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  1. I had forgot to mention, I did recently take the GRE and get 170Q/167V and 5AW so thankfully that’s done with. I’ve talked to both a letter writer of mine and the professor of the class: the professor’s advice essentially boiled down to if you don’t get into a top 15-ish program then you shouldn’t pursue an academic career at all. My letter writer recommended I take it, get an A, and said that it would be icing on the cake for 2nd tier/non-top schools. On the other hand, I’ve talked to a couple past undergrads that have taken it and they have all said that it’s quite hard, the grading is relatively harsh, and it might be better to hedge against taking it.
  2. I understand that doing well in the class is kind of my only shot for a really top program, but it’s hard to know what my chances would look like for a rank 30-15 program without taking it.
  3. This is true and I have already started working with some of them. Like any class where 80% of the grade is a total of 4 hours of exams, there can be a lot of variability even if I am well prepared. It just seems like the downside risk is monumental. I would be curious if my resume without it would be good even for a decent school. I know that the rank of the school matters a lot for job prospects in academia, but I’m leaning away from that and don’t know that the potential bump for my resume is worth the risk. Additionally, I talked with the grad class professor and he said getting a B would essentially prevent me from getting into a top 20 school. Also, that about 1/3 of the class gets an A range grade. I feel prepared, but I don’t know about top third, especially because some of the class has masters degrees and has seen the content. Appreciate any advice.
  4. Based on the risk of taking this graduate econometrics class tanking my application if I do mediocre to poorly, how would that change my application profile if my letter writers were relatively strong? Thanks for the advice!
  5. Undergrad: Top 1 US undergrad (US News at least) Major: Operations Research (applied math in engineering school) Undergrad GPA: 3.96 Grad: N/A GRE: Not yet taken formal test, but not anticipating any issue with Quant >= 165 from practicing Econ Classes: Mathematical Micro/Macro/Metrics (A/A+/A), advanced Econometrics (A-), 2 other finance-related econ classes (A/A). Will be taking the first PhD level Econometrics class this fall Math Classes: Multivariable Calculus (A-), Linear Algebra (P), Differential Equations (A), Single Variable Analysis (A), Probability and Stochastic Systems (A), Introduction to Financial Mathematics/Energy and Commodities Markets both used a significant amount of Stochastic Calculus (A/A) Other Courses: Optimization (Linear Programming, A), Stochastic Optimization and Machine Learning in Finance (Convex Programming, A), Math-y Computer Science class (P), Analysis of Big Data (much linear algebra, A) Research Experience: 2 summer's + 1 semester of RA work for my school's Industrial Relations (labor econ) Section under a different postdoc each year, wrote a full independent research paper my Junior fall and was advised by my Mathematical Metrics professor Letters of Recommendation: 1 from the Macro professor who's class I received an A+ in and is on my current school's adcom, 1 from the postdoc I am currently an RA for who will be an assistant professor at UChicago next year, 1 from my Metrics professor and advisor of my independent research paper Research Interests: Relatively unsure as of now. I have only done research in applied micro/labor econ types of settings, but am also interested in macrofinance/empirical macro because of my OR background. Thank you to anyone reading this and I appreciate any guidance I get. I am more interested in a public/private career than academia, so I am trying to avoid doing a predoc if I can get into a T20-30 school right out of undergrad. I'll likely still be applying to some predoc programs, but don't need a top 5/10 program at the end of the day. I'm hoping my research experience and honestly the name value of my current school will be enough to swing something decent. Thanks all
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