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New Member... How do I compete/compare? [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 08:36
Hi all,

Just stumbled upon this forum - WOW! A ton of responses/participation! I fear I will become addicted to this site!


Target Schools
UNC
Duke
Colorado - Leeds (I have seen nothing on here about this program, any thoughts?)
Michigan - Ross
Michigan State

Profile
3.79 Undergrad GPA - from Second Tier (MAC) school, Major in Marketing
Took 5 years to graduate, 2 transfer classes from Comm. Coll. (Math) - will this hinder me? Studied abroad in Australia for 1 semester.
690 GMAT (V42, Q42) 5.5 AWA
3 Yrs. experience - Automotive - Account Manager
Excellent letters of Reco.
25 Yr. old white American male

What are my chances with these schools?

Any thoughts on UofC - Boulder?

My ultimate aspiration is to earn a PhD and become a professor, should I put this in my essays (long term goal)?
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 09:45
Disclaimer: I'm not an expert by any means, but here are my thoughts from what I've read in my research and from the experiences of others.


You're GMAT and GPA are good for all those schools. I don't think the 5 years will be an issue as long as there is a good rationale for the CC transfer (such as a financial one). The study abroad is good. What will matter most, I imagine, is the quality of your work experience in terms of significant advancements, responsibilities and leadership. Also, do you have any extra-curricular activities? If not, start.

My guess is that you're pretty much a shoe-in at Colorado and MSU, highly competitive at UNC and competitive at Duke and Ross (depending mostly on quality of work experience).

I don't know much about Colorado's business program, but maybe check out University of Denver if it's the area that attracts you. Univ of Denver seems to get decent regional sorts of ratings (and part-time, I think).

I'm not sure about the PhD/professor thing. Are you talking about getting a business PhD and teaching business? If so, then apply to PhD programs! If not, then why would you want an MBA? Also, I think what matters more is the why and how of your long-term goals, as opposed to the basic what.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 10:54
rca215 wrote:
Disclaimer: I'm not an expert by any means, but here are my thoughts from what I've read in my research and from the experiences of others.


You're GMAT and GPA are good for all those schools. I don't think the 5 years will be an issue as long as there is a good rationale for the CC transfer (such as a financial one). The study abroad is good. What will matter most, I imagine, is the quality of your work experience in terms of significant advancements, responsibilities and leadership. Also, do you have any extra-curricular activities? If not, start.

My guess is that you're pretty much a shoe-in at Colorado and MSU, highly competitive at UNC and competitive at Duke and Ross (depending mostly on quality of work experience).

I don't know much about Colorado's business program, but maybe check out University of Denver if it's the area that attracts you. Univ of Denver seems to get decent regional sorts of ratings (and part-time, I think).

I'm not sure about the PhD/professor thing. Are you talking about getting a business PhD and teaching business? If so, then apply to PhD programs! If not, then why would you want an MBA? Also, I think what matters more is the why and how of your long-term goals, as opposed to the basic what.


Thank you for your well thought out response!

Work Experience is pretty good... I have made advancements and grown responsibilities.

Yes - I want to earn a business PhD and become a professor. I want to earn an MBA first because... frankly... I would not be competitive (yet) for PhD admissions. In addition, I may want to work a couple years after MBA and before PhD to gain additional experience. Nothin' worse than a professor without real world experience...!
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 11:21
I think the only difficulty you will have is at your higher ranked schools. Duke and U of Michigan are going to look at your 42 at your GMAT and be concerned. A 42V is stellar but a 42Q falls far below the 80% level most of the elite programs want for quant.

You didn't say if you are applying this year or next. If you aren't applying until next year I would suggest raising your quant on your GMAT to really give you a strong chance at Duke and Ross.

If your goal is to one day get a Phd and then become a prof. you are going to want to go to the best school you can get into, so it might be worth it to wait a year and improve your chances...this site is amazing for helping to improve GMAT scores.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 12:04
I think Michigan State will be a shoo..in for you.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 12:52
I'm concerned about the phD idea. Mentioning that in your applications seems like a possible bomb. If you want to be a professor, then the issue clearly begs: why not apply for a phd program or a masters in economics, finance, accounting, etc? Why an MBA? And I mean this not just from the perspective of the admissions officer, I mean it quite literally (that is, I'm seriously asking).

If you do pursue the MBA route, I think you have a perfectly solid profile, but I think you may need to come up with a different why MBA reason. Barring that, you'll need a crystal clear rock solid and irrefutable reason why an MBA before a PhD makes sense. Without it, I think you'll have a harder sell - as clearly, a phD program, a priori, is what you would need to achieve your goals.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 12:59
rhyme wrote:
I'm concerned about the phD idea. Mentioning that in your applications seems like a possible bomb. If you want to be a professor, then the issue clearly begs: why not apply for a phd program or a masters in economics, finance, accounting, etc? Why an MBA? And I mean this not just from the perspective of the admissions officer, I mean it quite literally (that is, I'm seriously asking).

