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Thread: Profiles and Results 2019

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    Profiles and Results 2019

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    Past threads like this have been very helpful for applicants like myself, so let's keep the tradition alive!

    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad:
    Undergrad GPA:
    Type of Grad:
    Grad GPA:
    GRE:
    Math Courses:
    Econ Courses:
    Other Courses:
    Letters of Recommendation:
    Research Experience:
    Teaching Experience:
    Research Interests:
    SOP:
    Other:

    RESULTS:
    Acceptances:
    Waitlists:
    Rejections:
    Pending:
    Attending:
    Comments:

    What would you have done differently?

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    Re: Profiles and Results 2019

    Without revealing too much about myself;

    Type of Undergrad:

    • BA Hons. Econ from average program in Canada (3.7< GPA)
    • BMath Hons. Stats from Top 2 program in Canada (2.5> GPA)


    GRE:
    167 Q

    Letters of Recommendation:
    • Two undergraduate professors from Econ program


    Research Experience:

    • 1 year RA at central bank


    Teaching Experience:

    • 8 months TA for 3rd year econometrics


    Research Interests:
    Econometric Theory, Time Series Econometrics, Macroeconomic Modelling

    RESULTS:
    Acceptances:
    3 (2 Top 3 programs in Canada, 1 backup school)
    Pending: 1 (US School in Top 25)

    Rejections:
    4 (3 US in Top 20, 1 Top 2 program in Canada)
    Attending:
    Top 2 program in Canada

    To do for next year:


    • Aimed too high, probably will apply to greater range of US schools (Top 35)
    • Will upgrade GRE score




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    Re: Profiles and Results 2019

    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad: Top 10 USNEWS U.S. National University
    Undergrad GPA: 4.0
    Type of Grad: N/A
    Grad GPA: N/A
    GRE: 166V/168Q/5.5W
    Math Courses: Calc III (A), Linear Algebra (A+), Diffeq (A), Probability (A+), Statistics (A+), Intro to Proofs (A+), Analysis 1 (A+), Abstract Algebra 1 (A+), Stochastic Processes (A+), Game Theory (A).
    Econ Courses: Intermediate Micro I&II (A, A) + Macro (A+) + Metrics (A+), MA Microeconometrics (A+), PhD Micro 1 (A), Research Independent Study (A) + Thesis courses (A+).
    Other Courses: A couple of CS courses.
    Letters of Recommendation: 1 from research independent study instructor + thesis advisor, 1 from MA Econometrics instructor, 1 from undergrad metrics instructor.
    Research Experience: A summer of Math/Sociology interdisciplinary data analysis project using basic machine learning techniques, RAd one year for a policy lab in the econ department, RA'd one semester for the first letter writer, RA'd one summer for the second, ongoing senior thesis.
    Teaching Experience: Tutored & graded for multivariable calc + linear algebra for 3 semesters. TA'd one semester of undergrad metrics for third letter writer.
    Research Interests: IO, health, trade, but I'm open!
    SOP: Pretty generic. Similar template for all schools except for one school-specific paragraph where I mentioned the research centers, departmental strengths, etc.
    Other: Some departmental nominations for the best few econ students, Phi Beta Kappa.

    RESULTS:
    Acceptances: Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Chicago, Michigan, Wisconsin, UCLA, Duke.
    Waitlists: Yale, Northwestern, Wharton Applied Econ
    Rejections: Berkeley, NYU, Columbia, Penn, NYU Stern Econ
    Pending:
    Attending: Harvard
    Comments: I started economics relatively late (took my first course as a sophomore "for fun" before deciding to go to grad school in my junior year), so I had to do a lot of catching up for RA experience, economics elective courses, etc. But it was only after exploring other options that I realized I wanted to go to grad school in economics, so it's all worked out.

    What would you have done differently? I would not have procrastinated on my NSF application and missed the deadline (which was partially why I didn't apply to MIT). Also, maybe I should have worked as a full-time research assistant for an economics professor before applying. My application outcomes probably would not have been that much different, but I think I would have had more time to develop a more concrete research agenda coming into grad school.
    Last edited by pulsars; 04-16-2019 at 12:19 AM.

