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Thread: Finding RA work? Possible alternatives?

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Finding RA work? Possible alternatives?

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    Given past profiles and my results from last year I know that whatI’m missing is research experience. However, I have had a difficulttime finding work as a research assistant given that I’ve nowgraduated without research experience (I worked throughout collegeamong other things) and find myself in a weird trap of seeminglyneeding more research experience to get a job as a researchassistant.

    So, given thiscircular trap, I am wondering what my options, if any, there are toescaping? Normally most would recommend an internship but since Igraduated all those are out as most require you to be a student. Asfor assistant jobs, I’ve interviewed twice and rejected once due tolack of research experience and once due to lack of background in banking(which I guess is just experience).

    That leaves me with,to my knowledge, going after a master’s that has a thesis built-inor attempting to self-publish some research.

    So are there otheroptions I am unaware of or any suggestions for finding RA work? Any suggestions or advice is welcome!

    Also, here is myprofile if it helps…

    Typeof Undergrad: BS Economics, BA US history, minor in math from top 50Econ. University

    UndergradGPA: 3.67
    Typeof Grad: N/A
    GradGPA: N/A
    GRE:165/162/5.0 Q/V/AW
    MathCourses: Calc I-III (A), Dif-equations (A), Linear Algebra (A), Introto proofs (C), Adv. Calc. (B+), intro to stats (B+), probabilitytheory (A), Real Analysis I (B+), Topology (C), Experimental Stats(A), Mathematical stats (A), stochastic processes (A),
    EconCourses: 3.9 overall… courses of note: Regression analysis (A),Econometrics(A), Adv. Macro (A)
    OtherCourses: Intro to C++, intro to java,
    Lettersof Recommendation:
    ResearchExperience: none
    TeachingExperience: 1 year teaching middle/high school (student teacher).Helped write an online course. Currentlydeveloper for upcoming economics textbook.
    ResearchInterests: public policy, energy,education
    Other: analmost complete teaching license/certificate (3 credits short)

  2. #2
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful. Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Finding RA work? Possible alternatives?

    That leaves me with,to my knowledge, going after a master’s that has a thesis built-in
    Possible route, but you should note that what econ adcoms prefer is research assistance experience with economic professors. Personal research experience (e.g. thesis writing) has a small weight, because it's hard to evaluate. So a master's program won't help you that much in PhD admissions; though it may have some value of its own, depending on what career paths you're considering.

    or attempting to self-publish some research.
    Don't bother. Even if you come up with the greatest idea ever from an undergraduate and finish it within a year, any mainstream econ publication takes ~18 months of review, often longer. It won't fit into your timeline.

    My advice is to keep looking for RA positions, possibly with a history or public policy professor if you can't find an economics position. Doing a good job at any kind of RA job will help you get a second one.

    Additionally, always keep open the possibility that you might not be as interested in a PhD in econ as you think you are. You'll need substantial time/money investments to get admitted to and to finish such a degree, and you should really consider the costs and benefits in the long run. Typically, I'd say it's impossible for an applicant to be sure he wants a PhD in economics until he has some research experience.

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