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2018 Ph.D. Business Administration Sweat Thread


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Didn’t have any offers.. aimed high and i assume that being an older applicant was quite a hurdle in the end.. widened my range a bit this year.. i am a bit apprehensive though.. I think being an older applicant would represent a challenge in the job market if and when i am done with the PhD.. so don’t really want to compound it by going into a lower tiered program.. I think I have a pretty solid profile which would have played out well had I applied years ago..

 

I also was very afraid of being considered old for applications. Now that I've been doing a PhD, with the opportunity to talk and meet many people in academia, I don't believe age is reason enough to get rejected by all schools. A few schools, maybe, but that's not a general prejudice.

 

You say you aimed high and have a pretty solid profile. I don't know how high, and I don't know your profile. But usually applying only to the very top schools means very low chances, even with a pretty solid profile. You should have a perfect quantitative score on the standardized test (51Q if using the GMAT, 170Q if GRE), good research experience (some papers to show, conference presentations, experience as a research assistant), and very strong letters of recommendation (professors with good reputation and who can really attest to your potential as a researcher) to feel good about your chances.

 

If you don't have those things, you just have to know that it may not be that hard for the very top schools to find some applicants who do. Even if you have those things, I don't recommend limiting yourself to something like top 10 or top 20, unless you really are not willing to accept anything lower. In short for schools like top 10 or top 20, a pretty solid profile is usually not enough, you need a nearly perfect profile to feel more confident.

 

I see lots of applicants fixed on top 10, top 20, top 25, and it usually looks to me like they are underestimating the PhD application process. Ok, maybe you are really excellent, really strong. But for a top PhD, really excellent, really strong, is often pretty standard.

 

About age, what I see is not an issue with the age. But how applicants use age in their application. You should be able to explain in a convincing way why you are looking for a PhD after so many years, for example. Older applicants also usually have lots of experience outside of academia, and they have to be careful about that. I worked outside of academia for decades, I did "research" in Finance and Marketing at some companies. But if I try to sell that experience as a good substitute for experience with academic research, it can really backfire. That's one of the things that I noticed they were checking about me during the interviews. So, I believe that the problem is usually not age, but how you present those extra years in your application.

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I was waitlisted at a top 10 school last year and reapplying again this year.. Was wondering if anyone has any insight as to whether last year’s waitlist spot is a strong signal for getting into one of the final rounds this year.

 

Also, I wonder if it makes sense to try and reach out o PoI or the person who interviewed me last year and express my strong interest within the context of almost getting in last year.. would that be constructive or counterproductive?

 

I would definitely reach out to them and let them know that, while you were obviously disappointed that you didn't make the cut last year, you changed X, Y and Z about your profile and reapplied this year. The key thing for you this year is demonstrating how you are better this year, and not just that a year has passed and you are re-applying.

 

Good luck!

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Hi! Not sure what the percentage is, but I know a couple of people who travel to the U.S. on visitor visa for campus visits, so I guess visa status shouldn't be a problem even if you currently reside outside of the U.S.?

My situation is quite complicated here, since I have a valid visa but it is for working purposes. Thanks for the advice anyway!

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I also was very afraid of being considered old for applications. Now that I've been doing a PhD, with the opportunity to talk and meet many people in academia, I don't believe age is reason enough to get rejected by all schools. A few schools, maybe, but that's not a general prejudice.

 

You say you aimed high and have a pretty solid profile. I don't know how high, and I don't know your profile. But usually applying only to the very top schools means very low chances, even with a pretty solid profile. You should have a perfect quantitative score on the standardized test (51Q if using the GMAT, 170Q if GRE), good research experience (some papers to show, conference presentations, experience as a research assistant), and very strong letters of recommendation (professors with good reputation and who can really attest to your potential as a researcher) to feel good about your chances.

 

If you don't have those things, you just have to know that it may not be that hard for the very top schools to find some applicants who do. Even if you have those things, I don't recommend limiting yourself to something like top 10 or top 20, unless you really are not willing to accept anything lower. In short for schools like top 10 or top 20, a pretty solid profile is usually not enough, you need a nearly perfect profile to feel more confident.

 

I see lots of applicants fixed on top 10, top 20, top 25, and it usually looks to me like they are underestimating the PhD application process. Ok, maybe you are really excellent, really strong. But for a top PhD, really excellent, really strong, is often pretty standard.

