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About Me


My Target Scores

  1. I applied to 19 schools this year (17 PhD in Finance across US and Europe) and 2 MSc in Finance (LSE, Tinbergen). I was rejected without interview from 16, had interview at Michigan Ross and INSEAD and finally got an offer from Bocconi for PhD in Finance. I have a decent profile coming from top schools in my country (Bachelors in Physics, MBA) but have had below average grades in my UG Maths sequence (B-, B, B+). In the first two ones, I simply did not study (please don't ask why). So the rejections (especially from Masters program) fill in tremendous self doubt as to my ability to handle PhD level curriculum. I have worked on 2 research papers during my Masters, cleared CFA Level 2, working in a top US Bank and work with utmost discipline and sincerity. I think my primary motivation for pursuing a PhD was not research rather 2 factors. One, I love teaching, having taught in schools and other people. Second, I hate corporate world and the feeling of having sold myself and my life for big bucks. So being a Professor seemed a good option. But I don't know if I should even pursue this path anymore. Seeking some advice.
  2. Most people find Year 3 to be the most mentally challenging time of their PhD. You are just starting to define your research agenda and projects, but the pace is slow and the feedback is almost always negative. Around this point, PhDs begin to question their ability to write a dissertation, become an academic, or even do useful work in general. Below is advice I wish I would have gotten prior to my (very rough) 3rd year in a Management (Macro) PhD program. You'll soon see that writing a paper is just your small contribution to a conversation that the rest of the field is having, nothing more and nothing less. Thus, you need to be (1) interested in the topic of conversation and (2) understand how the rest of the field discusses topics and is expecting the conversation to evolve. Most PhDs with bad advisors don't fully understand the critical importance of point (2). The current state of our field is built by a complex social process of egos, ideas, and tradition which is unlike any other industry. You can easily see this in the field's large amount of conventions that would be obscure, counterintuitive, or bizarre to laypeople and even other academics. For most people, it takes a year or two to figure out how to come up with ideas faculty will find interesting, how to write papers are written to appeal to reviewers, how topics evolve in a predictable way, etc. Don't be hard on yourself when it takes you a while to figure this out. Around the middle of year 4, assess if you meet both criteria (1) and (2). For example, you may realize that you like what you research but learn that you find the entire writing, review, and publication process glacially slow, overly focused on almost useless theory, beholden to fads, reliant on bad science, and that you've made no meaningful contribution when all is said and done. If you (1) lose the fire for topics of interest or (2) realize that you don't like the often dysfunctional academic production function, you should ask yourself whether you want to do research academia for the next 40 years. The job essentially doesn't change as you get more senior-- you just do a bit more teaching and service. If you aren't energized by (1) and (2), it can be a miserable life. There are many tenured professors in this position. If you fall into this camp, start looking at adjacent industry jobs, which would almost certainly be a better fit, allow more mobility, give you more locational flexibility, and often have relatively higher pay once you get five years out of your PhD. Industry has other issues (e.g., less autonomy, less temporal flexibility, less pure intellectual engagement), but in the long run, you'll almost always be judged on your current skills, ability to learn, ability to work well in a team, and by what you can produce. Make sure to find the best fit for you (and your loved ones!).
