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Thread: Profile eval - upcoming cycle (Canadian undergrad)

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage Elliephant's Avatar
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    Profile eval - upcoming cycle (Canadian undergrad)

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    Applying in fall 2010 for fall 2011 matriculation. The usual deal... your thoughts are appreciated.

    Type of Undergrad: business
    Undergrad GPA: 3.9/4.0; econ GPA 4.0
    Type of Grad: none
    Grad GPA: N/A
    GRE/TOEFL: Q760 V730 A6.0 a year ago; will retake and can definitely score Q800

    Math Courses: calc I and II (A, A), stats (A+), algebra I (A+), algebra II (in progress), calc III (multivariate - next fall), real analysis I (next fall)
    Econ Courses (UG): intro micro, intro macro, international econ, advanced micro (taken without intermediate) are all A+; did a term in China's top econ department: trade (90), information econ (91), Chinese development (93), urban and regional econ (98); currently doing advanced macro, metrics, and supply-side macro; next year will do applied metrics (forecasting) and managerial econ
    Grad courses: just some MBA stuff
    Other Courses: lots of business/finance type stuff plus a couple of languages, all A or higher

    Letters of Recommendation: micro prof (reasonably well-known in IO and a past department chair, but cannot say much about me except "excellent student, came into my Varian-based course without intermediate micro or calc and still scored 100%"); research supervisor in Beijing (used to be tenured at UNC, had Michael Grossman as thesis advisor, knows me quite well); and one more not sure about yet
    Research Experience: summer fellow at an econ research institute in Beijing, briefly RA at my home school, two conference presentations of my own independent papers (one of them is the Canadian Association of Economics annual meeting)
    Teaching Experience: none; possibly will grade/TA introductory micro in the fall
    Research Interests: health, education, some development, lots of micro stuff
    Statement of Purpose: not done yet but should be reasonably good

    Other: my uni absolutely stinks for economics but the business school is top 30 worldwide and one of the most competitive undergrads in Canada. OTOH as far as I know I am the only undergrad from our econ department ever to have a paper accepted for conference presentation.
    Concerns: credibility of LORs; insufficient math background; shaky research background

    Applying to: Canadian MAs (Toronto, UBC, Queen's) and some top 20 PhDs (a few econ departments and a few health policy departments; including the top 10), but will do an MA if no good offers and try again in 2011

    Very many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    _nanashi
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    I will be extremely surprised if at least one of the Canadian M.A's will not take you. I'd guess the only reason they wouldn't take you is they assumed you'll get offers elsewhere. If you were at UBC and had that kind of averages, with the right letters you'd probably have a reasonable shot at a top 10 (assuming you applied to all of them), despite not having R.A. I think a top 20 will take you, but it really depends if you can get good letters from the right people.

  3. #3
    buzios
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    You have all the standard math courses and good grades.
    I imagine admission to top 20 schools will largely depend on the quality of your LORs, also conditional upon the your new GRE score and the grades you get in analysis and to a lesser extent multivariable calc(i think)
    I agree with Nanashi in that you seem to a perfect candidate for masters programs though, so I wouldn't worry about that.

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage Elliephant's Avatar
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    Thanks Nanashi, art. I'm not too worried about the MAs as I have seen people with less consistent profiles get admitted. Ideally, though, I'd like to skip the MA altogether and head directly for the PhD, which is looking pretty questionable.

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    Muzzled.
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    You look great. Do well in RA and you have a shot at top 20s. U of T and UBC is looking better these days.

  6. #6
    _nanashi
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    Thanks Nanashi, art. I'm not too worried about the MAs as I have seen people with less consistent profiles get admitted. Ideally, though, I'd like to skip the MA altogether and head directly for the PhD, which is looking pretty questionable.
    With your GRE, and a 100 in Micro, I think you have a pretty good shot. From what I've just observed having 100s or really anything well above 90 from top tier Canadian schools would be taken seriously. If your school is one of the top Business schools in Canada, its likely to have a tier 2 econ PhD program, and most of those have researchers that have one or two respectable publications. (Really the academic world is smaller than you think, decent active professors usually have one or two contacts everywhere).

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage Elliephant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanashi View Post
    If your school is one of the top Business schools in Canada, its likely to have a tier 2 econ PhD program, and most of those have researchers that have one or two respectable publications.
    Unfortunately that couldn't be further from the truth. Our econ department barely breaks top 15 in Canada, and is way past 150 globally. It's been looking up in recent years - new hires have come increasingly out of good places like Princeton etc. - but is still very, very far from stellar. The b-school is taken very seriously but even its econ faculty are so-so at best. I was told by one of them to turn my econometric research project into "more of a qualitative, institutional assessment, which is the kind of work I normally do".

    If things work out I will have one LOR from one of those fresh Princeton PhDs, but quite frankly I don't have a lot of time left to make a good impression. Should have transferred out to econ/math after first year

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    _nanashi
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    Are you in McGill by any chance?

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage Elliephant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanashi View Post
    Are you in McGill by any chance?
    Nope, elsewhere.

  10. #10
    Eager!
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    Haha.. I'm trying to guess the program as well. Why is it that everyone leaves out the name of the schools they are at? To maintain anonymity? I'm easily identifiable in my department, I think.
    Attending: Queen's MA 2010.

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