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About Me


My Target Scores

  1. Hi, I'm applying to PhD economics programs for Fall 2022 entry and would like to receive some evaluation. Should I be more realistic with my chances and apply to lower ranking schools or do I have a decent shot with the top 15? I come from an applied math background but want to switch to econ/ finance departments. More on my research interests below. Profile: Undergraduate school: National University of Singapore Undergraduate Major: Quantitative Finance Undergraduate Minor: Statistics GPA: 3.72/4.00 in US standards GRE: Q 163, V 158 Messed up GRE Quant here... disappointing. Retaking it as I know I can do better. Math classes : Analysis 1 & 2 (A), Ordinary Differential Equations (A), Graduate Stochastic Analysis (A), currently taking a PhD class in Measure-Theoretic Probability, and then there's those fundamental classes like calculus, linear algebra, multivariable calculus (A/A- in them). I got B+ and B for numerical analysis and machine learning. Econ classes: PhD Continuous Time Financial Economics (A-), game theory (A-), Mathematical Finance 1/2 (A, B+) Statistics classes: Probability (A-), Mathematical Statistics (A-), Stochastic Processes (B+ but I exercised the P/NP option), Regression Analysis (B) All but one of the B+, B classes were taken during the COVID outbreak and I was affected by it so I couldn't focus as well. I am explaining this in my SOP. Research experience: 3 projects - One is related to financial market microstructure (uses stochastic control, Bayesian learning) and we plan to publish it in a top MS/OR journal; another bore no substantial fruit because someone published the idea in JFE; last project is my undergrad thesis on automated market makers (Fintech). My thesis centers on stochastic control and machine learning. LORs: I'm getting letters from the 3 people I researched with mentioned above. One is writing me a strong letter, is a finance professor with an OR background. The other 2 are math professors who afaik, are only connected to Columbia IEOR, for the States. Research Interest: Honestly, I'm most interested in financial market microstructure theory at the moment. However, it intersects with mechanism design (market design, auction theory, IO alike), which is why I'm considering the econ program. I like studying mechanisms/ systems, with an engineering flavor hence the interest in microstructure/ mechanism design. However based on what you have read so far, is it obvious to you that my profile fits a business PhD better than an econ PhD? Teaching Experience: Tutored 3 high schoolers math and they all got As. For economics schools, I'm considering those that are strong in micro theory/ market design. Stanford, Princeton, Northwestern, Columbia, NYU. I probably missed out some schools within the top 15 region that are strong in these area. May you suggest some schools to look at? What about Duke, UCLA, Michigan, UPenn, Maryland, NYU, UCSD, CMU, Cornell? For business schools - Stanford GSB, Columbia, Toronto Rotman. Thanks :)
  2. Hello everyone, To give you a quick background, I have almost 8 years of corporate tax experience at a Big4. I am considering a move to academia but, due to personal reasons, will start the application process next year. I hope that this forum will shed some light on a few questions that I have. Any recommendations on programs that have strong interest in tax research? Most of the research papers published by schools that I have seen so far (granted I just looked at a few schools) are focused on financial accounting / capital markets. Is it worth pursuing only those programs that have been publishing in tax (which I would prefer), or do I need to "branch out" to other accounting fields, i.e., FA, audit to broaden the pool. Correct me if I am wrong, but as far as I can tell from the discussions on this forum, practical work experience doesn't play that much of a role once you are past the 2-3 year mark. Would 9 years of public accounting actually hinder my chances of acceptance by T40? Thanks much!
  3. Hi, I'm planning on applying to Econ PhD programs in fall 2022 (for fall 2023 start). I am targeting top 50-150 schools, plus a few stretch schools and a few business and public policy schools with econ focus. I'm a working professional and my math is quite old, so I'm going to be taking courses over the next several semesters. My plan is MV Calc, Linear Algebra 1&2, Stats 1&2, Analysis 1. How much does it matter where I take these courses? I live in Atlanta so have Perimeter College (community college), Georgia State, and Georgia Tech. Tech is a lot more expensive (and presumably harder?) - how much would that help an applicant? My working thought is to go with Perimeter + GSU, and spend my extra hours trying to do research with an econ professor at GSU next summer. Thanks for any advice!
