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About Me


My Target Scores

  1. Hello! I am a Business graduate from a South Asian country looking to switch to Econ. I ultimately want to work for international organizations (especially IMF), so I'm looking for a Master's program that will allow me to get a PhD - not necessarily top 10/20, but definitely macro-focused and ideally a shorter duration. Profile: Undergrad: Bachelor's in Business Administration (BBA), with a major in Finance and minor in Economics. Top 5 University in South Asian country but not significant ranking/well-known internationally Undergrad GPA: 3.79/4.00 GRE: 170Q, 166V, 6.0AWA Math Courses: Mathematics for Decisions - A Business Statistics - A Quantitative Analysis - A Econ Courses: Microeconomics - B+ Macroeconomics - B+ Econometrics - A Public Finance - B+ Other Courses: Most of my other courses are focused on finance, accounting, management, and marketing Research Experience: Negligible in terms of economics, was part-time RA for a professor for Human Resource Management. Work Experience: Joined PwC as an analyst last month. Work here involves primary research and market analysis as well as econometric modeling. A Levels: Economics (94%), Mathematics (98%), + 2 other subjects, also A* The Masters programs I've considered so far include: IHEID International Economics Bocconi Economic and Social Sciences CERGE-EI Economic Research University of Cambridge Advanced Diploma BGSE Economics From my understanding and research on the forum so far, these programs tend to accept non-econ backgrounds. How likely would I be to get in? Do you guys have any other recommendations for similar programs? I would especially love to hear from people who have similar backgrounds or non-econ backgrounds who got admitted into such programs. Thank you!!
  2. So I am finishing my first year at a PhD program. I chose this school largely to work with a particular professor who is leaving to work at the Fed at the end of this school year. I am interested also in poverty which no one at my school does. I was interviewed and waitlisted at my favorite program, and have wished I applied to several others focussed on policy and poverty. Is it worth considering moving programs and if so, how would I go about this?
  3. Hello Urch! I'm gearing up to apply to PhD programs and was wondering if anyone could share which list is best for program rankings? Texas A&M's, UTD, or another? Or if you have input on the reputation of the following programs for management/OB, that would be valuable as well: Arizona State CMU Tepper Duke Fuqua Michigan State USC Marshall University of Wisconsin All have good POIs, just curious what the reputations of these programs are in the community more broadly.
  4. Hi All! Just wondering if anyone have heard back from programs in OB in Canada? I have heard back from a few but still waiting on more! Any insight would be appreciated!
  5. Hi Urch! I wonder if anyone has information about the Sloan management PhD program in the information technology group. I come from a very typical econ background so I don't have much information of it. Their graduates mostly go to info system departments but only a few schools have these. I wonder how you would compare this to general econ programs. Thanks!
  6. Hi, I have been offered admission to the Masters programs at CEMFI and CEU and I have to decide which one of these should I attend. My main concern is the placements of these programs to US and Europe PhD programs. I know some people at CEMFI who are now at top 10 US colleges and the faculty also seems to be great. CEU's placements were also comparable to CEMFI earlier but they seem to be not as good now. However, I have been offered some funding at CEU which makes it the cheaper option. It would be great to hear some opinions regarding the two programs and how they compare against each other. Thanks, in advance!
  7. What are people's opinions on business economics versus economics for someone with theory interests? So what's the verdict on urch? How would these programs stack up? (Redacted.)
  8. Hi all, I want some opinions on getting MS in Statistics before applying to Econ PhDs. My plan is to pursue MS in Statistics, specifically either a "MS in Applied Statistics/Data Science in Finance" or just "MS in Applied Statistics." I do have an option to pursue "MS in Mathematical Statistics," but I was told that almost no one studies this here at my school (yeah people want to get jobs after this program). I am not considering the MS in Economics here at my school because we only have online version of it. Also, our Stat department is stronger than Econ (T20s vs T50s). So, given that I have an undergrad profile that makes me a quite strong candidate in T30~40s (like top GPA in Econ, Math&Stat minor, top GRE, etc.), by how much do you think my chances will improve in getting into higher Econ PhD programs by getting an MS from one of those programs? Of course, given that I do well (like >3.8/4.0) and do some research with Econ professors on the side. Also, which of the two~three options should I choose? Just to further elaborate on my choice of MS program, I do not want to spend a fortune in other MS programs in Europe or Private Top universities, and I have a strong shot of getting a funding here.
