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About Me


My Target Scores

  1. I think the placement for these two are comparable. The faculty at Booth is stronger, but it seems that the program size at Wharton is smaller and the culture at Wharton is more "caring". Which program would be a better choice? Any comments are much appreciated!
  2. It seems that the placement for LBS is good and stable, but the faculty at Booth is generally much stronger. How to choose between these two programs? Any comments will be much appreciated!
  3. Hello, everyone! I’m applying for PhD in Accounting programs of 2021 intake. I would appreciate it very much if you could give some advice or comments. Test Scores: GMAT 740 (97% percentile) verbal 39, math 51; TOEFL 111 (Speaking 25) Undergraduate: top 4 universities in China (PKU, THU, SJTU, FDU), BBA in Accounting & BS in Psychology (dual degree), GPA 3.68/4.00 (top 10%) Graduate: top 4 universities in China (PKU, THU, SJTU, FDU), MSc in Finance, GPA 3.77/4.00 Relevant Courses: Economics, Finance & Accounting: Theory of Corporate Finance (PhD level, A); Advanced Microeconomics, Advanced Macroeconomics, two accounting PhD summer school courses, etc. Math: Advanced Econometrics, Advanced Microeconometrics, Business Forecasting Analytics, Quantitative Analysis & Modeling, etc. Psychology: undergraduate level courses. Research Interests: Archival Financial Accounting, Earnings Quality, Debt Contracting, Corporate Governance Research Experience: Three research experience for three accounting professors, including empirical analysis, literature review, data cleaning, financial analysis, etc. Working Papers: two, including my master thesis (debt contracting) and another working paper (earnings quality) Teaching Experience: Organization and Management (undergraduate level), Extended Learning and Student Activities Course (master level) Work Experience: no full-time working experience, have internship experiences in private equity investment, strategic investment, consulting and financial management. Letters of Recommendation: four referees in total, including three accounting professors who have got tenured at US top 10-30 universities and come back to China or Singapore recently; three accounting professors for whom I have acted as a research assistant, one accounting professor of whom I attended two courses and got A. Number of programs planned to apply to: 20-30 Dream Schools: I will mainly apply for top 20-50 programs, and my dreams schools are top 20-30 programs like UCLA, Minnesota, Florida, etc. Question: Do you have any advice on my target school list? Should I also apply for several lower tier programs? I have obvious weaknesses including not having referees who are still in the US, not taking PhD level economics courses. Currently what I can do to make up them to some extent? I have no full time working experience, but quite a few accounting PhD programs prefer applicants with full time working experience in accounting firms. So should I apply for several finance PhD programs, given I am also interested in corporate finance? But all my referees are accounting professors, so is it okay for me to apply for finance programs or should I just focus on accounting programs? Thank you so much!
  4. Thank you for any help and suggestions that you can give!
  5. Current role / research experience: -My master research focused on momentum, idiosyncratic volatility and limitation to arbitrage -Derivatives broker at interdealer broker company -Acturial Analyst in insurance company Research Interests: Household Finance, Market microstructure, Behavioral Finance, the gap between developed and emerging market Master's degree: MSc Finance (UK uni in China 2:1) Bachelor's degree: BฺฺBA in International Business Management (~3.9 GPA) Maths courses: Does not have a registered Calculus couse in my undergrad, but I do have a certificate from Society of Acturies which required a strong knowledge on those calculus, alregra and probality to get the certificate. LORs: Three of them from my master degree GRE: 160Q, 148V, 148W (Terrible, I know, but I don't want to retake it again) Teaching experience: no Interested in applying to schools in: US (Texas A&M and U of Connecticut) , Sweden ( Stockholm School of Economics), and Singapore (NUS). Concerns: 1. Should I go for Phd in Finance or Economics? (I afraid that my background is not qualified for economics program) 2. according to my GRE score, is there a chance if I have to go for phd finance? 3. 3 of my LoRs will be from the same place. Should I diversify them by get 1 from my undergrad or from my previous company ?
