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Thread: Profile evaluation-Phd in Marketing (CB)

  1. #1
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    Smile Profile evaluation-Phd in Marketing (CB)

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    Hi there
    I’m a rising senior and I’m going to apply for PhD in marketing (CB) this fall-2018 matriculation. I’ll be really grateful if anyone could take a look at my profile and offer me some advice! Thanks!
    Below is a little bit about myself:

    Test Scores (GMAT/GRE):
    GMAT: 770(99%): Q:51(97%), V:42(96%), AWA:6(90%), IR:5(54%)
    GRE: V:162(90%), Q:169(97%), AWA:4.5(82%)
    (BTW, which score do you think I should use? May I send them both?)
    Undegrad GPA: Around 3.95/4.0, rank the 1st in my cohort (top 2 B-school in China, accounting major); One semester study abroad at a top 5 public US university, GPA 4.0/4.0
    Research Experience:
    1 One working project in progress, co-authored with two HK marketing Assistant professors. The studies were mostly completed and first draft of the paper in preparation. Working paper was accepted by this year’s ACR (first author) and I’m gonna attend the conference this fall in San Diego Super excited and nervous ummm...
    2 Currently serving RAship (i.e. reviewing literature, designing experiment, analyzing data etc.) for a marketing Assistant Professor at NUS, Singapore.
    3 Last summer served as RA for a marketing Assistant Professor at a public university in HK (who later became my co-author in the working project mentioned above).
    4 Several other pieces of unimportant marketing CB-related RAships during my sophomore year (some dirty work like data collection and input etc.).
    Teaching Experience: None.
    Work Experience: None.

    Concentration Applying to: Marketing (CB)
    Number of programs planned to apply to: 10-15
    Dream Schools: Stanford (fine, I know it’s only DREAM school)!! Other T30 school.

    Other information
    1. I have been considering pursuing a PhD since the end of my freshman year. This is primarily because I really do not like the work atmosphere at corporations and I’d like to be a university faculty in the future. At that time, I briefly explored the b-schools’ PhD programs and found that Marketing (CB) look interesting. I began taking on some minor RA work from the beginning of my sophomore year and gradually became settled on this path.

    2. Personally I think my weakness is that I don’t have any letter of reference from US professors, so I don’t know whether my letter of recommendation will play a role at all. Also, given that I’m an international student, I’m not sure whether language will be a concern during the admission process (though I do have a pretty decent Toefl score). More importantly, although I have done my own project with other professors and it has been accepted by ACR, the research topic my paper explored is a rather narrow one, thus I think it may not help much if I list it as my major research interest in the SOP since only very limited professor will be matched with me then.

    Questions:

    1 What’s my chance of getting admitted to T30? Any advice what I could do now to improve my chance?
    I know that the slots are limited and there’re tons of other applicants who have solid research experience as well as good connection with target schools’ professors. But spending the money and the 5-6 years of time at another country is a big decision in my life. And I think I’ll only apply to some T30 PhD programs and several psych MA programs so at least I could be confident that my investment is kind of worthy. I will really appreciate it if you could help me have some idea on my chance.
    2 What’s the most important factor during admission?
    I personally guess it’s the fit between the faculty’s research interest and mine. But I do think the words about research interest can be cheap talk. And honestly, I’m not quite sure what I’d like to focus on in the future. I’m interested in a lot of topics and I think I’m willing to do the research in the given area as long as I have a supervisor that goes along with me. Moreover, I think the research procedure (i.e. experiment design, data analysis) is similar for all CB topics, only whether you’re familiar with the literature or not. I really don’t quite understand the point of emphasizing on research interest for an incoming PhD student.

    3 Any research-focused psych MA program to recommend?
    I know that the psych MA at NYU is good. It can be self-designed as research focused and extended into two years of study. Is there any other research-focused psych MA program that may help for future PhD in Marketing (CB) application?

    Thank you very much! Wish you all the best
    Ummm...And sorry for the long post. It seems that I wrote too many words (sigh…)

    Lilly
    Last edited by lillynaiko; 07-13-2017 at 11:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Marketing PhD student
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    Re: Profile evaluation-Phd in Marketing (CB)

    With your experience, you don't need a psych masters. Just apply for PhD directly. You should be very competitive in top schools.

