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Need help: Profile and career

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Need help: Profile and career [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2010, 08:48
Hi,

This is my first post here. I am from India currently in my final year of MBA
My profile:

B.Tech.(IT) 4 years course, WB Univ of Tech - GPA 8.73/10, Dept topper
PGDM(Marketing) 2 years equivalent to MBA (AMBA accredited), SPJIMR, Mumbai - GPA should be around 2.9/4

I have got recruited at one of the best banks in India. Will join them in June.

Now I am in two minds.

I was planning to take the GMAT this year and apply for PhD Oct 2011 entry. That way I would have 1 year work experience. But, I spoke to few of my profs and they said that if i work for 3-4 years and then do PhD, i would be able to add more value to the class when I take up teaching.

Now what I want to know is?

1. How important is industry work experience in an academic career? Specially in marketing.
2. Going by my profile, what kind of GMAT score would be required for entry into a lower Tier 1 (Say 30th rank) Univ or good UK univ like Bath or Lancaster?
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Re: Need help: Profile and career [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2010, 01:46
You may be able to relate to MBAs better with work experience, but the real value will come from your research (which can of course also be brought into the classroom). You should take a look at the CVs of current students and alumni of the schools to which you'll be applying and also the CVs of professors at schools at which you hope to place, and see what sort of industrial experience they have to get a concrete idea.

Work experience can help give you an idea of what can be researched, but it appears that your job and your field of interest do not exactly gel. What will your job at the bank entail? Are you confident that you will be able to assume more responsibilities as you progress through 3-4 years you will be spending there? You may have an idea of the environment, but there's a risk you may not directly be exposed to interesting research questions even over a longer stay.

As far as the GMAT goes, I'm guessing around 720 with a strong quant score should make you a competitive applicant for the US schools. I don't think Lancaster requires the GMAT for prospective marketing candidates. Unsure about Bath.
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Re: Need help: Profile and career [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2010, 12:32
Thanks for the reply!

I will have a sales & marketing profile at the bank. And it gels with the area I want to research about (service brands).

I agree that most doctoral students do not have industry work experience. And this is the argument that I gave to my prof while we were discussing this. But, she said that, this is what ails management education because the professors teach only theoretical concepts to the students and for successful teaching a mix of theory and practice is required. That's why I am in a dilemma.

And some UK schools require GMAT (though Lancaster doesn't). How are UK PhD's rated in comparison to US PhD programs?
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Re: Need help: Profile and career [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2010, 18:56
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shankha wrote:
Thanks for the reply!

I will have a sales & marketing profile at the bank. And it gels with the area I want to research about (service brands).


Ah, nice. :-D

Quote:
I agree that most doctoral students do not have industry work experience. And this is the argument that I gave to my prof while we were discussing this. But, she said that, this is what ails management education because the professors teach only theoretical concepts to the students and for successful teaching a mix of theory and practice is required. That's why I am in a dilemma.


It is a reasonable argument. But the question is if this issue concerns you more or your professor?

I'm inclined to believe that work experience is more likely to indirectly contribute to your future goals. I say this because there is no guarantee that working in industry over an extended, but still relatively short, period of time will provide greater insight than having just a taste of it. Nor is it likely that your interests will remain static throughout your academic career for you to constantly draw upon what you experienced in industry. However, if you're genuinely more interested in applied research than disciplinary research, it could be useful to stay in industry for a few years if only to allow yourself the opportunity for admission to a program which promotes such values. Such a program should have links to industry which could serve as a supply line for new and evolving research ideas. So yes, work experience could set the ball rolling but the experience of that job itself may not directly or continuously add value to your research (and consequent teaching).

For your interest, I recall Baba Shiv at Stanford (https://gsbapps.stanford.edu/facultypro ... d=44749209) having a few years work experience (3 years pre-MBA, 3 years post-MBA) before starting his PhD at Duke. I took a quick look at his CV to see what sort of work he did. It isn't very detailed but it might be helpful.

Pre-academic:
Vadilal Enterprises Limited, Bombay, India (product launch of their ice cream in South India), Blow Plast Limited, India (sales and new product introductions), Larsen & Toubro Limited, India (Caterpillar Tractors and Poclain Hydraulic Excavators)

Quote:
And some UK schools require GMAT (though Lancaster doesn't). How are UK PhD's rated in comparison to US PhD programs?


If we're using placement as the sole criteria, then LBS compares favourably to a top 10-12 US school (it's program structure is also very similar to a US school). Said, Judge, WBS etc tend to place well in good British, Irish and continental European universities. Cranfield did send Siri Terjesen to Indiana. There are of course a number of factors which would account for these differences that go beyond the mere perception of 'quality' of the institution (commitments, interests etc.) but networking and publishing through the right channels (or the lack thereof for most British B-school PhDs) also contribute. In truth, it isn't fair to judge a program's suitability based on its placement records but it's a starting point.
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Re: Need help: Profile and career [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2010, 08:23
I just remembered this paper --> http://jmi.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/16/2/128

Might be of interest to you.
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Re: Need help: Profile and career [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2010, 10:06
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shankha wrote:
I agree that most doctoral students do not have industry work experience. And this is the argument that I gave to my prof while we were discussing this. But, she said that, this is what ails management education because the professors teach only theoretical concepts to the students and for successful teaching a mix of theory and practice is required. That's why I am in a dilemma.

And some UK schools require GMAT (though Lancaster doesn't). How are UK PhD's rated in comparison to US PhD programs?