  4. Hello all! I got an offer from a program I really like and I would like to accept it. However, I'm also on the waitlist of 3 similar-ranked programs that told me they don't know when they'll be releasing their waitlist offers. What would be the best course of action? Even with an offer from any of those 3 other schools I don't know if i would change my mind considering the offer I already have. Should I accept the offer now? Should I let them know about my waitlist status in those other schools? If I do get an offer from the waitlist and decide to go to one of those schools, how should I approach it? Thanks!
  5. What are people's opinions on business economics versus economics for someone with theory interests? So what's the verdict on urch? How would these programs stack up? (Redacted.)
  6. What do you guys think of the difficulty of getting an admission from these schools is like? Say, if I can make it to a Econ PhD at T30~40, is it safe for me to assume that I have a strong shot at those schools? Just want some realistic opinions. Thanx
  7. I'm a few months shy of jumping into the academic (tenure-track) job market in management. I'm considering applying to balanced and/or teaching schools. Aside from teaching load and tenure requirements, are there any key differences/pros/cons to working at a balanced vs. a teaching school?
  8. I posted this a few months ago, but I’ve finished applications and I wanted to post and see if anyone else could give me insight as to whether I applied to the correct range of schools. Type of Undergrad: BA in Math and Economics from small LA school Undergrad GPA: 3.95 overall, 4 in economics, 3.85 in math GRE: 169 Q, 167 V, 5.5 W Math Courses: calculus 1-3 (A, A-, A), linear algebra (A), Intro to Proofs (B+), Diff Eq (A), Abstract Algebra (A), Topology (A), Prob and Stat I and II (A and A), Mathematical Modeling (A) Econ Courses: intermediate micro/macro (A), political economy of Africa (A), Environmental Econ (A), Game Theory (A), History of Thought (A), Senior Seminar (research thesis, A), independent research course (A), Econometrics (A) Letters of Recommendation: Three very strong letters from economics faculty at my undergrad. I know at least one professor will place me in top few students he has taught over decades of working at this university; the others should be similarly strong. Teaching: I worked for a year as a GRE and SAT teacher/tutor, not expecting this to matter much. Research: RA throughout undergrad for my professor’s consulting practice, and then two large undergrad research projects (senior thesis and an independent research course). Work: Since graduating I have been working as an economic researcher in state government dealing with unemployment and labor markets. I do data analysis, economic modeling, and time series forecasting. I have been very involved in the state’s economic response to COVID-19. Research Interests: Labor and macroeconomics. I spend a fair amount of space in my SOP linking my research in labor markets in my current job to my research interests. I applied to programs two years ago and got several offers in the 30s and 40s with two waitlists in the low 20s. Although I was happy with my results my partner got into an amazing MA program, and so I decided to work in research for two years and then enter grad school (I explain this in my SOP). I applied to one reach school, 2 schools in the 20s, 7 schools across the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and then two schools ranked in the 60s or 70s (I’m basing this all on US News, but I understand relative competitiveness holds fairly well across other lists/metrics). I know COVID-19 is going to make admissions this year tough and more competitive. Have I applied to a reasonably safe list of schools so that I should end up with a funded offer from somewhere?
  9. I'm currently a California community college student looking to transfer into a 4-year university. I'm starting to think about reach schools to apply to. Through the lens of phd admissions, which schools would be worth going to over UC Berkeley?
