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Everything posted by minskymoment

  1. Would be shocked if you didn’t place top 5, honestly. RA job not really necessary especially since you wanna do theory.
  2. Quite a similar profile to mine last year. I thought lack of independent research would kill me--I didn't have a senior thesis and all my work was in progress and coauthored. I also went to a much lower ranking undergrad; my GPA was higher but controlling for school I imagine we're in similar boats (also screwed up multivariable calc at start of freshman year lolz). FWIW I ended up with 1 top 5, 1 top 10, and 1 top 20. It's weird and random. You have a strong app. Wish we could relieve the noise you'll experience, because it does get wild, but I think it's pretty clear you'll get into a top 20, probably a top 10, and have a very real shot at a top 5. At this stage it's really gonna be some idiosyncratic and subjective factors. You'll do well. I'm rooting for you!
  3. If your letters are strong, it looks to me like you'd be competitive. It's important to remember how random admissions are, though. I watched several people get rejections/waitlists from BU and BC despite getting in at higher ranked programs. You may want to consider stretching out your applications with several more schools from 15-40 range to hedge. Another option, which I'm a big advocate of, is considering taking 2 years as an RA at the Fed/NBER. I came from a no-name state school, and an RA job out of school gave me a massive boost, whether in better known letters, grad course(s) at a top university, or whatever direct signaling that post-grad RA work gives them. I was hesitant at first to add another two years to my path, but in retrospect it's been one of the best decisions I made. At least worth some consideration.
  4. Also, do not bother to retake GRE! Quant score is all they care about and 169 is sufficient. They are not looking for great verbal scores in Econ programs.
  5. One was com sci and one was math. Both were around third week of the semester when I started to realized I'd stuffed my schedule too full on top of my college job. I remember being quite worried about how they would look at the time, but by the time I applied I started to realize they were barely noticeable with the other more important stuff on my application.
  6. I had two W's on my record and got a top 10 placement. Don't even think I mentioned them in my app. You'll do fine.
  7. Personally, if I were in your shoes, I'd take the military officer route. It's really a great option, and I considered doing it myself for a while. I just think NBER/Fed placement is very unlikely. Making up that many classes in a short period of time while boosting your GPA/RA-ing would be really, really, really hard under the circumstances. The only thing that you seem to question about the military path is the difficulty of going back to school after a big break, but like I can almost guarantee you that you would find that easier to manage than your planned extra year of undergrad, which I would personally find excruciating to do. Military would instill a lot of extra discipline (not to say you're undisciplined, they would take you to another level!), and I've seen several people come out of years of service and just hammer their way through school. It's a little odd for me to use Urch as a military recruitment tool, but it honestly sounds like a pretty cool plan to me.
  8. Have seen a top 10 offer from a 164, but the rest of the profile was very strong. Everyone is right---retake! I think it's safe to say you'd get a lower placement than you otherwise would've had with a higher score. Just keep working on the practice tests and think positive thoughts. Best of luck!
  9. It really is a shame that graduate school is such a difficult thing to do when you have geographic constraints. The bad news here is there really aren't many PhD econ programs in NC. Duke, UNC, and NC State are all I can see. It doesn't look to me like Wake Forest has one. There may be some unranked programs outside of those 3 if you keep looking and are willing to take a risk on that. If stretching into SC/Virginia truly isn't feasible, that seems to be it. The other tough thing is that you're an unconventional candidate, coming from many years of private work and lacking the traditional indicators of a quantitative background (short on math and not many A's). You should really try to get a very strong GRE quantitative score and hint to your letter writers that vouching for your quantitative skills would be useful. I'm just an applicant this year, so take this profile evaluation with a grain of salt. I'm going off of my years of reading this site and the handful of outcomes I've witnessed in person. But here's my best guess: Duke is very unlikely, UNC is somewhat unlikely, and NC State is probably an option, but not a guarantee. With so few apps, I would say the cost is low enough that it's worth an attempt if this is something you're serious about doing. Factor in that admissions is incredibly random (you could be theoretically be getting offers from similarly ranked schools as NC State but get rejected from NC State, for example), and you can see the hurdle here. I do think Duke is out of your reach, but I sent plenty of apps to schools out of my reach, so don't feel bad about doing it. As far as adding to your profile, if I could choose one area it would be classwork. A difficult math course (linear algebra is a must for many programs; real analysis would help) would be the best option in terms of feasibility and value-added. Letters are very important, and if you have some people who will very strongly recommend you and work to convince them you can handle the rigors of an econ PhD, admissions people may take a chance on an unconventional candidate. The reality is it'll be quite difficult. Doesn't mean it's not worth a shot, though. But depending on what your career goals are, there may be other worthwhile programs outside of an econ PhD, which is a really, really big investment (not in terms of direct cost, but time/energy/opportunity cost in private work), and is even that much harder with the constraints you currently have. It's definitely worth thinking about.
