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Marketing PhD - advice-research interests- best pathways

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Marketing PhD - advice-research interests- best pathways [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2007, 13:17
My interests:

I want to eventually get my PhD in Marketing. As far as research interests are concerned - mine are not very well developed yet - and at often times seem at odds with each other (I am a tree hugger, I despise American over consumption and corporate greed and corruption at the expense of the populace and environment.) I am looking for ways to rectify my moral values within a marketing context.

I am definitely more interested in devoting the rest of my life to topics that have a "soul" i.e.: CSR / Green Marketing. If anyone can recommend any programs/professors that are known for this please let me know.

I am also interested in consumer behavior, and have some general ideas that i could investigate within the realm of purchasing behaviors/intent. I could see myself getting into hands on/observational/ "lab" type research projects -think eye tracking, perspiration monitoring, heck if the funding were there and I had scientists working with me I could see myself doing brain scans etc...

Anyway...what have some of you guys/gals done in grad school to develop yourselves and your research background for a PhD? What have you done to get noticed by the PhD committees in these respects?


My background:

I've had about 7 years professional experience in sales management in the non profit arts. I don't think the adcoms care (?) about work experience for a PhD, but part of my jobs dealt with training others (which is a form of teaching i guess)

My undergrad work was sadly unimpressive - a 3.1 BS in Marketing with a lot of W's (official withdrawals.) Not that there is any excuse for it, but I always worked full time in demanding jobs and school was just an afterthought. I am prepared to actually highlight this in any application essays by turning a negative into a positive and talking about my progression once I figured out what i wanted to do in life.

Towards the end of undergrad I focused and started getting straight A's. I also started tutoring classmates and I realized that I enjoyed what I was doing; helping others learn difficult concepts was fulfilling... and I was actually enjoying the learning process. That's when I started tinkering with the idea of becoming a professor... I had always thought about being an adjunct as a back up plan (I never knew the amount of work that went into just being an adjunct!!!) Finally one day, last December, after an hour long final presentation my team made for a Management class the professor pulled me aside after class and told me "Have you ever thought about being a professor?" Well I couldn't explain the feeling at the time, but I answered with a resounding 'YES'

So here I am... recently graduated... studying for my GMAT and thinking about grad school. I am interested in hearing anyone's thoughts about getting an MBA vs an MS as a gateway to a PhD. I am not really interested in getting an MBA; the courses seem too general. I am applying to a Marketing Research MS program instead. It has more of a quantitative focus (which my undergrad lacked) and I have also considered the possibility of getting an MS in statistics along side it...

My goals:

Ultimately I want a PhD so I can teach at a University. The teaching aspect is driving this more than the research aspect. I just think that my pedagogy is College caliber - and not for high school kids etc. I don't know if this is a red flag or not. I don't know enough about the amount of time professors put into research and writing, but I'd want a 50/50 teaching research split.

I have no idea where I would want to get my PhD. My brain defaults to "Columbia, Cornell, and NYU" as I am an east coaster but it is less about brand and more about fit.
Plus, I am expecting a 700 on the GMAT... I don't think I could ever get more than a 720. So I think that closes a lot of doors for me... So if anyone has any advice on good programs I am all ears
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2007, 14:35
I recommend going for a MS rather than MBA. I think a great strategy is to complete the MS/PhD at the same school.

Some comments on your PhD goals:

If you indicate interest in teaching, I am afraid it is not going to help you.
Teaching is indeed important, but that is not the primary reason why a school invests so much money in training PhD students.

Most "tenure-track" professors at research schools teach 3 courses a year. Some of the time is spent on administration duties. Research can easily take up 70-80% of your time as an assistant professor.

A PhD at any school worth its name is strictly treated as training for research. This means that your coursework will be rigorous and the expectations in terms of research will be sky high. So, you should be prepared to put serious time into research and coursework.

My advice would be to go into the PhD program with a strong intent to become a competent researcher. Making the transition from researcher to teacher is fairly easy, but not the other way around.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2007, 11:49
In good programs, research is given higher priority by wide margin. It's how the departments measure themselves against each other, and research productivity also (this is only me talking here) seems to have an important bearing on the quality of the school's interaction with industry, e.g. for consulting.

So in your case, if you want to study at a program anything like those you mentioned, research as first priority is a given in grad school. It will also be a given in most tenure track positions (I think). It's great to be passionate about teaching, but you have to be passionate about research as well.

After tenure, I've heard it both ways. Everyone I've spoken to says that technically, you can semi-retire from research at that point, but there are differing opinions on its practicality. At best, I've heard that it can be sort of uncomfortably done, while others say that the social consequences (e.g. being ostracized within the dept) make it highly undesirable. My sense is that there may be perceptual biases due to personality differences, and I don't have a sense of this first hand.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2007, 12:11
bauble wrote:
In good programs, research is given higher priority by wide margin. It's how the departments measure themselves against each other, and research productivity also (this is only me talking here) seems to have an important bearing on the quality of the school's interaction with industry, e.g. for consulting.

So in your case, if you want to study at a program anything like those you mentioned, research as first priority is a given in grad school. It will also be a given in most tenure track positions (I think). It's great to be passionate about teaching, but you have to be passionate about research as well.

After tenure, I've heard it both ways. Everyone I've spoken to says that technically, you can semi-retire from research at that point, but there are differing opinions on its practicality. At best, I've heard that it can be sort of uncomfortably done, while others say that the social consequences (e.g. being ostracized within the dept) make it highly undesirable. My sense is that there may be perceptual biases due to personality differences, and I don't have a sense of this first hand.


Excellent points.

I have seen tenured professors focus on MBA and Exec MBAs. You can make boatloads of money teaching Exec MBAs. At one school, you get paid about $4000-$5000 A DAY for a 2 week Exec MBA session. You will be drained by the end of it, but its good money.

I have also seen tenured professors become very focused on doctoral students. Thats the legacy they want to leave behind. It keeps them young and aid the growth of the profession with a high quality of doctoral students.
  [#permalink] 24 Jul 2007, 12:11
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