If you do pursue the MBA route, I think you have a perfectly solid profile, but I think you may need to come up with a different why MBA reason. Barring that, you'll need a crystal clear rock solid and irrefutable reason why an MBA before a PhD makes sense. Without it, I think you'll have a harder sell - as clearly, a phD program, a priori, is what you would need to achieve your goals.


With all due respect Rhyme, do we really have to lie just to get in an MBA?
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 13:15
hbs.aspirant wrote:
rhyme wrote:
I'm concerned about the phD idea. Mentioning that in your applications seems like a possible bomb. If you want to be a professor, then the issue clearly begs: why not apply for a phd program or a masters in economics, finance, accounting, etc? Why an MBA? And I mean this not just from the perspective of the admissions officer, I mean it quite literally (that is, I'm seriously asking).

If you do pursue the MBA route, I think you have a perfectly solid profile, but I think you may need to come up with a different why MBA reason. Barring that, you'll need a crystal clear rock solid and irrefutable reason why an MBA before a PhD makes sense. Without it, I think you'll have a harder sell - as clearly, a phD program, a priori, is what you would need to achieve your goals.


With all due respect Rhyme, do we really have to lie just to get in an MBA?


I don't think rhyme was suggesting that. If there is something you do not like, the proper way is to first seek a clarification from the author. Even better, send a PM.

Try to avoid a knee jerk reaction. It adds little to the discussion. We are either a part of the community or we are not.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 13:31
hbs.aspirant wrote:
rhyme wrote:
I'm concerned about the phD idea. Mentioning that in your applications seems like a possible bomb. If you want to be a professor, then the issue clearly begs: why not apply for a phd program or a masters in economics, finance, accounting, etc? Why an MBA? And I mean this not just from the perspective of the admissions officer, I mean it quite literally (that is, I'm seriously asking).

If you do pursue the MBA route, I think you have a perfectly solid profile, but I think you may need to come up with a different why MBA reason. Barring that, you'll need a crystal clear rock solid and irrefutable reason why an MBA before a PhD makes sense. Without it, I think you'll have a harder sell - as clearly, a phD program, a priori, is what you would need to achieve your goals.


With all due respect Rhyme, do we really have to lie just to get in an MBA?


Woah nelly! I wasn't trying to suggest he just LIE, I just said he should consider using a different reason. Presumably, he's pursuing an MBA for more than just one reason (if not then why not just get a Masters in something, which arguably might be easier to get into than an MBA program).

For instance, rather than saying "I want to get an MBA to prepare myself for a PhD program so that I can successfully pursue my interests in being a teacher".....

Maybe say something like (if its true) "I want to pursue an MBA to obtain a broad set of skills which will allow me to deepen key skills in the cross section of finance and marketing. My long term plan is to teach marketing of financial instruments, and I see an MBA as providing the breadth of skills I need to in order to develop a keen sense of bla. Immediately after my MBA, I intend to pursue a role in marketing of financial products, with a firm such as CitiBank or Chase, an area for which I am passionate. In ten years, I'd like to return to school and teach."

Or something like that - make the MBA about developing skills that will allow you to pursue a role that makes sense given your long term goal, not merely as an intermediary "stepping stone" to another degree. Otherwise, thats not a particularly compelling argument. And I honestly believe there is some other reason beyond just wanting to be a teacher that he's looking at an MBA - just focus on that instead..

Its not lying... just focus in on areas of your goals that will resonate rather than fall flat. In other words, there may be other things that make more sense for this person (beyond "I want to prepare for a Phd program") ...

Or even more importantly.... as the very next sentence says, "Barring that, you'll need a crystal clear rock solid and irrefutable reason why an MBA before a PhD makes sense.".

So, all I'm trying to say is either a:

(a) Find something else that makes an MBA particularly appealing to you that is going to be more compelling than "as prep for a Phd"

or

(b) Stick with your story, but be sure to back it up completely with something solid, clear and irrefutable.

Last edited by rhyme on 09 Nov 2007, 13:42, edited 2 times in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 13:39
I understand the PhD "problem"; however, we can easily see many examples of people who go MBA and afterwards their PhDs (Myron Scholes is one example that comes to my mind). As the MBA is more a "practical master" you really need to be savvy to explore this issue IMO.

I thought about that, but, I concluded that after the "master" I want to resume working. Later if I still want I can go for the PhD or whatever else life brings me...

I know that MIT let you choose if you want the MSc degree by writing your dissertation and defending it, so perhaps you should consider there, though I would really encourage you to increase your Q score to at least 46.

I hope that helps.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 13:43
jwiner wrote:
rca215 wrote:
Disclaimer: I'm not an expert by any means, but here are my thoughts from what I've read in my research and from the experiences of others.


You're GMAT and GPA are good for all those schools. I don't think the 5 years will be an issue as long as there is a good rationale for the CC transfer (such as a financial one). The study abroad is good. What will matter most, I imagine, is the quality of your work experience in terms of significant advancements, responsibilities and leadership. Also, do you have any extra-curricular activities? If not, start.

My guess is that you're pretty much a shoe-in at Colorado and MSU, highly competitive at UNC and competitive at Duke and Ross (depending mostly on quality of work experience).