  6. Hello all, I am posting because I have really wanted to be a professor and am thinking I may actually pursue a phd. I haven't done much work and am just sort of seeing how competitive my profile may be and what I can do to improve it. Undergrad GPA: 3.73 from a large state school with a top accounting program - double major acctg / finance Masters GPA: 3.5 Macc from same school - (integrated program) Research Experience: None Teaching experience: None (was a TA for a couple semesters early on in UG but responsibilities were mostly grading) Work Experience: So far 1 year of investment banking experience CPA Licensed as well as several FINRA licenses needed for IB Math: Only 1 business calc class but if I ended up applying for programs I would take necessary courses at the CC or online. I can probably get good LOR's from some professors and / or people at the bank I work at. I know that since I have not taken the GMAT or GRE yet it will be hard to say exactly where I will be competitive, I am a good test taker so assume I can get at least a 700. Will I be competitive with this background at top schools assuming a good GMAT score? Further, I am not set on an accounting PHD but figured since I am a CPA, I will have a better chance of getting into a better program than a finance PHD program. Is that correct? I want to go to a top program but will settle for a lesser one that is still good if it means that it is not as crazily research focused as I hear the top top ones like Penn / MIT / Stanford / Chicago would be because ultimately I am more interested in the teaching aspect. Have no idea what I want to research yet - have not gotten that far, but just want some feedback if with this background I would be at all competitive at good schools.
  7. Hi all, I am applying for Finance PhD for Fall 2019 and I am becoming increasingly worried that I won't be able to get into the schools I applied for. I have a 3.7 undergrad GPA, 3.5 grad GPA, GRE score of 320, limited research experience, and a TA position. Do any of you know of programs that put less weight on GPA and scores and more on personal statement/LORs? I think my LORs should be pretty good (three business profs) Appreciate the help!
  8. Hi, everyone! I'm glad to be posting for the first time in this nerdy place :). I'm from a South American country and also have Italian citizenship (bringing this up, 'cause if you think my chances are higher at an European BS -say, Bocconi or Swiss Finance Institute-, feel welcomed to say it). I'm really dubious about my possibilities of being admitted at a T20+ PhD in Finance in the US. I invite you to check out my profile: Test Scores: TOEFL 107/120 (all above 20). GRE is due on Nov 28th. Undegrad GPA:7.77/10 1st in my class among 1500+. Financial Accounting degree. Latin American Public University. Top 3 in the country. Graduate I GPA: 8.5/10. 1 year Master in Financial Accounting. Specialization: Credit Risk Modelling. Thesis about structural credit risk models compared to Altman Z-Score. Same UN than undergrad. Graduate II GPA: 8.3/10. 2 year Master in Finance. Specialization: Quantitative Methods. Thesisabout a jump difussion model for local equity futures volatility. Latin American Private University. Top 1 in Latin America in Finance. Research Experience:RA for 2 years in the Department of Statistics and Mathematics (Multi Attribute Methodology applied on Finance). RA for 2 years in the Center for Financial Research (sovereing debt curve modelling -NSS, Moench-, Consumer Economics, Inflation Expectations, extrapolating risk-neutral probability distribution for commodities futures from their options pricing, etc). Teaching Experience: more than 9 years being teaching assistant in undergrad and grad courses on Macroeconomics, Public Finance, Portfolio Theory, Derivatives. Earned a higher position by competition in Public Finance (Profesor Auxiliar, don't know the translation of this title). Work Experience: more than 3 years for an international hedge fund located in Madrid, working exclusively in quantitative/research trading of CME interest rate derivatives. Almost 2 years working on the top local hedge fund doing quantitative trading, statistical arbitrage and the automatization of these strats. Relevant Math/Programming Courses: Algebra (A), Calculus (A-), Financial Calculus -Baxter- (PhD level, A), Financial Math undergrad(A), Financial Math MsC level (B+), Operational Research (A), Stats I(A), Stats II (A), Stats