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    Re: Profiles and Results 2019

    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad: R2 State School, Pure Econ
    Undergrad GPA: 3.76
    Type of Grad: R2 State School (same school), Pure Econ
    Grad GPA: 3.97
    GRE: 168Q/169V
    Math Courses: Calc I (C+), Calc II (B+), Calc III (A), Linear Algebra (A), ODEs (A), Foundations of Analysis (A), Probability Theory (A), Linear Regression & Time Series (A-)
    Econ Courses: PhD Micro I (A-), PhD Metrics I-III (A, A, A), Advanced Macro (A), Mathematical Econ I-II (A, A), IO/Game Theory (A), Natural Resource Econ (A)
    Other Courses: Fundamentals of GIS (A)
    Letters of Recommendation: Editor of top field journal in unrelated field & thesis co-adviser, PhD Metrics prof & co-adviser, Natural Resource Econ prof who moved to a better ranked university last year
    Research Experience: Been doing energy and environmental policy work since I was a sophomore though not at any widely-known institutions. One co-authored journal article in a low ranking journal plus my thesis.
    Teaching Experience: TA for Econ 101 and for undergrad Metrics, grader for an International Econ class
    Research Interests: Political economy of environmental and resource policy (+ env/resource econ more generally)
    SOP: Emphasized my years of policy research and experience within my research area, noting that research opportunities were not ubiquitous at my undergrad institution but I took advantage of everything that came my way. Also played up the fact that I got A's in the entire PhD metrics sequence at my university as a master's student.
    Other: Presented at some non-major conferences and already had an invited lecture to a public policy seminar because of some policy work I did

    RESULTS:
    Acceptances: UC Berkeley ARE ($, pulled in off waitlist), Cornell AEM ($$$), UW-Madison AAE ($$), UC Davis ARE ($$), NC State (?)
    Waitlists: UPenn Wharton
    Rejections: UCSB Bren
    Pending:
    Attending: UC Berkeley ARE
    Comments: It's the best ARE program there is, so I'm thrilled! In the end, deciding between Berkeley, Cornell, and UW-Madison was incredibly stressful and difficult.

    What would you have done differently?

    I am really happy with my results because I was only expecting to get into one or maybe two programs rather than four. Not only that, but Cornell and UW Madison were offering a lot to try to sway me. I was honestly shocked at how much the universities competed for students. Since I did better than expected, I probably should have tried sending some applications to top 10 pure econ programs with environmental and resource faculty, but I think I'll enjoy the culture of the Ag&Resource school better anyway.

    I would advise students from non-prestigious state universities and with non-traditional research experience not to sell yourself short! Faculty are impressed by research even when it isn't published in economics journals.

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    Re: Profiles and Results 2019

    Type of Undergrad: B.A. Economics with Honors, B.A Math (Top 15 Public University, top 15 econ dept)
    Undergrad GPA: 3.68 overall, 3.7 in major
    Type of Grad:N/A
    Grad GPA: N/A
    GRE: 167 V, 170Q, 5.5 W
    Math Courses: Multivariable Calculus (C, first semester of freshman year was rough), Linear Algebra and Differential Equations (A), Real Analysis (A), Complex/Functional Analysis (B), Math Logic (A), Modern Algebra (A), Prob Theory (B), Math of Finance (Stochastic Calculus, A-)
    Econ Courses (undergrad+grad): Honors Macro (A-), Honors Micro(A), Intro Metrics (A), Game Theory (A), Honors Thesis (A-), Behavioral Econ (A), PhD Econometrics (B), International Econ (A-), Numerical Methods for Macro (A-)
    Further Edu: A couple Post-Bacc classes at top 10 econ university
    Letters of Recommendation: Thesis advisor (very prominent macroeconomist/econometrician), one very strong letter from the labor economist I RA for at a Fed Bank,
    one strong letter from the econometrician I RA for at a Fed Bank

    Research Experience: Full time RA in the research department at a Fed bank for 3 years, extensive experience in a variety of research projects, coauthored paper in progress, many independent write-ups, but no fully independent, full research projects.
    Teaching Experience: N/A
    Research Interests: Macro/empirical labor, game theory, behavioral
    Statement of Purpose: Fairly strong I think, edited by professors in various top departments, each tailored to the specific school (but no requests to work with specific profs)