  3. Hi all, I recently heard secondhand that some schools have increased their GRE Quant Score thresholds to a 168 (consistent with 167 falling below the 90th percentile). Can anyone confirm if this is the case? I've taken the GRE 3 times, and every time have scored a 167... My verbal and AWA scores are strong enough (165 and 5, respectively). Will my application be thrown out at top schools before even being considered due to the low Q score? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
  4. The Rady School of Management (UC San Diego) is seeking applicants to the fully funded PhD program in Management, Economics and Strategy concentration. Students will have the opportunity to work on exciting research in behavioral, health, and education economics field experiments, and work closely with faculty thanks to the small student : faculty ratio. This is a small but growing program that affords close mentoring from great faculty (including Uri Gneezy, Marta Serra, Sally Sadoff, and Anya Samek) and access to the resources of both the business school and the Economics department. UCSD has a vibrant research community and San Diego is a beautiful place to live. Students can learn more and apply here (deadline is Jan 5): https://apply.grad.ucsd.edu/departments/rady-school-of-management#management-rs79
  5. For those who want to go to a PHD in economics, is it better to continue to choose IUG(Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate Study) or go to a higher ranking master's program? currently top 50 public and top30 Econ department undergraduate
  6. Hi I have started considering applying to Finance Ph.Ds as a diversification option for Econ phd applications or perhaps as a first choice given some of the advantages that business school phds seem to have. A profile evaluation is appreciated. All advice pointing out differences or similarities between the two application processes is welcome. Stats: University of Southern California Double Major in Mathematics and Economics Overall GPA: 3.88 Math Courses: Calc 1-3: A Linear Algebra: A Probability Theory(MVC prereq): A- Mathematical Statistics: A Real Analysis 1+2: A Topology: A Advanced Linear Algebra B+ Econ Courses (All A grades): Intermediate Micro + Macro Econometrics Advanced Econometrics Thesis course I've taken 3 programming courses for A grades. I was in the honors research program at my Economics department and have good contacts with the professors there if that is relevant. I have never taken a business or finance course. I'm currently working a finance job in a boutique asset management firm and plan on staying here for two years. Not sure if my profile is appropriate at all? Or if it is, where I should be applying. Thanks all.
  7. Hi, I am 46 years and want to apply for PhD in Strategy. I have had experience in Corporate Strategy as well as in academic think tank institutes. I have also worked with a top Strategy professor as part of the think tank group. Will my age be considered as a challenge in my PhD application? What would be the best way to overcome that? I am posting in this group to get more reliable advice. Officially no university can discriminate on age. I want to prepare an application that may address their concern, if any. Thank you, Regards Gowrishankar
  8. Hi - I am wondering if universities have a preference for GRE v/s GMAT for a PhD application in Management / Organizational Behavior. Most universities say they accept either, while some universities explicitly say they prefer the GRE. However, most of the folks on these forums seem to have answered the GMAT. Any thoughts on this?
  9. Hi all, I found an (aptly titled) Public Goods website that compiles/aggregates a bunch of free resources online that's relevant to budding/current PhD students, compiled by Christine Cai, a fourth year PhD student at Princeton.
  10. Hey everyone, I am a first year at the University of Virginia and am hoping to a PhD in economics. The main problem I am having is I feel that there is very little support for me at this university, for example: the vast majority of resources seem to be devoted to our business school, I am unable to assist in or conduct any research until my third year, and there is only one economics related club. In only a few weeks, I have made a few connections with the top economics professors at our university and feel that letters of recommendations from them will not be too hard to get. I am very motivated, have already taken high level math classes, but it seems like I could excel much more if given the proper opportunities. I few options I have been considering that aren't too far out of reach include: Northwestern, Georgetown, Cornell, Berkeley, UPenn, and Columbia. I have lots of other extracurriculars I am very excited about, but none of them are quantitative and all of these other universities have vastly more assistance for econ majors. I am hoping to get into a top 10 PhD program and was wondering how beneficial/hurtful transferring to another university would be. Thanks in advance.
  11. Hi all, I'm currently going through the interviewing process and will be starting my OB PhD program in Fall of 2021 (haven't committed anywhere yet). I am married and my wife just gave birth to our first little girl. It is a very exciting and special time, but also, in the back of my head I'm wondering how we are going to make it all work. Questions such as if we can afford buying a small house or condo, if my wife can continue working with our child, if there is child care at the universities, if we may have to go into debt, etc., come up in my head and bring a bit of stress. I'm wondering if anyone has advice on how to best handle a PhD program with a family, things to watch out for, things to consider, etc.? Thanks!
  12. I used to be in a top Management PhD program but quit later because of research interest and relationship with one of my committee members. This year I am applying a Marketing (CB) PhD program. Should I mention my past experience in the Strategic Management one? Actually my performance (GPA) was very good. It's a plus or minus to include it in my application? Many thanks in advance for your kind advice!
