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Thread: Profile Evaluation for PhD in Finance

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Profile Evaluation for PhD in Finance

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    Greetings

    Here's my profile:

    GMAT: 760 (Q50, V44)
    Undegrad GPA: 4.05 / 4.30 (1st in Class)
    Undergrad Major: Mechanical Engineering (with a minor in Business management)
    Research Experience:
    Undergrad level research in Engineering, nothing substantial in Finance
    Work Experience:
    Working at an Investment bank for 1.5 years

    Concentration Applying to: Finance
    Number of programs planned to apply to:
    6-8
    What made you want to pursue a PhD?
    Conducted independent research while at work, loved it, want to pursue further.
    Does this look okay for a T10-T25 university for a PhD in Finance? What schools should I consider?

    As I lack a Finance degree, should I pursue a Masters in Finance first before trying for a PhD?

    Any thoughts, suggestions?


    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Profile Evaluation for PhD in Finance

    A finance degree is unnecessary. What type of undergrad?

    Who will write letters? It is helpful to have at least one finance academic that is well known.

    Overall, strong GPA and test score set you up well for your target range, but it is still competitive.

  3. #3
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    Re: Profile Evaluation for PhD in Finance

    Thank you,
    Undergrad from a Top University in Asia (Consistently ranked 1-3 in QS Ranking Asia) in Mechanical Engineering (Quantitative)
    Recoms: 1 from an Associate Professor in Finance (I took a course with him, he's also my mentor), 1 from an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering (I did Final year project/thesis under him, so I felt he's well placed to write on my research capabilities, albeit in a different field), 1 from my previous manager (because I did some independent research under him)

    Any suggestions?
    I do know the department head etc. but I don't have any relationship with them, as such getting a letter from them might look a little forced.

    What do you think?

    Thank You

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Profile Evaluation for PhD in Finance

    Good. Your letters seem appropriate given your background and being from a top Asian school will help. I wouldn't ask the department head for a letter if you don't know them well. You should ask for advice on getting into a PhD though. You could get some useful answers.

    I think focusing on the 10-25 range makes a lot of sense. I would throw in some top 10 applications too - you don't want to ask "what if?"

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    Re: Profile Evaluation for PhD in Finance

    Quote Originally Posted by YaSvoboden View Post
    Good. Your letters seem appropriate given your background and being from a top Asian school will help. I wouldn't ask the department head for a letter if you don't know them well. You should ask for advice on getting into a PhD though. You could get some useful answers.
    Thank you, that makes sense! I'll certainly reach out to him and get some insights.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation for PhD in Finance

    Thank you for your reply! It's such a stressful time of the year that every bit of encouragement helps

    I have another question regarding the applications:
    My professor asked me to only mention my general research interests in the SOP and not to specify professors etc.
    But some programs have an optional section that asks for the names of Professor who I'd want to work with (or whose research closely matches with my interests)?
    In such sections, is it wise to mention the names or leave it blank?
    Will giving the names of 1 or 2 Professors make it riskier?

    Thanks!

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Profile Evaluation for PhD in Finance

    There is some debate about mentioning professors. If the application asks for it then I think you have to do it. Otherwise, listen to your professor

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    Re: Profile Evaluation for PhD in Finance

    Thank you,

    One more question, is it advisable to mention relevant courses taken from MOOCs and from the work e-learnings in, say, supplemental information as 'Relevant courses taken'? Or will it come across as being redundant?

    As I have an engineering degree, I only have a few courses in finance/economics in my official transcript, but have taken considerable amount of advanced course through e-learning portals.


    Thanks!

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    Re: Profile Evaluation for PhD in Finance

    Quote Originally Posted by mkumar49 View Post
    Thank you,

    One more question, is it advisable to mention relevant courses taken from MOOCs and from the work e-learnings in, say, supplemental information as 'Relevant courses taken'? Or will it come across as being redundant?

    As I have an engineering degree, I only have a few courses in finance/economics in my official transcript, but have taken considerable amount of advanced course through e-learning portals.


    Thanks!
    I think you could put these on your CV somewhere maybe? Most everyone takes time to look at the CV whereas they may not pay as much attention to supplemental information. If the application specifically asks for relevant courses, I would start with university courses and then list your MOOCs below those.
    Don't forget to list any advanced mathematics or statistics classes you've taken as well.

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