 

About age, what I see is not an issue with the age. But how applicants use age in their application. You should be able to explain in a convincing way why you are looking for a PhD after so many years, for example. Older applicants also usually have lots of experience outside of academia, and they have to be careful about that. I worked outside of academia for decades, I did "research" in Finance and Marketing at some companies. But if I try to sell that experience as a good substitute for experience with academic research, it can really backfire. That's one of the things that I noticed they were checking about me during the interviews. So, I believe that the problem is usually not age, but how you present those extra years in your application.

 

 

I am am not sure that getting a perfect Quant score on GRE is all that relevant.. my impression is that those serve as cutoffs in early rounds but cease to be relevant once the cut off is met.. unless there is a choice beteeen two practically identical candidates where the GRE serves as a deciding tie breaker.. for the record, my GRE are 163V / 168Q.. i feel like my profile won’t be compared to a typical applicant and given the length and the quality of my experience and the relevance that it might have towards identifying and developing meaningful research topics probably more than compensates for another 1-2 points on quant GRE.. GRE tests the native abilities and it also serves as a good benchmark for young people who have little experience and a fairly limited number of other objective attributes to judge them by. I also have an ivy MBA and an MS in math from a top applied math program - so these should count for something theoretically.. I’ve applied to 2 top 20 programs as backups.. and my general reluctance to get into second tier is the fact that I think my age could be a hurdle at job placement stage and going to a second tier program would only compound my shot at getting a solid placement

 

it’s comfortint to know that there is less “age-ism” than i assumed.. my understanding is that it’s a bigger issue in the Economics programs.. i feel like some programs are more willing to take a risk on older candidates than others.. but i shall find out soon enough.

 

in any case, the dilemma for me is whether approaching profs with relevant research focus now would help or impede my case.. another question is whether willingness to forgo funding for at least the first year would make a difference as far as admissions chances go..

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Just a query about waiting lists. Having recently done my interview at Northwestern, I noticed looking at their statistics that historically less than half of their admitted candidates accept the offer. So would I be wrong in saying that even if I don't get an offer straight away I could still get in so long as I am reasonably placed on the wait list? Or am I being too optimistic?
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Just a query about waiting lists. Having recently done my interview at Northwestern, I noticed looking at their statistics that historically less than half of their admitted candidates accept the offer. So would I be wrong in saying that even if I don't get an offer straight away I could still get in so long as I am reasonably placed on the wait list? Or am I being too optimistic?

 

From what I hear of Northwestern (at least in the marketing department) they normally let in 1-2 from the waitlist. That is the average, though, sometimes more, sometimes less. Basically I would say that if you're waitlisted there is a still a chance you'll get the yes. Honestly try not to think about that until you don't get an offer. That being said, I get it. There's literally nothing anyone can say to make you not think of all the million of possible outcomes until you have accepted an offer.

 

Good luck! All of you applicants are in my thoughts. We're pulling for you.

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Just got my first acceptance and I’m super happy! Good luck to everyone waiting. It’s hard not to check emails/gradcafe/Urch all the time. I’m on vacation right now with limited internet connectivity, and it feels pretty liberating actually :)

 

I noticed that applicants are sometimes advised to ask prospective advisors for their rules of PhD students gaining authorship. Could someone explain what the different possibilities could be? Is it more difficult to publish or get authorship recognition with some faculty than it is with others?

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Congratulations! An acceptance this early, and from a top school, is perfect.

 

Maybe some more experienced user can explain it better, but I'll try to talk about authorship. I think the main possibilities are:

1 - To not be included among the authors, despite your work

2 - To be included among the authors

3 - To be the first author.

 

The 1st alternative is when you did some work for a paper, but your work is not considered a substantial contribution to the final result.

 

If your contribution to the paper is significant, you should be expected to be included among the authors (2nd alternative). The problem here is that "substantial contribution" is a very subjective concept. So, I guess it can be harder or easier depending on the faculty. But I'm not sure if you'll be able to really know just by asking. Professors should tell you that it is hard but feasible, right? Maybe asking PhD candidates about their experience would be better. Or check previous papers a professor published, to see if there are names of PhD students among authors too.

 

First author is usually for papers based on your dissertation, a work that is really primarily yours.

 

About getting published, I guess it also makes sense to say that it depends on each professor.

 

In top schools, many professors only want to publish in top journals, for example. And yeah, it will be much harder to publish in this case, than when you're working with a professor who accepts lower-ranked journals. But this is a tradeoff, you want it to be harder but better, or easier and worse?

 

And surely some professors have a lot more experience and knowledge regarding the ways to get published.