    RESULTS:
    Acceptances: Minnesota, Maryland, UCSD, (Columbia Masters, LSE Masters, Wisconsin Masters, Chicago Masters)
    Waitlists: Cornell, Michigan
    Rejections: Duke, Penn, Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, Princeton, Brown, Northwestern, NYU,
    Pending:
    Attending: UCSD
    Comments: Overall approximately as expected, I was probably a tad optimistic with my range of schools but knew that going in.
    What would you have done differently? If I had known what I wanted to do earlier in my undergrad career it would have changed how seriously I took some courses, and what courses I took. Would have liked to have taken a first year Micro course for a serious grade, and probably cared a little more about not getting a B here and there in undergrad math classes. I don't think I would change much with my applications themselves though.

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    Re: Profiles and Results 2019

    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad:
    B.A. in Applied Math + B.A. in Economics w/ honors from US Public (in top 20 overall, top 5 public school)
    Undergrad GPA:
    3.85 (3.97 in Econ only, 3.8 in math only)
    Type of Grad:
    n/a
    Grad GPA:
    n/a
    GRE:
    V: 169 Q: 169 A: 4.5
    Math Courses:
    Real Analysis (A), Complex Analysis (A-), Abstract Algebra (A+), Numerical Analysis (A-), Linear Algebra (proof-based) (A-), Mathematical Economics (proof-based) (A-), Probability (B+) , Multivar Calc (A-), Lin Alg + Diff Eq (B+) , Calculus II (A)
    Econ Courses:
    Econometric Analysis (honors) (A-), Intermediate Micro (honors) (A), Intermediate Macro (honors) (A), Public Economics (A), Health Economics (A), Applied Econometrics (A+), Global Poverty and Impact Evaluation (A+), Mathematical Economics (proof-based) (A-), Behavioral Econ (A), Two semesters for independent Thesis (A)
    Other Courses:
    Letters of Recommendation:
    All 3 from full time RA job because no one from my undergrad days knew me well enough for a super good letter. Two were my bosses and the third was a co-author. All letter writers were juniors but from good universities and doing well. I had the same set for each school. Based on talking to my letter writers I think they were very strong. I formed pretty close relationships with my bosses/co-authors.
    Research Experience:
    Some experience from undergrad but nothing to write home about. Did an independent thesis that didn't turn out great but had interesting aspects. 2 years spent as full-time RA working for faculty at business school.
    Teaching Experience:
    Nothing I put in my applications
    Research Interests:
    Public/Spatial -- Applied Micro more broadly
    SOP:
    Generic but well written. I got the advice that a statement of purpose will rarely get you into a program but a bad one can keep you out. I think it spoke well to my history and interests, but because I applied to a lot of schools I did not tailor it to each.
    Other:
    - I am in the process of co-authoring a paper with my boss and some others. I think this likely helped quite a bit. The paper is not out yet, but some results have been presented at conferences
    - I attached my senior thesis as a writing sample for most schools.

    RESULTS:
    Acceptances:
    Princeton (waitlist to acceptance), Chicago, Wharton Applied Econ, Michigan, UCLA, Cornell, UVA
    Waitlists:
    Rejections:
    Harvard, HBS, MIT, Yale, Berkeley, Stanford, Brown, Columbia, Penn, LSE
    Pending:
    Attending:
    Princeton
    Comments:

    Better than I expected. I got the advice to apply to a lot of schools, and I am glad I did.

    What would you have done differently?
    Overall very happy. I went into undergrad pretty sure I wanted to do a PhD in econ, but I definitely didn't "learn" the way to do it until pretty late in my undergrad career. Here is full list (chronologically for when it was available to me).
    1. ** (biggest one) Gotten better grades especially in easier courses my first two years. Since my grades were always "good" (never lower than a B+), I probably got a little lazy in a couple of classes that I could have converted from B+ to A- or A- to A. My impression going into applications was that above a certain GPA cutoff (~3.8-ish) grades didn't matter. I have amended that to believe that grades matter a lot and that getting a high GPA and straight As in tough classes is likely a major determinant of outcomes.
    2. ** (second biggest one) Gotten more substantial research experience as an undergrad - I tried and failed to find good research experiences as an undergrad. I should have been more proactive about emailing faculty. I also should have independently done more coding in stata, R, python, etc. as an undergrad to make me more competitive for post-grad RA jobs
    3. Taken a grad micro course - I'm actually a little iffy on this because this is a risky move. I've heard that doing "average" in a grad micro course from a very good econ program can actually be penalized. An A in a grad micro course from a top 10 econ program certainly would have helped though.
    4. I did a bad job on my NSF - it didn't end of mattering for the schools I got accepted to, but I should have started it earlier
    5. I should have personalized my applications for each school better. I didn't realize this was standard practice and it might have mattered at the margin.

