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Thread: How to build a strong profile for marketing CB Research PhD with no prior background?

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    How to build a strong profile for marketing CB Research PhD with no prior background?

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    Hey guys! I have an engineering background. I am currently doing my masters in management. I want to apply this fall.
    What can I do withing this short time to be a highly competitive candidate in terms of research?

    Should I
    A) Work under a professor who is highly regarded
    B) Work under a professor whose research interests somewhat match mine
    C) Work on an independent project based on a topic usually studied in marketing
    D) Work on a completely new inter-disciplinary project

    Thank you in advance!
    Last edited by laktak; 04-22-2018 at 10:50 PM.

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    Re: How to build a strong profile for marketing CB Research PhD with no prior backgro

    Work with a professor who is willing to take you on to an active project where you can get the most out of it. Where that is A or B. To be honest, I think most people prior to starting a PhD can't really truly know research interests because the field is so diverse that you may uncover something new that you find more interesting (or at least you find an opportunity to contribute to the literature). I would talk to both professors and say my goal is to get into a PhD next year, and see how they can help/what they would advise. Then it is a bit of an exchange: you are their RA but you get a rec letter & perhaps a door they can nudge.

    Quote Originally Posted by laktak View Post
    Hey guys! I have an engineering background. I am currently doing my masters in management. I want to apply this fall.
    What can I do withing this short time to be a highly competitive candidate in terms of research?

    Should I
    A) Work under a professor who is highly regarded
    B) Work under a professor whose research interests somewhat match mine
    C) Work on an independent project based on a topic usually studied in marketing
    D) Work on a completely new inter-disciplinary project

    Also, if I want to learn more about consumer behaviour research methods, experimental designs and statistics involved in it, what books would you recommend? Are there any MOOC/ Youtube courses that you would recommend?

    Thank you in advance!

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    Re: How to build a strong profile for marketing CB Research PhD with no prior backgro

    Since you're still doing your masters, I think trying to work under a highly-regarded professor would be the best. This can help not only with research experience but also with a stronger letter of recommendation.

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    Re: How to build a strong profile for marketing CB Research PhD with no prior backgro

    Yep, what Braz said. Work with the highly regarded professor. Even you think that the research isn't specifically what you're interested in, it will give you great experience and a strong LOR. More importantly you'll be surprised as to what you really are interested in. Very rarely do people stick with the topic of interest from starting to finishing.
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    Re: How to build a strong profile for marketing CB Research PhD with no prior backgro

    Thank you BrazilianPhD and XanthusAres!

    My next question is: Who would you consider a highly regarded professor? Would it be a professor who previously served as an editor (associate/ERB) of JCR? Or would it be any professor/ associate professor in the T15 schools? Or a professor who has published frequently in JCR (if so, what is the definition of frequent in marketing journals)?

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    Re: How to build a strong profile for marketing CB Research PhD with no prior backgro

    XanthusAres is much better than me for this one. I'm not into CB and I have a lot less PhD experience. But this probably is not easy to answer.

    I don't like rankings, so there is a bias there. So, I wouldn't rely too much on the fact that someone is at a "t15". It is a plus, but not a decisive factor.

    Being an editor of any major journal is a very good sign, in my opinion.

    About publications, it's very hard to evaluate. Ok, if someone publishes often in JCR, that's great. But there are many researchers who prefer quality over quantity. They do not publish frequently but have a big impact when they publish. Also there are those who do not publish often, but publish only in top journals and has published in all top journals (something very hard, since you have to be very good at several lines of research in Marketing).

    Number of citations is often mentioned as a metric for reputation, but also often criticised as a metric.

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    Re: How to build a strong profile for marketing CB Research PhD with no prior backgro

    Generally, there are two crucial elements to an application that matter besides grades (and test scores - both serve as a foot in the door, not more) and previous experience - LORs and SOP. As Xanthus and BrazilianPhD said, working with a well known professor is great. I do not necessarily agree that a well-known professor will give you better experience or knowledge than a not-so-well-known one. Nor will he necessarily give you a better LOR. He just can potentially give you a better one. So if you have two really good LORs, go with the famous professor. If you don't, go with whoever seems like a good person, with whom you connect and one who will give you substantive things to do (e.g., not just literary reviews).
    It has been my experience that a strong SOP weaves your current research interests through your previous experience. So even if the project you will be working on is not your (current, as Xanthus said) main interest, it should be a tool for you to explain how it shaped it. It can be in a wide theoretical way, in a specific anecdotal way or in a methodological way. No matter what - you should be able to use it to enhance your main statement - what you want to do, why you want to do it, and what tools have you acquired to enable this.

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    Re: How to build a strong profile for marketing CB Research PhD with no prior backgro

    Quote Originally Posted by Granps View Post
    Generally, there are two crucial elements to an application that matter besides grades (and test scores - both serve as a foot in the door, not more) and previous experience - LORs and SOP. As Xanthus and BrazilianPhD said, working with a well known professor is great. I do not necessarily agree that a well-known professor will give you better experience or knowledge than a not-so-well-known one. Nor will he necessarily give you a better LOR. He just can potentially give you a better one.
    This is extremely true. I should have been more precise with my language.

    A highly regarded prof in CB is someone who publishes in our top journals (JCR, JMR perhaps JM and JCP) often. Has been an editor of one of those, ideally (but this isn't necessary since there are a ton of great profs who don't want to do that). Number of publications in the top journals, I actually think is a fairly good indicator of regard. It's true that not every highly regarded faculty has a ton of JCR's, but those who do have a ton of JCR's are all highly regarded. Don't use ranking since it is subjective, use rate of publication in our top journals when choosing a faculty member to work with. 2 or more JCR's a year is extremely rare in CB. If you find someone who has multiple JCR's across multiple years, they're highly regarded.

    Good luck!
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    Re: How to build a strong profile for marketing CB Research PhD with no prior backgro

    A, if the Prof is still doing research and will give you meaningful work that they can evaluate and write about in your LOR.


    Quote Originally Posted by laktak View Post
    Hey guys! I have an engineering background. I am currently doing my masters in management. I want to apply this fall.
    What can I do withing this short time to be a highly competitive candidate in terms of research?

    Should I
    A) Work under a professor who is highly regarded
    B) Work under a professor whose research interests somewhat match mine
    C) Work on an independent project based on a topic usually studied in marketing
    D) Work on a completely new inter-disciplinary project

    Thank you in advance!

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