  13. Hi guys, I am new member in this forum. Nice to meet you all! I'm here mainly to get some advice for my Econ PhD application since my case is pretty rate. All the best!
  14. Hi, I am considering applying for PhD in Marketing for Fall 2021. I am looking for advice on whether my profile needs some work and which schools might be feasible options. Test Scores (GMAT/GRE): GRE Quant: 168/170 (94th Percentile), Verbal: 170/170 (99th Percentile), Writing: 4/6 (60th Percentile) Undegrad GPA: 7.74/10 or 3.57/4 (as per WES) in Electronics and Communication Engineering Graduate GPA: 3.85/4 so far (another year remaining) in Master's in Business Analytics Research Experience: No published papers but working with a professor in the Marketing department as RA for an ongoing research project Teaching Experience: None, but worked as TA for a Marketing and Supply Chain course Work Experience: 3 years work experience in the field of Analytics, with focus on Marketing Concentration Applying to: Marketing Number of programs planned to apply to: I hear 20 is a reasonable number Dream Schools: Wharton, Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, University of Chicago (I don't think my profile is exceptional enough to be accepted, but this is the dream) Other Questions: What made you want to pursue a PhD? A PhD would give me the opportunity and resources to pursue business problems that I am interested in Questions or concerns you have about your profile? 1. I realize my profile is not very exceptional, but I still want to target some of the top schools- is there anything I can do that would increase my chances? 2. What would be some reach or safety schools for someone with my profile? Any additional specific questions you may have: With respect to the Letters of Recommendation- I have worked closely with one professor as an RA, I think he would give me a good recommendation. For the other 2, can I reach out to professors whose courses I've taken but not necessarily worked closely with or is that a bad option? I hear reaching out to old managers or stakeholders from business is a bad idea for PhD applications, is that true? Thank you so much for your time. I am hoping to get some sense of direction with my applications because this is my only shot practically.
  15. Hey folks, I'm looking to start an OB PhD this fall and am in the market for a laptop. I was originally wanting to get the new Macbook with the M1 chip, but I've also heard that the M1 chip doesn't play nice with various stats software. Is that the case? And if so, does anyone know if it's being worked on? Also, are there any laptops or specs you'd recommend I look into as I search for laptops? Thanks!
  16. PROFILE:Type of Undergrad: B.S. Math, B.A. Econ with honors, T10 Undergrad GPA: 3.45 (econ: 3.93, math: 3.87). First year GPA was extremely low with several Ds/Fs. Type of Grad: N/A Grad GPA :N/A GRE: Q170, V165, AW5.5 Econ Courses: Honors Intermediate Micro (A), Honors Intermediate Macro (A), Honors Econometrics (A), Auction Theory (A), Dynamical Economic Modeling (A), Industrial Organization (A), Experimental Economics (A), Econometric & Data Science Methods (A), MA Game Theory (A), PhD Micro II (A), Honors Thesis (A). Math Courses: Honors Calc I-II (C, C-), Calc III (A), Intro to Proofs (A), Abstract Linear Algebra (A), Real Analysis I-III (accelerated/regular) (A-/A), Topology (A), Algebra I (A-), Honors Probability (A-), Measure Theory (A-), ODEs (A-), MA Mathematical Statistics (A-). LOR's: I had one strong letter from my thesis advisor when applying to a masters program, not sure about PhD programs later on. Will hopefully have 2 strong letters from RA position at a top predoc program. All are senior faculty. Research Experience: 2-year RA, Honors Thesis and 3 individual research term papers (50+ pages each). Awards: Outstanding thesis prize Research Interests: Not sure yet Applying to: Not sure yet --------------------------- I would like to get some advice for what courses to take based on my profile in the coming two years during my RA. Currently I'm trying to choose between: Functional Analysis Dynamical Systems PhD Metrics I-III PhD Micro III PhD Macro I-III Machine Learning Algorithms Measure-theoretic probability MA Big Data and Economics MA microeconometrics I'm leaning towards PhD metrics in my first year and time-permitting, functional analysis. Then, machine learning and algorithms in my second year and perhaps PhD macro. I'm also unsure which is better: An A- in a class like PhD metrics or functional analysis or an A in a class that is slightly easier, like MA metrics. I'm also unsure if it's necessary to build a profile with an obvious field of interest by taking classes that are relevant to the field. I am taking a maximum of 6 classes per year. Thanks for any suggestions, especially if they are classes I have not considered or listed.