  10. Hi everyone, I'm applying for PhD programs for this upcoming cycle and would like some feedback on the schools I'm applying to and maybe some recommendations on where to apply to given my profile. I'd really appreciate any help. Profile: Type of Undergrad: Top 25 USNWR (general, not econ) Undergrad GPA: 3.62 Type of Grad: NA Grad GPA: NA GRE: 168 Q 164 V 5.5 W Math Courses(list the grades for each course): Calc 1: B Calc 2: A- Intro to stats: A- Multivariable Calc: B Linear Algebra: B+ Foundations of math (proof writing class): A- Differential Equations: B+ Nonlinear optimization: A Mathematical Economics: B Probability and Statistics: A Real analysis: Got a C first time, but currently retaking at a different school, projected to get an A Econ Courses Undergrad(list the grades for each course): Princ. of Micro: A- Princ. of Macro: A- Intermediate Micro: A Intermediate Macro: A Prob and Stat for Economists: B+ Econometrics: A Money and Banking: A Money and Banking (this was a separate course with the same name I took abroad): A Economic Forecasting: A- Econ Courses Msc(list the grades for each course): NA Other Courses: Don't think these are relevant, but I was also a polisci major and got mostly A/A-s in my courses. Letters of Recommendation: One from former econ professor, used to be very high up in one of the federal reserve banks. Another from a professor I TA'd for and also helped a little with research. Last one from a math professor whose class I did well in and likes me. I expect all three to be pretty good letters, the first will likely be great since he really likes me and is tailoring his letters. Research Experience: Was an undergraduate research fellow in the political science department, co-wrote a study I presented with a partner at a small conference, helped a professor I TA'd for a little with his research (mostly just coding data). Will be doing research at my current job (data analyst) soon (I hope) on unique data. Teaching Experience: Was a TA for intermediate microeconomics, as well as a course in labor economics (did not really teach in this role, but made the class slides) Other (Notes, concerns etc.): Schools on my list right now are University of Washington, University of Notre Dame, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Syracuse University, University of California Irvine, University of Southern California, and University of Colorado Boulder. I'd really appreciate any insights into how competitive I am to get in (with full funding) at these programs, and also recommendations of other programs I should apply to. I'm mostly interested in labor and history, but political economy and macro are interesting to me too if that makes a difference. Thanks a lot
  11. I am a current undergrad at a top 5 (think HYPMS) university. I did not do so well in multivariate calculus and linear algebra (think B/B+), so I am thinking of taking a course at a UC this summer for remediation. Unfortunately, due to COVID, it seems everyone got the same idea, leaving it impossible to register for a course at UCLA/UCB. This leaves me with options at these schools: UCSC: Linear Algebra UCI: Multivariable UCR: Multivariable Linear Algebra I Was wondering if taking any of these courses would help remediate my ****** grade and at least show I am competent in these subjects. I do plan on taking harder courses next year at my school, and hopefully I'll do well. However, I was wondering if the quality of these schools should impact my decision in which school(s) I choose (I can choose multiple thanks to remote instruction), and which school I should choose.
  12. Hi, I recently graduated from my undergrad and will start working as a pre-doctoral RA for two years at a Top 10 school. I graduated from a Top 20-25 school with Economics major, but my GPA is low (3.3-3.4) with not so good grades in math (will post a refined profile evaluation later). A lot of unexpected events happened to me during undergrad, which partially explains my grades but also I was very low in terms of my self esteem and motivation, which didn't help academically. It is mostly on me that I failed to overcome a lot of personal obstacles completely, and I am trying to do my best in the next two years to improve myself, both personally and academically. I was talking with my research advisor, under whom I have learned to do research and eventually completed my senior honors thesis. He is somewhat well-known in the field, and told me that he sees my paper as potentially publishable at a second-tier journal upon several changes and many revisions. I have been wondering if I should embark on this, as I know that this will take a lot of work and there is also no guarantee that I will get it published. Here is my question: I know it'll be hard, but If I do get it published, will this help me get into a Top 15, even Top 10 Phd program? I know my current profile isn't enough to get me into these schools, and was wondering if this will be a big factor that will help me get into these schools. Thanks in advance for your help.
  13. I've heard that some schools are cancelling their prelim exams for their students because of COVID-19. What schools have cancelled/postponed their prelims? For those schools, do you think this is a one time thing or do you think this will lead to prelims being phased out since some first year cohorts aren't taking them this year?
  14. Hi: If I am only planning to apply to 2 schools both located in the same state for my PhD because of many reasons why those are the only schools I would apply to (at least the initial cycle), would it look favorable if I disclose on my personal statement that they are my only schools I'm applying to, would they take it the wrong way as a sign that I'm not serious (hopefully this will be dispelled by my transcripts, research) about getting a PhD (maybe not?), or would it be ambiguous how the adcoms would interpret this? I'm not terribly familiar with the general consensus of adcoms and the dos and do nots... much appreciated!
  15. Hello ladies and gents, I am thinking to apply for PhD in Economics in top 60-70 or more specifically CUNY - SUNY range of school. I can only apply to schools within NY region and my profile is not as good as like the ones applying to top 10 schools such as NYU, Columbia. Anyway my question is that if you could suggest 3 to 5 mathematical classes for such an applicant, what would you suggest me to take? At the end of this semester, I will share my background but right now it is not good enough to post yet :) Good day!
