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For all of us who are planning on applying for fall admission to Business PhD programs, the moment of truth is rapidly drawing nigh. Is there any advice that current business PhD students can offer regarding the personal statement?
Also, are there any other factors we can control at this point that will improve the quality of our applications?
was just asking these schools - and most of them told me to make my SOP stand out. Be specific, and stellar lor from faculty ...... another thing I've been trying to do is to get recs from alumni profs ... i.e. penn state grad prof - apply to penn state stuff like that... I don't know how much it really counts for us though.....
Advice for SOP - be attacking and not defensive. It should be clear to the person reading that research and academia excite you and that is why you want to apply and get admitted.
PROOF READ - a SOP which has spelling mistakes is as good as out. Get someone else also to prrof read AFTER you think you have done it all.
for LOR - the LOR cannot be general. And therefore it cannot be from a prof who does not know you. Academic LOR preferred way way above non-academic.
Also email profs who have the same interests as you have and get them chatting. It is easier than we think. Profs ususally (but not always) respond to queries about their own subject field. Make sure your introductory email has something specific about your research interests. And write to Full professors, who are likely to be on the admissions committee.
Follow-up question: How do I go about identifying professors that are potentially on the AdCom? How large is an admissions committee generally?
Also, I've read a lot of personal statements from applicants to professional programs (law school, med school, MBA). They have a tendency to be narrative in format and contain a ton of biographical information. How entertaining should a PhD personal statement be? Should it include a lot of biographical info or would the AdCom prefer that I get directly to the point and discuss specific research interests?
The SOP is precisely that - Statement of Purpose - " Why do I want to do a PhD from Your Institute". Please note that the previous quotes must be answered in full. If your bio details help you advance the argument of why a doctoral career is the only thing that excites you , by all means do so. The "From your institute" is perhaps more important and focused on less by many applicants. This means you would need to spend a day or so on the website of each school, noting down how your interests and future aspirations (of research, of subjects, of ideas) can match with at least some of the faculty in that institute. The one-size-fits-all SOP will NOT do. The last-paragraph-change-to-fit-the-institute-name-somehow will also not do. IF you can link your interests convincingly to the institute, your battle is won.
Please note that even in best institutes, you have approximately 50-70 people applying for one seat in the specific department. (don't go by total applicants). Out of these, you need to stand out . Well what makes a difference ?
The first or preliminary Shortlisting is done by PhD Office, not adcomms. This is usually on GMAT score (less than 600 is out for example), no background to do a business PhD, incomplete applications and so on. 20% applicants drop out after this round.
B. Second shortlist
This is done by Faculty. They go over SOP, recommendations, and transcripts - in that order, roughly. 80% of remaining applicants are rejected, and the final shortlist is of around 5-7 students for a particular department. In a final meeting, firm and backup offers are finalized and faculty then gets in touch with these applicants.
Net, GMAT and SOP are critical differentiators at different points. A bad Gmat can break your chances, a good gmat is no guarantee of admit !
A Good SOP on the other hand can almost make the tilt.
The above analysis is true for 90% of admit cases. 10% admits are those students who do not need a SOP to back them up, their academic brilliance and records are enough to convince the faculty of their worth!
This is great information! As always, I am impressed by the depth of your insights.
When tailoring the SOP to a particular institution, do you think it wise to mention specific professors that are currently conducting research in your field of choice, or is it better to focus more on the topics being researched and less on the researcher?
As far as length of the SOP is concerned, I believe it differs from institution to institution. A general guideline that I've found is 1 page, single spaced (5000 characters). That doesn't seem like much room to convince an Adcomm of your true potential.
I will say 1 page is too small if you go by standard rules - 12 point Ariel, double spaced, good margins. Make it 2-3 pages, less than 2 will not give you much space, more than 3 will make the reader bored !
as above 12 pt Ariel, double spaced. Number the pages if more than one page, write your name somewhere !. Stick to facts and "Why PhD". Bold and aggressive stance.
Names in SOP
By all means IF you are totally convinced, have talked to the faculty member, have an equation with him/her etc etc . Can be risky if you are putting it down just for the heck of it ( worst case - the person has a political issue with another adcomm member .) Avoid if possible is the advice !.
I have just completed MS in international banking and finance with a merit (London Metropolitan University). I have already done my MBA (Finance) from Nepal (First Class). I have done two bachelor's degrees (Business and Economics). I appreared for the GMAT three years back and scored 600 (Quite low for you guys, i guess). I have got around 35 research based articles published in the national dailies of Nepal and I've got 8+ years of experience in commercial banking, I am 27. What are the chances of me getting admissions into a PhD. program in the ranked US universities? Would appreciate your help/tips/suggestions for me. thanks.. _________________
We are just 700 away from the Ticket to the Ivy! so, Lets Go Get It!
Last edited by dreams on 26 Nov 2005, 04:37, edited 1 time in total.
Ah... no names eh? I thought it was a good idea to put in the ones which are working in the field you have posed interest in!
I guess it makes sense only if you have emailed them first.
Well , I had put names in my SOP and did get calls from around 60%...I guess if you have a clear cut research interest match with a Prof then it might be worthwhile to name him/her. It implies however that you have read atleast some papers written by the Prof