  17. Hey guys, This is bit of a long post. I had a Bachelors and Masters in Business Administration from India (Not a lot of quant coursework). I got admit to a PhD Finance program at lower ranked (top 100) department in the US in 2016. I was there for 1 semester but due to a combination of factors (lack of good research opportunities, me not having clarity on what I wanted to study, and moving to be closer to my husband), I transferred to a Masters in Finance Program of a top 50 department and graduated with a lot of doctoral coursework (Probability and Stochastic Processes, Mathematics of Economics, Mathematics of Finance, audited Optimization, Theory of Finance all at the doctoral level) and a small research project under a tenured Prof. My research project did not turn out as well as I had expected it to (since I took it for just one semester) and I am not sure if I would be able to go to this Prof for an LoR. I have been working with a top financial analytics company in credit model validation and verification for almost two years now and I would love to get back to pursuing a PhD hopefully in 2021. I have matured more as a person, and have found the real reasons why I want to do research. I have never let go of learning - I have been taking up coursework in an Analytics masters program to get more hands on experience in research methodology and general data science which have been very useful. However, I am still not very confident of my quant skills and above all my ability to do Research. I was playing around with the idea of applying to PhD programs directly. However, I am concerned about: 1. LoRs from my professors - it's been two years and I am not sure if they would remember me. 2. Jumping right into a PhD after 3 years. I was wondering if I can gradually get my feet wet with a Masters. I would also like to expand the universe of schools to Europe, Australia, and Canada. I saw that some of these schools require a masters dissertation as a part of their application. Lately, I have been looking at schools that offer MPhil or MRes with both coursework and dissertation options which I frankly find attractive. I would love to beef up my quant and Econ along with getting some research experience. So far, I have come up with LSE, Bocconi, and Alliance Manchester. But some of these are so pricey. I was going through an older thread (here) where some people have said that there are departments with a track record of placing students in good PhD programs. I am honestly wondering how to go about finding a Masters degree that would be a good preparation for a PhD in Finance with a good mix of coursework and research. I am an international student and with already one Masters, I am now looking for a Masters program that is no longer than 1 year. So, my questions are: 1. Can you suggest Masters programs that are good preparation for PhD in Finance? I humbly request you to specify which university and which department. I know an MA Econ or Statistics is good, but I am trying to see if I can get specific recommendations apart from the ones that I have already shortlisted :) 2. I am 32 and while age is a just a number, numbers are everything where we are ;) and I want to get some honest feedback on whether it even makes sense to go for another Masters or just bite the bullet and apply for PhD programs directly? Thank you!!