I don't know much about Colorado's business program, but maybe check out University of Denver if it's the area that attracts you. Univ of Denver seems to get decent regional sorts of ratings (and part-time, I think).

I'm not sure about the PhD/professor thing. Are you talking about getting a business PhD and teaching business? If so, then apply to PhD programs! If not, then why would you want an MBA? Also, I think what matters more is the why and how of your long-term goals, as opposed to the basic what.


Thank you for your well thought out response!

Work Experience is pretty good... I have made advancements and grown responsibilities.

Yes - I want to earn a business PhD and become a professor. I want to earn an MBA first because... frankly... I would not be competitive (yet) for PhD admissions. In addition, I may want to work a couple years after MBA and before PhD to gain additional experience. Nothin' worse than a professor without real world experience...!



Allow me to clear a few misconceptions.

-- Need an MBA to be competitive

Not necessarily. You will definitely learn a lot during your MBA, but it wont necessarily make you more competitive. An MBA is too broad for you to become an expert in one field. In fact, an MS in a relevant field would be far more valuable.

The term competitive is a little nebulous when it comes to the PhD. Strong Motivation, discipline and hard work are perhaps the most important traits of a PhD student. Academia is well aware of the "smart but lazy" student phenomenon.

Picking the right person to work with (your advisor) is perhaps the most important challenge. You will spend 4 years or more at a school. Look beyond the brand name and find professors that share your interest.

-- Nothings worse than a professor with no real world experience.

A Ph.D is training for research. As a logical consequence, your primary job as a professor is research. You may eventually consult with companies and even do an internship while you are in a PhD program.

Its good that you are thinking that far ahead. Real world experience is good, but not necessary. If you think you need to be more competitive, get an MS first, preferably at a school that you want to get a PhD from.

A lot of students never complete their dissertation and hence never complete their PhD. Think about your current training in terms of math coursework and other coursework related to your discipline.

To sum it up, I wouldn't get an MBA. An MS is more focused in your discipline and will give you a taste for research.

Please be sure to read posts in the "Ph.D in Business" forum.

Good luck. Prepare yourself for a roller coaster ride.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 13:46
Now we're talking... Thank you for your responses...

At 25, a PhD is quite a stretch. My goal is to complete an MBA in order to gain additional and better experience, with the long term intention of a PhD. I have no interest in marketing financial products - my real interest is in environmental/sustainable marketing.

In addition, as a professor, if I want to teach an MBA level course, MBA experience is helpful...

Everyone says to be honest in their essays... I can't imagine an MBA program would be dissapointed in one of their graduates earning a PhD and becoming a professor.

Below is the last paragraph from my rough essay for UofC...

From growing a start-up business in high school, to managing over $30 million in corporate accounts, I have developed a strong set of problem solving, creative thinking, and relationship building skills. My resume highlights the actions I have taken but does not capture why I want to earn a Leeds MBA. As environmental and social sustainability begins to define corporate objectives, education in these arenas will prove invaluable. In the short term, I hope to obtain a marketing position with a progressive consulting firm and eventually start a consulting business on my own. Longer term, I plan to earn a PhD and become a college professor of environmental marketing and sales. An MBA from the Leeds College of Business would build upon my knowledge while promoting socially and environmentally conscious practice, necessary to accomplishing my goals.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2007, 13:54
Quote:
At 25, a PhD is quite a stretch.


No, its not. This is the right time.

Quote:
In addition, as a professor, if I want to teach an MBA level course, MBA experience is helpful...


It is helpful, but I dont think its necessary.
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2007, 09:56
Praetorian wrote:
hbs.aspirant wrote:
rhyme wrote:
I'm concerned about the phD idea. Mentioning that in your applications seems like a possible bomb. If you want to be a professor, then the issue clearly begs: why not apply for a phd program or a masters in economics, finance, accounting, etc? Why an MBA? And I mean this not just from the perspective of the admissions officer, I mean it quite literally (that is, I'm seriously asking).

If you do pursue the MBA route, I think you have a perfectly solid profile, but I think you may need to come up with a different why MBA reason. Barring that, you'll need a crystal clear rock solid and irrefutable reason why an MBA before a PhD makes sense. Without it, I think you'll have a harder sell - as clearly, a phD program, a priori, is what you would need to achieve your goals.


With all due respect Rhyme, do we really have to lie just to get in an MBA?


I don't think rhyme was suggesting that. If there is something you do not like, the proper way is to first seek a clarification from the author. Even better, send a PM.

Try to avoid a knee jerk reaction. It adds little to the discussion. We are either a part of the community or we are not.


Praet and Rhyme, I apologize if it looked like a knee jerk reaction. On a second look, it looked like that to me too ;-)

First of all, I liked Rhyme's suggestion. I am not against it even if it means that we completely change our goals, which of course it does not mean.

It is common for people to pursue different goals from once on the app after getting in to MBA. Rhyme and Praet, do you think it is fair or unfair to applicants who decided not to temporarily change there goals and as a result , did not get in.
  [#permalink] 10 Nov 2007, 09:56
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