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!