  18. Dear All, I am about to start my Phd. I have two options and they are as below. IIC University Cambodia - 3 years - Phd in Management Lincolin University College Malaysia 3 years - Doctor of Business Administration Please let me know out of two above which one do you recommend. Thanks in advance Supun
  19. Test Scores (GMAT/GRE): (Note: It often helps a lot more if you list the percentiles each of your raw/composite scores are associated with): QA 168 (97 percentile) VA 165 (98 percentile) Undegrad GPA: 8.5/10, Top 20% of class, Bachelors in Chemical Engineering (Top 10 Engineering College India) Graduate GPA: 7.1/10, Top 20% of class, MBA in Marketing and Operations (Top 5 B school from IndIa) Research Experience: Not much research experience from an academic standpoint, just general MBA assignments which involved secondary research. During my professional career I have been working with think tanks like the World Resources Institute and the UN Environment Programme on projects which required heavy primary and secondary research. Teaching Experience: None Work Experience: I have been working in strategy consulting with a Tier 2 consulting firm for the past two years in the Sustainability Services practice. My work has revolved around supporting non profit organisations (WWF, Red Cross Society, World Resources Institute) and multilateral institutions (UN agencies, EBRD) in various strategy projects. For example, one of my previous projects involved developing science based targets for business to reduce their impact on the ocean. The project that I am currently working on involves the largest assessment of palm oil buying companies and their impact on nature. These involve qualitative research and interviews, surveys etc. I am also proficient in data analysis and data visualization, at least at a level required for strategy projects- perhaps not at handling big data. Concentration Applying to: Strategy Number of programs planned to apply to: At least 8 Dream Schools: Yale, Michigan Ross, Duke Fuqua, USC Marshall, University of Minnesota- Carlson School of Business, University of North Carolina (Kenan Flagler), University of Washington (Foster), (still a WIP list) Letters of recommendation: Almost all from my MBA courses- will mostly be from professors and associate professors. Having little research experience, I'm expecting the letters of recommendations to be of a moderate strength. I will only be asking those professors for a recommendation in whose courses I have ranked among the top 5 scorers. Note: I have attached a one pager resume for more info. Other Questions: What made you want to pursue a PhD? I am deeply interested in how businesses can operate responsibly and partner with other stakeholders in the ecosystem like governments and communities to drive impact. I believe that businesses who are doing this at the moment will have a major first movers advantage going forward when regulations become more strict very rapidly and consumers become more aware of their environment. What businesses lack in this space is established research which proves this hypothesis and gives guidance on how to go about operating responsibly. Academia will have a big role to play here going forward and having worked with non profits for the past two years and being deeply aware of the situation around us, I want to be a part of that journey. Questions or concerns you have about your profile? 1. My major concerns are around graduate GPA which is not extraordinary- it might come to 3.4/3.5 after conversion to a 4 point scale using the conversion chart on the Columbia business school site. Given my overall profile and experience do I have a shot at any of the top 30 B schools for a PhD? 2. I am a complete novice to this- am I even targeting the right schools based on my profile? 3. I've been hearing that I should be applying as early as possible as early admissions are the only ones that are considered. Is this true? What is the optimum date by which I should be applying (given that deadlines are generally in December and I've been hearing people say that I should complete my applications in October) Any additional specific questions you may have: 4. Are there opportunities to undertake any remote part time research with professors in the US? I can't quit my job due to financial constraints. Given the COVID situation in India, it is extremely difficult to do that with professors here. I know this is a big ask but if anyone can share any input, I would be extremely grateful
  20. Test Scores (GMAT/GRE): GRE VA: 165 (98 percentile), QA: 168 (97 percentile) Undegrad GPA: 8.5/10 (Top 20% of class- Top 10 Indian Engineering College) Graduate GPA: 7.1/10 (Top 20% of class- Top 5 Indian B School) Research Experience: No publishing experience as such. During my professional career I have undertaken some secondary research for my consulting projects and primary research in the form of interviews and surveys, especially with think tanks like the World Resources Institute and the United Nations Environment Programme. Some of my MBA courses and business case competitions also required some basic secondary research. Teaching Experience: None Work Experience: I have a work experience of two and a half years in a Tier 2 strategy consulting organisation with their Sustainability Services practice. I have primarily worked with non profit organisations and multilateral organisations like WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Red Cross Society, UN