  9. Hello! How would you rank the quality of the following California econ PhD programs: UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, University of Southern California, UC Los Angeles, and UC San Diego? Please explain briefly. Also, how dangerous, politically liberal, and/or expensive is living near UC Davis, USC, UCSD and UCLA? Thank you!
  10. Hey there, looking for some advice if I should revise my list of PhD programs I'm planning to apply to. Want to know if I'm shooting too high/low or if there's some other schools I need to consider within my range. I completed undergrad in May, have been working full time to pay off student loans, delayed applying to grad schools to se if I'd be interested in the corporate world first. Decided I do want to pursue academia. Majors: Economics & Statistics (Large public, T100 Econ) GPA: 3.27 GRE:168Q, 160V, 4.5A Math: Calc I-III(A,A,C+), Linear Algebra(A), Differential Equations(A), Adv. Calc (Intro analysis, proofs)(B+), Prob theory & Stats theory (both A-), various other stats classes Econ: Intermediate micro/macro, environmental, Industrial Org, Econometrics I & II, Ag Econ, Economic Geography (mix A's and B's) Programming: R, STATA, Matlab, C++(one class) Research Experience: None LOR: 2 strong (1 from econ prof took a couple advanced courses with and did well, 1 from stats prof took mathematical stats sequence with; both have good relationships) 1 more generic deciding either dep chair, an econ prof, or math prof (neither super in depth or personal) Research Interests: Environmental/Resource Econ, Development, Labor, IO, Metrics Programs: UC Santa Cruz, CU Boulder, University of Tennessee, University of Kentucky, Georgia State, Emory, University of Arizona, University of Wyoming, NC State, University of Nevada - Reno, Colorado State, UC Davis ARE, University of Oregon I don't think any program is a safety, hoping to get into just one. I know my deficiencies are GPA and lack of research. Any of these that are moonshots and not worth the app fee? Any programs I should consider? My main criteria is being able to get funding and decent research interests match. Thanks!
  11. The end of undergrad is rapidly approaching for me and this means that I now need to actually figure out what I want to do with myself. So far I've been involved with the economics department at my school (T20 Econ T10 PPol) and have been able to get a bit of research experience under my belt along with the expected math/econ courses as well as another major in philosophy, though I realize that will mean very little its just something I enjoy. I've been looking a lot into the paths required to end up at a good Econ grad program however I have lately been much more interested in public policy for various reasons. I was wondering what the main functional differences in the programs would be between Econ and PPol (also potentially Political Econ) and if one is typically easier to get into e.g HKS vs Harvard Econ. In terms of placements I see that some of the top PPol programs have sent people to top tier Econ departments and I was wondering how realistic of a path that is. Would my econ background help because it shows I have the ability to do relatively quantitative research or would it hurt since it seems I'm not focused on policy? Also, any tips on how I would go about deciding which is right for me? Thanks!
