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View Full Version : YAPET: yet another profile evaluation thread



try2
11-12-2010, 06:49 AM
Here we go:

Education: Bachelors (GPA 3.8/4.3) and Masters (3.9/4.3) from a small uni in Canada. MSc (simply pass, no distinction or merit) from a top UK uni.
Work experience: 3 years at an economic research center in a developing country.
Publications: none (research center made reports only for government and national bank, no further dissemination).
LORs: head of the research center, colleagues from government and national bank. (mid-ranking to senior officials. All LORs are from professionals, some are from academics but they did not teach me (only joint research), I don't want to get LORs from profs at schools because my last course was 4/5 years ago). Recommenders are 92.1% unknown.
GRE: V620 Q800 AWA 5? (expect at least 5, because consistently got that grade using e-rater)
Research areas: macro, but a few micro topics like coordination, rationality
Schools: WiscMad, Columbia, Penn, UCSD, Minnesota, Yale, Berkeley, LSE, UCL, Oxbridge, Michigan
(schools in italics accepted me about 5 years ago, some with funding)

Would also appreciate feedback on whether applying to MIT, Harvard (and Yale) would be a complete waste of money?

tsimonoce
11-12-2010, 06:57 AM
It will very much depend on the strength and the credibility of your LORs. You have an interesting background in research. But why not apply? It's worth knowing...

try2
11-12-2010, 07:06 AM
Thanks, tsimonoce, I've updated the profile with description of LORs.

enginecon
11-12-2010, 07:00 PM
Here we go:

Education: Bachelors (GPA 3.8/4.3) and Masters (3.9/4.3) from a small uni in Canada. MSc (simply pass, no distinction or merit) from a top UK uni.
Work experience: 3 years at an economic research center in a developing country.
Publications: none (research center made reports only for government and national bank, no further dissemination).
LORs: head of the research center, colleagues from government and national bank. (mid-ranking to senior officials. All LORs are from professionals,... Recommenders are 92.1% unknown.
GRE: V620 Q800 AWA 5? (expect at least 5, because consistently got that grade using e-rater)
Research areas: macro, but a few micro topics like coordination, rationality
Would also appreciate feedback on whether applying to MIT, Harvard (and Yale) ?

Your profile could be competitive at the highest level... but a lot will depend on you... you could drag it down to the 70-100 level also if you do not proceed carefully...

Your main weakness right now are your LOR, and apparent lack of tangible research output (in the form of some sort of paper) after several years of research... the good news is that these weakness can be addressed, if YOU proceed carefully.

1) LOR: bad idea not to include academic recommender(s)... 4/5 years isn't that long, and might be misinterpreted by the adcom or at least might be a wasted opportunity for you... you say your UK MS uni is top... you may have been taught by a well-known prof, who might remember you, or you may somehow remind him/her of you... if so this is too good to be missed... ... As for your other recommenders, they should at least have a PhD from a top program in the US/UK (regions you target), so that they can say that they know what it takes to succeed at such level and know you can...They should EMPHASIZE that point...

2) Since programs often request/allow a "writing sample" you may still have time to write a short paper describing/summarizing the most interesting findings in your professional work, and -- if possible -- mention interesting research issues/questions connected to your work.

3) If your work is related to development or can be connected to it, your best shot at a top program might be by emphasizing an interest in development (assuming this is not a total lie)... Your experience in a developing country may be turned from a potential liability into a solid asset, since it could certainly be helpful to one interested in development... Likewise, you would like to identify top programs where the faculty has shown an interest in the specific country or region you have worked on... they may perceive your presence on campus as a potentially beneficial to their own research work. This could be your (best/only) key to a place as those mentioned by you...

Best wishes.