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Thread: Profile Evaluation - Fall 2020

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Question Profile Evaluation - Fall 2020

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    PROFILE: After about 4 years in the workforce I am considering applying to a few PHD programs for the fall of 2020. My professional experience is not really related to economics (worked as Financial Advisor for an international bank in a sales role and in customer service for a large corporation).

    An Econ PHD was not something I ever considered while completing my undergrad or my masters so my resume is probably one of the weaker ones compared to everyone else one here. That being said I am trying to gauge if it is even possible/probable that I can get into a program and what steps I can take to improve my chances between now and applying.

    I graduated with a Bachelors of Science from a top 60 econ program and recently finished my masters in Finance through an online Masters program from a probably low level state school.


    Type of Undergrad: Econ
    Undergrad GPA: 3.6 / 3.9 major
    Type of Grad:Finance
    Grad GPA: 3.6

    GRE:
    V: 160 Q: 164 A: 4.5

    Math Courses:
    Calc 1 (A-), Calc 2 (A), Calc 3 (A)

    Econ Courses:

    Intermediate Micro (A), Intermediate Macro (A), Money & Banking (A), International Trade (A), International Finance (B), Applied Micro Analysis (A), Econometrics (A-), Analysis of Econ Data (A-)

    Letters of Recommendation:
    Average LORs from 3 former professors (1 from my econometrics professor and 2 from Finance professors).

    Research Experience: Absolutely none (I am open to suggestions on how to gain some between now and submitting applications)

    Teaching Experience: None

    Programming Experience: Python and R (not through formal coursework)

    Interest: Policy, Monetary Economics, Econometrics

    Applying To: You tell me

  2. #2
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    Re: Profile Evaluation - Fall 2020

    To get into any top 50 program, I would for see if you could take more math. At least Analysis and Linear Algebra, if not more. After that, I would try to see if you could do some type of research, even if it's a small project. Another thing you could do is retake your GRE (which you might have to do anyways since they expire in 5 years). I would try to get to 166 for Q, and it doesn't really matter for the rest. After all that, I would aim for top 30 schools as goal schools (UT Austin, UNC, UVA, etc...), top 40-50 schools for mid range (Washington, UC Irvine, etc...), then 1 or 2 back ups in the 70s (Oregon, Northeastern, etc...).

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    Re: Profile Evaluation - Fall 2020

    The finance/business work experience and online master's won't help you at all for econ admissions. In fact, they work against you because it's not clear why you would now want to do a PhD in Econ.

    On the upside, your GRE and math grades aren't bad. Although, you need a few more classes.

    To credibly signal a desire to do a PhD in Econ, you need to do a good master's in econ (search the forum for suggestions) or apply to become a research assistant (with professors, think tanks, the FED, and so on). Ideally, both.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation - Fall 2020

    Thanks TestMagic Guru. Researching with a professors is difficult since I am quite a few years removed from when I completed Economics degree and no longer live where I went to college. I was looking at the FED's research assistant program and it seems like a great way to gain experience but I think my lack of research might make it difficult for me to get in the door. Do you have an idea how competitive these positions are?

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    Re: Profile Evaluation - Fall 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Abuelo View Post
    Thanks TestMagic Guru. Researching with a professors is difficult since I am quite a few years removed from when I completed Economics degree and no longer live where I went to college. I was looking at the FED's research assistant program and it seems like a great way to gain experience but I think my lack of research might make it difficult for me to get in the door. Do you have an idea how competitive these positions are?
    Extremely competitive. You will need good performance in a good master's (Duke, NYU, programs in Europe, and so on) to have a good shot.

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