  3. #3
    A long long time ago XanthusARES's Avatar
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    Re: Profile evaluation-Phd in Marketing (CB)

    Howdy and welcome to our forum. Sorry I didn't get a chance to post earlier, I was taking a much needed vacation (yes you'll get those during a PhD).

    Honestly your profile seems like it could be a good fit for a T15 school. NUS is a fairly well known school in the US and has extremely solid faculty, you won't have a problem with your letter of recommendation's coming from there. The research experience you have is great and will put you at the top of a lot of schools' lists. There isn't a lot that I can think to add to your profile that would be of much value. As is, I'd be surprised if you weren't in a top 30 school next fall.

    One note on research interests. Yes I agree that it is ridiculous to expect a pre-PhD student to be able to speak about research in any meaningful way. Yes I agree that for the most part since the methodologies are similar you can fairly easily change your research stream in CB. Largely though people don't change their research streams very often and for good reasons. You want to be an expert in a field, changing streams all the time makes you a diluted brand and that means you're harder to remember and more likely to just be forgotten. So if you have hopes of going to a top school and getting a prof to back your project that nothing to do with their previous research, you are going to find yourself kicked out of that program real quick.

    I get that you aren't positive what you want to research. No one is before they enter a program. You get in with an idea, which then morphs, sometimes gets abandoned and eventually you end up with a dissertation. For a school, though, they want you to succeed. They don't want to kick you out, the best indicator of success is research interest. Period. Everyone in a PhD program is smart, most of us are creative. Schools are really good at being able to look at transcripts and CV's and figure out if a person has the mental toughness to succeed at a program, that's why we always tell people who are questioning their ability while in a PhD program that they do. If you didn't, you wouldn't get accepted. Research interests that align with faculty is the sole indicator for success in the future because that is what will get you through the program. Having someone you can toss ideas off of and who will mentor you so that your grand ideas become feasible papers is necessary for success. It's why we emphasize it so much on here and why schools care so much about it during interviews. It's important because 3 years in if you don't align with a faculty member you'll either be kicked out of the program or you'll hate your life because your research has no support.

    That is why it is so important to apply to schools where you have a good research fit. The expectation is that your interests will change and your final dissertation will be nothing like what you write about in your SOP. That's fine, that is expected. You need a baseline interest, though, because you need to start researching right away so that you can change that interest and refine it as soon as possible.

    Anyway I hope that makes sense and helps. Mainly I wanted to emphasize how important research interests and fit really are. You don't need a specific topic, but a general idea and methodology is important. Ranking is relative to research interest. A top 10 school for your research interest may not be in the top 30. Don't limit yourself or try to make your research fit with only the top schools. It will come across in your application and you won't be accepted.

    One final note, you may not think that research fit is important. And while I largely agree that as a young PhD you can adapt to your surroundings, when profs look at your application they will be asking two important questions. First is this person intellectually able to complete a program (judged by scores, GPA's, letter of recommendation's, interview responses) and, more importantly, who would this person be a good student for. The second question is the most important. If they can't quickly think of a faculty who could work with you, they won't accept you. If you say you have research interest in X and want to work with professor Y and professor Y doesn't study X, they won't accept you. If you would be a perfect fit for a faculty member, but that member doesn't have the capacity to work with a student, they won't accept you. All of this will be happening in the 1 minute they spend looking at your application. Don't give them a reason to not interview you. Find schools with faculty who have similar research interests.
    Til now I always got by on my own
    I never really cared until I met you...

  4. #4
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    Re: Profile evaluation-Phd in Marketing (CB)

    Hi XanthusARES. Thanks so much for the detailed and elaborated response!

    I kind of get the importance of research interest fit you're trying to express. And I'm starting to understand why schools emphasize so much on the match between prof and students during the application.

    Personally, my problem may be that the topic of my current project is rather narrowed and not what I'd like to focus in the future. So I'm still trying to figure out what specific research topic I'd like to talk about in my application (guess I still have several more months to do that...). Presently, I'm kind of interested in consumption in the social context (including goal pursuit & motivation in the social context, gift-giving, etc.). Not sure whether a research topic this "general" will work XDD

    Just one last quick question: how can I find out whether the faculties are taking in student this application season? Check whether the PhD students they have are in their 4/5th year or are still rather fresh?

    Once again, it's super helpful to receive your response! Wish you all the best with your current research!

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