  12. I hope no one minds me creating a new thread for these questions without an informative title. I preface my post in this way because the questions are based on my own personal problems. I am creating a thread about them because they are probably relevant to others. (1) is obviously of interest to everyone, (2)-(4) are based on me either being stupid or lazy or both but maybe you are like me! 1. COVID-19 means that the GRE is not required at many (most?) programs. My GRE is strong but not perfect - should I light some money on fire and report or leave it be? A corollary question: could this mess up the screening process? 2. Some programs require writing samples of significant length. I have a writing sample from undergrad, the writing is passable. The content is "cringe" - I reviewed the literature like an arrogant little pissant and I use a weenie hut jr methodology in the paper, my tone is not warranted! Insofar as anyone decides to read the writing sample (why do programs create work for poor admissions committee people by making them read this drivel?), do you think they'll be aware that an undergrad thesis should be evaluated different from a MA thesis? Corollary question: when writing samples are optional, is the ideal something like a NSF research proposal? 3. Statement of Purpose - I assume that no one actually wants to read this and they want to look at LORs, transcripts and so on instead. How do I play to the desire of an admissions evaluator to daydream about literally anything else without turning in a blank piece of paper? This question is as open-ended as possible - basically everything that makes me a strong candidate is in my transcripts, should be in my letters (probably true of almost all applicants!). 4. resume/cv - is this actually examined closely? if so, is it "safe" to keep it toned down if any extra additions are obvious fluff and let letter writers do the lifting?
  13. This program was launched in 2017 and seems to be aimed at the same group of people who might be interested in Ag. econ/dev/applied micro programs. Without job placements I can't tell what tier of program this should be considered as. Any thoughts?
  14. Hi all, I've recently submitted my applications for Fall 2021 OB/Management PhD programs and am starting to feel a little anxious. Can anyone tell me the soonest I could start hearing back from programs? Also, when is the latest I should expect to hear back from programs as well? I've applied to a total of 9 schools, top 10, 20 and 40ish. Thanks!
  15. Hi! I am planning on applying for a PhD eventually, but I want to hedge my bets and apply to MA programs too. My math background is strong (4.0 applied math major), but I am missing some classes like Real Analysis, Calc IV, and other advanced, proof-based courses. I would absolutely prefer an MA in economics because stats/pure math does not interest me that much. Right now I plan on applying to Columbia, NYU, and Wisconsin's terminal MA programs. Do you have any other recommendations that could strengthen my PhD application? Thank you!
  16. Test Scores (GMAT/GRE): 163V (93rd percentile) 159Q (73rd percentile) 4.5AWA (82nd percentile). Scored 5.0 (93rd percentile) on previous proctoring, but lower on other sections Undergrad GPA: 2.87, undergrad business school at Large Private University in Intermountain West, major GPA is also ******, but A's in every OB class I took. In applications that allow for addendums or personal history statements I address this. There is a compelling narrative here, i.e. if you go through my transcript you'd notice, "oh there's a story behind this, I wonder what happened?" Graduate GPA: N/A Research Experience: - 2 years RA 1-on-1 with bschool prof at top public university on West Coast (hoping for publication to emerge from this) - 7 months in behavioral lab at same school to learn social psych methodology - 8 months RA work (mainly data collection/cleaning/coding) for bschool prof at top private university on West Coast - working on publication with potential co-author (also bschool prof) at my undergrad institution (all 3 faculty are LOR writers) Teaching Experience: TA for management course in undergrad, also did some TA type work as part of RA responsibilities for professor I worked for after undergrad Work Experience: a little less than a year for tech company based out of Silicon Valley, left to go back to school (if I ever get in front of MBA's I'll be able to tell them "yeah I worked in tech") Concentration Applying to: micro OB Number of programs planned to apply to: 8 (1 top 5, 1 top 15, 4 25-40, 2 outside top 50). Also applied to 1 OB PhD program in ILR school, 1 MA program in social-org psych, and 2 pre-doctoral programs. Would have applied to more but didn't feel like it was worth the cost of application fees due to the weaknesses of my application. All but 3 of these programs I'd go to w/o hesitation. Dream Schools: Haas, Columbia, LBS, Stern, Anderson, Rotman Other Questions: What made you want to pursue a PhD? No other profession feels as honest. Projected lifestyle doesn't hurt either. Questions or concerns you have about your profile? What I really want to know is if I have a shot at the elite programs, considering my low GPA and low quant score. Was scoring higher on practice exams, but just didn't get it to the 90th percentile on test day. Planning on re-taking in 6 months if I don't get in anywhere. Have been told though that quant score is less important for micro candidates vs. macro candidates. Just not sure how much give there really is. The emphasis on elite programs is two-fold: 1.) Living in a diverse, and culturally rich place is very important to me. Part of the reason why I struggled so mightily in undergrad was because I was a minority at a very racially and ideologically homogenous institution. 