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Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3
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Norman Study Khan Grad School March 3

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  • 1. TEXAS ECONOMICS ASSOCIATION March 3, 2010
  • 2. Dr. Alfred Norman Paid economic study $5 per student
  • 3. UPCOMING EVENTS <ul><li>March 7 th – Kite Festival @ Zilker </li></ul><ul><li>March 10 rd – Book night </li></ul><ul><li>March 12 th – Deadline for Dallas </li></ul><ul><li>March 26 th – Dallas Fed Conference </li></ul><ul><li>Early April – Next Social Event </li></ul>
  • 4.  
  • 5. Important info <ul><li>PAY YOUR DUES </li></ul><ul><li>T-Shirts – Only $10 </li></ul><ul><li>Elections – sooner than you think </li></ul><ul><li>Passing around a sign up sheet for Zilker </li></ul>
  • 6. IMPORTANT INFO – CONT’D
  • 7. TODAY’S SPEAKER <ul><li>Urmee Khan </li></ul><ul><li>Ph. D. Student </li></ul>
  • 8. ON TO GRADUATE SCHOOL <ul><li>Urmee Khan </li></ul><ul><li>PhD Candidate </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Economics </li></ul>
  • 9. DO YOU REALLY WANNA GO TO GRAD SCHOOL ? I MEAN FOR A PHD, REALLY?? <ul><li>Ask yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Why do want to go to grad school? </li></ul><ul><li>If the answer is that you think it’s a good career move, then you probably shouldn’t go to grad school </li></ul>
  • 10. THINK ABOUT IT <ul><li>You will spend 5-7 years of your life in moderate to extreme misery/poverty, and at the end your starting salary is probably not going to be any better than an MBA. </li></ul><ul><li>So does the marginal benefit really cover the marginal cost? </li></ul>
  • 11. SHORT ANSWER… <ul><li>If you’re in it for the money, then NO. </li></ul><ul><li>So, here’s my two cents: </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not really worth going through all that hell if you are mainly after a lucrative career. </li></ul>
  • 12. BILL GATES DIDN’T NEED A PHD… <ul><li>Neither did Steve Jobs…or many other entrepreneurs/leaders </li></ul><ul><li>If you are smart and hardworking, you don’t need a PhD to have a successful career.. </li></ul><ul><li>You should only go to grad school if you REALLY want to… </li></ul>
  • 13. ON THE OTHER HAND… <ul><li>Bill Gates will not win the Nobel prize most likely..nor will Steve Jobs…but you might! </li></ul><ul><li>You might discover a way to eradicate poverty, or make the financial market work better, find a theory to prevent all future financial crisis..or something even more exciting that right now we can’t even think of. </li></ul>
  • 14. RESEARCH IS AN ADVENTURE <ul><li>and like all adventures it doesn’t always end well or in success… but the ride is thrilling enough that some of us will go along just for the fun of it… </li></ul><ul><li>So, when the going gets tough, the curious get going! </li></ul>
  • 15. WHAT’S THE SIGN THAT YOU REALLY WANT TO GO FOR A PHD? <ul><li>……… .that you have QUESTIONS! </li></ul><ul><li>If you have questions that you want answers to, and you can’t find it in anything you read or hear, and you think you might actually find it yourself if you work at it, then you’ve really got what it needs for grad school </li></ul>
  • 16. CURIOSITY, MOTIVATION, HARD WORK <ul><li>… .the three things you’ll need to succeed in grad school. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, you’ll be expected to produce original research ( will take a little bit more than the usual Google search!), and coming up with original ideas is HARD. </li></ul>
  • 17. AND IT IS A VERY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE FROM COLLEGE <ul><li>Nobody sets your curriculum .. Once you choose your topic, you design your own program of study.. You’ll have to be able to do that. </li></ul>
  • 18. OK, NOW THAT YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A SCHOOL? <ul><li>RESEARCH! Your research career will start at researching various grad schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Do personal research, talk to people, talk to profs about schools that will be best fit for you. </li></ul><ul><li>At this point, you don’t really know what you’ll end up working on, so try to pick schools that offer more variety </li></ul>
  • 19. TOP SCHOOLS AND OTHERS <ul><li>We all want to go to Harvard, but remember that it may not be the best fit for you. </li></ul><ul><li>Big name schools have much tougher competitive environment </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty members are much more famous and busy, so you’ll be pretty much on your own </li></ul><ul><li>Not everybody thrives in such environments </li></ul><ul><li>So a slightly less famous but more friendly department may be better for you. </li></ul>
  • 20. WHILE CHOOSING SCHOOLS, SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD NOTE <ul><li>Completion rates </li></ul><ul><li>Funding opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty profiles </li></ul><ul><li>Placements ( is it more geared towards academia or industry) </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, graduating at the top of your class at a mid-level school is better than graduating in the middle from a top school </li></ul>
  • 21. THAT THING CALLED THE GRE.. <ul><li>Yep, you need prep time for that. Plan ahead and try taking your first shot around October. That way you’ll have time for another shot, if need be, before the scores need to be sent </li></ul><ul><li>For Econ programs, the math score is really what matters </li></ul>
  • 22. MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOU APPLICATION PACKAGE <ul><li>Reference letters. Try to find Professors who’ll give you good Reference letters rather than chasing after famous ones who don’t know you that well. </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing hurts your application more than an indifferent reference letter, so please take this aspect seriously and talk to your professors well ahead of time </li></ul>
  • 23. DO A RESEARCH PROJECT IF YOU CAN <ul><li>Try and find an opportunity to research and write you own little paper before you graduate from college. </li></ul><ul><li>You’ll have something very valuable added to your CV, you’ll have a feel for what it means to do research and if you work with a professor and do well, you’ll get a much better reference letter from him than you would if you had just topped his class. </li></ul>
  • 24. NOW THAT YOU’VE GOT YOUR FELLOWSHIP OFFER FROM HARVARD…WHAT’S NEXT? <ul><li>Lot of hard work.. </li></ul><ul><li>Math, math and more math </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone who wants to go for a PhD in Econ should ( I would say must) get as much math as they can before leaving college. </li></ul>
  • 25. MATH COURSES THAT YOU SHOULD TAKE <ul><li>A good calculus sequence </li></ul><ul><li>Linear algebra </li></ul><ul><li>Some more advanced courses like real analysis if possible </li></ul><ul><li>The first two are absolute necessities. Many good schools will right away reject you if you don’t have good grades in these courses </li></ul>
  • 26. AT THE END… <ul><li>In addition to hard work and motivation, you’ll some times need a good dose of humor to keep you going..so here’s one good source once again to give you a glimpse into the life of a grad student: </li></ul><ul><li>www.phdcomics.com </li></ul>

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