for Research (PhD level, A), Probability and Statistics MsC level (A), Dynamic Optimization for Finance in Matlab (A), Derivatives Mathematics (A), Applied Econometric Models for Finance (A), Advanced Econometrics (A), VBA Programming (B-, :/), Computational Finance in R (A), Machine Learning in Octave (Stanford - Coursera, certified). The latest is the only online course, the rest of them are in-class. Relevant Econ Courses: Macro I(B-), Macro II(A), Micro (B+), Public Finance (A), Public Finance II(B), Economic Policy (A-), Economics History (B+). Concentration Applying to: PhD in Finance or Econ, Financial Economics. I thing the first is much more difficult to enter to, since they're smaller programs and much more selective. Planning to apply T20-50. Not picky geographically, but of course if it's California or the East Coast I would be grateful. Research interests: Asset Pricing (ideally, on derivatives and fixed income), focused on the Fundamental Theorem of Asset Pricing (discovering value through non-arbitrage conditions). Also interested in market microstructure, price discovery. Econometrics, time series analysis. Number of programs planned to apply to: 10-15 Dream Schools: Anderson (UCLA) or UCLA itself, Marshall (USC), UCSD, CUNY, Urbana Champaign, Booth, Penn State, Tepper (Carnegie-Mellon), Foster (Washington- Seattle). All comments are welcome! Thanks in advance, guys!
  9. Hi everyone. I am applying for admission into Finance PhD programs starting Fall 2019. Here are my stats. Any thoughts on my chances of admission? Undergrad in Math and Finance (minor in Spanish): 3.7 GPA at state school Masters in Finance: 3.6 GPA at state school (still enrolled, GPA likely to increase) GRE: Quant 85th percentile, Verbal 80th percentile Math classes: -Calc I: A -Intro to Stats: A -Calc II: A -Calc III: C -Linear Algebra: A+ -Differential Equations: A -Probability: A+ -Math Stats w/ Applications: C- -Math for Finance: A Research Experience: planning to do Behavioral Fiannce research with well-known prof in Fall 2018/Spring 2019 Letters of Rec: 3 business professors Areas of interest: Investment Behavior, International Finance Neither BS or MS are at high ranking finance schools. Planning to apply to a range of school (top 100). If anyone has any advice or comments please let me know!
  10. Hi everyone. I am applying for admission into Finance PhD programs starting Fall 2019. Here are my stats. Any thoughts on my chances of admission? Undergrad: 3.7 GPA at state school Masters: 3.6 GPA at state school (still enrolled, GPA likely to increase) GRE: Quant 85th percentile, Verbal 80th percentile Research Experience: planning to do research in Fall 2018/Spring 2019 Letters of Rec: 3 business professors Areas of interest: Investment Behavior, International Finance Planning to apply to a range of school (top 100). If anyone has any advice or comments please let me know!
  11. Hi Everyone, Here's my Profile: Indian, 23, Male GMAT: 760 (Q50,V44) 99%ile Undegrad GPA: 4.1 out of 4.3 (1st in Class, Academic Medal, Dean’s List in all Semesters. Full Tuition Fee Scholarship for undergraduate) Undergrad Major: Mechanical Engineering (w/ Minor in Business Management) Courses: Advance Mech. Engg courses (which I hope substitutes for Math requirements), Programming Courses (VBA, C++ etc. also proficient in Python) Broad fundamental courses in Accounting, Finance Research Experience: Undergraduate Engineering Research Work Experience: Working in Transaction Banking Graduate Program (2 years by Fall 2019) in Hong Kong. It will include 6 Months of work experience in London. Mostly sales, business analytics etc. related rotation. Concentration Applying to: Finance Number of programs planned to apply to: T10-50 What made you want to pursue a PhD?: Strong Research Interest, Interested in exploring various models to predict industry returns. Questions or concerns Ideally, I would want to pursue PhD in Finance and have an academic role. However, for want of enough Finance/Math research experience, I believe getting into Top 20 Finance PhD programs would be tough. So, in such a situation, should I target Top 20-50 Finance PhD Programs? Or are there any Masters in Finance (M.Res. or M.Phil) programs which can help my cause in getting into a better Finance PhD program after? Or should I instead go for a Quantitative Masters of Finance Program and keep my options of working in the industry and going back to academia (if I still want to).