  10. Agree with what the others said. Only want to add that another graduate econ course may be a better route than an additional math course. I know the Calc 1 grade probably bothers you, but the rest of your profile really signals to me you know math, and I tend to think proving you can handle graduate econ is a more direct signal to admissions people than abstract math is. I suppose a probability/math stats course isn't on your profile here, so maybe that would be a nice addition, but otherwise consider grad econ instead.
  11. Second flynnigan9’s advice. If you know for sure you would an offer from one of them if made, then you should tell them. The later in the season it goes, the more valuable your probability of accepting the offer becomes to them.
  12. You have more than enough math to do a senior thesis in macro. Most senior theses are applied, so brush up on your econometrics and dig into some macro journals.
  13. Seconded that this profile is definitely top 20. RA job is your best bet. Not sure what happened this year. I would say talk to a professor you trust who knows you as to how they think you can best add to your profile.
  14. I feel like I’m a pretty good person for this one because we have similar backgrounds. I’m from top 200 undergrad, math major (econ minor), pure math research (with math prof as 1 letter writer). First off, yes GRE is going to get you docked at places. Shoot for 170. You don’t need it this high, but you have a good enough math background that it should be your goal. It’s worth the time of studying to secure a near-perfect score. Don’t let them doubt your ability. I took a 2-year RA job and highly recommend it for people of your background. It can assure admissions people you really are interested in economics, gives you one more strong letter to replace your weakest, and (ideally) can allow you to take a grad economics course which I think can be a boost. At least that’s the value I believe it gave me, and I think those same features would boost your profile. I don’t know how many of those opportunities are left, but if you find one with those features it’s a strong consideration. If you can get into consulting perhaps that might help, but I don’t think it adds as much value for you comparatively. I don’t have that experience and can’t attest to it. Long story short, I can’t promise that GRE improvement alone will be enough to carry you into top 20-30. It was crazy competitive this year and will probably only get worse. I would do my best to try to fill in the gaps I listed above if you can find opportunities. I would also consider upping the number you apply to. I did over 20 this year and I think it was worth it. You may not need to do quite that many. Your results will be highly unpredictable and the expected value of one more application is fairly high.
  15. I love Minneapolis! Don’t know much about Rochester but the Twin Cities have a lot to offer.
  16. I'm predicting Berkeley on Friday *crosses fingers*
  17. All it takes is one person (in sufficient denial) to click the button...
  18. It seems very unlikely to me that Berkeley acceptances come out without anyone on this forum being able to confirm.
  19. When I looked through Gradcafe it seems to be around March 15 or so. It’s very late.
  20. Yep, a friend just got one from them. Not many posts so unsure if this is first wave or posters are just slow.
  21. Catbox received one. Go back a few posts and you’ll see it on here.
  22. UCLA and UCSD are both great. I have some idiosyncratic reasons for discounting them at the moment but in another situation I’d be thrilled to go there.
  23. We getting Berkeley soon? That's the only one left I care about.
  24. ^ This is correct. Don't know your background at all but it's important to know that econ MAs won't add much value to your profile for a PhD in econ. Worth knowing before you go in.
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