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Thread: PhD Evaluation for 2018 Fall in Accounting

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    PhD Evaluation for 2018 Fall in Accounting

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    Male, Asian, 33, 10+ experience in Accounting field.

    Test Scores (GMAT/GRE):
    GMAT 740( Verbal 89%, Math 97%)

    Undegrad GPA: 89/100, summa cum laude
    Graduate GPA: 1st Master Degree, 3.53/4.00; Second Master, Ongoing, Top20 US MBA in Finance, GPA 3.97/4.00

    Research Experience:
    worked as RA for two Finance Professors on 3 projects, including data cleaning, data classification, data merger preparation based on CRSP and Compustat. One independent work-in-progress under guidance of an Accounting Professor.

    Teaching Experience:
    No real teaching experience. worked to proctor several exams.

    Work Experience:
    10+ years work experience in accounting field, including five years as the associate director.

    Concentration Applying to: Accounting, Financial Archival. Current interest in Earnings management, Corporate governance, valuation anomaly.

    Number of programs planned to apply to:
    Dream Schools:

    Columbia University

    U of Toronto
    U of Washington
    Boston College
    U of Colorado Boulder
    U of Maryland
    London Business School

    Other Questions:

    What made you want to pursue a PhD?

    Personally, I am a curious and creative man by nature. my past experience showed this a lot.

    One of my interest is earnings management.

    My observations about a lot of earnings management in my environment triggered me to find out why they existed and get solutions to reduce earnings management. However, after reading several papers, I figure out that there are still a lot of controversy about how to solve this problem in academic.

    My research experience for a professor in Finance inspired me to research Earnings Management from a new way.

    Another interest is to use financial information for valuation. My ten year value investing experience shows that market is not always efficient and mispricing often exist. I have a work-in-progress researching value anomaly in this area.

    Questions or concerns you have about your profile?

    I have three weaknesses here. I am worried about them a lot.

    First, my TOEFL is only 102. Speaking 22, Writing and Listening 25, Reading 30. I am not sure to what extent this Speaking score will affect my application, especially for those top programs.

    Second, I did not have a math degree, even though I got A for all my math courses in undergraduate, including Calculus I, Calculus II, Probability and statistics, Linear Algebra.

    Third, my undergraduate school is just a very common school.

    Any additional specific questions you may have:

    I want to ask advice for which programs I should apply. I even do not know which are "Safety" schools. It seems no program is safe to me..

    Thanks for your time and your help.

  2. #2
    Within my grasp! BrazilianPhD's Avatar
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    Re: PhD Evaluation for 2018 Fall in Accounting

    Well, I'm not from Accounting, but since nobody answered, I'll try to help.

    When I was applying, some schools stated not only a minimum overall TOEFL score, but also minimum scores for each section. I had a total score of 110, but only 23 in speaking. For those schools, I used my IELTS score instead, since my IELTS was better in that regard. Some schools informed that they wanted good speaking scores since their PhD students are expected to teach classes, and so speaking is important. So, yeah, a score of 22 in speaking may be a problem for some schools, but certainly not all of them.

    Having a Math degree is far from being a requirement. It seems you can show them that you can handle Math. And that's good, because you're going to really need it.

    About your undergrad school. Well, that's something you can't change, right? So, don't worry about the things you can't change. Being from a common school shouldn't be reason enough to not be accepted by a very good school.

    About programs to apply, read YaSvoboden's post about rankings, I think that's the best guide you'll get here.

  3. #3
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Re: PhD Evaluation for 2018 Fall in Accounting

    Hi BrazilianPhD
    thanks for your detail reply. I need to retake my TOEFL exam.

  4. #4
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: PhD Evaluation for 2018 Fall in Accounting

    I normally give my opinion on these (side note, I worry that something weird about my opinion will have undue influence on people visiting this site for advice.) I have been pretty busy recently.

    Overall, I wouldn't restrict any schools based on application quality. I think you should look across the top 20-30 schools and apply to the ones that interest you the most.
    I went to a very unknown undergrad and I still got offers from good schools.

    Your school list looks good, but off the top of my head I would add a few schools based on your listed research interests. UC Berkeley seems obvious. Sloan and Dechow are two of the biggest people in valuation and EM respectively.
    University of Oregon is a good "safety" school with corporate governance experts. Really good faculty there, honestly. - I say safety lightly. Admission rates at any school are pretty low. Oregon has had some decent placements.
    Utah probably falls in the same category, but more with earnings management.

    I would move UW up. They train people very well and have several people doing stuff that I think aligns with what you are interested in.

    You should probably apply to Wharton. It is a tough school to get in to but Cathy Schrand is one of the experts you should want to work with and Wharton is excellent overall.

    Your concerns.

    That TOEFL seems low. I don't know much about it, but if you can do something to alleviate that concern, I would do it. That is a decent GMAT verbal score, so that should help. What is your writing score?

    Your math background is quite good for an accounting PhD. No concern there.

    Don't worry about undergrad. Nothing you can do and the top MBA will help anyway.

    Your research experience is good. It will help you get into a decent school.

  5. #5
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: PhD Evaluation for 2018 Fall in Accounting

    Replace Berkeley with USC. I forgot that Dechow and Sloan moved there.

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