  12. Hi all, I am a junior student and am thinking of applying for a finance phd program in the next couple of years, and here is my profile and concerns: Undergraduate: U.S. top 10, major in applied math with minor in econ. GPA 3.85 GRE: not taken yet Math courses: linear algebra(A+), ODE(A), probability and statistics(A), numerical methods(A-), real analysis(A-), stochastic process(A), simulation(A+), optimization(A+), dynamical systems(A), discrete time model(A) . Econ courses: Intermediate macro/micro, econometrics, corporate finance, time series, behavioral finance, game theoryTeaching experience: 2 years as TA in math department for courses in linear algebra, ODE, calculus etc. Research experience: 1. Working with a research scientist in data science with focus on using machine learning to forecast political risk and portfolio risk management. 2. Writing a thesis on solving macro-finance systems and wealth distribution using numerical PDE methods. 3. Summer quantitative research at a top quant hedge fund. Recommendations: One from an Econ professor who supervised my thesis (Princeton PhD doing finance but young), one from operations research professor who also advised my thesis (specialize in quantitative finance, decently known), undecided for the third Here are my concerns: 1. I am not sure if I am going to apply for phd right after I graduate, or should I work in quantitative investment (very likely to get an offer at the top hedge fund). How would doing research in a quant hedge fund perceived my the admission committee? 2. I didn't work as a RA for a professor, how does my research experience look like to the admission? Is this enough to be qualified as "well exposed to research"? 3. Will the recommendations from professors in departments other than Econ/Business help? Due to my major I am more exposed to professors in Operations Research and Applied Math, does the professors in these disciplines help in my applicatoin? Thanks.
  13. Hi everyone, I have finance PhD offers from UBC Sauder and Rochester Simon, but now I have a chance to work as full-time RA for an institute led by Prof.Thomas Sargent and will hopefully get a letter from him if I re-apply for finance PhD this December. I know there is some opportunity costs and I might be rejected next year due to all possible reasons and the subjective perception of being rejected once. So should I reject my offers and re-apply? And if you were me, which school would you choose? Why? Any advice will be immensely appreciated! BTW OP is a applying with a master degree from China.
  14. Hello guys! I have posted an evaluation thread in the Econ phd forum, and somebody kindly recommends to have a try in finance. So any comments on my profile for a finance phd application? Thanks! Undergrad: BS in Applied Math in a Top 10 Chinese university. GPA 3.5, but some bad grades for Calculus (around 70) Masters: MS in Financial Math in a Top 10 (or Top 15?) U.S. university. GPA 3.9. GRE: 166 Q/ 162 V/ 3.5 A Math courses: my major was math... Recommendation: 1. econ professor (I have been his RA for almost a year, and publish two working paper on his institute website) 2. applied math professor whose research field is quant finance (I did two research projects with her, paper write-up but not published) 3. applied math professor whose research field is machine learning (we did a deep learning project together) Research: 1. Two working papers (one macro/currency, one commodity market) with the Econ professor mentioned above. 2. One research project paper (commodity market) with the second professor mentioned above. 3. A stock prediction project using deep learning with the third professor mentioned above. Teaching: TA in two derivatives and investment related courses in the business school of our university. Concerns: 1. No formal publications 2. My undergrad GPA is not top level. Applying: I have not picked my schools yet. Any advice? I really wanna go to a top tier or somewhat "good" university. How big is the possibility here... Thank you very much!
  15. Hi, I am curious about the odds of admission after interview, which vary across school. Any current students in T20 fin programs willing to share their experience? Are the interviews taken seriously at your school? How formal was your interview (# of profs, skype/on site/phone, etc.)? Thanks! Happy New Year!
