I am a Junior hoping to pursue a PhD in quant marketing and have some questions on research areas. Like everyone else still in undergrad, I am grappling with a variety of concerns about my application profile, but I still have a good chunk of school to do. My main concern is trying to narrow down a specific area of research within quant marketing. Fortunately, the professors I have been speaking with have been able to help me understand the importance of program fit as opposed to going for the highest ranked program I can get into, but this has also compelled me to try to find an area or direction sooner than later.
I currently work as a research assistant for a quant professor, and though my experience with him has been very rewarding, most of his work revolves around research methodology. Methodology has never appealed to me much; I was originally considering taking the CB track because I found the problems and questions in that area very interesting. However, I enjoy the quantitative approach to these problems rather than the psychology/neuroscience approach.
My hope is to be able to coauthor/publish research by the end of undergrad, which will also fulfill an Honors thesis requirement. Covid has made contacting professors difficult to say the least, so I haven't had much exposure to other areas of research, but I plan to change that this semester. I anticipate that my interactions with them will be very formative in helping me choose an area/direction, but I still wanted to ask you all about your experiences with choosing research areas. More specific questions include:
-What has been your timeline for narrowing down research questions?
-How do you balance your personal interests with popular/trending subjects?
-Is the quality of a PhD program fit more related to the actual research subject matter or the methodology/approach to questions?
Thank you for your time reading and responding in advance, and apologies for anything poorly worded or confusing--I am happy to clarify.