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Thread: Profile Evaluation: PhD in Finance

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Oct 2018
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    Profile Evaluation: PhD in Finance

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    Hi new friends! First, thank you for taking the time to review my profile and hopefully give me some actionable insights. I appreciate having this new community!

    Test Scores (GMAT/GRE): GMAT 730. Q47 (61 percentile), V42 (96 percentile). I know that the score is great, but I am worried that my quant score may be a strike against me.

    Undegrad GPA:
    4.0 at Arkansas State University, with a major in Finance and Marketing Analytics. Again, I know that the 4.0 will help me, but my school's pedigree isn't going to knock anyone over.

    Graduate GPA:
    No graduate degree. I'm in my senior year of undergrad and hoping to go straight in.

    Research Experience:
    I am working on my undergraduate thesis now, on evaluating the impact of FDIC-assisted acquisitions on bank performance.

    Teaching Experience:
    As part of my extracurricular involvement, I was essentially a teaching assistant for a handful of classes at Arkansas State designed to help our first year students acclimate to college. It is not very relevant to my field, and most of what I did was managing and mentoring my students, not teaching per se.

    Work Experience:
    I spent my junior year as a bank teller. I interned as a bank examiner trainee for the FDIC before my senior year, and I have a job offer from the FDIC, which is currently serving as my back-up plan if this doesn't work out like I want it to.

    Concentration Applying to:
    Finance, Banking

    Number of programs planned to apply to:

    Dream Schools:
    Columbia, Indiana, Ohio State, North Carolina.

    Other Questions:
    I am generally unsure how my application stacks up, and I am not sure what schools I should target. I would ideally like to get an idea of what a reach, target, and safety school range looks like.

    What made you want to pursue a PhD?
    I love learning, and even more than that, I love teaching. I love having the chance to mentor younger student and watch them develop and grow, and helping people learn new things is exciting for me. I am also deeply interested in business and banking, and I would love to make a contribution to the field.

    Questions or concerns you have about your profile?
    How much does my quant score and lack of graduate/work experience hurt me? What can I do to shore up those sides of my application?

    Any additional specific questions you may have:
    No comments, I just appreciate you folks!

    Any feedback or tips would be tremendously helpful. I am probably not interested in applying to any top-10 programs, but I would like to go somewhere solid and respectable. I am also happy to talk about it more with anyone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    TX, USA
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    Re: Profile Evaluation: PhD in Finance

    I think you should improve at least two points in your application:

    1. GMAT score: the total score looks pretty attractive but your quant score is well below the cut-off in Ph.D. finance program, which typically requires at least 90 percentile in quant. We usually forgive low score in verbal (> 50% will pass the cut-off), but definitely not for quant.

    2. You love teaching, which is good. But what we look for is research passion and ability to do research (research experience, programming skills, etc).

    Hope it helps.

  3. #3
    Within my grasp!
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: Profile Evaluation: PhD in Finance

    Your GMAT Q score needs to be higher. The GMAT is primarily used as a screening tool and if you can't get above the minimum for a given school, your application will not even get reviewed. If you can get it to 80th percentile some schools outside the top 50 might consider your application, but for top 50's you will have to get to 90th percentile.

    You do not mention what math classes you have. PhD level finance is really a degree in applied math and statistics. Without Calc III and Linear Algebra, your application will not even get looked at for any finance PhD program. Without Real Analysis (especially coming from decent but unspectacular state school with no econ or finance PhD program) you would have trouble getting a serious look from a top 75 program.

    Also, you seem to be primarily teaching focused. If so, is a finance PhD, which a research oriented degree, the best option for you? It might be better to work in industry a few years, then do a DBA and get a clinical/teaching position at a B-school.

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