  16. ​Hello folks. I've been following Urch for a while, but this is my first post. Please allow me to introduce myself a bit. I'm an international applicant, I got a Bachelor in Corporate Finance (outside the U.S.) in 2007 and a masters in Finance (in the U.S) in 2012. After 8 year working experience, I want to change my career path to academic instead of industry. My academic goal is to pursue a PhD in Econ or Finance. Because I'm out of the academic field for quite a long time, I'm supposed to get a Master in Econ before doing a PhD. Recently, I've just got accepted into several Masters' programs including UT-Austin (M.A. Econ with $), Vanderbilt (GPED or Master in Econ Development, no info about funding), UC Santa Cruz (M.S.in Applied Econ and Finance, with fellowship $), and I'm still waiting for USC (M.A. Econ). May I ask for your opinion which program is suitable for me, who have a background in Finance (Assume I got accepted to USC). I'm open to both PhD in Econ and PhD in Finance, though I understand getting an admission into a good PhD Finance program is extremely difficult. My research interest would be Macro, Micro, Econometrics and Corporate Finance. Thank you in advance.
  17. Hi everyone, I currently have a Bachelors in Finance and Accounting (no Masters). I have a strong, but informal, math background since my undergraduate degree required literally no math courses from college (I scored 5s on Statistics, Calc 1 & 2 from AP courses, which was sufficient). I don't want to spend money taking math courses I already know/can teach myself. Would most admissions committees accept a math specific GRE to prove my math skills for lack of the formal education (in addition to the general GRE, of course)? Thanks for your help!
  18. Hi everyone, I plan to apply to PhD program in Finance next year (for Fall 2017 entry). Please help me find the target range of schools I should be aiming at. Any comments will be valued and appreciated. Test Scores (GMAT/GRE): N/A Undegrad: Class of 2015, Univ of Chicago BA in Econ, minor in Stat Undergrad GPA: 3.76/4.0 overall, 3.9+/4.0 in major Math: Intro to Analysis and Linear Algebra (A), no Real Analysis courses taken Research Experience: 1) 1-2 month part-time RA work for Finance professor at UChicago Booth 2) Full-time RA at the IMF Research Dept Aug 2015 ~ Aug 2017 (expected) No papers written yet, aiming to write at least one paper before applying next year and/or co-authorship with the IMF economist Work Experience: 1) Summer Internship at Societe Generale Seoul Office Sales&Trading Summer 2013 2) RA at BCG Seoul Office Summer 2014 Concentration Applying to: Finance Number of programs planned to apply to: ~25 Dream Schools: Top 10 programs Concerns you have about your profile: 1) Weak math: I was once discouraged from applying to Econ PhD programs because I've not taken Real Analysis courses as an undergrad. I am not sure if same applies to Finance. 2) Research: I've not written a BA thesis, absolutely no experience in writing papers. (Although I am planning on writing one while working at the IMF, I may fail to finish before the application deadline.) Any additional specific questions you may have: 1) Assuming that I get a decent score on GRE/GMAT, what are my chances of going to top 10 Finance programs? Which programs should be the target range? Which programs can I consider as safety schools? 2) What can I do to strengthen my resume before I apply next year? I have absolutely no idea as to which schools I should be aiming at. Please help me find the right target range. Thanks.
  19. Hi, long time reader and first time poster here. First of all, let me detail my profile a bit: I'm a Venezuelan researcher, and I'm 29 years old. I hold a Bachelors Degree of Industrial Engineering from a mid-tier Venezuelan university (gpa=15/20, 2nd of my class), a Masters Degree in Applied Economics (gpa=19/20, first of my class) and a Doctorate in Economic Sciences from the best private university of my home country (both Masters and Doctorate degrees are from the same school). I have a strong research background, having published several papers throughout my career. Basically, most of my research has been focused on the impact that public policies have on financial markets. However, as time passes, I'm feeling more compelled onto focusing my research on finance. This, aligned with the fact that my country is currently going through an enormous financial crisis, which has affected on a greater scale our academia (researchers with higher degrees here make about 400 $, PER YEAR! :miserable:), has made me consider to pursue a PhD in Finance abroad at a top university. Given this, and assuming that I achieve a good GMAT score (+750, +50Q), would any good university will be willing to accept me on their Finance PhD program? Specially, given the fact that I already have lots of research experience and my research interests are mostly multidisciplinary between Economics and Finance.
