Admissions Blog

73 Questions with the Admissions PAs

By The 2022-23 Admissions PAs!
Posted May 09 2023

Inspired by Vogue’s 73 Questions, where people answer 73 questions at rapid-fire speed, your SIPA Office of Admissions Program Assistants (PAs) decided to put our own spin on it. We answer your burning questions about SIPA while also sharing some tidbits about ourselves while walking through campus, enjoy!

  1. Favorite subway line? The 1, it’s reliable, it’s always there for you.
  2. JFK, LaGuardia, or Newark? Easy. LaGuardia.
  3. Best thing to happen to you today? I’ll be attending a Philharmonic Concert tonight (shoutout to Student Insider for these $25 tickets).
  4. Worst thing to happen to you today? Having 8 hours of class…
  5. A skill you’re working on mastering? I’m going back to basics and am getting into drawing.
  6. Favorite professor? Anya Schiffrin, head of the TMaC Specialization
  7. Favorite class? Authoritarianism with Lisa Anderson (a lot of reading but worth it)
  8. How is the job search going? Pretty well, I am going back to where I interned last summer!
  9. Do you have an on or off-campus job? I’m a reader for a management course and a Research Assistant at the Center for Global Energy Policy (CGEP).
  10. Favorite study spot at Columbia? It’s a classic spot, on Sunday’s you can catch me at the main reading room in Butler Library.
  11. What should applicants emphasize in the personal statement? Emphasize the “Why SIPA? Why is Columbia the best fit for you?”
  12. What language are you learning at SIPA? Russian! I'm currently 3 semesters in.
  13. What is stressing you out right now? Finishing grading for Macroeconomics and wrapping up my Capstone report.
  14. What is the average number of years of work experience that students have? From what I’ve seen, around 4-5 years of work experience.
  15. What is the average class size? Core courses are around 48-55 students per class, concentration/specialization courses are closer to 25 students per class.
  16. Quirkiest thing about you? I have a stuffed microbe collection; I collect the different bacteria that I used to study in undergrad.
  17. Favorite spot not in Brooklyn? I love the West Side highway bike path; it’s perfect for long runs.
  18. If your hometown was a food, what food would it be? Maple Syrup, I’m from Colchester, Vermont afterall.
  19. Do you believe in aliens? Hmmm, what I will say is I believe in single-celled organisms on other planets.
  20. Do you have any family traditions? My mother, grandmother, and aunt have never changed their last names; we are a very female strong family!
  21. How is working at admissions? It’s been a really great experience!
  22. How did you find housing? Through the Columbia Housing website; it was a straightforward process, especially for international students.
  23. Favorite SIPA memory in 5 words. The 5-hour Corporate Finance exam.
  24. Where do you want to be when you graduate? Because I’m married, I hope to be wherever my husband will be <3
  25. Blue Bottle or Joe’s? Blue Bottle, of course!
  26. What is your zodiac sign? Taurus
  27. Secret talent? I can… sing!
  28. Favorite smell? A sweet rose.
  29. Your affirmation for today? All is well, everything will be ok.
  30. If you could switch lives with someone for a day, who would it be? That would be with my favorite singer, Taylor Swift!
  31. What does your average day look like? Wake up, have breakfast, take the subway to campus, go to class or work a shift at Admissions, have lunch, study a bit, work out, and end my day with dinner and a movie.
  32. Something that surprised you about SIPA? The people - you learn an immense amount from your peers and professors.
  33. Something that you absolutely anticipated? How the diversity of the study body really enriches classroom discussions.
  34. How cutthroat is networking? I haven’t found it to be bad at all, if anything, the people have been really kind to refer me to positions and introduce me to their network.
  35. Best part of living in NYC? My personal favorite is the parks!
  36. Top 3 skills you’re taking away from SIPA? Writing, confidence in speaking, and improved self-esteem
  37. What did you want to be when you grew up? A fairy princess
  38. What 3 people living or dead would you like to make dinner for? My grandmother, Amal Clooney, and Maya Angelou
  39. Best compliment you’ve ever received? Anything my mother has said to me.
  40. Last piece of content you consumed that made you cry? “Beautiful World, Where Are You” by Sally Rooney
  41. Best advice you’d give your younger self? Be kind to yourself, you’re doing a great job!
  42. Favorite study spot at SIPA? 15th Floor (hands-down best views from campus)
  43. Top application tip?  Follow the guidelines.
  44. What is a common application mistake you should avoid? People not following the guidelines.
  45. Favorite place to grab a drink/hangout? Arts and Crafts
  46. What is the hardest class you have taken? That’s a tie between Times Series Analysis and The Japanese Economy; both are challenging yet rewarding.
  47. Central park or riverside park? Central Park for sunrise, Riverside park for sunset.
  48. Favorite treat at Hungarian? Croissants (with jam and butter)
  49. Superpower you would want? Know all the languages of the world
  50. Favorite Museum? The Met
  51. If your hometown was a sport what would it be? Cross country skiing
  52. Favorite school to cross-register at? The Law School! If you’re coming to Columbia, make sure you take advantage of all that the university offers. My favorite class at CLS is Extractive Industries & Sustainable Development taught by Professor Lisa Sachs.
  53. What are you involved in outside of school? I joined the Columbia Energy Association (formerly SIPA Energy Association) my first semester at SIPA as the Director of Alumni Engagement.
  54. What is your favorite SIPA acronym? Seeples = SIPA + People
  55. How did you make friends? Primarily from my Seeples group (the group you are assigned to during orientation) and my concentration.
  56. Favorite event you’ve attended? The Journalism School had a showing of the documentary “Navalny”, followed by a Q&A with Director Daniel Roher. Shortly after seeing it, it won an Oscar for Best Documentary (Feature)!
  57. Most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life? Move to Sierra Leone
  58. Best piece of advice you’ve recently received? Life’s too short to work with jerks.
  59. Song you can listen to on repeat? Since You’ve Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson
  60. What’s your go-to place for comfort food? Joe’s Steam Rice Roll
  61. How would you define yourself in 3 words? Empathetic, Curious and Stubborn
  62. How many countries are represented at SIPA? Over 160!
  63. How many native languages are spoken by SIPA students? 50+
  64. What's a cause that is important to you? I’m really really passionate about equitable access to high-quality public education for all children in the U.S.
  65. What were you doing before SIPA? I was working in education at a charter school in Hell’s Kitchen.
  66. Why did you choose SIPA? I wanted to stay in NY and SIPA  was the best fit for me because it provided a strong international perspective on policy.
  67. What is a capstone and how is yours going? A Capstone is the culminating experience at SIPA; it’s a semester-long consulting project that you complete as a group (usually with others in your concentration). Mine is going pretty well, thanks for asking!
  68. What is a quantitative resume? In addition to a professional resume, we require a quantitative resume. This lists all your quantitative-based courses you have taken (ex: economics, statistics) and any quantitative-focused professional experience.
  69. What’s your wakeup ritual? The first thing I do is open Spotify and queue up pump-up songs. I start getting ready and spend way too long trying to find socks.
  70. What are 3 things you can’t live without? TikTok, Spotify, and my mom
  71. Your go-to for having a good laugh? Calling my younger sister.
  72. What’s your most irrational fear in life? Pigeons, which is interesting given I live in NYC.
  73. Favorite shape? I’ll give you my top three: a 5-point star, a heart, and a scalene triangle.