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I have an interview today and haven’t heard a confirmation or anything back from the school which has my anxiety through the roof. My only other interview they connected with me on skype immeadiately, sent a confirmation, and even sent an email that morning saying they were looking forward to the interview. This school asked me if I was available on date at time I said yes and send my skype ID and it’s been radio silence for a week. I’m almost worried they forgot about me. This isn’t leaving a great impression of the school when my first interview school seemed nothing but thrilled to talk to me.
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Just a general question, is right now( Late January) still a little early in the application season?

 

There are two possible scenarios to this question. The first scenario is that you are asking if it is still early to apply. In which case I would say emphatically that most schools have closed their applications as of this point. If you didn't get your applications out yet, you're likely too late.

 

The scenario is if you are asking whether the interview and acceptance phase of the application season is still early. To that I say:

 

The short answer is yes.

 

The long answer is yes it's still extremely early most of the movement will be in February and March.

 

The real answer is that I could tell you that there wouldn't be any movement until June and it wouldn't matter because you'll be freaking out between now and when you finally accept an offer. I do really wish I could be of more help, but I know there is nothing that I can say to make the wait easier. I completely feel for you. I was in the exact same position 5 years ago. It gets better!

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There are two possible scenarios to this question. The first scenario is that you are asking if it is still early to apply. In which case I would say emphatically that most schools have closed their applications as of this point. If you didn't get your applications out yet, you're likely too late.

 

The scenario is if you are asking whether the interview and acceptance phase of the application season is still early. To that I say:

 

The short answer is yes.

 

The long answer is yes it's still extremely early most of the movement will be in February and March.

 

The real answer is that I could tell you that there wouldn't be any movement until June and it wouldn't matter because you'll be freaking out between now and when you finally accept an offer. I do really wish I could be of more help, but I know there is nothing that I can say to make the wait easier. I completely feel for you. I was in the exact same position 5 years ago. It gets better!

 

I'm asking with respect to the second scenario. I've only received one interview (Northwestern) and hven't heard from anyone else. I've looked at the gradcafe results and haven't found any movement in finance. So I was just hoping it is too early to make a judgment as to the outcomes.

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I'm asking with respect to the second scenario. I've only received one interview (Northwestern) and hven't heard from anyone else. I've looked at the gradcafe results and haven't found any movement in finance. So I was just hoping it is too early to make a judgment as to the outcomes.

 

Yep it's still very early in the process. You have plenty of time to freak out.

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First year PhD Finance student checking in. Just wanted to say that I was thinking about all of the applicants and said a prayer for everyone to be able to stay calm for the next few months.

 

I didn't receive my decision until the last week of May! Yes, it was frustrating. Yes, I had a few very hard days. I would have reapplied this round had I not got in.

 

One thing I wish I had read from previous applicants (and I may have, and just ignored it) was to absolutely NOT read the forums from the time the last application was sent to the time I had received my final admission or declination letter. You will gain nothing from reading other people's tales of success. Every school's process is slightly different and the timelines are not always fixed. Go live life! The hard part is OVER!

 

I would define the year of my admission as one of tremendous change. I would certainly do it all over again. I just might not check the forums as much ;)

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In the last three days, I went from zero phone/Skype interviews to four. I share this so that those of you still waiting to hear from your first program, or who have only heard from a small number, remember that things are about to turn around. Also, before receiving these interview requests, I had seen (from here and from Gradcafe) some departments to which I applied interviewing others. If this applies to you, don't be discouraged! Remind yourself how personalized Ph.D. admissions are; that one department didn't interview you does not signal in any way that you aren't a good fit somewhere else that may not start moving until February. Good luck!
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Dear friends,

 

Has anyone heard back from Uni of Arkansas-Fayetteville Marketing Ph.D. program?

 

Thanks

 

I don't know if anyone got calls or not but I met a Prof from there in December 3rd week and he was saying that they usually start looking at the applications after Jan 15th so they might take around 2 weeks to process and review all the applications and give out calls. So I think there is still time to get into panic mode.

 

I have seen you asking about Univ of Arkansas since December so I wanted to share this with you, I hope this helps and I also hope that I didn't scare you more.:afro:

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One thing I wish I had read from previous applicants (and I may have, and just ignored it) was to absolutely NOT read the forums from the time the last application was sent to the time I had received my final admission or declination letter. You will gain nothing from reading other people's tales of success. Every school's process is slightly different and the timelines are not always fixed. Go live life! The hard part is OVER!

;)

 

This. Now you may have a reason to check, when, for example, you have an offer and want to see if your other dream school already invited people, but other than that, just resist.

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