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From MBA to PhD...suggestions?

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From MBA to PhD...suggestions? [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2008, 20:55
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I have been accepted to an MBA program starting this Fall. The idea of a career in academia sounds interesting, so I am considering going for a PhD in Finance or Strategic Management at the same school I am getting my MBA from after the completion of the MBA program. Looking at the current PhD students at the school I will be attending, most of them have a MBA, so it doesn't seem so crazy to go for a PhD after getting an MBA. Since I have 6 months to kill before beginning my MBA, I would like to get a leg up on my (potential) PhD application. I would like to keep that option open. Right now I am in the initial stages of researching what a PhD entails, so if these questions seem stupid, please forgive me.

-What should I be reading? What kind of trade publications would be good to start with so I can get a good idea of what I want to end up researching later on? What exactly do PhD students read?
-I hear that getting "published" is something good to have on your resume when applying. Published where? How does one go about doing this?
-Is there anything I should be doing while in the MBA program that could give me an advantage when applying to the PhD program?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: From MBA to PhD...suggestions? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2008, 17:31
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ned80 wrote:
I
-What should I be reading? What kind of trade publications would be good to start with so I can get a good idea of what I want to end up researching later on? What exactly do PhD students read?
-I hear that getting "published" is something good to have on your resume when applying. Published where? How does one go about doing this?
-Is there anything I should be doing while in the MBA program that could give me an advantage when applying to the PhD program?


- Read top journals in your areas of interests (Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal to name a few). If you're interested in those areas, you are probably econ-oriented, so look at top econ journals as well (Amer. Econ. Review, Journal of Political Economy, Econometrica etc..)
- Tough in your situation to publish. See my next answer.
- Do well in your classes to gain favor with profs. Engage them. When they talk about their research interests (invariably they will touch on it lightly in MBA setting), pounce on it if you are interested and tell the prof you want to learn more about it. It may lead to some RA work with them.
- See if it is OK to attend their research seminars, either internal or external. External might be better since there is a bigger audience generally, so you can "blend in," but in any case this is a great way to find out what people are doing in their research and to gauge your interest.
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Re: From MBA to PhD...suggestions? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2008, 17:35
1. Read academic publication (i.e. journals), and not trade publications like HBR, etc. An

2. Finance and Strategy are very different fields - it will be good for you to think through which path you want to take. If you are sure of going into Finance, you can consider taking 1 or 2 economics/finance/quant PhD classes. If you are thinking of going into strategy, maybe courses like Org Behvaior or Org Theory (at PhD level) would be good. But I'm not sure if you have extra resources to do these given a potential tight MBA class schedule.
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Re: From MBA to PhD...suggestions? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2008, 18:29
at wharton, 2nd year MBAs who express interest in PhD are allowed to join PhD seminars either as auditors or as participants (depend on the course). there are few like these every semester.

also - whichever track you want to go - do yourself a favor and do exceptionally well in as much as quant courses as you can during the MBA (i.e. take more than the minimum. get an A or A+ in every single one of them).

unlike others, I don't think you must read journals. in fact this might be too early for you, and deter you...
what I suggest is that for every course that you take on the MBA try to push yourself in asking some non-trivial questions about what you study. try to think how you would go about to answer them. what kind of relevant data you'd need. if you have insights, can you put them into words. can you formulate them in a way that they can be tested?

if you do so for a year.... you could then spend the summer starting the preparation of your phd application. it might be good thing to do some academic reading at that time.
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Re: From MBA to PhD...suggestions? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2008, 18:34
Thanks for all the suggestions.

Hobbit, do those 2nd year MBA students that express interest in the PhD program have a leg up on "outsiders" that are applying to the program? How does that work out?

Also, what kind of quant should I be reviewing before the MBA program, keeping in mind that a PhD might be the ultimate goal? I have already brought out a few statistics books. What else should I be looking at?

Thanks
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Re: From MBA to PhD...suggestions? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2008, 19:47
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Not sure about finance or other fields, but for general management/OB, multivariate data analysis is the basis (regression and its variants ANOVA/MANOVA, Structural Equation Modelling, etc...)
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Re: From MBA to PhD...suggestions? [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2008, 14:00
tkkoh wrote:
1. Read academic publication (i.e. journals), and not trade publications like HBR, etc. An

2. Finance and Strategy are very different fields - it will be good for you to think through which path you want to take. If you are sure of going into Finance, you can consider taking 1 or 2 economics/finance/quant PhD classes. If you are thinking of going into strategy, maybe courses like Org Behvaior or Org Theory (at PhD level) would be good. But I'm not sure if you have extra resources to do these given a potential tight MBA class schedule.