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    Re: Profiles and Results 2019


    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad:
    BS Mathematics, BA Econ, BBA General Business (all with honors) from Unranked State School
    Undergrad GPA:
    3.91

    Type of Grad:
    N/A
    Grad GPA:
    N/A

    GRE:
    161V, 170Q, 5.5AW

    Math Courses:
    Calculus I-III, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Intro to Higher Math, Intro to Analysis, Numerical Analysis, Real Analysis I & II, Topology, Intermediate Statistics, Probability Theory, Stochastic Processes (Withdrawn but still learned) (All A's)

    Econ Courses:
    Intermediate Micro, Intermediate Macro, Master's Micro, Master's Macro, Master's Econometrics II, and a bunch of undergrad electives (all A's)

    Other Courses:
    Advanced Python, Intro to Java, enough business courses to get a BBA (all A's)

    Letters of Recommendation:
    Two from econ professors, very good as I am the best student in years. One from math professor, very good.

    Research Experience:
    None

    Teaching Experience:
    None

    Research Interests:
    Behavioral, Experimental

    SOP:
    Nothing special, discussed how I started econ late, skipped a few classes (Undergrad Econometrics and Advanced Econometrics I) by challenging them.

    Other:
    I am the only econ undergrad / master's student at my school that is applying for Ph.D. programs this year.

    RESULTS:
    Acceptances:
    OSU, TAMU, ASU, GSU, UCSB, and a bunch of others lower ranked
    Waitlists:
    UCSD
    Rejections:
    Caltech
    Pending:
    None
    Attending:
    UCSB
    Comments:
    Apparently I should have focused my application higher (maybe low top 30?) but it was impossible to tell as not many students from my program ever pursue a Ph.D.

    What would you have done differently?

    I come from an unknown school, as I had no direction out of high school. I could have probably made top 20 undergrad or so out of high school. I had no research opportunities in my program, and started Econ and Math in my Junior year. I believe I placed higher than I should have given my profile, and am happy with my outcomes. I recognize that I could have spent a year or two RAing and broken top 20, maybe top 10, but it wasn't in the cards with my non-academic situation.I expect to be rejected from UCSD eventually, or at least not offered funding.
    That said, I believe my application was as strong as it could have been, if the frame of reference is the beginning of my last year in school.

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    Re: Profiles and Results 2019

    Double-posted. Deleted.
    Last edited by leolin; 04-20-2019 at 02:12 PM.

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    Re: Profiles and Results 2019


    PROFILE:

    Type of Undergrad
    : B Sci (Math) and B Econ, then Honours in Economics from top (3?) unis/eco departments in Australia. The best university in NSW, if that's not enough of a hint. All future Australian applicants I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Undergrad GPA:
    ~93/100, also 4.0/4.0 for 1 year exchange at top 50 USNews (an original public ivy)

    Type of Grad:
    Honours in Economics, not technically grad but i'll list it seperately
    Grad GPA:
    97/100, 1st in cohort, university medal.

    GRE: 170/165/6.0 - Q/V/AW

    Math Courses:
    Intro Calculus and Linear Algebra combined (2 subjects). Discrete Maths. Several Variable Calc, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Abstract Algebra, Complex Analysis, Intro Prob/Stats, Symbolic Logic, Modern Geometry, Number Theory, Real Analysis, Measure Theory and Probability (grad).
    All 90+/100 or A's, except the very first two subjects I did back in first year, which were in the 80's/100, so somewhee in the B+ to A range depending on your conversion. Average of ~91/100.

