PDA

View Full Version : Diversity Statements for undiverse applicants?



rthunder27
11-12-2010, 04:49 PM
This weekend I'm (finally) going to buckle down and finish off the applications that are due December 1st (UCLA, Princeton and Stanford), so this means finally writing a diversity statement. My problem is that demographically speaking I am incredibly boring. White male, upper middle class family, born and raised in the US north east, with no disabilities or anything to overcome. So what do I talk about?

My only idea is to focus on my intellectual/academic diversity, since my undergrad and first masters are both in Electrical Engineering, I approach economics from a slightly different angle. Does anyone think this is a valid approach?

tsimonoce
11-12-2010, 06:02 PM
Same problem. But I thought one was only required for Berkeley. Now you're scaring me.

kevinp123
11-12-2010, 06:08 PM
Yes, I think that would probably make a good diversity statement, if you can provide some specific examples of exactly how electrical engineering has affected your economic reasoning.

AREStudentHopeful
11-12-2010, 10:01 PM
But I thought one was only required for Berkeley. Now you're scaring me.

There are a couple of UC schools that require something along those lines. I'm still scratching my head as I have all the problems that rthunder has, only without the interesting background (straight econ for me). The best thing I could think of is the wide variety of research topics I've covered in my masters program because of being in an ARE department and RAing for multiple professors...

Andronicus
11-12-2010, 10:35 PM
I was in a similar situation. I think I wrote something about being homeschooled from 1st grade through high school.

Another option is to write that you are ideally suited to be the person that everyone else is different from.

hchoi02
11-13-2010, 01:11 AM
This weekend I'm (finally) going to buckle down and finish off the applications that are due December 1st (UCLA, Princeton and Stanford), so this means finally writing a diversity statement.

I thought the deadline for Princeton was 12/31?
admissions-FAQ (http://www.princeton.edu/economics/graduate/admissions-faq/)

rthunder27
11-13-2010, 02:30 AM
Yea, but there is a discount on the fee if submitted by 12/1. And I have more applications due throughout the month and especially on 12/31, so I'm forcing myself to wrap it up by thinking its deadline is firmly 12/01.

hchoi02
11-13-2010, 02:38 AM
Oooh you got me. :) Apparently someone seems to be much more well-prepared than me ! Good luck with your applications!

Elliephant
11-13-2010, 02:59 AM
Yea, but there is a discount on the fee if submitted by 12/1. And I have more applications due throughout the month and especially on 12/31, so I'm forcing myself to wrap it up by thinking its deadline is firmly 12/01.

Ditto for Stanford, I hope? Their website says December 14.

Coming from a non-math/econ background is probably a good thing to talk about if you don't have anything biographical to talk about. I imagine you've had a few years of work experience - it might be worth talking about those as well. (Though you shouldn't take my word for it, because I lack the experience of being a middle-class, white American male...)

taurenchieftain
11-13-2010, 04:07 AM
I think that statement is a school requirement, not an econ deparment requirement. And I guess that the econ professors will not care about that statement. After all, the top programs are risk-averse and are looking for undiverse applicants in the first place. Look at the harvard job market kids, half of them are:
BAS in Math and Economics, Harvard College\MIT
Summa\Magna Cum Laude
No job experience but various research assistantships
And I bet all their coursework are very similar.
Will professors look favorable in you for being a football player? I doubt it.

rthunder27
11-13-2010, 04:15 AM
Stanford GSB, not regular econ is 12/01 I believe.

Yea, I'm pretty sure the diversity statement is used more for university-wide scholarship considerations and such, and I really doubt the econ ad coms actually read it. But who knows, might as well put a solid effort into it anyway.

tsimonoce
11-13-2010, 04:21 AM
But no top ten schools require it besides Berkeley right?

taurenchieftain
11-13-2010, 04:33 AM
In the diversity statement, I think you will be better off talking about the "undiverse" research you have done or have been exposed to, as your "diversity", rather than your experience saving lives in Africa. Even if the professors actually read it, they will like that better.

Elliephant
11-13-2010, 04:47 AM
In the diversity statement, I think you will be better off talking about the "undiverse" research you have done or have been exposed to, as your "diversity", rather than your experience saving lives in Africa. Even if the professors actually read it, they will like that better.

Really? I've been told Berkeley takes the statement pretty seriously (though I am not sure whether that reference was to the department or to the school at large).

And what about people who really do have funky backgrounds as far as the typical white Harvard College grads go? I've been through two immigrations (and I'm talking long-haul stuff, not Germany to Switzerland), speak multiple languages, have done the whole volunteering abroad thing (I headed up the project), etc. My research interests have, to an extent, been informed by some of those experiences. Do you think all those things are less relevant than what you call "undiverse research"? I thought the latter is what the SOP is for.

oyvey
11-14-2010, 02:39 PM
i just tried to be funny, what else can you do, really?