agencies. I have supported various strategic projects with them. For example, I have worked with the UN Environment Programme to develop science based targets for businesses to reduce their impact on oceans and this involved a pair bit of literature based research. The current project I am working on is one of the world’s largest assessments of impact of 250+ consumer goods organisations on palm oil sustainability. This also involves literature review and surveying companies. Concentration Applying to: Strategy Number of programs planned to apply to: 6-8 Dream Schools: Yale, Michigan Ross, Duke Fuqua, USC Marshall, University of Washington Foster, University of Minnesota Carlson School Letters of recommendation: I will be asking for LORs from my MBA professors. It’s going to be of moderate strength since I don’t have any research experience to speak of but will only be asking those professors in whose courses I have ranked among the top 5 scorers. Note: I have also attached my resume for more information. Other Questions: What made you want to pursue a PhD? I have working on the topic of how businesses can operate responsibly and contribute positively to nature for the entirety of my professional career. Prior to that I have won several business case competitions on similar themes like sustainable agriculture. I believe there is scope for a great deal of innovation in this topic especially looking at how different stakeholders in the ecosystem can collaborate to drive change. Through my experience I realise that businesses who are now working on net positive value creation in the environment will have a first movers advantage when the regulations change. They will also have an effect on policy drivers. However in order to get there, businesses need guidance on how they can function responsibly while maintaining profitability. This is where academia will play a role going into the future because the ground is still nascent and it requires backing up with strong research. This is the journey I want to be a part of which is why the first step would be to apply for a strong PhD program in strategy, business environment and business economics. Questions or concerns you have about your profile? Given my overall MBA GPA isn’t extraordinary (may come to a 3.5 I guess, using the Columbia school chart of conversion) and I have no big research experience to speak of, do I have a shot at any of my dream schools or at least a top 30 college in the US? Does this forum have any suggestions on which schools I should be applying to? How does the GPA conversion work (from a 10 point scale to a 4 point scale)? What points should I stress upon in my SOP to give my application a push given my lack of research experience? Any additional specific questions you may have: Is there a possibility of getting part time remote research projects under professors in the US? Given the COVID situation in India, it’s not possible to do that here right now.
  21. Is this possible? How common is it? The undergrad modules seem fairly trivial overall, and apparently you only need distinction in half the modules to get into the PhD My only concern is the funding after getting in. I have enough funding for a 2year msc
  22. PROFILE: Type of Undergrad: B.S. in Economics (Major) with Math (Minor) from the US; ranked 83rd in Economics (US news) Undergrad GPA: 3.92/4.00 overall ( 4.00 in Econ, 3.87 in Math) Type of Grad: Phd Stream M.A. in Economics from Top - 4 Canadian Grad GPA :4.33/4.33 GRE: GRE: Q168 / V165 / AWA 5.0 Econ Courses :Principles of Micro (A+), Principles of Macro (A), Intermediate micro (A+), Intermediate Macro (A),Econometrics (A+), Mathematical Economics (A), Game -Theory (A+) Experimental Economics (A) and more (all A's) Math Courses: Calc I (A-), Cal-II(A), Multivariable Calculus (A+), Abstract Algebra(A+), Probability theory (A), Mathematical Statistics (A-), Linear Algebra (A+), Differential Equations (B+), Intro Real Analysis (A+), Complex Analysis (A), Numerical Analysis. (WP),Phd Math Econ ( A+) Econ Courses (grad-level):Phd Micro -Theory (96/100), Phd Macro Theory (91/100), Phd Econometrics (95/100), Phd Mathematical Economics (92/100); Phd Micro-II, Phd-Macro-II, Phd-MetricsII (in progress) LOR's : All from Grad Professors(Brown,PennState,Minnesota) Should be good because I was at the top 5% of the their classes. Research Experience: 7 years working at an International Research Institute back in home country + part-time lecturer at reputed private university in my home country. Research Interests : Macroeconomics, International Trade Applying to : Top 2 Canadian , Top-25 US. Concerns : Lack of publication, time lag between undergrad and grad. Aiming too high ? Love my current grad school and will only make a shift if there is a better offer from a higher ranked school.Would love to get into Minnesota because I am a Macro guy. Any comments/suggestions would be highly appreciated.
  23. rrrrr
  24. Hey guys, I have recently completed my MBA Finance from Australia and looking forward to do a PhD in Finance. I haven't started my application process yet and looking forward for a guidance. Would be thankful if anyone can help me out in the process.
  25. Is it wise to submit a low GRE score(310, 157Q) if the University made it optional? How does submitting it or not submitting it affect my application? If I send it anyway, can my research experience(2 years) and Econometrics degree complement my low scores?
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