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PhD in Business (Information Systems) - Please evaluate !!

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PhD in Business (Information Systems) - Please evaluate !! [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2007, 02:06
Hi,

This is my first post on this forum and I hope to contribute much more as time flies.

I am 22 and have done BBA (Finance) from Jadavpur University (5 star NAAC accreditation and well known for research), India as wel l as Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications (2 year) I have around 70% in academics (class rank = 4/150)

I have around 8 publications/oral presentations in good journals and conferences. I also have 2 business plan wins in various contests. I have also been working as a research lab assistant at my university for the last 2 years. Moreover, I have my own company www [dot] sssolutionsonline [dot] com.

My GRE score is :v700 q770. TOEFL= 119/120. I will also be having very strong recommendations from 2 professors as well as a previous employer.

Assuming a good SOP, What kind of programs can I apply to?

I am looking towards PhD in Business (Information Systems/MIS/IT/Technology Management etc type of programs)

I would be very grateful if I got some help here. Thanks.

Last edited by Ancalagon The Black on 22 Oct 2007, 05:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PhD in Business (Information Systems) - Please evaluate [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2007, 04:45
in my opinion, you miss a main point in your profile - which is what do you want to do.... clearly you want a PhD, but in what area? what are your research iterests? and what are your longer term career plans?

most top programs will want to see that you aim at academic and research career. you'll have to do some explanations in your SOP. clearly your publications and research experience are a big plus. the GRE looks ok - you probably won't have much problems there.

the most important aspect in PhD application is FIT with the program. in each program you apply to you must identify few people that match your interests and that you'd be happy to work with on your PhD.

so you must do some research about schools... it is not only the name of school that counts.

good luck


Ancalagon The Black wrote:
Hi,

This is my first post on this forum and I hope to contribute much more as time flies.

I am 22 and have done BBA (Finance) from Jadavpur University (5 star NAAC accreditation and well known for research), India as wel l as Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications (2 year) I have around 70% in academics (class rank = 4/150)

I have around 8 publications/oral presentations in good journals and conferences. I also have 2 business plan wins in various contests. I have also been working as a research lab assistant at my university for the last 2 years. Moreover, I have my own company www [dot] sssolutionsonline [dot] com.

My GRE score is :v700 q770. TOEFL= 119/120. I will also be having very strong recommendations from 2 professors as well as .

Assuming a good SOP, What kind of programs can I apply to?

I am looking towards PhD in Business (Information Systems/MIS/IT/Technology Management etc type of programs)

I would be very grateful if I got some help here. Thanks.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2007, 05:28
hobbit:

Sorry about missing out that point. I have definite research interests.

I see myself both teaching as well as researching in a university setting in the future. My research is mostly on the economic value of technology or business valuation of information systems with respect to organizations. (mostly e-commerce or DSS/MIS or software development types) Moreover, I would like my research to have a definite social value as well.

A research paper based on my business plan is based on this as well 2 other papers in a IEEE conference and in the Indian Science Congress conference. (the premier platform for Indian science researchers)

However, I am willing to go beyond this narrow interest. Other research expectations which enthrall me are the design and implementation of new kinds of information systems - ones which are more cost effective as well as decision support efficient.

Towards that end, I have shortlisted:

1. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper - IS PhD)
2. Harvard (Science, Technology and Management program)
3. U Penn (Wharton: Operations and Information)
4. NYU (Stern: ISM concentration)
5. Cornell (Information Science PhD)

I look at this list and I am wondering, "Is this too high for me?" I am mostly looking at advice towards profile evaluation. Ought I to aim for lower schools than these since I am having a hard time finding programs which match my interests in other schools.

PS: Err, is my GRE ok? Because I thought it was a tad low for these schools. I thought that 1500 was a standard cutoff for most of these schools.

Personally, I like the look and feel of CMU because its course descriptions and website descriptions of its research areas exactly mirror my own thoughts. Also, I like the research of one or two faculty with whom I think that I can fit. Should I drop them an email or two?'

Any advice would be more than welcome here. Thanks and sorry for the rather long reply.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2007, 16:51
I could be wrong, but I think most schools require applicants from India to have a master degree. Not sure if you have one. You may want to check on this. Also, I don't think the employer's recommendation matters for PhD application. See if you can get one more from a prof or the supervisor in your research lab.

Economic value of IT has been a hot topic. You must be very strong in economics to do well in this. Some schools will need you to take PhD econs courses, which are very rigorous. Be prepared.

I'm doing my phd in IS in one of your shortlisted school. I have also applied to some of the schools on your list. Hence you may find my blog helpful. http://phdmilestone.blogspot.com/

You can also consider looking at UT Austin and U of Maryland. They have quite good IS programs. The last time I checked, Cornell doesn't have an IS program.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2007, 22:02
tkkoh:

You are partially right. Earlier, students from India could only either have done a 4 year engineering degree or a 3 year bachelors followed by a 2 or 1 year masters.

However, the rigorousness of an Indian 3 year bachelors degree is at least, if not surpassing, the US 4 year bachelor's degree. We take far more courses than any average 4 year degree holder. This is because, we keep on taking courses related to our field of study and not general courses in the first 2 years as do most US undergrads.

