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Thread: Profile Evaluation

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Profile Evaluation

    Sponsored Ad:
    Test Scores (GRE) - 160+ (V/Q) [based on two unofficial tests and 1 month prep]
    Undegrad GPA: 3.67/4
    Graduate GPA: N/A
    Research Experience: PG Diploma in Liberal Arts (The program has some research component)
    Teaching Experience: Peer Tutoring and Mentoring in UG
    Work Experience: 1.5 Years in Big 4 Advisory

    Concentration Applying to: Supply Chain/Operations
    Number of programs planned to apply to: 9
    Dream Schools: MIT,USC, U of Toronto


    Other Questions:

    I am not sure if I should first pursue a MSc in Sustainability/Business with a research focus to improve my chances to get into a good program

    What made you want to pursue a PhD?

    I want to pursue a career in academic research specifically in circular supply chains.

    Questions or concerns you have about your profile?

    Assuming I have good/great letters and a solid research proposal
    What would be a good path for me to make a competitive profile for the following programs

    Cornell University (Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management (incl. Dyson))
    Duke University (The Fuqua School of Business)
    Harvard University (Harvard Business School)
    Indiana University at Bloomington (Kelley School of Business)
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Sloan School of Management)
    Northwestern University (Kellogg School of Management)
    University of California at Los Angeles (Anderson School of Management)
    University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (Ross School of Business)
    University of Minnesota at Twin Cities (Carlson School of Management)
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler Business School)
    University of Southern California (Marshall School of Business (incl. Leventhal))
    University of Toronto (Joseph L. Rotman School of Management)

    Thank You

  2. #2
    Within my grasp! BrazilianPhD's Avatar
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    Re: Profile Evaluation

    I get the feeling that you barely started the process to apply, and you still have a long road ahead. I will comment on a few things below:

    1 - GRE. Unofficial tests are not reliable. And 160+ doesn't mean much. For example, 161/161 would be a very low score, while 170/170 would be a perfect score, and both are 160+.

    2 - "The program has some research component" - Research experience is often one of the most important parts of an application, especially for top programs. But this is too vague to give an opinion. How relevant is this "research component"? Is this related to the field? Did this lead to a publication? Did you present at a conference?

    3 - "I want to pursue a career in academic research specifically in circular supply chains." - Well, this doesn't really answer the question. Wanting to pursue a career in academic research is almost obvious, you don't even need to tell us that. Circular supply chains would be a vague research interest, that doesn't inform what you want to do. You need a much more strong motivation.

    4 - "Number of programs planned to apply to: 9" - Nine was a low number even before the pandemic.

    5 - "a competitive profile for the following programs" - How did you select those programs? When I see a list like this, I get the feeling that the applicant checked some ranking of prestigious universities and selected some of them without much criteria. Are you sure these are the programs that are specialized on circular supply chains? These are the programs with advisors for this type of research? It's not common to see all the big names researching the same things. Anyway, for top programs like that, you probably need a very strong profile. And, so far, I don't see any major strength that would make you appealing to those schools.

    6 - "a solid research proposal" - Have you checked the application process for those universities? Because I don't think a research proposal is really part of the process for many of them. And, in that case, a solid research proposal wouldn't make a difference. It's not normal to see solid research proposals for PhD applications in the US.

  3. #3
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    Re: Profile Evaluation

    Hi,

    First of thank you for the reply, I understand how my post seems extremely vague and I apologies for that.

    You are right and I am just about 3 weeks into the whole process to look for programs and prep for the GRE.


    1) I absolutely see what you are saying and I am fairly confident I will be able to score in the 90th percentile in the official exam.
    (The requirement most of the programs have laid out).

    2) As for research experience, I unfortunately have not been published. The PG Diploma had us write thesis based research papers.
    Although maybe not journal worthy I have written papers on complex topics at the intersection of multiple disciplines. No papers directly related to
    supply chains, but I have written a research paper about language and how it shapes out perception of the environment based on rhetorical principles

    3) As for my motivation to want to work in academia vs industry is that I specifically want to research -

    - How we can shift current supply chains to a more sustainable crucial model to reduce waste and the carbon footprint of products
    - How can they be implemented in developing nations as they move towards higher consumption over the next decade
    - How can we get the support of the various stakeholders in the value chain to give up short term profits for long term environmental and SC sustainability

    I should have added this from the start.

    4) This I had no clue about

    5) The programs are a mix of both ranking based on research output and what the departments are researching. All these programs have professors SC/Ops department researching
    either circular/sustainable SC/OP's or topics related to sustainability and business.

    6) Maybe research proposal is not the most accurate term, but all of them require a motivation letter/SOP stating why I want to be at that school and what I want to do.
    This would require to at least briefly describe what I want to work on in addition to the why.

    Again I really do appreciate you taking the time to reply, especially given how my post, looking back, seems not very serious or well thought out.

    Any guidance would be appreciated as I clearly am not sure of what I should be doing

  4. #4
    Within my grasp! BrazilianPhD's Avatar
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    Re: Profile Evaluation

    For # 3, I think you're still missing the point.

    You wrote what you want to research. But I have no idea WHY you want to do that. Motivation is not what you want to do, is why you want to do that. A lot of people want to do some kind of research. Not all of them have reasons that are strong enough to keep them doing that for several years and probably the rest of their lives.

    Just telling what you want to do makes us wonder why you want to do that. For example, you wrote that you want to research "How can they be implemented in developing nations as they move towards higher consumption over the next decade." But why you want to do academic research about that instead of actually helping with the implementation?

    So, I can understand what you want to do. But I can't understand why you want to devote your life to that, and why you couldn't do that in industry.

    And, with 3 different things that you want to research, you need to be extra careful about research fit. For example, some programs are probably much better prepared to help with research involving developing nations than others. Even if they are all researching sustainability and business (a very broad topic), that doesn't mean that they are going to be a good fit for what you specifically want to do, like researching the implementation in developing nations.

    This would be related to what you wrote for #6, motivation letter/SOP. It's certainly not enough to just tell what you want to do. That's not a "solid research proposal."

    You need to think about why would a place like Harvard hire you instead of other strong applicants. What makes you better than them? So far, I don't see that in your profile. Because you meet the GRE requirements? Well, lots of applicants do better than that. Because you tell them what you want to do? Well, that's kinda expected from all applicants.

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