if you do not mind me asking, what were those 4 graduate courses that were recommended?I think you're on to something, and your logic is spot on. All else equal, it's better to start studying earlier.
In my case, I did accept the offer in the first year for the school, shortly before learning my wife and I were expecting our 1st child. I was working, and it seemed prudent to save up more money before heading back. CMU rejected me, which was a bummer, because I really thought their curriculum and the strength of the interns / graduates I had worked with was top notch. The second year, I received some very direct feedback from one of the programs which rejected me, suggesting I should do 6 more math courses (4 at graduate level) to meet the minimum standards for the program. I was still working full time, but I realized the only thing worse than being rejected would be to be accepted and fail out. I did the courses, re-applied, and was accepted to a few more programs than the first round, one of which was CMU. It was a very hard choice, because the other two schools had updated their curriculums along the lines of what I hoped to learn.
Regarding COVID, I don't think we've seen a situation where the entire Global economy has just basically, well, stopped. There is clearly going to be a lot of pain, and a lot of repercussions. There is also going to be a lot of opportunity when the dust settles.
I can't pretend to say what that will look like.
I can say the skills, knowledge, and perspective I am gaining in grad school will help me to make the most of what comes my way.
Calculus Based Probability, Mathematical Statistics, Stochastic Processes, and stochastic Methods of Operations research. They were 500 level in my (US based) program, but I think they are high level undergrad in other US programs and high level nursery school in other international systems.if you do not mind me asking, what were those 4 graduate courses that were recommended?