  16. Throughout the past few years, I've used this forum a lot for advice on what I needed to do to get into a top accounting PhD program. As the application season is coming to a close, I thought I would share some of my insights going through this process. A lot of the information on this forum is very useful and informative, but a lot of the content (as far as I saw) may not reflect what the process is like today, as the forum was more active before. If you want detailed statistics from my profile, you can probably find them on one of my older posts. I am from a school in Canada (for the sake of anonymity, I won't say which one, but it's one that is considered one of the better schools in Canada). I was accepted into 2 schools that are typically considered to be in the T-10, 3 additional ones that fall within T-20 and 2 safety schools. Overall, I felt that I did quite well this application season, all things considered. Here are some takeaways that I had from the application process, and things that I might have changed: I ended up getting reference letters from people who knew me really well, and who I had worked with. If I had known earlier just how important references were, I would have tried to get to know senior faculty at my school better. I knew that references were important, but I didn't know that these would be so important. Some of the interviews that I landed were largely because some references knew people in the faculty at those schools. I would have worked at an accounting firm for a few years before I applied. I know that a lot of schools tell you this doesn't matter, but throughout my experience this cycle and talking with other applicants, it seems that there does seem to be some preference for prior work experience. It may not matter as much as other things like research experience, grades, references, etc., but I was asked very often about why I chose not to work before going into a PhD program. I would not have worried as much about math courses or rigorous econ training. A lot of programs don't have this as a requirement. To an extent, it seemed like they cared more that I was passionate about the field than they did about the specifics of my training. I was really worried that my quant preparation would be too weak, and I spent a lot of time trying to correct this issue. I think some of that time may have been better spent gaining work experience or getting to know faculty a bit better. My biggest piece of advice for people who are in undergrad/master's programs that are looking to do an accounting phd is to go out and meet faculty. Not only because they can write you references, but also because they're usually the best sources of information for the application process. I can't understate how important and useful faculty members have been in helping me with the whole process. If you have any more specific questions, I'm happy to answer them through inbox!
  17. I am interested in pursuing a PhD in Political Economy, Institutional Analysis, and Political Economy of Development. Originally, I was convinced that Economics schools were the best route to study these fields coming from a Bachelor's degree in Econ, but the more research I've done, the more schools outside of Econ departments I've found that specialize in Political Economy. Several Economics schools like George Mason, Florida State, Clemson, and West Virginia were suggested to me for my research interests, and they certainly do have scholars interested in those fields at each of those schools. But I've come to find that several Public Policy (UChicago) schools and many Political Science (MIT, Duke, Columbia, etc.) schools offer Political Economy as concentrations. If this is what I want to study, which route would offer me the best opportunities after graduation, going into an Econ, Public Policy, or Political Science PhD? Any suggestions would be helpful, thank you!
  18. How often does this happen? I see this in the placement record of top schools.
  19. Hi guys, now that I'm admitted to one of my top schools, I wonder when should I start taking care of logistical issues such as moving and renting etc.?
  20. Hello community, I've been applying to phd programs and just realized that some schools provide an opportunity to upload a writing sample (optional) on their online application but other schools don't even ask for it nor do they offer an opportunity to upload one. I've been uploading my writing sample only if there is a place to attach it. However, I just realized it would help if I could upload it to school online apps that don't offer a place to attach it as a file.... Wouldn't it help to give a writing sample to the committee (if its good) regardless? Would I be at a disadvantage if I don't upload it to a school that doesn't ask for one? For those schools that don't provide a place to upload it, what should I do? Should I attach my writing sample to the end of my SOP and upload the entire file in the SOP uploading section? Or email the phd program or grad admissions if I can have them attach my writing sample manually? Advice would be much appreciated!!!
