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PhD possibilities

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PhD possibilities [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2004, 20:57
I will be finishing up my last year as an undergraduate and would like to begin a phd program for the 2006 academic year. I should note the year delay is due to my plans of studying abroad in Paris for the 2005-2006 academic year. I have already studied in France; however, would like to continue my studies in French culture and language.
My background:
I currently attend Cal State Fullerton, an AACSB university, where I am majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis inf Finance. My overall GPA is 3.53, with a business GPA of 3.85. I am a member of the following societies/programs:
Business Honors Program
International Golden Key Society
Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society
Possibly MENSA once/if I get my exam confirmed
Other:
Multiple Deans List notations

In addition, I was a member of the Track and Cross Country teams for 4 years and was awarded as the Big West scholar athlete of the year for my sport.

I have limited work experience; though, I currently have an internship with Boeing as a financial analyst. In addition, I have worked on campus as an event managment assistant with increasing responsibilities. I have yet to take the GMAT though I plan to score between 690-710 based on preliminary sample tests.

What are my chances of gaining acceptance in a top EU PhD program. My top choices are INSEAD and HEC with IMD as another option. What about top US PhD programs? I would like to stay on the west coast if I stay in the US. Therefore, I would be considering Berkeley and Stanford. I would like to study either strategic management or finance and plan to teach, research and consult in Europe for a number of years following my Phd designation. I would like to have enough reputation to return to the United States and teach on the West Coast aswell. Any thoughts?
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2004, 23:53
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Hi EvanG

Welcome to GMATClub.

Your credentials are relevant for a PhD program and I must add quite impressive on the academic front.

I would target a higher GMAT score than a 710, use this Club !!. If you are a non-american, 710 may not get you in Top PhD programs .

INSEAD and LBS are Tier I in Europe, IMD does not have a PhD program yet.

Stanford is much higher ranked than Berkeley, and frankly Berkeley is not aligned with your acads or research interests, they go for people scoring somewhere around 4.0 GPA (ok 3.9 would do !!).

You could be MENSA member on GMAT score of 95 percentile, check up latest on Mensa website - BTW Adcomms do not really care for all this. The critical issue for you will be (apart from GMAT), your SOP and of course your professors' recos, who must comment on your research potential.

If you plan to move over to US, I would recommend US univs and Insead + LBS in your shortlist.

Hope this helps. Post again if you have things unclear or need more responses.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2004, 09:15
Thank you for the reply. In fact, I am a US citizen, will this aid in my marketability to a PhD program. Though my logic might backwards, my primary goal is to study in France, with my second choice being to study somewhere in wetern europe. What schools should I be looking at considering this criteria and my credentials? Should I focus on tier II institutions? Is HEC a respectable program?

I will attempt to score over 710, and definately utilize this forum; however at the moment 710 is a number I feel capable and confident in. Thank you for all the help.-Evan
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2004, 23:40
Since many business professors have their doctoral education in economics, I would also consider economics at LSE and Cambridge.

If you are serious about West Coast programs, UCLA is conspicuous by its absence.

I imagine that the European schools would require a compelling explanation why you want to pursue your studies in Europe.

Best,

Hjort
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2004, 11:12
thanks for the input Hjort, I will definately look into the schools you mentioned. Would an economics degree limit what I could teach? I am really only interested in Organizational Behavior, Strategic Management, Finance, or Law.

I currently live on the west coast and would like to one day return. However, the reason that I would like to obtain my degree in Europe is because I am planning on living in France for the next 10+ years.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2004, 13:07
Hi again,

Many finance professors have doctoral education in finance or economics with some exotic degrees (e.g. physics)

Many Org Behavior professors have doctoral education in the social/behavioral sciences (e.g. sociology or psychology) along with those who completed management degrees.

Strategic Mngmt professors seem to have a broad background as well and include the social sciences and management degrees.

Law professors tend to have law degrees although there are a few exceptions.

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 [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2004, 22:49
Thanks for all the assistance. So I have narrowed my interests to Finance, with a lean toward International Finance. With this in mind, most likely a 3.6 cumulative GPA(3.85+ business gpa), a 710 GMAT, good SOP and respectable LOR's, what are my possibilities of admission to the following schools:
European schools:
1. Insead
2. HEC
3. London School Of Business
4. IESE
5. ESSEC
6. ESCP-EAP

US schools:
1. Cornell
2. New York University
3. UCLA
4. Berkeley
5. Purdue
6. Rochester
7. UCI
8. Boston College
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2004, 03:22
Pretty good everywhere, except maybe Berkeley. Ask more about Berkeley Finance (Financial Engineering) to Akamaibrah, see a post in this very forum.

I would also like to have a look at more tier I schools with that profile !
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Are you ready for that? [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2004, 09:16
Hi Evan,

If you are thinking of INSEAD and LBS, try to get some research or teaching experience first. They are looking for the best candidates, and the competition there is very tough. You could ask profs at your finance department if they are looking for a research assistant. If you are in your last year, they may be interested in hiring you part-time. It would be great if you were able to publish an article in one of the research journals, or something like that. Or at least you could apply to work as a teaching assistant next semester at one of the lower level courses at your department.

I am not sure about American B-schools, but European PhD programs have a wide range of the best candidates to choose from. It's better to have a pretty good idea what is research and teaching about before you apply. You can go to their website (for ex., INSEAD) and check resumes of their current PhD students to see how good they are! Also you'll see that most of them had a Master's degree (MBA or Msc) before they applied for a PhD, as it helps to get a better feeling of research.