I don't think the correlation between teaching quality and work experience is very strong; I say that based on my own experience as a student at all 3 levels of b-school education (BBA, MBA, PhD). I won teaching awards. I had 4 years of work experience in an accounting firm when I became a full-time lecturer, but the teaching awards were for an accounting M&A (consolidation) course, a subject I had rarely encountered in practice. For successful teaching you need to be a good teacher. That means you need to be ready/able to spend enough time for course preparation, and find a teaching approach that will convey the course matter to students in a manner that is both efficient, clear, and interesting to students. It also means that you need the humility to understand that if at first you don't succeed, it's not because the students did not work hard enough, it's because you weren't good enough in bringing those points across. In some cases, a real-life anecdote will be part of that approach. It's never the whole story, and for most subjects a good teacher can make up for whatever hands-on deficiency he/she has with a good work ethic and genuine interest in what the students actually need.

In general I'm weary of the "what ails management education" comments, just like I'm weary of the "what ails public schools" comments. There are some things b-school education can do, some things it can't.

As far as UK vs. US goes, it's a useless question at such a macro level, just like "who is smarter, a Brit or an American?". Every PhD program is marginally different from its peers, and there's no such use for an average across a given country. In terms of almost every measurable metric, there are more top programs in the US than in the UK. That shouldn't really help you in deciding where to apply.
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Re: Need help: Profile and career [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2010, 12:06
@Buttermaker & @cabro57

Thanks for the detailed Insight about the work exp thing. It really helped.

About UK PhD, I was not talking solely about placements. For example, I was going through this website to see rankings by publication (the big 4 mktg journals) and the only UK Univ that featured was LBS.

THE UTD TOP 100 BUSINESS SCHOOL RESEARCH RANKINGS™
(Can't post a link as I am new)

Isn't the quality of a PhD program directly proportional to the quality of research and publications by that department? And won't that have an impact on the quality of research that I would be doing, and hence my placements?

PS: I saw RAE website for the UK univs and RAE says more than 75% of the research work that universities like Bath, Lancaster, Manchester, Cranfield etc produce are 'world class'. And that left me confused.
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Re: Need help: Profile and career [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2010, 18:59
shankha wrote:

Isn't the quality of a PhD program directly proportional to the quality of research and publications by that department? And won't that have an impact on the quality of research that I would be doing, and hence my placements?


Not necessarily. Faculty research productivity alone doesn't make for a conducive environment for PhD students. A department may be doing excellent research but that doesn't guarantee that it is consistently sharing their knowledge (substantive and technical) with their doctoral students. Nor does it mean that it has a strong support system in place for its students on the job market.

Quote:
I saw RAE website for the UK univs and RAE says more than 75% of the research work that universities like Bath, Lancaster, Manchester, Cranfield etc produce are 'world class'. And that left me confused.


"World class" is a pretty broad term and will have different meaning in different academic circles. British b-school faculty generally publish with a different audience in mind and employ different research methods and methodologies than Americans. Papers could be "world class" research by someone's definition but if they aren't intended for American journals, they're not going to show up in rankings like UTD's.
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Re: Need help: Profile and career [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2010, 10:36
shankha wrote:
Isn't the quality of a PhD program directly proportional to the quality of research and publications by that department? And won't that have an impact on the quality of research that I would be doing, and hence my placements?

PS: I saw RAE website for the UK univs and RAE says more than 75% of the research work that universities like Bath, Lancaster, Manchester, Cranfield etc produce are 'world class'. And that left me confused.


I agree with Buttermaker's comment about "world class". For some people "Upstate New York" begins in Yonkers.

I'm sure there's a correlation between the quality of research and the quality of the PhD program, but the two aren't directly proportional. After having spent 5 years in this business I can't imagine myself working with some of the most well-cited accounting scholars. On the other hand, you can read and interpret research very well but still lack the bit of creativity needed to get a good idea off the ground. More generally, not every program is exactly the same anyway (in terms of coursework and so on).

Besides, the quality of your research is only one (albeit important) factor that will play in determining what your initial placement will be. You first need to get invited at a school for a recruiting workshop (which involves your dissertation committee members playing out their connections) and then you need to do well at that workshop (which is related to your communication skills but also to how receptive the people at the workshop are in your line of work).
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Re: Need help: Profile and career [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2010, 10:16
Hi,

Although I feel "Buttermaker" and "Cabro" have already answered the queries raised by you, still I thought I will share my experience as I had also sailed in a similar boat. I am only providing some info based on the exercise I did while applying for PhD to a US school. I have no clue of how things operate in UK

- Importance of work ex: IMHO it only matters if its research oriented. But if its industry then it only helps us to narrow our research interests (if you already have developed a area based on your MBA course work and projects). So having a year or two in the industry will not hurt but if you are really interested in PhD then having more than that will not fetch you anything much. As pointed out earlier work ex is no yard stick of how successful you would be in teaching as being a topper doesn't gaurantee's that he/she will be able to impart the knowledge as efficiently to a class. A good teacher is a combination of multiple factors - knowledge, communication skills etc. So if research is what you love then should plan to give GMAT and prepare for the apps
(Just check the profile of Indian born nationals who are profs of marketing in leading schools - Kellogg, columbia etc..look at the trajectory...and you will realise that if you know you want to do PhD then just go ahead and do it)

- GMAT score: As a fellow Indian I will recommend anything above 730 will be good. But having said that I will also like to draw your attention to the fact that score is just one element. Your SOP and LOR's are equally important. Don't know how course work happen in SP Jain, but I am sure you would have done some research projects during your MBA course work for some prof. See if you can do another one before June (your joining of job) along with prof which can be published/presented in a academic forum. Will help to make the app stronger. Also will give the prof a distinct point to talk about in your LOR.

Rankings published mean little in PhD programs. You should assess a program more by looking at the profs, their interest areas and how well it gels with your interest area. Another good metric to look at is where are the newly minted PhD's getting placed (research oriented college/teaching oriented college) and if it fits into your scheme of things.
Re: Need help: Profile and career   [#permalink] 11 Apr 2010, 10:16
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