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Thread: 2017 Ph.D. Business Administration Sweat Thread

  1. #1231
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    Re: 2017 Ph.D. Business Administration Sweat Thread

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    Re: 2017 Ph.D. Business Administration Sweat Thread

    I don't even know what to say about this. I mean I have heard these warnings so many times, but it is true... we won't know what it really feels like until we are in the middle of it. I am worried about all of what you said except for the money part. I mean during the program yeah sure... there won't be much money to spend, but in my personal opinion business profs make a decent amount of money once they are done. Guess this perception is relative. I don't want to live in a million dollar home or have a super luxurious lifestyle. The reason for my desire to get a PhD are exactly the positives you listed. Having the kind of autonomy, being able to pursue your own interests. That's a fantastic profession! Where else do you get to do that?

    Hopefully some of you will still be around this fall or next year so we can see how the rest of us are doing.



    Quote Originally Posted by XanthusARES View Post
    On to impostor syndrome. You are not smart enough to be in a PhD program. You aren't. Everyone else is better than you and you should just quit now. That is the voice that you will hear in the back of your head nearly every day. On your worst days you'll have one foot out the door and be applying to industry jobs because there is no chance in h#$* that you'll ever get an academic position once people realize how unfit for this life you are. There will be days or even weeks on end where you'll be going through the motions, but spending your nights and weekends searching for industry positions or applying to jobs unrelated to academic research. I know this from personal experience. On average less than 50% of all people who start a PhD program will complete it. (obviously that number is across all PhD programs, not business specific and we can certainly have a debate about what the number is in business schools) You will cry. You will question your decision to be here, a lot. You will wonder well into your first tenure track position whether this is the right choice for you, for your family, for your well being. You will not ever be the smartest, well read, most accomplished person in your profession. You will fail. You will fail so much that failing will become your new reality. You will wonder what success means and every win will come with lots of caveats. You will hate your dissertation by the time you defend it. You will discourage people from entering academia. You will cry some more. You'll be jealous of your friends who are moving up the corporate ladder, who are driving brand new BMW's as you struggle to make your payment on your 10 year old Honda. You will walk by houses that you will never be able to afford even as a tenured faculty. You won't ever be rich (again speaking relatively of course). There is a limit to your potential, and you will never even come close to living up to that potential. You'll cry. Stress dreams will make up 80% of the dreams you have. You'll disappoint yourself, your adviser, your family. You won't get tenure at your top choice, you won't even get an interview at your top choice. People who seemingly work half as much as you will get positions that you feel you deserve. You will never work harder for so little. And finally, you will cry.

    I'm telling you this because this is the reality of the life that you are all choosing to enter into. I don't want to sugarcoat it because this life is hard. Really hard. All the time it is hard. But...it is also great. It is fulfilling to get to answer questions that you want to answer. To know that you are adding to the collective knowledge of the world. To get to work so f*&%#ing hard that you go to bed feeling accomplished, even if the day was filled with null effects. YOU and ONLY YOU get to define success. You get to take time off and importantly you should. More than any other field if you want to take the afternoon and go to a movie you can, with no one questioning that decision. While there are so many failures that you feel like there is nothing else, there is. Every day that you make progress in the program is a win. Every day that you wake up and so something for the field (even if that is just thinking about what you want to do) is a win. You have fellow students on here going through the same thing. You need to understand that you are not alone. You aren't. Every other student in your program and in every PhD across the country at one time or another has the same thoughts. We live in an academic world where we feel like the most successful people don't feel like us. They do, or at least they did. One of the most accomplished people in my field, who won a noble prize, has never had a paper accepted at our top journal. Ever. This is life, this is the life we've chosen. Put your head down, power through and you will come out the other side with something that 97% of the world does not have, a doctorate.

    There is one more point that I want to make. This life is not for everyone. That nagging feeling you hear in the back of your head may be right. It is worth your time to evaluate when it's impostor syndrome and when you should be looking elsewhere. There is no shame in leaving a program. Let me say that again in bold, THERE IS NO SHAME IN NOT FINISHING YOUR PHD! It is not for everyone and until you are in the trenches you can't really know whether this life is for you. Don't let your own psyche, family pressure or anything else force you to complete the PhD. Finish it because you like this lifestyle. Finish it because it will help you to achieve the goals you wrote about in your SOP. Finish it because you can literally see no other path in your life that would make you happy. One thing that is not talked about often enough on this forum or in academia in general is the psychological stress that this life puts on you. For those of us already struggling with depression it will get worse. I beg you to get help if you need it. Find a counselor, talk to a psychiatrist, get on medication. There is absolutely no shame in this. I will gladly say that without my doctor I couldn't do this. Please keep an eye out for symptoms of depression in yourself and your colleagues and do feel ashamed to ask for the help you need. You will be thankful that you did.
    Applied: 14, Interviews: 11, Accepted: 6, Waitlisted: 1, Rejected: 3

  3. #1233
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    Re: 2017 Ph.D. Business Administration Sweat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Silviatx View Post
    I don't even know what to say about this. I mean I have heard these warnings so many times, but it is true... we won't know what it really feels like until we are in the middle of it. I am worried about all of what you said except for the money part. I mean during the program yeah sure... there won't be much money to spend, but in my personal opinion business profs make a decent amount of money once they are done. Guess this perception is relative.
    Oh yeah as someone who grew up lower middle class, the money that business profs make sounds like winning the lottery to me. The larger point of that wasn't that you'll be poor necessarily, but the perks and bonuses that come with an industry position (such as stock options, merit based salary increases, holiday bonuses, and things of that nature) just aren't available to profs. Add to the fact that literally in industry there is not really a maximum salary assuming you are good enough and willing to move around the world or country for a job. In academia there is 100% a salary cap and a cap that is still significantly lower than what you could potentially make in industry.

    Again, my larger point is that this life is a sacrifice and that I'm not positive that the impostor syndrome feeling ever goes away. Also to point out that this is not the life for everyone and if money is your primary motivating factor, it's probably not the life for you. The salaries profs make are not sufficiently high enough to deal with all of the stress, second guessing, and everything else that comes with an academic lifestyle. You are, of course, free to disagree, but the statistics are on my side.
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  4. #1234
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    Re: 2017 Ph.D. Business Administration Sweat Thread

    Once we are established in the field, there are monetary benefits from writing books, giving speeches etc. For example, the top academics are probably charging 50K per speech. I am not saying everyone will reach that stage, but still the potential is there.

    I know a professor from my business school who made an absolute fortune by consulting for large companies, for which he probably took assistance from the smartest MBA students who took his elective.

    Having said this, coming from the industry after a relatively long career, I can't wait for the intellectual satisfaction and independence of an academic career.

    Quote Originally Posted by XanthusARES View Post
    In academia there is 100% a salary cap and a cap that is still significantly lower than what you could potentially make in industry.

  5. #1235
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    Re: 2017 Ph.D. Business Administration Sweat Thread

    A mgt prof at my alma mater who is a fields chair makes about 500,000 and has a gigantic research budget. She makes more than the department chair. I am just saying that it is possible to "move up" even in academia.
    You also can't forget that once they are tenured and some of the pressure is gone, the salary is technically for 9 months of work. I know many profs who really don't do much work during summer at all.

    I have only met one professor in my life who said getting a PhD was a bad decison. I think he had more fun working in the industry. It's kind of funny too because his wife is the dean of a college of business at a school. I wonder if he got his PhD just for her? Yeah, he actually tried to talk me out of this last year.
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