from my undergrad, chances are that it'll be good as a few of them all said they wanted me to go to a top phd program (of any kind, Math or non-Math). However, I am not as certain about Econ letters, since I didn't do that much Econ research in undergrad and I don't think anyone of them is particularly 'famous' or 'known'.

Awards:
- Regional Math team contest, Phi Beta Kappa, some department award. Various national awards in high school.

GRE: 800 Q, 590 V, 6 AWA

SoP: will address my years out of school and graduate classes and desire to go back

Since I could deal with classes at a good (top) institution, I'm hoping I can get in one. However, my profile isn't exactly typical or all that well-rounded.

Opinions? Advices?

smurf
11-04-2010, 08:18 PM
Can a moderator please help me change the title to become "Slightly atypical profile? A shot at the top 5? Suggestions?"

Thanks!

TA89
11-04-2010, 08:23 PM
You aced the Micro sequence and Metrics sequence at a T5. You also have a solid math background. It would seem that you have a very good chance anywhere.

smurf
11-04-2010, 08:29 PM
Thanks for saying that TA89. I am not sure if just having some good grades is enough though. I probably proved that even though I was out of school for a while, I can still do classes. However, my Econ / research during undergrad wasn't perfect, and most of all my LORs will probably still just come from undergrad... Though they know me well enough, I didn't do much research with any of them, except for my thesis advisor who was a brand new assistant professor at the time.

whatdoido
11-04-2010, 08:37 PM
Just to be clear, those courses, Econometrics I and II and Micro III and IV that you took at a top 5, were PhD courses right?

smurf
11-04-2010, 08:51 PM
^
Yes...

santacanyon
11-05-2010, 02:10 AM
you sound like somebody who should be at a top 5 school. so when you said you are not a typical student you meant you are smart enough to ace t5 core while working? just kidding. i am just jealous of your profile.

smurf
11-05-2010, 03:06 PM
^
Oh no... that's not what I meant at all. I just thought that it's not typical to leave school (to work in the private sector) for 4 years then go back, especially in Economics. Also, if you just look at my undergraduate record alone, it's not bad but I thought it didn't quite stand out, so even though I did think about trying for the best schools I could, I sort of put that off. Also, again, my LoRs will probably not come from anyone famous, or anyone that I did substantial amount of work with. Will some grad scores alone make a difference? I wasn't happy with some of my undergraduate econ classes, but now I think I'm inspired again.

Anything I can do to make my case a more well-rounded case? Any suggestions?

santacanyon
11-05-2010, 05:30 PM
you have done well in grad courses at top 5. i feel like that alone signals that you are able to handle their course load. research is a tricky business but you probably have as much as many of these top students have anyway (if not more from your work).

minisini
11-05-2010, 07:15 PM
Looks like you have had no work experience. Get some work in a pharmacy or a hospital to bulk it up a bit, otherwise good CV...

moneyandcredit
11-05-2010, 07:52 PM
Looks like you have had no work experience. Get some work in a pharmacy or a hospital to bulk it up a bit, otherwise good CV...
Wrong forum, friend. I didn't even know TestMagic had a med school forum.

buzios
11-06-2010, 10:27 PM
Looks like you have had no work experience. Get some work in a pharmacy or a hospital to bulk it up a bit, otherwise good CV...

haha. no...

econornot
11-07-2010, 12:13 AM
Just out of curiosity, how did the OP managed to take PhD courses from a top 5 school? You mean these schools enroll people just to take one or two modules?
If that's really the case, you should simply go to the lecturer(s) of those courses (and in a top 5 school, phd courses are taught by some big names with a probability of 1) for LOR (which I am sure they will be happy to help you since you did so well for their courses) and the least you can get is an admission from that top 5 school!

Elliephant
11-07-2010, 02:14 AM
^
Oh no... that's not what I meant at all. I just thought that it's not typical to leave school (to work in the private sector) for 4 years then go back, especially in Economics.

Actually, this happens quite a lot. Increasingly so since the bust of 2008, I think, though that conjecture is based on anecdotal evidence.

The biggest "hole" in your profile, as far as TM advice goes, is probably research. But if you're applying this cycle, there's not much you can do to fill that in. If I were in your shoes I'd aim high and hope for the best.