Many universities do realize this however and have amended their rules to include 3 year Indian degrees. The foremost amongst them are Tepper, Wharton, HBS, Cornell, Yale etc. (as evidenced on their website) However, I need not bother myself on that account since I have a 2 year post graduate diploma. This is similar to a masters degree but is known as a post graduate diploma. The reason is that there are a lot of conflicting rules about universities in India and hence, most institutions give PGDs. The foremost institutions which come to mind are the IIMs of India which do not award MBAs but PGDs and they have no problems getting admitted to any US school.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2007, 22:16
tkkoh:

Thanks so much for the advice. I actually have 5 glowing recommendation letters, 3 from professors and 2 from work supervisors. (I have the letters with me so I know :) ) I was looking to mix and match them because I did a lot of research at this company where I worked so I was wondering whether it was relevant. :D

Congratulations for getting into Tepper !! It is one of my top choices. I do not know whether I am good enough for it as well. I have selected both McCombs, UMCP and Eller as other choices. I was thinking about MIT but then I realized that with a 770 quant, they will never take me... :(

My other top choice is the Harvard program in science, technology and management. I have also heard rumors that IS programs are easier than say, Business Economics or Finance programs. To prepare myself for quant, I have enrolled for 8 additional courses from Advanced Calculus to Numerical Analysis. We did a lot of economics courses in school but not too much quant - only calculus, probability and statistics, and other tools like simulation, LP, decision theory, Markov process etc.

I have also heard rumors of a lot of quant being required for IS programs. Is this true? Did you have a strong quant background? The way I see it, you have to be quite proficient in programming and research on the design and implementation of IS and management processes related to it. I don't see how a lot of math comes into it, unless of course, you are looking into the economic aspects of it.

Are my school choices adequate or am i over reaching myself? I get the feeling that I have a pretty low GRE score. My academics are good though (top 1% of class) However, the additional math courses which I have enrolled for are all year long courses and hence their results will not be available by the time I apply. O boy!! Do I have a lot of questions or what !!

So, how would you rate Tepper? Peer group wise, class wise, location wise, research orientation in IS wise etc. Another stupid question, are there any people with such low GRE scores as mine?
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2007, 22:23
tkkoh:

Cornell's Johnson school of management does not have a PhD in IS program but it has a separate department for PhD in Information Science under the school of computing. I am thinking of applying there as well because they research a lot with the social and commercial aspects of information science and I I think that I fit the program.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 05:43
You're GRE seems just fine. Basically, all the "stats" serve as signaling value that you are creative and can do good research. When I look at your profile, the things that would jump out at me would be the GRE (which as I said seems OK) and your research experience, showing that you have an interest in publishing papers. The other stuff isn't bad, but has little signaling value for me since I don't know enough about them (e.g., don't know your uni, are you pubs refereed and what is the accept rate, etc..).

The best advice I can give you is to try to get into an academic mindset asap. This is not an easy thing to explain, but I'll try. Now, what I said about signaling value above: once you get to your Ph.D. school, your whole profile will not mean a thing. Your profs won't care about your class rank, gre, business plan awards, etc... It really has been about 3 things, quite honestly, in my experience: 1) Do I like this person (yes, this matters)? 2) Am I interested in interesting problems, and can I develop these into "A" journal publications? and 3) can I teach? If I were to do my applications over again, here's how I'd go about it. I wouldn't get too caught up in stats, realizing that they are just the minimal barrier of entry to get traction with profs in reading my app. I would do my utmost in my SOP and recommendations to convince profs about items 1 and 2 above, with less (but non-zero) emphasis on 3. Talk to profs (current and in Ph.D. schools if you manage to get connected) and get a feel of what academia is like.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 08:40
bauble: Excellent point and thanks so much for this really valuable advice. This was just the sort of thing I was looking for. I have 3 glowing recommendations from 1 econ professor (head of the department and famous econ researcher in India), 1 IT professor (under whom I have been working for 2 years in the computer lab researching MIS) and 1 project management professor (head of the department of construction technology of the same university) under whose guidance I have published 3 papers in project management.

My papers are basically in:

1. IEEE International Conference in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management.
2. Indian Science Congress (the premier platform for science researchers in India.
3. Journal of Young Investigators (a premier journal for undergraduate research only)
4. Indian Society of Water Management, "Envirowat" (another international conference, premier in nature)
5. International Conference on Simulation and Modelling, CIT (another premier international conference )
6. 3 other conferences (2 national and 1 international)

In 6 of these, I have been the only undergraduate or graduate student. Most of these conferences are professional conferences. In the remaining, I was the only undergraduate except JYI which is for undergraduate research. The acceptance rates for most of these are around 20 - 30 %. Is that any good?

I have one paper with a weak accept to Management Science and I have to redo a lot of it and submit it by December but it will not be published by the end of this year, only next year, can I get credited for it as well?

Right now, I am working very hard on my SOPs. I have contacted a few professors from different universities and I am striving to maintain a good rapport with them. Some of them are helpful and friendly, others, especially at the top schools are non committal. I have read most of their relevant papers and am communicating with them on that.

Is there a particular sales pitch which I should try?
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 11:55
I think that most of what you're doing is great. You're already communicating with profs, which I don't recall you mentioning before, nor the Mgmt Science paper (which is a nice one for sure). Lots of people come in with less papers than you, even 0 in many cases (like my own). I don't know that you really need a sales pitch. Profs, at least ones I know, are nearly impossible to "sell" on anything (and this is rubbing off on me). They are smart, skeptical, and inquisitive. Let your genuine interest in their research guide your interactions.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 19:46
bauble:

Some of the professors seem to be interested in the fact that I have done all this research without completing my undergraduate degree and at an young age (I am 22 !!) They are asking me all sorts of questions about motivation and how I came to do this line of research.

The most interesting thing however, is that I have 3 different research lines and I have around 2-3 different papers in each line. All the papers in each line represent developments of the previous paper.

For instance, I am talking about the risk profile of a project in one paper (IEEE) and then moving on to the uncertainty aspect (Indian Science Congress ) and then moving on to both risk and uncertainty considered in the project. (Management Science)

One professor is very interested at this strain of research development. He has told me that the development of research thought is a very good sign and has asked me to take a look at some of his published papers. I am going to latch on to him :D
  [#permalink] 24 Oct 2007, 19:46
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