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Thread: Accounting PhD Profile Evaluation

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Accounting PhD Profile Evaluation

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    Hi All,

    I am looking to apply to Accounting PhD programs in the Fall, so I have a bit of time to get my application ready. I'd appreciate any feedback/advice, and any tips to improve my profile!

    Research Interest: Tax Archival
    Undergrad: BBA from Top 30 National University, Top 10 Business Program (Graduated December 2015)
    GPA: 3.87/4.00
    Accounting GPA: 4.00/4.00
    Grad Program: MAcc from same school (Graduated May 2017)
    GPA: 4.00/4.00
    Math Background: Basic Statistics, Business Statistics, received Calc I credit from AP Calc class in high school (weak, I know)
    Econ Background: Intro to Microecon, Intro to Macroecon, Business Economics (A in all)
    GRE/GMAT: Planning on taking GRE this May/June
    Research Experience: Independent research paper on local tax compliance co-authored with 4 other students during MAcc program. Not published anywhere, just presented to city government tax department. Did 2 years of research in unrelated field (marketing/humanities), but involved a lot of data analytics and won a university research award and presented at a national conference.
    Work Experience: will have 1.5 years of work experience at mid-market public accounting firm by the time I apply.
    Teaching Experience: TA/Grader/Tutor for BBA Intro/Intermediate Financial Accounting courses.
    CPA: Passed all sections (scores all over the place ranging from 86-98); will be fully licensed after 1 year of work experience (August 2017.)
    LOR: Really close to 1 accounting professor who's an active researcher (took a class + my research advisor during MAcc) - she was very enthusiastic about writing me a letter. Fairly close to 2 accounting lecturers - both I took multiple classes with and spent a lot of time in office hours but neither have a PhD nor do any research. They'll probably write pretty decent letters, but nothing outstanding.

    Known weaknesses: I'm mostly worried about my quantitative background. I'm planning on taking Calc II and Linear Algebra at a local community college this summer after busy season, and squeeze in either Calc III or Econometrics in the Fall before I apply. I'm hoping this will at least show that I'm eager to improve my quant skills. Also hoping for a high quant score on my GRE.
    I also have very little research/teaching experience. I have been attending my alma mater's monthly accounting research workshops/seminars and have been trying to read as many tax research papers as I can in my spare time to narrow down my specific research interests.
    LOR: I'm a bit concerned 2 of my 3 letters are from lecturers who do not do any research/don't have PhD's. I have taken classes with other active researchers, but I am nowhere near as close to them as I am to these 2 lecturers.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Re: Accounting PhD Profile Evaluation

    Advice anyone?

  3. #3
    Within my grasp! BrazilianPhD's Avatar
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    Re: Accounting PhD Profile Evaluation

    To me it seems you did a great job assessing your own profile, so I don't have much to add.

    Many applicants don't have extensive research/teaching experience, I think your experience should be good enough for many schools.

    Yeah, it would be better to have stronger letters of recommendation, but from what you wrote it seems that's the best you can do.

    So, it seems you know what to do. Try your best, get a great GRE score, make a good selection of schools to apply, and I think you have a pretty good chance.

  4. #4
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Accounting PhD Profile Evaluation

    You are close to having an excellent profile, but missing a few things.

    You recognize your need for math and I think that Cal II and LA are the next things to take. I would recommend intermediate (calc based) micro-econ as well. It will help a lot to see the topics in that form before going into grad econ. A calculus based sequence in statistics and probability would be great too, but that is probably not doable before you start.

    I strongly advise dropping at least one of the lecturers for another research-active professor. Keeping one lecturer is fine, but I don't see any value added in a second one. Talk with the other professor about PhD programs and get their advice. This will help you get a better letter from them. Also, attending the workshops and diving into research is a great thing already.

    I really recommend the GMAT over the GRE. GMAT is the standard for most accounting programs.

  5. #5
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Accounting PhD Profile Evaluation

    Also, feel free to pm me for more detail.

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