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Thread: Prof Eval - Finance PhD

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Prof Eval - Finance PhD

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    Hi everyone, I'd be interested in your views of what odds my profile has of getting into a good programme. I graduated in 2011 and went to work in management consulting. One thing led to another and now it's 8 years later and I'm 30 and I still have a feeling like what I really want to do is research and teach. So I'm going back to do a MSc to see if I'm really serious about this, and then would like to apply for a PhD if I still feel the same way.

    My job has not been technical, but has been focused on banking regs and strategy, so potentially gets me some useful insights. I'm starting an MSc in Finance and Econ from a top European programme in 2 months.

    My questions are:
    - Assuming I do well in the masters, what are my odds of getting into a top ~20 finance programme? If it's quite unrealistic, I suppose I can give up and go back to the old sort of thing I did
    - Is there any point applying this cycle before the degree is done? I sort of feel like I'm already pretty old to spend another year RAing, but I guess it's needed.
    ProfileType of Undergrad: BSc economics from a top UK University (think Ox/Cam/LSE/Imp). But graduated 8 years ago.
    Undergrad GPA: 1st honours. Got firsts in all courses except 1 or 2
    Graduate GPA: About to start MSc Finance & Econ from a top European programme
    GRE: Haven't taken it yet
    Math Courses: Real analysis, differential equations, multivariable calc. All 1sts (but 8-10 years ago)
    Undergrad econ couses: Micro, macro, applied econometrics, and public. All firsts except applied metrics
    Grad econ courses: to come: Micro, financial economics, financial econometrics, possibly macro, 2 electives
    Letters of Recommendation: I'll need to get some good ones from the MSc because I'm sure no one from undegrad remembers me. Can throw in one or two from work for good measure even if not that relevant
    Research Experience: Will be doing some RA work for one of the professors during the MSc. Otherwise nothing applicable so far. A few non-technical company publications, but irrelevant.
    Research interests: Empirical corp finance (particularly banking/credit), banking theory
    Teaching Experience: 1 year of TAing a class in undergrad in 2010
    Work Experience: 7-8 years in management consulting for the financial services sector at a fairly prestigious firm

    [Cross-posted to PhD Econ forum - let me know if it shouldn't be here]

  2. #2
    Within my grasp! BrazilianPhD's Avatar
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    Re: Prof Eval - Finance PhD

    I just don't understand why this top 20 or nothing mentality. Even people with extremely strong profiles apply wider than that for a PhD. It's not unrealistic, but it's nearly impossible to tell the odds for only the top 20 (probably low for almost anyone). I don't know which rankings you are using, but there should be several amazing universities outside that range. And, although rankings do matter, they are usually far from being the best way to choose a program.

    Assuming that you can get a great GRE score (shouldn't be too hard for someone with your profile), and the good letters of recommendation from your MSc, it looks to me like you should be able to get into an excellent program. But it's hard to tell if your school selection is just based on the top 20.

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