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  1. Ah well. After sometime, you will find out that the Dr. thing doesn't mean much. The only thing that matters is whether you get your six A pubs by the time you apply for tenure.
  2. Nope, you will be booted out of the PhD program as soon as you leave the program and start working. The only exception I have ever heard of in a Business School is one guy who had a mental breakdown in his foiurth year of the PhD program. He was TOLD to take a year off and get medical treatment before he returned and completed his dissertation.
  3. Game Theory is very difficult. You need to think hard and deep before you jump into it. On the surface, it seems exciting, yet when you start reading journal articles in areas like modeling multi-player games with bounded rationality and incomplete information, you will find them very hard to read and understand. I would suggest that you take a look at Fudenberg and Tirole and see if you are comfortable with the concepts. There are many profs in quant Marketing who use Game Theory to do modeling work. You can read some articles in JMR and see which profs work interests you. In Management Science / Decision Science / OM, they do not really do Game Theory work. The closest you could get would be Decision Making under Risk and Uncertainty or multi-criteria Decision Making. Game Theory tends to be in the Economics department. In the B-school you would probably find people who apply Game Theory concepts to study Business topics. Go to your local library. Find some articles in JMR or Management Science which interest you and you can see who the authors are and which universities they are at.
  4. Yes, you should spread your applications all over the ranking spectrum. You never know which school would be interested in you. Also, try to get some research assistantship experience during the next year. Try to select school where they either do not have comps or where everyone passes the comps. You cannot afford to have something like this happen to you again. It is not common as some people on this forum say. I was in a PhD program for five years and I did not see even a single PhD student fail the comps or get kicked out. The Economics PhD students were dropping like flies, but the Business PhD students were literally guaranteed to get the PhD degree. In Finance they select maybe 5 - 6 applicants out of 300 applications. I find it really hard to believe that they cannot find five good people who cannot clear the comps.
  5. For the first two years, the biggest challenges which you will face are from the Economics PhD courses - Micro I and II, Econometrics I, II, and III, Macro I and II, and probably Game Theory I and II. Find out which of these courses you will be taking in your first semester, find out which textbooks they are using for his course (probably MWG) and then study as much as you can before you start the program. If you can handle the Eco courses you will be just fine. Finance itself is quite easy (mostly just research seminars) and some advanced Statistics courses.
  6. Your visa situation makes this a bit awkward. Technically, the SEVIS system will require you to leave the USA as soon as you are no longer registered full-time as a student. Try to get recommendation letters from professors at your current school before you leave the program. You must have done well in some courses. Next time, make detailed inquiries BEFORE you join a PhD program. Many of these top-ranked PhD programs look good on paper, but there is a very good reason why the good candidates are not joining these programs. No one wants to take the risk of getting kicked out after two years of hard work. You could have found out about this in advance if you had made inquiries. The H1-B visa sponsorship is not going to happen. This year, the quota for the entire year was used up in 2 days and they had to use a lottery to allocate the available visas. Even if a company sponsored your visa, and you were successful in next year's lottery, the earliest you could start work would be October 1, 2016. No company would agree to sponsor your H1-B visa.
  7. Cheer up. Some of the highly ranked schools try to protect their reputation by only allowing the best students to graduate. Many state schools will be happy to take you since you have already completed most of the coursework. You can continue your PhD at one of the state schools. Usually the state schools graduate every single student who starts the PhD program unless the student drops out voluntarily.
  8. The link below will give you the worldwide directory of Finance faculty (based on which school they obtained their PhD from). Cambridge placements seem to be quite impressive. Worldwide Directory of Finance Faculty and Professionals
  9. This ISB thing seems to be quite successful at placing their Research Associates at the Top ranked Business schools in USA. Why don't you try it yourself. It should be free of any cost. The PhD itself is fully funded so there is nothing to worry about in that case.
  10. You can find very cheap (almost free, non-funded) top-tier Masters in Finance at EPFL and ETH in Zurich. Also many French universities and German universities (ULM) offer almost free Masters programs. For all these programs the tuition is about $1,000 per year and you can get the Masters degree for $2,000 total tuition. Only problem is living expenses. You may have to do a part-time job for your living expenses. But it is anyway better than the $120 K debt which you would get the the USA universities. I believe that Purdue has the policy to offer TA / RA to all graduate students. You can check out the MS in Comp. Finance there. That would be free. MIT Sloan offer full loan (upto $195 K) to all admitted students in MFin program. But you would need to work for two years to pay off that loan before you start the PhD. If you start the 6-year PhD with $200 K debt and let the interest accumulate for 6 years, that would be too much.
  11. First of all, you cannot take any recommendation letters from your employers. ALL three recommendation letters have to be from academics. Your lack of Finance / Economics coursework and your reference letters is going to make it very tough for you to get admission in a good school even though you would be very successful in the Finance PhD program. Your best bet would be to do PGDM from IIM-A,B,C or if not do an MS in Finance from a top European University (very cheap) or MFE from a top US university (insanely expensive). This would take care of Finance / Economics / Math background courses as well as get you reference letters from Finance academics whom the adcom would recognize. Right now you are heading for a major reality check in your application cycle even though you are a smart person who would be very successful in the PhD program.
  12. Well, I did my PhD from McCombs, so I know how the system there works. The best thing about McCombs, is that you are guaranteed to get the PhD degree once you accepted. They have never ever kicked anyone out of the PhD program (I have a sample size of over 100 PhD students at McCombs, only one left voluntarily). The weather is nice and Town lake is awesome if you hang out with the MBA students who always seem to have some outing or boat rides or barbeque (brewing their own beer) planned. I have heard that Austin has become crowded and it is difficult to drive there. Ross has an awesome reputation and may provide better academic placement. You should closely examine research fit and recent academic placements.
  13. Rochester is a superb B-school for PhD training. If you are able to get the degree from Rochester, you WILL get superb academic placement. However, you need to make some inquires from several current students and get a good idea about the graduation rates. Winters in Rochester is extremely tough. Vancouver has beautiful weather throughout the year if you do not mind the rain. However, academic placement from Rochester will be vastly superior to Sauder.
  14. Your Math and Econ coursework seems to be great for a Finance PhD. Also, the fact that you have already studied MWG and advanced Econometrics is a huge plus. You can't change your 3.21 GPA so don't worry too much about it. Is there any way you can study hard for GMAT and get Q/V abobe 90/90 percentile each. This is really important and is within your current control. Other than that, you have a reasonable chance of getting an admit at one of the schools you have listed. Your chances of admission would increase exponentially if you took a look at some of the PhD programs ranked below 100 and found some schools to add to your list and which you would be willing to attend. You are going to get a TT offer regardless of which school you get the PhD from. The key issue is "fit" and finding one faculty member from whom you could learn to do high-quality research. Econ PhD is way too risky. At UT-Austin, they kick out 70% of the Econ PhD students in the four comps. These were really smart guys but they still got kicked out of the econ PhD program. In Finance PhD, you are pretty much guaranteed to receive the PhD once you get admitted.
  15. This is unfortunately no longer the case. The days of the $500K bonuses are long gone. Nowadays, if people can manage to hang on to ther jobs and get a reasonable bonus, they are happy. Do a PhD ONLY if you are genuinely interested in research and an academic career. At least give one six-year attempt at tenure. If you do a Finance PhD with great hopes of making big money on Wall Street later on, you will be seriously disappointed with the outcome and will regret your seven years of lost salary. Also, most of the Finance and Economics PhDs whom you see on Wall Street already got denied tenure at top Business schools or else they became disillusioned with academia during their PhD program. Not even a single one of them entered the PhD program with the intention of coming to Wall Street.
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