The advantage of another year of RA is that the professor will know much better what to say about you than after a few months. A letter from a full professor at a top five potentially outweighs a lot of the rest of the record.
- BSc Econ & BSc Applied Math Top 10 school in Europe/Best in country. Did myself a disfavour by going for difficult and harshly graded courses and other commitments (see later) and ended up with definitely above average but not stellar grades. Somewhere around top 15% of overall GPAs, grades in most exams Top 15% or better, never worse than top 30%. I gather in the US this would be mostly As, where I'm from it certainly isn't.
- MSc at Top UK school w Distinction
- Started work as Full time RA in US for well known full professor at Top 5 US School.
Math courses: A lot with a mixed bunch of grades - all of them above average, but in an exam where the median is a D+ a B- is still a B-. High grades in real analysis though if that's worth anything. Grades in Europe are different from the US is my excuse, I guess.
Econ courses: Pretty much the whole lot with a focus on financial economics, more consistently good grades.
Letters: Hopefully my current supervisor and some professors from my master's who have agreed to write letters that should be good, I hope.
Other: While we don't have collegiate sports like in the US in Europe, I was training and competing at the level of a decent D1 athlete throughout my studies and spending a fair amount of my time on this. Have some top 5 finishes at a national level to show for it.
Concerns: Obviously grades are a major concern. Grading in Europe is different from the US where apparently an A is frequently the median grade.
Might apply this year, might apply next year - what is the marginal value of working an additional year as RA given that I can't really change anything about my profile?
No idea what US schools are realistic to aim for and strongly considering a bunch of schools in Europe closer to home where I know I have strong chances of getting into at least some places.
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