What should I do this fall?

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brownpride
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What should I do this fall?

Postby brownpride » Thu May 17, 2012 5:10 pm

I graduated this spring and applied this cycle as well - was applied to HLS, where I deposited and was granted a deferral. Such had been my plan since I began my undergrad degree, as I've known for a few years I wanted to study law but also knew that I ultimately want to work in international relations and want to earn a graduate degree in that field before law school. I want this for two reasons: 1) Every person I know in law school has told me to take a year off before coming into law school as it enhances perspective/maturity, and 2) I personally want the intellectual development grad studies in my field will bring. I also am young - 21 - as I finished my degree in three years as opposed to four. I know I could go straight into law this fall and do fine, but I just feel that I'd get more from the experience by waiting a year and working on myself more.

That being said, I deferred with the intention of completing a one-year masters degree next year (in international relations) at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I love the school, program, and city but unfortunately I didn't get any funding. I'm realizing now that it's gonna cost much more than I thought - somewhere between 50 and 60k including living expenses - and considering I'll be paying for law school fully through loans I don't think I can handle that much more debt for a degree that probably won't increase my employment prospects THAT much. I do, however, want to do a masters program at some point in the next few years. I also have an offer from my undergrad institution (an average school) to do a masters in public policy next year, fully funded. It's not fully what I'd want but there is a lot I can learn from it, it'll give me another year to work on myself, and will equip me with another professional skillset too. My third option is to go straight to HLS (they've said they can still let me in), but I'm just worried that going straight from UG will render me unable to take the full benefit from it. This option is a little appealing, though, because money is quite an issue to me since once I start working I have to contribute a lot to my family - so I could start working a year earlier. Since I'm sure some people will ask, I'm not entertaining working for a year as an option. With a BA and living in a city with very little that's related to my field, I can't justify working for a meagre salary for a year while I have my law admission already. If I'm not getting a masters then I wouldn't work for a year for ~40k when I could be making far far more if I work hard at HLS. I would only defer to be in school for another year and earn a degree that would stick with me for the rest of my life. I really have no clue what to do, please advise! Sorry for the long post.

TL;DR - 21 and straight out of college. Admitted to HLS and deferred for a year to do masters at school of choice. That masters is 50k+ for a year. Choose one of the following:
a) Do masters at school of choice, love it, pay through the nose for it
b) Do masters at hometown uni, love it less but have no debt and be able to work while doing it
c) Save the year and go straight to HLS, but potentially when I'm not 100% ready for it and may not get the most out of it

rglifberg
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby rglifberg » Thu May 17, 2012 5:51 pm

Dude, you're going to Harvard. Do whatever you think works best for you.

brownpride
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby brownpride » Thu May 17, 2012 5:59 pm

I don't have a damn clue what that is. I know the earning prospects out of HLS aren't bad but I ultimately want to do PI so money is a big factor. That, plus I don't just have to worry about myself - I've gotta take care of my parents too. That being said, I also don't want to deny myself opportunities to grow and to learn as much as I can. What would you choose?

masked kavana
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby masked kavana » Thu May 17, 2012 6:07 pm

As someone who's interested in PI I completely understand your concern with regards to tuition.

So honestly, if you are truly committed to growing before going to HLS it seems like the best bet would be to take the money at your current university and study there.

You will have the opportunity to work, gain a different skill set and help your family.

As much as London sounds like a great time, it just doesn't seem to be worth taking on that much more debt.

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Law Sauce
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby Law Sauce » Thu May 17, 2012 6:07 pm

I would chose b or c. If you really want to do the other degree, do it, just do it cheaply. Usually your are just paying for the name in a degree. You already have Harvard for law school so where you did the other degree really won't make a big difference.

ams212
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby ams212 » Thu May 17, 2012 6:10 pm

It sounds like you're gonna be pretty set whatever you do, so do what makes you happy. If you want to eventually work in policy areas, I would think The London School of Economics would probably be your best option. It also depends if you are willing to live well below your means upon graduation at Harvard to pay off debts from both.

BaseballT
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby BaseballT » Thu May 17, 2012 6:10 pm

I would say the first thing is to eliminate one choice. And I think that choice is attending Harvard this fall. You had already made the decision to give yourself some time off, so if you switch that up now I think you might always look back and wish you had taken more time before you started.

