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Thread: Yes! Another Profile Evaluation Please

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Jul 2019
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    Talking Yes! Another Profile Evaluation Please

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    Hello everyone,

    I have been a long-time lurker on this forum and finally made up my mind to post my profile for evaluation! I graduated in 2017 and am currently half way through my two-year predoctoral RA fellowship. I plan to apply to PhD programs in Economics and Finance this cycle (will post the same thread in the PhD in Business forum as well ). Below is my profile. Please share your thoughts. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!


    Type of Undergrad: State school, ranked 70-80ish on U.S. News

    BS in Economics, BA in Math

    Undergrad GPA:
    Overall: 3.96 | Economics: 4.00 | Math: 3.85

    Type of Grad:

    Grad GPA:

    V160 | Q168 | AW (still waiting for my writing score this time, last time I took GRE I got a 4)

    Math Courses:
    Calculus III (A), Linear Algebra (A), Probability (A), Mathematical Statistics (A), Number Systems (A, this is the intro to proofs class in my school), Ordinary Differential Equation (A-), Real Analysis I (B+), Real Analysis II (A)

    Econ Courses:
    Intermediate Micro (A), Intermediate Macro (A), Monetary Economics (A), Intro to Econometrics (A, first part of Econometrics), Economic Forecasting (A, second part of Econometrics), Advanced Macroeconomics (A), Risk Management and Insurance (A), Research Seminar (A), Honors Thesis I-II (A, A)

    Finance Courses:
    Financial Management (A), Investment (A)
    Research Experience:
    1) Currently a full-time research assistant to two finance professors working on monetary policy and banking related projects. The department is ranked among top 5 in finance according to the U.S. News. I have been on this job for a year and will stay here for another year.

    2) 1.5 years of research assistantship to one of my undergraduate econ professors. The research I worked on was related to behavioral and experimental economics.
    3) Honors thesis project related to household finance. Letters of Recommendation:
    1) and 2) from the two finance professors from my full-time RA job mentioned above. They are both tenured professors and well-respected in their fields of expertise. I hope I can get two strong letters from them.

    3) from the econ professor I RA for in college (same professor mentioned in research experience (2) above). The professor is also my honors thesis advisor. He is a junior professor but got his PhD from top 2. Should be a very strong letter.

    4) from the Economics Department Chair from my undergraduate school. I took Intermediate and Advanced Macro with him. He is also the director of the senior honors thesis program. He could speak of my academic abilities. Should be a decent letter.

    Teaching Experience:
    None. Only tutoring experience.
    Research Interests:
    Household Finance, Public Finance, Financial Economics
    I have not yet written my SOP.
    9-month consulting work at MBB right after graduation, but I doubt it would have any positive impact on my profile.

    1) How would you view the trade-off between the verbal and quant scores in GRE? The first time I took GRE I got a perfect score in the quantitative section but my verbal score was a bit low (in the low 150 range). The score I reported here is from my second try. As you can see, my verbal significantly improved but I only got 168 in quant this time. Do you think I can survive the first-round screening process with my current score? Or do you think it's better for me to resit and aim for 170 in quant and 160+ in verbal?

    2) I am a bit concerned about my B+ in Real Analysis I. Do you think my A in Real Analysis II can "make up" for it?

    3) My undergrad education is not going to impress any admission committee and there's nothing I can do with it at this point. But do you think if there's anything else I can do (regarding other aspects of the profile) to strengthen my profile between now and December?

    4) I plan to apply to both Economics and Finance programs. What range of schools do you think I should aim for?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Re: Yes! Another Profile Evaluation Please

    This profile looks almost exactly like mine from last year. First, don't worry about your GRE scores. Verbal doesn't matter at all unless you are an international student, and 168 is more than high enough for quant.

    For real analysis, I wouldn't worry about it. I actually didn't even have a grade next to it while applying since I took it this last semester. The A in real analysis II more than makes up for it.

    Being at a fairly unknown University only hurts you for the top 10, but not after that. My university was ranked about the same as yours.

    Finally, as far as range goes, I would apply to a couple top 10 as long shots, a few top 20's as reach schools, a few top 30's as realistic schools, and one or two top 50's as backups.

    As a comparison, your profile is slightly stronger than mine was, and I got into Rochester, UNC, Cornell AEM (where I'm going), UC Irvine, and Oregon.

    Where ever you go, you should have full funding, and don't take anything less.

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