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Ph.D. interviews during busy season

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Ph.D. interviews during busy season [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2010, 14:19
Hello,

I work in public accounting at a national firm and work about 70 hours a week 6 days a week during busy season, we also are not allowed to take time off between Jan 15 and April 15. I was wondering how flexible Ph.D. programs typically are with the interviews. Are most understanding and willing to do phone interviews? Its even tougher for me because none of the schools I'm applying to are within driving distance. Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Last edited by dbryan13 on 25 Jul 2010, 17:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ph.D. interviews during busy season [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2010, 12:00
Can anyone relate?
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Re: Ph.D. interviews during busy season [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2010, 18:13
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I'm applying for 2011 admission and currently work as a Big-4 audit manager. I'll be going through the same thing in a few months but can offer some speculative thoughts. The partners I work with know the path I'm pursuing and have volunteered to facilitate the process however they can. I wouldn't tell people you are sick or try and sneak around it as that could burn some bridges if they find out - I'd sit down with your teams and let them know your ambitions. You'll be surprised how much people are willing to work with you if you're sincere with them. I can't speak to how much schools push phone/campus interviews. If you have to travel, just let people know as soon as you find out and something can be coordinated - take advantage of having a job that does allow you to do work remotely.
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Re: Ph.D. interviews during busy season [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2010, 17:09
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Be very candid with the managers/partners and they will work with you. Everyone knows that in the Big 4 firms, everyone is replaceable and they expect you to leave at some point. If you are doing a PHD in accounting, even better because they "think" you will speak highly of the firm you formerly worked for. I would just talk to them. Let me know if you have specific questions about this. PM me if necessary.
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Re: Ph.D. interviews during busy season [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2010, 19:04
Thanks for the advice guys! I suppose it probably would be best just to talk to my supervisors and let them know what is going on, I'll probably address this with them in early February or so. The one fear I have is them getting angry and booting me immediately (can't afford that!). I have had friends that worked in public accounting (local firms though) that gave notice that they would be leaving to go to industry and their superiors were furious about it (one was only giving notice that he'd be leaving within a month but he was fired on the spot and there is now bad blood between them). I suppose it does make sense though that going into a Ph.D. program might elicit a different response than going into industry. Greg, that is great to hear that they are supportive of your decision, that must make the whole process much easier. CaliCpa, I am going to be pursuing a Ph.D. in accounting and thanks for your post, I very well may get in touch with you in the future. Again, thanks for the advice guys, this forum is so helpful.
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Re: Ph.D. interviews during busy season [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2010, 19:37
I think it's perceived differently when you leave for a deeper reason than money (i've had friends leave for not-for-profits that got very supportive reactions as well). I framed my discussion as I have this ambition I want to take a shot at and I don't know how it will turn out - so it didn't seem like i was definitely leaving. I had partners put me in touch with ADS program liasons at the firm and write me recommendation letters (being 5 years out of school made academic references hard for me to get) so everyone's been really supportive. I don't think you'll have too much to worry about - not sure how your firm is but we're short-staffed anyways so they're unlikely to boot anyone who is capable. I'd maybe pick a senior mgr or partner you're close with and just see what they think about how the firm will handle it. Generally though, I think if you're smart enough to be competitive for a phd program, you're probably good at your job and they'll work with you to keep you around as long as possible. I understand not wanting to press your luck though - Best of luck in applications!
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Re: Ph.D. interviews during busy season [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2010, 14:05
Just make it clear that you want to apply, but in the chance that you don't get in, then you really enjoy the firm and would still want to stay and work there. I know many firms now have programs that help ex-auditors and tax people get into PHD programs for the very reasons I mentioned above.
Re: Ph.D. interviews during busy season   [#permalink] 27 Jul 2010, 14:05
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