2.) It just so happens that the majority of PhD programs and TT positions located in big cities are at elite universities, and don't want to get stuck in a negative feedback loop at the lower tiers, especially if it means I have to live somewhere desolate. How impermeable are the tiers truly, especially regarding the rank of your PhD institution? Also, seeking insight on whether it is worth it to continue applying each year in hopes of matriculating to top program, or am I costing myself too much by waiting? And, what do you make of these alternative MA and predoctoral programs? Are they viable options that would help me on my journey or merely a way for these schools to get more cheap labor or collect tuition (in the case of the MA program)? Looking inward and asking myself a lot of questions. 30 is getting closer and I've heard age bias from these programs is a real thing. My family thinks this is just a pipe dream and I should get a "real job", however I know once I take something outside of academe, the degree of difficulty to keep up with the research and publication cycle will be exponentially higher. Would be so easy to give up now, but I've sacrificed too much and worked too hard for this.
  17. I took the at-home GRE this past weekend and my unofficial scores came back as Q: 165 and V:163. I am currently looking into terminal masters programs for a stepping-stone to a PhD in economics in order to (1) get stronger letters (2) more coursework in upper-level economics as my undergrad leaves much to be desired in terms of econ courses. I am also working on math courses (full calc sequence, linear algebra) before this masters program. Do you think I should worry about re-taking the GRE? Down the road when it comes to PhD application time will the 165 limit me severely in terms of the programs that will consider me? Such as strictly outside the top-50? Thank you.
  18. Hello, everyone! I’m applying for PhD in Accounting programs of 2021 intake. I would appreciate it very much if you could give some advice or comments. Test Scores: GMAT 740 (97% percentile) verbal 39, math 51; TOEFL 111 (Speaking 25) Undergraduate: top 4 universities in China (PKU, THU, SJTU, FDU), BBA in Accounting & BS in Psychology (dual degree), GPA 3.68/4.00 (top 10%) Graduate: top 4 universities in China (PKU, THU, SJTU, FDU), MSc in Finance, GPA 3.77/4.00 Relevant Courses: Economics, Finance & Accounting: Theory of Corporate Finance (PhD level, A); Advanced Microeconomics, Advanced Macroeconomics, two accounting PhD summer school courses, etc. Math: Advanced Econometrics, Advanced Microeconometrics, Business Forecasting Analytics, Quantitative Analysis & Modeling, etc. Psychology: undergraduate level courses. Research Interests: Archival Financial Accounting, Earnings Quality, Debt Contracting, Corporate Governance Research Experience: Three research experience for three accounting professors, including empirical analysis, literature review, data cleaning, financial analysis, etc. Working Papers: two, including my master thesis (debt contracting) and another working paper (earnings quality) Teaching Experience: Organization and Management (undergraduate level), Extended Learning and Student Activities Course (master level) Work Experience: no full-time working experience, have internship experiences in private equity investment, strategic investment, consulting and financial management. Letters of Recommendation: four referees in total, including three accounting professors who have got tenured at US top 10-30 universities and come back to China or Singapore recently; three accounting professors for whom I have acted as a research assistant, one accounting professor of whom I attended two courses and got A. Number of programs planned to apply to: 20-30 Dream Schools: I will mainly apply for top 20-50 programs, and my dreams schools are top 20-30 programs like UCLA, Minnesota, Florida, etc. Question: Do you have any advice on my target school list? Should I also apply for several lower tier programs? I have obvious weaknesses including not having referees who are still in the US, not taking PhD level economics courses. Currently what I can do to make up them to some extent? I have no full time working experience, but quite a few accounting PhD programs prefer applicants with full time working experience in accounting firms. So should I apply for several finance PhD programs, given I am also interested in corporate finance? But all my referees are accounting professors, so is it okay for me to apply for finance programs or should I just focus on accounting programs? Thank you so much!