    Econ Courses:
    Micro 1 and 2, Macro 1 and 2, Game Theory, Managerial Economics, 'Organizational Economics' (really a course on monotone comparative statics), Mathematical Economics, Politics and Economics, Intro Metrics, Applied Econometrics (basically IV's, logit/probit and all that), Stats for Econometrics (a straight stats course, covering sampling distrubutions, bootstrapping and similar). All 90+/100 or A. Average ~95/100.

    Honours Econ Courses: Micro Theory, Macro Theory, Microeconometrics, Micro Theory 2 (grad).
    All 95+


    Other Courses:
    The first year computer science sequence= two subjects in C programming. Top mark in both.

    Letters of Recommendation:
    For students from countries trying to send students straight out of undergrad, these are likely very important.
    1. RA (2 years part time) and Thesis supervisor. He was top 2 PhD and Assistant Prof. Visiting Professor at top 2 for a few years. Now full Professor. Very well known. Would have been very strong letter.
    2. RA supervisor(intermittent projects) and in charge of the course I was TA for. Top 2 PhD. Relatively junior, but I would hope still quite recognizable at top 2. Strong letter.
    3. Professor for the grad Micro Theory class I took and got 100/100. Very famous market designer. Would have been strong but couldn't speak to any research experience with me.

    Research Experience:
    Honours thesis was submitted (now R&R, but this wasn't in application) at GEB. 2 years of part time RA with LOR writer #1, cumulatively maybe 1 year part time RA with #2, intermittent RA work with other professors.

    Teaching Experience:
    Extensive, although not emphasized all that much. I taught approximately 7 or 8 tutorials (~25 students) each semester for 5 semesters, ranging across 8 subjects.

    Research Interests:
    SOP was quite narrowly focused on theory of an applied flavour (game theory motivated by politics, theory incorporating behavioural aspects). Actual interests are less well-defined going into grad school.

    SOP:
    Quite specific as to all projects I worked on, otherwise just sort of rehashed interests and highlighted strong parts of resume. Very long though, although I doubt that's a real issue.

    Other:
    To everyone like me who somehow managed to not google this, always waive your rights to view submitted LOR's. I cluelessly didn't and this caused a little friction between me and one LOR writer right before applications were due. All worked out OK in the end, but still it was silly (and had no upside).

    RESULTS:
    Acceptances:
    MIT (funding waitlist), Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Berkeley, Chicago, Columbia, NYU, Northwestern Kellogg (MECS).
    Waitlists:
    MIT for funding, was eventually funded in the days before deadline
    Rejections:
    a Harvard Econ, Harvard BusEc, Stanford GSB, Wharton Applied Econ, Chicago Booth.
    Pending:
    NA
    Attending: MIT


    Comments:
    Clearly business schools didn't like me. Given the particularities of my LOR's connections and reputations, I would have guessed Harvard would have been the top 3 place with my maximal chance of admission, more than MIT and perhaps even Stanford. That was clearly wrong.

    About the MIT funding waitlist I would speculate the following: you need to show up to visit day to have a chance, you don't need to treat it like an interview (in terms of selling yourself) but do need to seem very interested and keen for the department. Telling them, if true, that you would certainly accept an offer were funding to materialise I think does increase your chances a bit. Direct appropriately your enthusiasm and ***-kissing to people that matter for admissions.

    To Australian applicants (perhaps all non US or top European masters applicants): Small sample sizes make prediction of admissions prospects quite difficult. And since RA experience is relatively scarce in Australia it's quite easy to think you've done a lot of it before getting to the US and realising many, many people admitted to top places have at least a year or two full time, often at top departments. On the other hand, the Honours year (and probably coming 1st is close to necessary for top 6 departments) is a relatively easy and cheap substitute for a foreign masters. Some time at RBA might also help, unless like me you were doing micro theory.

    What would you have done differently?
    In hindsight, since MIT worked out, almost nothing. But three days before the deadline, when I had no funded top 2 (or Stanford GSB) offer, had you asked this question I probably would have said: more RA experience for more professors (my fortune was quite directly tied to the reputation of #1, which is good at most places but perhaps some adcoms don't weight his letters so much). Perhaps if you are going to profess quite certain and narrow research interests (as I did, although that's broadened already just from visit days) then don't make those interests theory, or specifically applied theory, which has a bad reputation for placements.
    Oh, and to repeat, waive your rights to view letters. This was extraordinarily stupid of me, with no upside and almost a lot of downside.