  20. How do you think of PhD in finance at Hong Kong University, Erasmus U, Tilburg U and Groningen U? Which is better? especially placement
  21. I'm 2-3 years away from applying to PhD program in Finance. While I have an undergraduate degree in Economics, I quite foolishly did not take any math courses beyond calculus. This is clearly the major hole in my application, so I plan to spend some time taking courses in linear algebra, differential equations, and real analysis, along with a calc refresher course. As it turns out, there are many ways to accomplish this, with varying levels of cost, time, convenience, and legitimacy. 1. Assortment of in-person undergrad classes at local no-name state school: Graded, low-moderate cost, legitimate but not prestigious, reasonably convenient 2. MIT open course ware: Free, online, self paced MIT classes, not graded , prestigious school, but no way to prove competency 3. Assortment of online undergrad level courses: convenient, graded, legitimate, not prestigious, low-moderate cost And this makes me curious--Am I taking these courses to get a transcript that proves my competency to the admissions committee, or am I taking them for the sake of knowing the material? Does prestige matter here? What about course format--would I be penalized for taking an online class versus an in person class? All thoughts and insights are welcome.
  22. Hello, I will soon be applying for a finance PhD and would like to have my profile evaluated. I would truly apreciate any help. About me: Male, 24. From Colombia GMAT score: 710 (92nd percentile) Undergrad: B.S. In Business Admin (Finance & Economics emphasis) 3.75 GPA Grad: MBA - GPA 3.9 Recommenders: 2 finance professors and 1 economics professor. Not really strong but decent. I don't have a lot of options here. Research Interests (include but not limited to): Asset pricing, international financial markets, market microstructure, and behavioral finance. Schools I am targeting (I know this is not ideal but I am somewhat limited to the South East for family reasons) - Duke - UNC - GA Tech - University of South Carolina - University of Florida - University of Georgia - Georgia state - Georgetown Univ - George Washington - University of Miami Is Duke a long shot? What are my chances at the others? Any other feedback welcome.
  23. I will be applying to finance PhD programs this application season, and therefore will only have one more semester of courses completed before application season. Ceteris Paribus, between an analysis course from the math department, and the first microeconomics course from an econ PhD program, which is going to have the greater signaling power to an adcom? Cheers and thanks for the continued help!
  24. Undergrad: B.Sc. in Economics with minors in Mathematics and Political Science, from top 3 in India for Economics.(Specialised in Financial Economics.) CGPA: 7.06/10 (non-relative) Research: Joint Econometric Research on Microfinance Models in India (Top Ranking paper in University) GRE: VA:650/QA:760/AW:4.0 (defintely re-taking) IELTS score: 8.5/9.0 Grad: MBA in Finance/Capital Markets (from top 10 Indian B Schools) CGPA: 3.15/4.0 (relative) (always been in top 10 of batch) Work: Working as a financial consultant/ business analyst for 10 months now. LOR: Professors who are not famous but head one of the best foreign policy think tanks in India. Achievements: CFA Research Challenge 2013-14: Asia-Pacific Champion, 1st Runner-up at Global Finals (only four teams qualify globally) Research areas: Finance, Rural, Development. What Should be my min GRE target? Do I have any chance in LSE/Oxbridge for MFE, if not what should I be looking at? Other Unis im considering are University of Texas, Toulouse, California-Berkeley. Which Unis should I aim for in the US for Ph.D Finance?
  25. I have not been very active on this forum since I started my masters program and taking 21.5 credits (sleep is not THAT important), but I have come across an interesting conundrum. I am working as an RA for a professor and have become interested in the application of machine learning to finance problems such as pinning down high frequency traders on TAQ data to isolate the effects of HFT and determine if HFT is making markets more or less efficient. My main question has now come down to this: Is it going to be a potential negative to focus a research paper on this type subject when applying for a PhD in Finance as compared to sticking with a more traditional research topic? Thanks for your help!
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