Your specific research interests will likely change but I'd be less certain your broad career goals will change. Therefore, I'd recommend UMD or Georgetown.
Here are my options:
- Georgetown admitted, fully funded
- Wisconsin waitlisted, but likely admission
- Maryland waitlisted, unsure of admission
- UCLA waitlisted, unsure of admission, but would likely be without funding
I expect to hear about waitlists this weekend, before I need to make a decision Monday.
Interests: urban economics, real estate finance, and more broadly, applied micro
Job hopes: federal government (Fed, Census, etc.), tech firm, or think tank
I think UCLA and Wisconsin might have the best opportunities for urban and real estate. Both have big real estate teams in their business schools. Theres a recently-tenured associate professor at Wisconsin, who does my exact urban interests and seems interested in working with me. However, Im very concerned about living in a small town like Madison for the next six years and much prefer the DC area.
For my job interests (non-academic), the placements at all the schools seem fairly similar, so I'm wondering if rank matters much? Also, how important is it to be at a school with a professor doing the exact research you want to pursue rather than just something similar?
I would echo the above statement, but wouldn't be doing my duty if I didn't defend Madison as more than just a "small town". Obviously it's no DC, and if you want to do Federal government or think tank stuff it's hard to do better location-wise than Maryland or Georgetown, but Madison is the state capitol and a top-tier college city. It's a pretty great place to live, as long as you can deal with some cold, and you'll find it near the top of pretty much every "Best Cities to Live In" list.
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