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    Re: Profiles and Results 2019

    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad: Unranked state school (R2)
    Undergrad GPA: 3.7
    Type of Grad: Econ MS, same unranked state school
    Grad GPA: 3.97
    GRE: 168Q/169V
    Math Courses: Calc I-III (C+, B+, A), Linear Algebra (A), Diff Eq (A), Foundations of Analysis (A), Probability Theory (A), Linear Regression & Time Series (A-)
    Econ Courses: I think I was able to stand out here. My master's department didn't offer a PhD, but the Applied Econ department at the same university did. I took the first part of the PhD micro sequence (A-) for my master's micro requirement. I also took the entire metrics sequence (I-III) and got A's in all of them. In the master's I also took Macro Theory (A), IO/Game Theory (A), and Natural Resource Econ (A).
    Other Courses: Fundamentals of GIS (A)
    Letters of Recommendation: First letter writer is the editor of a top field journal (but not environment/resource/ag journal) and my thesis co-adviser. Second was the professor of the PhD metrics sequence and my other thesis co-adviser. Third was the professor for my natural resource econ class who moved to a better ranking institution last year. Not sure what they all said, but I know all these people pretty closely. My results make me think the letters must have been quite laudatory.
    Research Experience: I've been working for a local, unheard of think tank since my sophomore year of undergrad. My publications (the institution was very generous with allowing co-authors) included work on biofuels, mine reclamation, and other resource and environmental policies. On top of that, I have one publication in a low-ranked resources journal plus I'm working on my thesis, which I developed from my metrics term paper.
    Teaching Experience: TA for Econ 101 and undergrad metrics, grader for an international econ class
    Research Interests: political economy of environmental policy, plus environmental/resource economics more broadly
    SOP: The main narrative went like this: I didn't know I wanted to do a PhD until it was too late to take all the math as an undergrad, so I stuck around at my same institution to tool up on mathematics. In the meantime, I demonstrated my ability to succeed in the first year of a PhD by taking PhD courses whenever possible, including the only metrics field course my university offers. My university isn't awash with academic research opportunities, but I've seized every research opportunity that came my was since I was a young undergraduate, and in doing so I've developed a decent background in environmental and resource policy in the US. I would like to study the political economy of environmental policy.
    Other: I've presented at a few unheard of conferences, and I actually have delivered an invited lecture to a policy research seminar based on my biofuels work.

    RESULTS:
    Acceptances: UC Berkeley ARE ($, off waitlist), Cornell AEM ($$$), UW-Madison AAE ($$$), UC Davis ARE ($$), NC State (?)
    Waitlists: UPenn Wharton Applied (took myself off before final result)
    Rejections: UCSB Bren
    Pending:
    Attending: Berkeley
    Comments: I was not expecting to get into as many schools as I did, and I considered Berkeley to be a real long-shot. I suppose it was, because I slid in off the waitlist at the last second.

    What would you have done differently?
    It seems that my weaknesses mattered less than I thought they would and my strengths mattered more. My unheard of alma mater, good but not perfect grades, and lack of purely academic publications didn't seem to bother anyone at all. However, my background doing policy research on environmental topics seemed to impress people a lot, even though the think tank is not one that these professors had ever heard of. If you have any research experience at all, be sure to play it up in your SOP!

    Given that my profile was stronger than I thought, I wish I would have thrown my application to some top 10 pure econ departments with environmental and resource faculty. I thought I was shooting high as it was.

    In that same vein, I wish I would have written out my entire profile and had some professors review it before I applied. I talked about where to apply with a few professors, but they were going only off of what they knew about me anyway. My profile may have been stronger than they realized, and they may have pushed me to apply to some top 10 pure programs.

    Oh, also, I wouldn't have accidentally applied for the master's program at Bren, resulting in a frantic call to their graduate department to go back in and manually change the application


    Overall, I am VERY HAPPY about my results, I think its funny that I was rejected at Bren, and I'm excited to be attending Berkeley in the fall!

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