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I made a similar post a little while ago, but now I have included additional information and made some areas more clear. I would like to note that I took 5 concurrent courses most of senior year. Please let me know where you think I should be looking to apply, as my profile is so noisy that I really need all the insight I can get.

 

PROFILE:

Type of Undergrad: Top 20, flagship public research university. Economics Major, French Minor + lots of chem/physics/bio

Undergrad GPA: 1st/2nd/3rd/4th+: 3.1/2.84/3.52/3.78

3.38 cumulative, 3.60 ECON

 

GRE: 168 Q/164 V/4.5 W

 

Math Courses: 1st-- Calc 1 (B-), Calc 2 (B), Calc 3 ©

2nd-- Calc 4 (C-)

3rd-- None

4th+-- Linear Algebra (B+), Differential Equations (A-), Real Analysis (A, Ross), Real Analysis (A, Rudin), Topology (A, Munkres)

 

Econ Courses: 1st-- None

2nd-- Stats for Economists (C-), Intro Economics (A-)

3rd-- Intro Economics 2 (A), Intermediate Micro (B+), Econometrics (A+), Econometrics Lab (A+)

4th-- Intermediate Macro (B-), Theories of Growth/Development (B+), Advanced Econometrics (A+), Behavioral Economics (A), Advanced Macro (A+), Advanced Macro Lab (A), Economic Forecasting in R (A-), Advanced Microeconomics (B+)

 

Other Courses: Mechanics (C+), Thermodynamics and Waves (A), PChem1/2 (C+/B), OChem1/2 (C/B), Cells&Tissues (C-), Stem Cell Biology (A-), Cell&Molecular Bio (A), Genes&Evo&Ecology (A)

 

Letters of Recommendation: 1) Letter from neuroscience research advisor. Head of the lab and associate professor, extremely positive letter.

2) business school professor who I know personally, we are working to publish COVID-19 survey data from a survey that we co-designed. Met him when I made presentation to his MBA class as special guest with my company. Will be extremely positive letter.

3) advanced econometrics professor who is near the top of the field and has encouraged me to chase my aim of becoming a professor. Prof was amazed by my speed of understanding and performance in class, unfortunately I never had the chance to do research with them.

Research Experience: 14 months neuro research including statistical analysis, programming and literature review. Plan on using 8-9 page summary of findings with literature review as writing sample. This was originally meant for publication but due to circumstances, it never got there.

Covid-19 Survey-- assessing population level outcomes and integrating accepted behavioral scales to investigate mediating factors. I designed half the survey, the prof I'm working with designed the other half and has been providing guidance. Definitely applied economics bent although professor is psychology. I am solo performing analysis on outcomes of my portion. Probably won't be submitted to journals by the time I apply, but who knows.

 

Teaching Experience: None

Research Interests: Econometrics and macroeconomics, especially relating to inequality and factors of education and technological development. Also curious about neuroeconomics/behavioral.

SOP: briefly mention finding purpose and correlating it with my GPA. Different combos of Metrics/Macro/Behavioral depending on program strengths.

Other: Python (3/5, have used professionally to automate demand planning and numerous coursera projects), R (2/5, several large statistical projects), Stata (for coursework). Graduated 2019, worked 9 months as a 'Product Development Analyst' before covid layoffs.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

 

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@Bayes in your opinion is 40-50 the highest I could realistically get with my profile as it stands? I my very well take your advice on this as I’m in no real rush to apply this cycle, and aim for top 30.

The director of graduate studies at your department should be able to answer that question. You could send him your transcript and ask if taking these grad courses would improve your chances.

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Are you really dead-set on doing econ? There are many very cool quantitative careers out there other than just econ, which is something that I realized only after starting grad school. If I were you, I'd be reluctant to spend an extra 1.5-2 years + tuition money just to do more coursework for Econ PhD admissions. Sounds like you'd better be very, very confident that econ is the only right path for you to spend extra 1.5 years on coursework
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Yes I am sure. I’ve never put much effort into doing anything right before in my life, and for once I’m actually driven towards a goal and deeply excited about something. Just the process of learning all of this math is an awesome experience and I can’t wait to be able to apply what I’m learning to my own theory one day. Maybe if I came from lots of success I would feel otherwise, but until this point I’ve never felt remotely close to self actualization and it’s time to change that. I am waiting on feedback from my DGS on how to proceed, but I will likely spend the coming year working part time and taking 7-8 math classes including Topics in Analysis, Proof Based Linear Algebra, Mathematical Modeling, Mathematical Game Theory, Optimization... in addition to the first year PhD sequence. This is a good time for a real reckoning; I think I needed this push to acknowledge and bolster my weaknesses, as I do not want to be a small fish in a big pond.
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Yes I am sure. I’ve never put much effort into doing anything right before in my life, and for once I’m actually driven towards a goal and deeply excited about something. Just the process of learning all of this math is an awesome experience and I can’t wait to be able to apply what I’m learning to my own theory one day. Maybe if I came from lots of success I would feel otherwise, but until this point I’ve never felt remotely close to self actualization and it’s time to change that. I am waiting on feedback from my DGS on how to proceed, but I will likely spend the coming year working part time and taking 7-8 math classes including Topics in Analysis, Proof Based Linear Algebra, Mathematical Modeling, Mathematical Game Theory, Optimization... in addition to the first year PhD sequence. This is a good time for a real reckoning; I think I needed this push to acknowledge and bolster my weaknesses, as I do not want to be a small fish in a big pond.

 

Great that you are motivated and have a target in mind!

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Yes I am sure. I’ve never put much effort into doing anything right before in my life, and for once I’m actually driven towards a goal and deeply excited about something. Just the process of learning all of this math is an awesome experience and I can’t wait to be able to apply what I’m learning to my own theory one day. Maybe if I came from lots of success I would feel otherwise, but until this point I’ve never felt remotely close to self actualization and it’s time to change that. I am waiting on feedback from my DGS on how to proceed, but I will likely spend the coming year working part time and taking 7-8 math classes including Topics in Analysis, Proof Based Linear Algebra, Mathematical Modeling, Mathematical Game Theory, Optimization... in addition to the first year PhD sequence. This is a good time for a real reckoning; I think I needed this push to acknowledge and bolster my weaknesses, as I do not want to be a small fish in a big pond.

 

Well noted. Best of luck! The only advice I have is that you'll want letters from economists, so I'd work on that first.

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Thank you. I plan on emailing many economics professors to find a research opportunity for next year.

Do not do this. You will just annoy them.(Emailing professors at your own institution probably is okay.)

 

Pre-doc opportunities are posted at the NBER. Instructions on how to apply can then be found for each opening..

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Do not do this. You will just annoy them.(Emailing professors at your own institution probably is okay.)

 

Pre-doc opportunities are posted at the NBER. Instructions on how to apply can then be found for each opening..

 

You can also Google for predoc programs that may not be on NBER, but along the lines of what startz says, even if you get replies from professors they will need to see all of your credentials and compare them with the rest of the applicant pool, so you won't be hired on the spot at the very least, and depending on how canned your email is you might end up diminishing your chances by appearing rogue without some kind of alluring credential to provide reason for the need to reply.

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