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Thread: Profile Evaluation Management/Organizational Behavior

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    Profile Evaluation Management/Organizational Behavior

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    Dear Forum,

    I've only been reading quietly up until now, but would love to ask for your help. I'm an international student from an approx top 10 European undergrad business school having done a somewhat unusual program focused around business administration, organizations and society. I'm now headed to one of the UK schools (think: Oxford, Cambridge, LSE) to get a (one-year) masters in sociology. Since I'm simultaneously looking to apply to phd programs (mostly) in organizational behavior or management, some feedback would be highly appreciated.


    Test scores: GRE Q:164 (87th) V:164 (94th)
    Undergrad GPA: converts to 3.83/4.00 (top 5%)
    Graduate GPA: no grades available at the time of application deadlines.
    Research experience: started out as an editorial assistant for a (barely respectable) journal about 2.5 years ago. Started taking on more research related tasks for the prof/editor over time (mostly data cleaning in the beginning) and am now heavily engaged in research project for which I am going to be a coauthor. We might have the paper handed in somewhere by the time of the applications, but there won't be any results yet. The paper itself is situated in a field I probably would not consider myself to be working with when doing my own research, but it is business research.
    Going to try to do everything in my power to get another RA position at my master's institutions by the time of the application deadlines.
    Teaching experience: none
    Work experience: nothing substantial


    Concentration Applying to: Management/Organizational Behavior (/Strategy)
    Number of programs planned to apply to: as many as I can produce high-quality statements for throughout the next months. Probably between 10-15.
    Dream Schools: MIT, LBS, Berkeley-Haas


    What made you want to pursue a PhD?
    - the editorial and research assistant tasks described above, as well as my undergraduate program, in which each year ends on a research paper had my become super interested in the type of work associated with research. I've got to experience the back and forth that research can be quite a bit by now, but I've thoroughly enjoyed it.


    Questions/concerns?
    - I barely missed the 90th percentile for quant, which bugs me, since I had reached that during practice sessions. I don't quite have the time to retake it though and couldn't guarantee the same verbal score again, so that probably won't be happening. Given the obscure nature of admissions half of the people I talk to tell me that I should be fine and the other says that without a 90th I'm out. (Since I'm not planning on retaking, this is more of a concern than a question, but as always, any kind of comment will be appreciated.
    - LORs: I have two strong LORs from my bachelor thesis advisor as well as from the prof I've been doing research with. I am uncertain about the third. I could get one from a professor I've had two classes with (and done well in, but she does not know anything about my research abilities as such), the second professor of my research project (although he does not know me quite as well as the first one and I'm afraid it will just be the same letter twice), or I could try and build a relationship w someone at the UK school and do research for them (but given that there are only two months between meeting and deadlines, I don't know how enthusiastic that one is going to get). Any advice would be much appreciated.
    - As many might do, I am currently aiming as high as possible (top programs) and would love some feedback on that? Am I aiming too high? How low down the rankings should I go with my applications and how many lower ranks should be mixed in there?


    I hope that this is enough information for you to give me some feedback on, if not I will happily provide more. Either way, thanks for the help. This forum has truly been insightful (and I should probably check it less often than I do). Anything you can provide me with is going to be highly appreciated.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation Management/Organizational Behavior

    See my thoughts to your questions/concerns:

    Quote Originally Posted by FeastLumpi View Post
    - I barely missed the 90th percentile for quant, which bugs me, since I had reached that during practice sessions. I don't quite have the time to retake it though and couldn't guarantee the same verbal score again, so that probably won't be happening. Given the obscure nature of admissions half of the people I talk to tell me that I should be fine and the other says that without a 90th I'm out. (Since I'm not planning on retaking, this is more of a concern than a question, but as always, any kind of comment will be appreciated.
    Should be fine. it's close enough that it won't be a big deal. The quant scores are heavily skewed, with many students with near perfect or perfect raw scores on the quant side. However, the verbal is much tougher. Combined, your scores look competitive to get a look over at most places, if not all.

    Quote Originally Posted by FeastLumpi View Post
    - LORs: I have two strong LORs from my bachelor thesis advisor as well as from the prof I've been doing research with. I am uncertain about the third. I could get one from a professor I've had two classes with (and done well in, but she does not know anything about my research abilities as such), the second professor of my research project (although he does not know me quite as well as the first one and I'm afraid it will just be the same letter twice), or I could try and build a relationship w someone at the UK school and do research for them (but given that there are only two months between meeting and deadlines, I don't know how enthusiastic that one is going to get). Any advice would be much appreciated.

    My advice is to go with the faculty member that knows you the best as a person. A faculty that can say you did well in their class, but you have no personal relationship with, has nothing more substantive to say. This would make for a really short LOR that doesn't really set you apart in anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by FeastLumpi View Post

    - As many might do, I am currently aiming as high as possible (top programs) and would love some feedback on that? Am I aiming too high? How low down the rankings should I go with my applications and how many lower ranks should be mixed in there?


    Nope. Pick a list of schools that you are willing to accept... In other words, if the 'lowest' (I know, it's completely subjective what makes a program better than others) program you applied to was the ONLY program to give you an offer, you should be excited to go there as it is. If you would have doubts, then I would say omit that from your list of schools. I don't believe in 'safety schools', where you would hesitate to go but you applied there 'just in case' you didn't get in anywhere else. If that's the case, you may be better off spending another year to shore up your application and take a better shot next round. That being said, if you don't details about many of these programs, it would be difficult to gauge your 'fit' in general ... If you go to a highly recognized private school but end up hating life there (for whatever reason), is it worth 4-6 years of your life to get the degree from there? In other words, don't reduce your list to the point where you are only aiming for the 'top 15' (again, depends on which rankings you use) management programs that you think you would like. Just don't consider a #110 school if you already know you would be completely disappointed.

    When I applied to schools, I went for about 17 - 21.

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