In choosing between the other two options, one is clearly risky and the other is more conservative. A major question to ask yourself is: have I allowed myself to be selfish in my life decisions from time to time, choosing something that doesn't make as much rational sense but I think would provide me adventure/fulfillment? You sound like someone who has always taken the rational road, the one that will maximize your contributions to your family (financial and otherwise). Whether you are going to take the LSE program is a question of how much you allow yourself to stray from straight functionality in weighing a decision.

Loan repayment programs could cover most of your student debt after graduating Harvard, and if need be you COULD get a corporate job for a few years to repay loans and contribute to family, so that is something else to consider regarding costs.

My personal choice would be the hometown university option, but I also tend to play it safe/functional with my decisions. Good luck!

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99.9luft
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby 99.9luft » Thu May 17, 2012 6:12 pm

go with (b), LSE for IR is highly overrated and useful only for EU employment, at best.

brownpride
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby brownpride » Thu May 17, 2012 6:31 pm

BaseballT, I think you're absolutely right about eliminating going straight through. You're also right about me always choosing the rational option - I chose to stay at home for UG because I got a full scholarship, and that full scholarship is what would still carry me through this masters program. And yeah, I always do think in terms of money and tangibles. But I have reconciled myself to the fact that I'll be working private sector for a few years to pay off the loans. Still, an extra 50-60k in loans makes that a harder task.

Would you still take the hometown option considering the following: I'd have no debt in it but would get a highly conservative (ideologically skewed) view of public policy and network and interact with a bunch of rich people obsessed with the energy industry (which is what my city is based on), rather than getting a well-rounded view of IR which is the field I want to work in and meeting people from all over the globe. Also, that in a social science focused institution, which really appeals to me b/c my UG sucked balls for social sci. I clearly want the latter, but is 50k worth that kind of adventure, especially considering HLS loans?

CanadianWolf
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 17, 2012 6:38 pm

To be blunt, option (b) is your best choice since you don't seem to be ready for law school & LSE is too expensive for one about to pursue a debt laden law degree.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu May 17, 2012 6:45 pm

I would go with B. As long as your professors as good professors, both in terms of teaching ability and in terms of being an academic, does their particular slant really matter too much? I've had great professors who are rock-stars in their particular field, but they might have some views I don't necessarily agree with. As long you're covering content that you are interested in and you aren't being taught fringe theories that everyone else disagrees with, I don't see the issue in going to a school known for a particular slant.

If you think you handle handle the debt, though, LSE sounds like it would be a blast to do. The problem is the debt of law school by itself is already too high. Adding another 50-60K on top of that for a more enjoyable year seems like it could be a bit excessive.

Also: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=183509

brownpride
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby brownpride » Thu May 17, 2012 6:54 pm

I guess you're right about the slant. In terms of content I'd say my interest is like a 6/10 whereas LSE is a 9/10 for me, but alas that's the tradeoff. And I checked out that thread - holy fuck. I'd better start skimping on meals from now.

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randomwombat
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby randomwombat » Thu May 17, 2012 7:20 pm

brownpride wrote:I graduated this spring and applied this cycle as well - was applied to HLS, where I deposited and was granted a deferral. Such had been my plan since I began my undergrad degree, as I've known for a few years I wanted to study law but also knew that I ultimately want to work in international relations and want to earn a graduate degree in that field before law school. I want this for two reasons: 1) Every person I know in law school has told me to take a year off before coming into law school as it enhances perspective/maturity, and 2) I personally want the intellectual development grad studies in my field will bring. I also am young - 21 - as I finished my degree in three years as opposed to four. I know I could go straight into law this fall and do fine, but I just feel that I'd get more from the experience by waiting a year and working on myself more.

