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Thread: Utilizing local resources in application prep

  1. #1
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    Utilizing local resources in application prep

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    I touched on this in my previous thread "Econ phd with liberal arts degree," but I figured this topic could use its own thread.

    For more on my background read the above mentioned thread but suffice it to say I'm a masters student with a liberal arts background and a few years prior to application in which i need to supplement math and econ courses. I'm already doing research for my graduate school, but there is a top 30 econ program in my current city and I'm wondering if I should reach out to them to develop my profile as an applicant. The school is my undergrad alma mater and I have immediate family members who are influential faculty, though not in the econ department.

    I was wondering if it would be possible to reach out to a professor with similar research interests to puruse potential paid or unpaid research opportunities. I could attend lecture series and get to know people in the department. Additionally since I need intemediate micro and macro, would it be a successful strategy to take these in this econ department and would this open avenues to work as an RA for a professor there. There is a significant financial calculation, as it is a private top 30 university and 2 courses would cost more than half of what my entire masters cost at a state school. If I pursued these courses at the local state school or one of the less elite private schools in my city the courses would be 1000 each, at the elite private they are 5,000 each. Any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I was wondering if it would be possible to reach out to a professor with similar research interests to puruse potential paid or unpaid research opportunities. I could attend lecture series and get to know people in the department. Additionally since I need intemediate micro and macro, would it be a successful strategy to take these in this econ department and would this open avenues to work as an RA for a professor there

    FWIW I took this approach this summer and it worked. Took Int Micro/Macro and some math courses, RA'd for a professor (unpaid). Reach out to a few profs however, as some will not respond. Also move quickly as im sure incoming PhD students will be assigned RA positions soon and they won't need you. You'll prob end up with a younger prof which is cool unless it is crucial for you to secure a #1 type recommendation letter. As for deciding which school, it depends on your target range of programs IMO. If you're looking mid-range/casting a large net like me (25-70 type programs) I'd say go to the public and ACE the coursework. If you're looking upper tier (top 20), you may need to sacrifice the money. Good luck!



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