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  1. Hi Based on advice from a previous post, I would love for a complete profile evaluation. I will try to be as descriptive as possible. Any advice is welcome. Research Interests Environmental and climate economics, with impact on health and energy sectors. Education 1. BA (Hons) Economics - No. 1 university available in my developing country for humanities. Ranked third in college with first class distinction (75 percentage). Not sure how to convert to GPA, but university toppers have marks around 85% NOTE: Took a gap year in between 2. MA in Environmental Economics - Only college to offer this course, but in terms of econ programs, top 5 institutes in my country for postgrad education 8.2 CGPA (graduated this year). Top 5% of all econ programs with around 250 students. Completed thesis with departmental and highly cited professor as advisor Math Courses 1. Bachelors (took all math courses available at university level, didn't know how important this was then) STATISTICAL METHODS IN ECONOMICS-I and II; MATHEMATICAL METHODS FOR ECONOMICS-I and II; INTRODUCTORY ECONOMETRICS I; MATHEMATICS AWARENESS; LINEAR ALGEBRA AND CALCULUS; ELEMENTS OF ANALYSIS (All purely math papers have 80+ percentage, but I did screw up in stats and micro with 60-70 scores ) 2. Masters level Statistical Methods; Mathematical methods; Econometric methods; advanced econometric methods and Stochastic models (Scored A or A+ in all courses in masters which is 70-90 in percentage) Experience 1. RA with highly professor from a top 200 college in the US. 5 months (during covid lockdown) work on data cleaning and analysis, report making etc. They have put up my work on their website too, so really lucked out with the prof. 2. RA with econometric prof from my college and prof from an MBA institute. 7 months work on data cleaning and analysis report making etc. I have also rejoined as co-author recently, 3. Research Intern during summer break (2 months) at an NGO for development research. Did literature review. (4) Editor for student led blog at masters NOTE: None of the experience directly relates to my area of interest Letters Strong letters from professors I worked as an RA with (including US prof). Also expecting strong letter from my thesis advisor especially based on my active involvement (organizer, editor) in academic lectures and events at master college. Works in progress As mentioned, joined as co-author for the project I worked as RA with. I also am working with my thesis advisor and converted my thesis into a working paper. GRE- Not taken yet, targeting end of the month Other Info Good social presence on twitter and linkedin. Made my own website on advice of the US prof Expertise in STATA (codes put up on github); learnt C++ in school; learning python and GIS right now Final Remarks Currently I am looking for RA positions related to my field of interest, but they have been few and very competitive. So any other advice on strengthening my profile is welcome. Especially since my areas of interest is very specific. Also, will you suggest I apply this November/ December based on my current profile? It may be worthwhile to know a few of my alumni have went on to join programs in the US, Europe and New Zealand. I am also interested in schools in Europe, with an open mind for interdimensional research. Thank you for any input you can offer!
  2. Thank you Startz and Zubrus. While it wasn't what I wanted to hear, it's good to know that it may not be a "me" problem. Although I will keep trying. Would you suggest any other experience that will be a good value addition? A top 10 university may be a pipe dream, but what else can I do to build up my application in one year?
  3. Hi dogbones, thank you for responding! And yes opportunities aligning with my research interests are fewer. I'm interested in environmental and climate economics. But I have some experience in health economics and gender economics. Mostly I stick to research projects that match the above. Unless its something strictly data analytics or literature review, which I assume I can still contribute somehow.
  4. Twitter raised a storm on the predoc culture of Econ academia, but from what I understand having research experience is no longer an exception but a requirement for pursuing a doctorate degree. This leads to my current dilemma. I have completed both a bachelors and a masters degree (this year), and have worked directly as an RA for two incredible professors. But because of the pandemic, I figured I will take this year to try to apply at institution/industry (university positions/think tanks, NGO's, etc) based research positions to bring some diversity on my resume. However these seem both hard to come by and highly competitive. For background, I got my degrees from one of the best institutions that my (developing) country has to offer, grades are above average, expertise in Stata, some experience in GIS and python, etc. However, the onslaught of rejections is hard to bear. So to now come to the question, how important is a high profile research experience, if I am targeting some of the better institutions (especially considering my education background is not in a top tier class at the global level)? Is the amount of rejections normal, even with previous experience, considering I am not even making to the interview stage? And finally, should I try writing to professors directly for RA opportunities, or would you suggest some alternative way I can boost up my CV? I've been without a 'job' for over a month now, and no offers in sight, leading to my post here.
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