That being said, I deferred with the intention of completing a one-year masters degree next year (in international relations) at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I love the school, program, and city but unfortunately I didn't get any funding. I'm realizing now that it's gonna cost much more than I thought - somewhere between 50 and 60k including living expenses - and considering I'll be paying for law school fully through loans I don't think I can handle that much more debt for a degree that probably won't increase my employment prospects THAT much. I do, however, want to do a masters program at some point in the next few years. I also have an offer from my undergrad institution (an average school) to do a masters in public policy next year, fully funded. It's not fully what I'd want but there is a lot I can learn from it, it'll give me another year to work on myself, and will equip me with another professional skillset too. My third option is to go straight to HLS (they've said they can still let me in), but I'm just worried that going straight from UG will render me unable to take the full benefit from it. This option is a little appealing, though, because money is quite an issue to me since once I start working I have to contribute a lot to my family - so I could start working a year earlier. Since I'm sure some people will ask, I'm not entertaining working for a year as an option. With a BA and living in a city with very little that's related to my field, I can't justify working for a meagre salary for a year while I have my law admission already. If I'm not getting a masters then I wouldn't work for a year for ~40k when I could be making far far more if I work hard at HLS. I would only defer to be in school for another year and earn a degree that would stick with me for the rest of my life. I really have no clue what to do, please advise! Sorry for the long post.

TL;DR - 21 and straight out of college. Admitted to HLS and deferred for a year to do masters at school of choice. That masters is 50k+ for a year. Choose one of the following:
a) Do masters at school of choice, love it, pay through the nose for it
b) Do masters at hometown uni, love it less but have no debt and be able to work while doing it
c) Save the year and go straight to HLS, but potentially when I'm not 100% ready for it and may not get the most out of it


d) kill yourself

Suicide jokes are not okay. -Mods

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laxbrah420
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby laxbrah420 » Thu May 17, 2012 7:28 pm

With a BA and living in a city with very little that's related to my field, I can't justify working for a meagre salary for a year while I have my law admission already. If I'm not getting a masters then I wouldn't work for a year for ~40k when I could be making far far more if I work hard at HLS.

This is fucking stupid bro. Take the job making 40k, dont pay more than 800 in rent and utilities, and go see concerts and fuck bitches for a year. It's not a wasted year.

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boosk
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby boosk » Thu May 17, 2012 7:29 pm

laxbrah420 wrote:
With a BA and living in a city with very little that's related to my field, I can't justify working for a meagre salary for a year while I have my law admission already. If I'm not getting a masters then I wouldn't work for a year for ~40k when I could be making far far more if I work hard at HLS.

This is fucking stupid bro. Take the job making 40k, dont pay more than 800 in rent and utilities, and go see concerts and fuck bitches for a year. It's not a wasted year.


what he said - beat me to it but anyways:

Get a real job with meaningful responsibility, it'll teach you more than an extra degree imo - and you'll make money (where do you live that 40k is a "meagre" salary?) - I make 45 and do pretty much whatever I want + go to vegas every couple months...

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laxbrah420
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby laxbrah420 » Thu May 17, 2012 7:33 pm

40k is meager but it's not like you're a stud athlete deciding between returning for your senior year and entering the draft. your time span to make big money is virtually unlimited. 40k is enough to have a fun year --even enough to work for 10 months and party for the remaining 2.

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SDPalmTree
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby SDPalmTree » Thu May 17, 2012 7:42 pm

brownpride wrote:What would you choose?


Probably not to ask a bunch of strangers for advice. I would instead sit down and come to a decision after talking about my options with my friends and family. :|

brownpride
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 4:01 pm

Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby brownpride » Thu May 17, 2012 9:53 pm

SDPalmTree wrote:
brownpride wrote:What would you choose?


Probably not to ask a bunch of strangers for advice. I would instead sit down and come to a decision after talking about my options with my friends and family. :|


Lol I've been doing that for months to no avail. TLS is my last resort.

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BearState
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby BearState » Fri May 18, 2012 10:42 am

I think Laxbrah and Boosk are ultimately right, but if you have to have a masters degree, maybe you should see if Harvard's LRAP will cover other grad debt like it does with undergrad debt?

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Law Sauce
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby Law Sauce » Fri May 18, 2012 12:24 pm

If you're worried about the quality of the education at your home school. Take classes in your field at the Harvard policy school while in Law School. Im sure it is just as good or probably better than the LSE.

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BarcaCrossesTheAlps
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Re: What should I do this fall?

Postby BarcaCrossesTheAlps » Sat May 19, 2012 2:06 pm

Law Sauce wrote:If you're worried about the quality of the education at your home school. Take classes in your field at the Harvard policy school while in Law School. Im sure it is just as good or [*nope]probably better than the LSE.


This sounds good.




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