  21. Hello all and thanks in advance: Test Scores (GMAT/GRE): 160Q 157V Undegrad GPA: 3.25 (Thesis on financial ratio analys of companies in the stock market, Actuarial Science) Graduate GPA: 3.8 (The written project was not mandatory and it is barely thorough, becauseI did an MBA) Research Experience: 2 years as research assistant (regressions, Strectural equation modeling, time series) Teaching Experience: 3 years (Quantitive Tools (MBA level), Decision Analysis (MBA level) and in January 2020 Mathematical Finance II (for actuaries and finance, undergrads) Work Experience: 4 years, bank, insurance and consulting in finance Concentration Applying to: Finance Number of programs planned to apply to: 7 (Would you recommend more?) Dream Schools: Stockholm, Vienna, Essex, Washington, Bocconi, Bath Other Questions: What made you want to pursue a PhD? Since I started teaching I was at the same time hired for research assistant and throughout the first year I really enjoy it a lot, which make me start pursuing the Ph.D. Last year I did apply but got no luck, the "tier" of schools I selected were Tier 1. Questions or concerns you have about your profile? I am worried that I am 30yo, although people have told me there is no problem about that I am from a country that doesn't promote research, so I have tried these past 2 years to compensate it, ideally I would start helping a professor with a paper (but there is no definite time, which is why I am not putting it as an experience) and if we started it, it might be too soon to even put it as Work in Progress. Still I have been assisting PhD candidates on their research analysis. I am doubting about my GRE in regards to Finance, a professor that comes from top tier schools told me it would be too low to even pass the first filter and that I should apply to the area of Management and maybe later move to Finance (got me a little down :upset: ) Since it is my second time applying I am looking at schools that: I would really like to go, that I do in theory have the qualifications to be accepted (based on their websites about no GRE min, and if they have I am in their range) I am working strongly in my SOP and in an attractive Research Proposal (for the European schools). I am looking to work on a more empirical result, I do know that my strength is not necessarily in the theory, but more in the practical research, which is what I have done. Any additional specific questions you may have: I would like to know your opinion or if maybe I should restructure my approach.
  22. I would like to know if the Economic History Field is still active and which schools have Ph.D. students with EH specialization. I have done my research, finding 5 schools who publicly show their economic history specialization option (sadly top 20) but I'm unaware if admissions are open for candidates who want to specialize in that field. The reasoning is based on the lack of graduates from those institutes with an economic history field. Before anyone criticizes me or directs me to apply to LSE Economic History Ph.D., my central interest/research is Macroeconomics but economic history is a very crucial subject to all Economic courses (even Econometric) and I desire to research in that field as well. I refuse to apply to an institution that does not even have an Economic History course as a requirement for Ph.D. completion. I would love to go into more (possibly rant) but I will appreciate any help and/or tips.
  23. Test Scores (GMAT/GRE): I am currently studying for the GMAT. I’m scoring on practice tests around 645 with minimal studying, but I am shooting for at least a 720. Undegrad GPA: Finance, Grand Valley State University. 2.89 (major GPA is 3.2) Graduate GPA: Finance, University of Michigan (Dearborn) currently have a 3.7 but I have only taken 2 classes at this point. I plan to take some OB classes while I am doing my Masters. Research Experience: I am doing graduate research this fall, but it is mainly market research. I plan to contact professors after my fall semester to assist with their research. Teaching Experience: None Work Experience: 3 years in the financial industry (1 in sales, 2 in operations) Concentration Applying to: OB/Management Number of programs planned to apply to: ~15 Dream Schools: University of Michigan, Purdue, Indiana University, George Washington Other schools currently considering: MSU, Wayne State University, Virginia Tech. I have a list of about 40 schools so far, so I need to narrow it down. I will be applying for Fall 2021. Other Questions: What other opportunities should I pursue while in my Master’s to be more competitive? What made you want to pursue a PhD? I have always loved research, but never considered a PhD an option in my field until about a year ago. I have had a few bosses at this point and it always interested me I how the employees’ demeanor completely changed with the management style. I have also gone through a large merger, and am interested in employee satisfaction after a merger/acquisition. This has lead me to my main research interest in leadership and mergers/acquisitions within the financial industry. Questions or concerns you have about your profile? My undergrad GPA and my lack of math classes (I have not taken calculus classes in my undergrad, but was able to use rudimentary skills in my finance classes from my high school calculus). Only brief research experience (so far). Any additional specific questions you may have: I am mainly trying to get into Purdue/Indiana University (this is most likely where my fiancé will be to do his IMG waiver in Infectious Disease). For anyone with experience at those two schools, what do they weigh most heavily in the application? Thank you!
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