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Thread: Need advice on what to do next

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Need advice on what to do next

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    Hi,
    I just finished my Master at a top program in Europe. I had a very weak undergraduate background, with just 1 course in econ and no maths at all (not even calculus).

    In the first year I was quite average, however in the second year I think I was around top 10% and wrote an strong thesis (I think)

    I dont know what to do next. I am at lost and dont know who to talk to either.

    What should I do next?
    - I posted this on Ejmr and people there told me to take real analysis/linear algebra/calculus since I have such weak background in maths. They told me I could do a Harvard online course or at some community college. However that means I will have to spend more money and I am really poor (I only get through Msc thanks to a scholarship). And I just do not see the point, I have already taken micro macro game theory econometrics which all needed linear algebra/ calculus even a bit of real analysis as prerequisite.

    - I dont know whether I should explain why I did badly first year Msc. I mean my classmates had much better background that I did, so that partly explains why they performed better. However I do not know whether that is a good excuse or not...

    - I plan to do a predoc but I also understand it will be hard getting into a good one.


    TLDR:
    Type of undergrad: Bachelor from developing country
    Undergrad profile : no maths, one econ class.
    Type of grad
    : top 5 msc in europe
    Grad Gpa: top 25%, but top 10% in second year
    Grad courses: Macro (A), Micro (A+,B), Metrics (A), Maths(B), and a bunch of other field, but I do not think they matter that much.
    Gre: good

    Looking for advice to whether take online math courses or not. And explanation for some bad grades
    Thank everyone
    Last edited by Evonomist294; 08-30-2020 at 02:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Need advice on what to do next

    Use the standard template to post your profile, with your questions at the bottom. Most people will be put off when encountering a huge wall of text like this. You'll get more responses this way.

    That being said, I have a couple questions. You mention the restrictions on course selections for your bachelor's. How does that relate to being average in your MSc? You shouldn't externalise your shortcomings. What masters programme did you go to? What are the placement like for your masters programme? If you don't know, then you should find out. Past placement data in your masters programme can provide some information on what ranges of school are feasible.

    The ultimate cost/benefit analysis to doing a PhD must fall on you. No one can better inform you on whether a particular path is worthwhile, ex ante. What we can do is evaluate your current profile and provide opinions on what ranges of school are feasible to get into.

  3. #3
    Taking the Homotopic path Bayes's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on what to do next

    Standard Template

    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad:
    Undergrad GPA:
    Type of Grad:
    Grad GPA:
    GRE:
    Math Courses(list the grades for each course):
    Econ Courses Undergrad(list the grades for each course):
    Econ Courses Msc
    (list the grades for each course):
    Other Courses:
    Letters of Recommendation:
    Research Experience:
    Teaching Experience:
    Other (Notes, concerns etc.):





  4. #4
    Taking the Homotopic path Bayes's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on what to do next

    I see that you have edited your original post, but that is not still not the correct format. You have to be more detailed if you want a profile evaluation. Listing Gre: Good doesn't tell us anything at all.

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    Re: Need advice on what to do next

    Hi,
    I dont need to get my profile evaluated, I just want to know what to do next. I am not applying this year.
    If the thread is in wrong forum, please delete it, but I mean there is a thread with this title PhD Micro Grade Distribution at T30

    he or she just asked the question and did not reveal the profile at all.

    If that kind of question is not possible, could you please tell me which forum to post?
    Thank you so much!

  6. #6
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    Re: Need advice on what to do next

    Quote Originally Posted by Evonomist294 View Post
    Hi,
    I dont need to get my profile evaluated, I just want to know what to do next. I am not applying this year.
    If the thread is in wrong forum, please delete it, but I mean there is a thread with this title PhD Micro Grade Distribution at T30


    he or she just asked the question and did not reveal the profile at all.

    If that kind of question is not possible, could you please tell me which forum to post?
    Thank you so much!
    This doesn't make sense at all.

  7. #7
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    Re: Need advice on what to do next

    Quote Originally Posted by Evonomist294 View Post
    Hi,
    I dont need to get my profile evaluated, I just want to know what to do next. I am not applying this year.
    If the thread is in wrong forum, please delete it, but I mean there is a thread with this title PhD Micro Grade Distribution at T30


    he or she just asked the question and did not reveal the profile at all.

    If that kind of question is not possible, could you please tell me which forum to post?
    Thank you so much!
    The kind of question you ask requires you to tell us about your entire transcript in undergrad (Maths, stats and Econ courses) and Grad level courses, your grades associated with those courses and your GRE (only quant is fine). It is also extremely important to talk little bit about your LOR writers (like where they have published and had done their PhD or where they have connections/send their students recently). Hence, yes we need a clearer picture about your academic background.
    In addition, let's talk about the title you were talking about PhD Micro Grade Distribution at T30. If you have checked the actual entry which I doubt you had, it was merely talking about the harsh grade distribution of his/her programme and whether this would affect his/her application for PhD Econ. This is a valid question and does not require for him/her to tell us anything else. Because his/her question is not "can I pursue PhD in Econ?". He/she is only curious whether this particular grade distribution from his/her institution would hurt his chances and if the adcoms from other schools are aware of that.
    If we go back to your question, this is the most accurate place to ask that but by being non-transparent about your profile, I am sorry that we cannot move forward.

  8. #8
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    Re: Need advice on what to do next

    If you were a top student in a top master's program, your next step should be to talk to your professors from that program. They know your academic record and capabilities better than anyone on this forum, and have an interest in seeing their top students succeed. They also know where previous students who had similar MSc grades were admitted.

    Email the people who you would likely ask for letters of recommendation when applying to jobs or PhD programs and ask them whether they think you should apply to PhD programs this cycle, and if not, what they think you need to do to strengthen your profile. Ask them explicitly about the range of schools you should target if you apply this cycle, and the range you could target by taking additional courses or getting research experience first.

  9. #9
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    Re: Need advice on what to do next

    Following along with Prof's suggestion--None of here know the level of math in the program you took. Ask the professors in the program whether it is adequate for a PhD program.

  10. #10
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    Re: Need advice on what to do next

    I think getting paid research experience would be your next best bet... try to find RA positions anywhere in the world you are comfortable (and keep in mind any COVID visa restrictions) and generate some income while building some solid research experience. This research can lead to a PhD later, or if you are hoping for an even better result maybe you would be able to find a paid predoc after your RA... but that might be redundant, not sure. Good luck regardless!

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