  19. Test Scores (GMAT/GRE): 161Q - 164V last taken in 2018. I hope to improve next summer with 165+ for each. Undegrad GPA: 3.71 - Marketing Top 20 Public University Graduate GPA: 3.65 - Analytics - Top 5 Program Research Experience: 2 papers accepted to conference, 1 in process of publication to top 10 journal. Teaching Experience: TA for Regression Analysis (grad) Work Experience: Sales 3+ years Concentration Applying to: Consumer Behavior Number of programs planned to apply to: 10-15 Dream Schools: Maryland, Duke - Fuqua, UChicago Other Questions: What made you want to pursue a PhD? I fortunately had a few great professors at my b-school who encouraged me to pursue a PhD. I am passionate about research (which I am aware is a given for most if not all candidates), but I also would like to be the mentor for future students, like the ones I had. My research interests are rooted in how marketing and society connect, as well as sustainability and technology. Questions or concerns you have about your profile? I am aware that the MSc in Analytics aligns more closely with the quant track, but I did not have a strong background in mathematics from my undergraduate degree and I felt that it was necessary to bolster my quantitative background. I haven't done as much research yet on the research interests of top-20 programs, but I felt that the three above were strong in CB. Is there any chance based on my profile? Would you have any suggestions for programs that align with macro marketing?
  20. UNDERGRAD: I graduated from a small private school in the US with a bachelor’s in finance (3.5 GPA). Relevant courses for this discussion include: intro micro/macro, stats, and calc (rest are predominantly finance-based). WORK:I am currently working in financial services as a trader but am strongly motivated and intellectually driven to pursue a graduate degree in economics for Fall 2021. INTERESTS: Particularly I am interested in international economics/monetary economics and its intersection with wholesale finance (repo’s, monetary/financial/banking system) and its implications for macroeconomics. As well as looking into depoliticizing effects of financialization/globalization which has started leading me towards political economy as well. Are their programs that excel in these subfields? COURSE PREP & CONCERNS: I am in the process of taking calc II, followed by calc III (multivariate), linear algebra and if I have time also some more statistics/probability. I am also reading through econ textbooks on my own (micro, econometrics) and looking into relevant literature to be economically literate. Ideally the best route would be to obtain an RA position so I can work, earn money and get invaluable experience doing research and strong LOR’s for a stepping stone into a PhD, but my qualifications just don’t bode well as I lack any programming/coding and still am working on bolstering my math. Another severe weakness is my letters of recommendations, during undergrad I basically got good enough grades so I could get an industry job and make decent money. I can think of one professor who I can use but it still wasn’t an economics course. PLAN: For this reason, I have been looking at terminal master’s programs in economics as a stepping-stone for a potential PhD to develop relationships for LOR’s and get more coursework and experience under my belt. It seems in the US, Duke and Tufts and maybe BU are the best options and I have heard recommendations to look at Canadian and European Master programs because their educational systems are designed for students to go (BA->MA->PhD) as opposed to the traditional (BA-> PhD) in the US for econ. And depending on the institutions have strong/decent placement in US programs. Or even European Ph.D.’s as long as I can work in the aforementioned sub-fields. GRE: Thus far my practice GRE’s have been Quant: 166, Verbal: 159 and A: 4.0 and I believe those can improve. In all frankness a lot would have to go well for a top 15 PhD program, but I wanted to get some thoughts on my plan. For someone who is interested in working with the Fed, or potentially international organizations like IMF, Peterson Institute for International Economics or think tanks if I’m unable to get into a research academia position, does this make sense? Is it absolutely imperative to get into a top program for those institutions? CLOSING REMARKS: Would a terminal masters be the best bet or would focusing solely on coursework and programming for a potential summer 2022 RA position? Or would a masters in a quant heavy topic like stats prove more fruitful for where I want to end up? I have been trying to explore as many resources online as I can as I don’t have many resources or support from others who have gone through this process, so I really appreciate any feedback or suggestions.
