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Re: PhD in Business Information Systems Applicant Seeking Advice
I'm not in Information Systems, so I'll only be able to answer more general questions. As usual, sorry if I sound harsh, but I prefer to be blunt because then you can improve your profile until your application.
I think one of the most important things is to find ways to show that you are as enthusiastic and in love with the idea as you are saying you are. It's easy to say that you are enthusiastic, it's harder to provide evidence of that.
Part of that is also showing that you actually understand what you are getting into. Like, you wrote that some of your "proudest achievements and relationships were academically based," but I have no idea what you mean by that.
Maybe it's academically based, but not what we expect to see in a PhD application. If you're proud of your academic achievements, but those achievements have little to do with academic research, it doesn't sound good to me. A lot of people love studying but would hate doing academic research, a lot of people are proud of their undergrad degree or their MBA degrees but that's very different from a PhD, for example. Acquiring knowledge, applying knowledge, and creating knowledge are very different from each other.
You wrote a lot of things. But a lot of them are not related to academic research. I don't see the topic of interest clearly defined, I don't see your motivation to do academic research, I don't see methods you'd focus on, etc.
For example, you wrote you want to study "the way companies handle digital innovation is evolving." That's so vague that is hard to understand, trust and feel that you are passionate about a topic of research. It's like saying that you love a woman because of "the way she is." It's too vague, doesn't tell much, it's not convincing. Write down the research questions you'd like do pursue, use the concepts you've been reading in those papers.
You can read thousands of academic papers, but still just be studying. A school will not accept you just because you can read papers and write down takeaways. You gotta show you can do what you will be expected to do during a PhD.
So far, what you wrote doesn't seem convincing to me, at least not for a PhD application.
I want to see you talking about academic research. What you did, why you did, what you can do, how ready you are for it. Things that can make you stand out among so many strong applicants.
I don't want to see you talking about your family business, your MBA, or even your love for digital innovation. Unless you can really connect those things to academic research. Ok, you love digital innovation. So what? That's probably true for almost every applicant for a PhD in information systems. I'd be surprised to see an applicant for this field who hates digital innovation.
You gotta give school a strong reason to accept you, and I still don't see that here. Why are you better than the other applicants? Why are you better for the position that they have? Why should they invest time, money and effort in you, and not another strong applicant?
Now, regarding the GMAT. I would do the same thing, if I had to take it again, since I got a score that was much better than I expected.
GMATPrepNow, official GMAT books, Manhattan Prep books. Take all simulation tests I can find, without trusting their scores. Study not only the context, but also strategy (e.g., time management, detect questions to skip, how to recognize and avoid traps). Slow and steady, until I feel I'm really ready to take the test.