I'd assumed that since you were interested in finance that you'd be interested in more of the econ side of strategy as opposed to the org behavior/theory side, not that you should be discouraged from exploring. It's important to keep in mind the various options you would have in any field (there are diverse options in finance too).
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Re: From MBA to PhD...suggestions? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2008, 06:39
ned80 wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions.

Hobbit, do those 2nd year MBA students that express interest in the PhD program have a leg up on "outsiders" that are applying to the program? How does that work out?


They don't have any formal advantage over regular phd applications. they probably have secondary advantage by the fact they know more literature, talked to professors about their interests, and have access to better people for recommendation.

ned80 wrote:
Also, what kind of quant should I be reviewing before the MBA program, keeping in mind that a PhD might be the ultimate goal? I have already brought out a few statistics books. What else should I be looking at?

Thanks


for mgmt/ob you'd need lots of stats. for finance you'd need advanced level calculus and probably a lot of linear algebra -to say the least.

however - I've seen too many on both sides that "talk the talk" i.e. suceed in classes, understand research papers and even do some research, that don't really understand what's stand behind all this math. I've just heavily criticized a very famous paper in OT on the fact that they didn't know how to measure what they tried to measure, just because they didn't formulated their measure correctly. the reviewers didn't pick that up, probably for the same reason.

therefore - my suggestion is to get a firm grasp of basic calculus, linear algebra and probability theory, which are the basics of everything else. you should be comfortable with partial derivatives and jacobians, multiple integrals and integrals on surfaces (on the calculus side), diagonalization of matrices and orthogonal transformations, eigenvalues and positivedefinite matrices (on the algebra side), and a firm grasp of the definition and basic properties of the main distributions and how/when they arise (probability).

of course you don't need all of these, and can do well without any of these (in management, don't know about finance/econ). also you'd have opportunities to do that while you study if you choose the right courses.

hope this helps.
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Re: From MBA to PhD...suggestions? [#permalink] New post 04 Mar 2008, 17:46
Thanks for all the suggestions. If anyone else has any, keep 'em coming. I really appreciate it.
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Re: From MBA to PhD...suggestions? [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2008, 06:31
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hobbit wrote:

you should be comfortable with partial derivatives and jacobians, multiple integrals and integrals on surfaces (on the calculus side), diagonalization of matrices and orthogonal transformations, eigenvalues and positivedefinite matrices (on the algebra side), and a firm grasp of the definition and basic properties of the main distributions and how/when they arise (probability).



Wow... Way to deter from my PhD dreams! Kidding.

Ned - I am in your boat. I just accepted my MBA offer at the University of Colorado beginning this August. I share the same goal of eventually earning a PhD and becoming a college professor. I must say, my real motivation to become a professor is to "teach" students as opposed to getting published, but I do understand that these are not mutually exclusive.

In some ways, I plan to use my MBA as a stepping stone to a PhD. In the same light, I plan to parlay my MBA into more "strategic" expereince required in the field I hope to "profess" (Sustainable Business). I have always been felt that my best professors had "real world" experience - although I feel that this is more true with Marketing/Management/Strategy classes. I posted a thread on this some time ago - reply's were very mixed. Thread: http://gmatclub.com/forum/103-t55293

My plan is to do just what some folks mentioned above. ENGAGE with your MBA professors. They could be the golden ticket into your PhD program. At the very least, they can shed some light on the PhD journey, and answer questions you may have. Attend any and all relevant seminars and speakers, the whole concept of a PhD is to further your learning through research, introspection, and critical analysis... Begin and engrain that process now!

Where will you be earning your MBA?

PM'd.
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Re: From MBA to PhD...suggestions? [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2008, 08:42
ned80 wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions.

Hobbit, do those 2nd year MBA students that express interest in the PhD program have a leg up on "outsiders" that are applying to the program? How does that work out?

Thanks


My sense in talking to people who have done this is that it helps a lot. One guy is already a Ph.D. student, so it obviously worked out for him. Another was in my seminar, and I thought he was excellent when I talked with him 1-1 on some papers, so he should have spoken up a lot more. Anyhow, this guy attended other phd seminars, and he seems to think that it helped him at least understand what he's getting into and perhaps with some connections with key faculty. If he's admitted, I'll ask him how helpful the process was.
Re: From MBA to PhD...suggestions?   [#permalink] 05 Mar 2008, 08:42
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