The thing that striked me a bit in your posts was a very wide range of fields you are considering - Finance, OB, Law. Those areas are VERY different when it gets to research, so you better first to figure out what is closer to your heart, and what you will be ready to explore almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for many years! It does get boring, VERY BORING! Will you be able to stick to one narrow topic for at least 2-3 years while doing your PhD? Think about it. PhD is not about studying, it's about reseach, research and research! It's a different kind of school.

And after all of that, if you really think this IS yours (as it is mine!), than just get some research/teaching experience, and apply!

Hope it helps (and is not too discouraging!)
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2004, 14:58
Thanks alot for the valuable input. I will definattely take your comments into consideration. I will have a year of teaching experience by the time I commence the PhD program in 2006. However it will be teaching english to primary French students so I dont know how relevant that is. Also I will speak to one of my professor about a possible research assistant position.

In regards to your comment alex regarding what field I would like to research, you are completely right. To be honest, I find so many business disciplines fascinating that I truly feel I could dedicate a life of study to either of them. My interests in law, OB, and strategic management are more curiosities though, where Finance is something that I am majoring in and increasingly enjoy. Regardless, I understand your perspective and will give my decision further thought.

MBA before a PhD? I have seen this comment several different places. Will it really help? I though an MBA was more applicable or pragmatic knowledge where PhD research is more often theoretical?
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MBA before PhD [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2004, 05:57
An MBA before a PhD isn't required, although I don't think it is an unusual occurrence. In my experience (I have both an MBA & Masters Degree in Statistics and am in the process of applying to PhD programs) I don't know that an MBA will add much to your pursuit of a PhD in business. MBA programs are concerned with producing and placing future business leaders. You tend to study most of the major business topics with only a slight emphasis in one particular area.

If you have the time or inclination to pursue a masters degree before going after a PhD, I would recommend studying something that will improve your quantitative skill set and prepare you for the rigor of PhD coursework (e.g. Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, etc...).

Best of Luck!
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Master's degree [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2004, 09:41
Regarding a Master's degree, all I am saying is that most European (especially UK) universities are looking for applicants having such a degree. At LBS website the phrase is the following: " Although it is not a requirement, most incoming students also hold a Masters degree." Some of schools say "A Master's degree in a relevant field is preferable". So decide for yourself.

As for what it to be - an MBA or not, I think an MBA is a good school to get more agressive in learning about business that is always relevant. At the end you can choose whether you wanna do a final project or a thesis (some school give such an option), and as it is obvious you do a thesis based on a combination of real business and research. Here is you research experience. On the other hand, you could easily do MSc in Finance or Economics, or something like that. It is very relevant too. Just I think it might be a bit boring and definitley not as much fun as an MBA.

Good luck,

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 [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2004, 10:09
Ok, there are two things

Ph.D is a quant intensive course. But an MBA may or may not be. A Masters degree ( with a thesis) certainly helps to make the case to adcomm that you have had atleast some taste of research. Almost every university says.. Masters is not a requirement.. and if your application looks great without a advanced degree.. thats awesome.. But I certainly have more confidence in my abilities after completing my masters thesis. the simple fact is that getting admitted to a PhD program and completing it are two totally different things. Make sure you understand that. If you cant match the quality and performance of the entering PhD class, you will be constantly playing catch up and thats not good for learning.

Other thing is that having an MBA might only affect when you go teach MBA students after your Ph.D. Right now, i compensate for my non mba background by 'sitting in' MBA classes. Sitting in Exec MBA courses might help too. you have to atleast match the level of experience of a B-School student, if not that, atleast match the level of knowledge. Mind you, B-School students come from diverse backgrounds, so you need to be aware of that too. A good instructor will appeal to all sections of the audience.. atleast thats what i think.

you maybe the smartest PhD around, but you may not stick for long if you cant teach MBA students ( your evaluations will tell you that) and that my friends is a challenge. Being on the student side of a MBA classroom helps when you are in front of the classroom. I have heard new profs being fired for this... why not? especially when students are paying 30-50G's or more a year , they will want top notch instruction.

I have to teach a class (to undergraduates) next summer, and most probably it will have more than 200 students. The only thing thats helping is that the class i teach is offered every semester. I sit in different sections of the audience and observe how easy or difficult it is for students to see, understand , hear the instructor. In engineering or other disciplines, i never sat in such huge classes , so its definitely something new.

hope i contributed to the discussion a little bit
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2004, 12:11
Praetorian makes and excellent point... as business professors, it is extremely likely that we will be required in the future to teach MBA level coursework. This presents a great quandary for an academic without professional or practical experience: How is it possible to teach impactful, applied topics without ever having worked or studied at that level? With this in mind, it is easy to see why an MBA would be an asset to a new PhD. It also stands to reason that a strong understanding of applied business issues would help an academic identify specific areas of a discipline in need of further research.

All of this considered, I still don't think an MBA is the best route to take in order to pursue a PhD in business. If an undergraduate’s record is strong enough, they should consider moving directly into a PhD program and picking up MBA level coursework along the way. If the student truly feels that a masters degree is required to make them a more viable candidate, they should consider a program that is more quantitatively intensive than the MBA. A lot of institutions offer masters degrees in Finance, Statistics or Economics. These programs offer the benefits of both applied and theoretical coursework. The will also provide an introduction to business research that you will not find in an MBA program.

I think that most students entering PhD programs with MBA’s realized they wanted to pursue careers in Academia during or following completion of the MBA.
  [#permalink] 12 Oct 2004, 12:11
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