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Thread: Profile Evaluation_Fall2019_OB

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    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Profile Evaluation_Fall2019_OB

    Sponsored Ad:
    Hi Urch! I'm very excited to apply to programs this Fall and am interested in any feedback you have on my profile.

    Test Scores - GRE: 167 Q, 162 V awa 4.0
    Undergrad GPA: 3.72 in labor economics
    Graduate GPA: N/A
    Research Experience:
    Worked as a Research Assistant for a business school professor for 2 years during undergrad; completed undergraduate honors thesis
    Teaching Experience: none
    Work Experience: 5 years total: 2 as a technical program manager and 3 as a research & analytics manager for an org design company

    Concentration Applying to: Management, Organizational Behavior
    Number of programs planned to apply to:
    5-10
    Dream Schools:
    Booth, Kellogg, WashU Olin, Wharton, Michigan

    Other Questions:

    What made you want to pursue a PhD?


    I'm interested in how organizations meet their strategic objectives when they require significant collaboration outside of traditional "org chart" boundaries. I believe there is a gap in existing research in this area - specifically, in how technical and non-technical teams collaborate to deliver complex integrated software solutions (for anyone in tech - think Scrum, Scaled Agile Framework, Kanban, etc). I'm passionate about my research questions, and would like to dedicate my career to exploring them (and teaching others what I learn).


    Questions or concerns you have about your profile


    • I realize my analytical writing score is low. Do you think it is worth re-taking the test to improve it?
    • For recommenders, I'm planning to use two professors for whom I worked as an RA in college. For the third, I am considering using my former boss who supervised me in a research & analytics role. Do you think I'd be better off going with a former Professor?


    Many thanks for any advice or feedback you have!


  2. #2
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    Re: Profile Evaluation_Fall2019_OB

    Hi agilist,

    Regarding your first question, don't. It seems high enough to get you where you want to go. I have the same scores as you do and I had interviews with two of the schools you listed (I'm also OB). GRE is a foot-in-the-door kind of a thing - If it's high enough to pass the desk-reject phase, that's enough. Regarding your second question, if you have two very solid academic LORs and the choice is between a professor that just knows you as a student (not an RA) and a boss who has very good things to say about you - I'd go with the boss (unless the professor has warm things to say and is very known).
    If I look at my cohort, there are some who have industry experience (mean ~3 years, maybe less). If you can connect the dots (in your statement) between research and your experience in a cohesive narrative that takes the reader through the path to your research interests, you should be fine. If the RA you have done however was not very substantial, I would recommend considering taking a 1 year RAship.

    Good luck!

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    Re: Profile Evaluation_Fall2019_OB

    Quote Originally Posted by Granps View Post
    Hi agilist,

    Regarding your first question, don't. It seems high enough to get you where you want to go. I have the same scores as you do and I had interviews with two of the schools you listed (I'm also OB). GRE is a foot-in-the-door kind of a thing - If it's high enough to pass the desk-reject phase, that's enough. Regarding your second question, if you have two very solid academic LORs and the choice is between a professor that just knows you as a student (not an RA) and a boss who has very good things to say about you - I'd go with the boss (unless the professor has warm things to say and is very known).
    If I look at my cohort, there are some who have industry experience (mean ~3 years, maybe less). If you can connect the dots (in your statement) between research and your experience in a cohesive narrative that takes the reader through the path to your research interests, you should be fine. If the RA you have done however was not very substantial, I would recommend considering taking a 1 year RAship.

    Good luck!
    Thanks Granps - I really appreciate the feedback. Good to know both on the GRE and the LORs. I'll keep the note in mind about connecting my professional experience to my research interests for my personal statement.

    Thank you again!

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    Re: Profile Evaluation_Fall2019_OB

    whoops, my apologies for the double post
    Last edited by agilist; 09-24-2018 at 05:43 PM.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation_Fall2019_OB

    I applied to programs after about 10 years of working. For each school, I tried to include a grad school prof (someone who I'd done a research project with), an undergrad prof (again, research advisor or someone I TA'd for), and an employer LOR. That worked for me. You want someone who will write the strongest letter about why you'll be a successful researcher and why you bring something unique to the table.

    If your boss can talk about how you're talented with modeling in R/SAS/SPSS/Tableau/whatever software and can do insightful analysis, that will probably be a benefit to your application.

    EDIT: Regarding work experience in your statement of purpose and interviews: I was coached by two of my grad professors about how to pitch my work experience. Unlike a job interview where you're talking about all of your accomplishments to land the next promotion, the only reason work matters here is why it's relevant to you being a good researcher. The "hardest" big accomplishments (that were on my CV as bullets) went unmentioned and the anecdotes that I used to connect the dots were either stories explaining why I wanted to be an academic or experiences that I had that I felt would make up for my potentially short list of academic research experience to date. A good portion of your cohort-mates will have no work experience; over time, schools have learned that work experience does not translate into success or failure in the PhD program so it's not an automatic positive or negative. It will be judged on its merit just like any other student's experiences. Of course, this is just my opinion informed by my experience and conversations with people around me.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation_Fall2019_OB

    Many thanks for any advice or feedback you have!

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    Re: Profile Evaluation_Fall2019_OB

    IDSC - thank you so much for your thoughtful response, and your advice on who to use as recommenders and how to pitch the research-related elements of my work experience. I really appreciate it!

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