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Ph. D in Finance (please advise a 21 year old)

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Ph. D in Finance (please advise a 21 year old) [#permalink] New post 30 May 2007, 19:54
As I prepare to embark in my Master's program in Finance and Accounting at the LSE, I am wondering what would be the best step for me to get into teaching.
I will have a 3.6 undergrad GPA, as well as finished the honors program at the University of Washington with a BA in Finance. After the LSE I intend on working in I-banking for at least 3 years and then apply for a doctorate program at Wharton and all the other top schools.
Long story short: what should I do to get into an excellent finance Ph. D program?
I will study for my GMAT during the next 3 years to insure getting a 720+ on it. I got a 660 on my first try. I will also be CFA chartered (hopefully).
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Re: Ph. D in Finance (please advise a 21 year old) [#permalink] New post 31 May 2007, 05:28
Disjoint wrote:
As I prepare to embark in my Master's program in Finance and Accounting at the LSE, I am wondering what would be the best step for me to get into teaching.
I will have a 3.6 undergrad GPA, as well as finished the honors program at the University of Washington with a BA in Finance. After the LSE I intend on working in I-banking for at least 3 years and then apply for a doctorate program at Wharton and all the other top schools.
Long story short: what should I do to get into an excellent finance Ph. D program?
I will study for my GMAT during the next 3 years to insure getting a 720+ on it. I got a 660 on my first try. I will also be CFA chartered (hopefully).


in my opinion.... too early for you to think of PhD. finish your masters then we'll talk. you plan to work in I-banking. excellent. things will change until then....

the GMAT should eb the least of your worries. if you want to get into a PhD program get a good research experience. and find your own path and passion in doing research. ask yourself interesting questions about things that interest you, then read some relevant papers. then think criticaly about them.

when you've done that for a while - if you think you have something new to say - then it's time to apply for PhD.
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 [#permalink] New post 31 May 2007, 07:14
Agree with hobbit on all counts. No offence, but If you need 3 yrs to get a good GMAT, I think the GMAT is too tough for you to crack.

Anyway, you might better spend the next 3 years working on some academic research projects. That is more valuable than a 720+.
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:) [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2007, 00:04
Well hopefully it will take me less than 3 years to get a 720, I ment by that that I have tons of time to guarantee an excellent score in this area of my application.

I am publishing my first paper at the end of my undergrad, and I will hopefully get some more publications during my master's program. How important are your publications prior to your admitance to a Phd program? I already have an idea of what financial sector I would like to research, as well as an idea for my thesis. I-banking is strictly for the money, so as to be somewhat financially confortable while doing my doctorate.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2007, 03:10
My thoughts. Based on your background, perhaps you already know some or all of these:

- Top Ph.D. schools are geared towards a research career (you mentioned teaching in your first post).

- Pubs are certainly very helpful, but not required in general for business Ph.D. admission. Finance is exceptionally competitive, so anything additional would help, but I still don't think it is an absolute or as important as other things, such as demonstration of mathematical sophistication.

- Finance requires a fairly high degree of mathematical sophistication relative to other b-school areas. I think that it would be very helpful for you to demonstrate an ability to do proofs (e.g., at the real analysis level). As far as the specific topics, diff. eqns. and random processes come to mind. I would think that the relevant courses would be available to you at LSE.

- Having a specific thesis idea in mind may or may not be a good thing. On the plus side, it could show that you've done your due diligence in the field and are clearly interested in finance. On the minus side, some profs like their students to be "malleable." I've heard this from profs, and I didn't really query them much on why this is so (I'm malleable, so it never occurred to me to ask). But from my perspective, part of the Ph.D. process is to form your research views, so attaching yourself to a specific research topic from the start isn't conducive to that. In my opinion, you'd ideally like to show that you have strong interests in a few areas and at the same time are enthusiastic about uncovering research paths in your Ph.D.
  [#permalink] 01 Jun 2007, 03:10
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