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opinion on chances at a top PhD program

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opinion on chances at a top PhD program [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2004, 15:09
Just hoping to get some input/advice/opinions on my chances on a Phd program in either finance or accounting at a top school, specifically Harvard or Wharton. I will be graduating in December from Ga Tech with a degree in management. I transfered in from a junior college so I do not know how much that will affect my chances. I also took all of my sciences and math courses at the junior college, but I have taking math through integral calc and linear alg. To offset that somewhat, this semester I am taking two graduate level courses that I should recieve A's in. Also, I can get three letters from my current professors no problem. One of which is head of the acct program at Tech and is very well published and known. I Have mixed feelings about my GMAT score. Glad to score over 700 but disapointed/worried about only a 710. I am not sure if I could do better though. Even if I did improve my score it wouldn't be by much and I am more paranoid about doing worse. I spent 10 years as a chef until I fed up with the hours.

My intrests lie in security valuation so I could do that from either an accounting or finance PhD, but I would prefer the latter. Having said that, I also know that my chances are better in accounting.

One last thing, this semester I received a $1400 grant to do undergrad research. I am working on comparing the affects of using the volitility of the S&P500 vs the individual company when computing the cost for employee stock option compensation. The paper will not be complete until sometime in December (I hope). How can I best use this to my advantage when applying.


thanks

overall GPA 3.9
GMAT 710
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2004, 19:09
The fact that so many of your quant classes were taken at a community college will probably not sit well with many observers. This is not because being a transfer student is wrong but because the reference group at a community college would tend to be quite different from what one would expect to encounter at an elite college.

I would also diversify your portfolio beyond Penn and Harvard. Indeed, if your main interests are finance and accounting New York state alone has at least three strong schools in at least one or both of these domains. Do not view these schools as "second best" inferior substitutes to the mentioned schools but as alternatives with unique and potentially superior attributes.

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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2004, 20:54
I was afraid of that fact. My school selection is tied to my wife as well. She is debating on pursuing a PhD in Education or switching careers to become a Vet and she is now leaning towards becoming a vet. I would love to go to Wharton and they have a Vet school there as well. Problem is Whartons GMAT scores for the PhD program are incredible. I would diffently have to take the test again. Cornell is an option as well since they have a Vet school.

What about the current research I am doing along with letters of rec. from the head of the acct department? How do you think those will affect my chances?
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2004, 18:18
There are actually a number of quality finance or accounting programs near Vet Med Schools.

For instance, UCLA and USC are near Western University.
Ohio State has a vet program and a strong finance program
UC Berkeley and UC Davis are not exactly close but it can be done.
Illinois UC and Wisconsin Madison are both worth investigating.
Duke and NC state are not that far apart.

Hjort
  [#permalink] 24 Oct 2004, 18:18
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