  21. Hi all, I have planned for some time to apply to PhD programs in economics a year from now after I finish a two-year RA stint. I’ve recently been debating, however, if I should also look into applying to political science PhDs. I’m primarily interested in political economy, so I believe that I would enjoy doing either program (although I realize that there are trade-offs in choosing one program over the other). I know that it’s not uncommon for econ applicants to also apply to PPOL PhDs, but I rarely hear of them also applying to political science programs. My question then is this - would it look bad in anyway to apply to both programs potentially at the same school(s)? I don’t want to give off the impression that I’m not serious/committed enough to one particular field, but it’d be nice to keep my options open and learn more thoroughly about the pros/cons specific to each department. Thanks for any advice!
  22. Hello everyone, I'm struggling to figure out whether I have a chance of being admitted into any good econ masters programs (I have 0 chance of being admitted into any decent econ PhD). I have almost no background in economics, which is why I'm looking for advice here. Undergraduate Degree: BA in International Affairs from a top 10 IR school, virtually unknown for economics Undergraduate GPA: 3.55/4.0 GRE: Q 168 V 169 AW 5.0 Math Courses: Calculus I (A-), Calculus II (A), Statistics (A), Linear Algebra and Real Analysis (A-) (this last one is an intensive, proof based linear algebra and multivariable differential calculus class with a real analysis module) Econ Courses: Intro to Macroeconomics (A), Intro to Microeconomics (B), Intro to Int'l Economics (A-) Related Experience: None. 2-3 years in industry doing policy (sometimes economic/financial) work, and I have some policy research experience, but no economics research experience. Letter of Recommendation: Two letters from former and current bosses (which would be 10/10 for policy programs, probably not worth too much in this scenario, and one letter academic letter that I still have to figure out (I graduated over 3 years ago and haven't kept in touch. Possibly will be from an international finance professor that I had a friendly relationship with). Research Interest: Development economics, impact evaluation. Programs I'm thinking about applying to: Barcelona GSE MA Economics, PSE PPD, Bocconi ESS, IHEID MA International Economics, SAIS MIEF, LSE Two Year MSc(I don't think I make the GPA cut for this but maybe my GRE can push me over the edge?), UCL MSc. I think the ideal program for me would be something like the LSE Two Year MSc that's specifically made for people with very little background in economics. I unfortunately haven't been able to find any other programs like this one, though. Any feedback is greatly appreciated! I know that my chances would increase substantially if I took intermediate micro and macro but my local academic institutions do not offer open enrollment and I need to save money for grad school so I can't take any more online classes.
  23. Hi I am a postgraduate student from the UK planning to apply to phd programs for 2021 entry. I am interested in time series, forecasting and empirical macroeconomics/macro-finance. Could you guys suggest which departments in US and EU top 50 (except the ones mentioned below) have good researchers in these fields? I think the following are quite good (I have excluded Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, UPenn as they are beyond my league). Not ranked in any order: - Minnesota - Northwestern - LSE - Bocconi - UCL - UCSD - UPF Thank you
  24. Does the stress level of students in Accounting PhD programs vary much by school? Are lower ranked programs less stressful? Do some programs have a less/more pressurized culture? Any schools in particular? Thanks for your input.
  25. I've been looking at stuff from poetsandquants and the like, and it seems like the opposite is true In Terms of Admissions Prospects, There's Never Been A Better Time To Top-50 Apply To MBA Programs This article above discusses a 10% increase in M acceptance rates for top-50 programs over the course of the past 5 years. Thoughts? Do you agree it's much easier to get in now than, 2015 maybe?
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