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Please evaluate my profile for an accounting phd

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Please evaluate my profile for an accounting phd [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2010, 06:32
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I have been reading about accounting phds since I decided to pursue one and would like my profile and expectations to be evaluated.I am planning to apply for 2011 admission.
My Profile
Male
23
B.Sc Accounting (University of Lagos)-Top African University
Second Class Upper Division
3.75 out of 5 (As in research based courses and project)

M.Sc Accounting and Finance (University of Manchester)- Top European University
Merit
71% average in taught courses and 67% in dissertation.(As in research based courses)

2 years in PWC by Sept. 2011 and a senior audit associate by July 2011.

Association of Certified Certified Accountants (UK) exams completed for both the technican and professional level.
Average Score at professional level-68%

Good letters and SOP

No teaching experience

No research experience outside of dissertation and smaller projects in school.

Good maths and statistics background but no financial econmetrics.
I have not yet taken the GMAT( intend to take it mid-september) but lets say I have a 730.

I am more interested in research (Financial-capital market and/or dislosure and regulation) than teaching.

But I would only like to pursue the phd if I get into a top US university. So my shortlist are-
University of Pennsylvania
University of Chicago
University of Michigan
Columbia
UC Berkerley
Stanford
University of Texas-Austin

Also, I am planning to attepmt CFA level 1 in June next year as I hope that the knoweldge gained in the process would be relveant for the phd. Would it be a good idea to bring this up in the SOP?

Are my selection too lofty and do u think I have a good shot in getting at least one spot at these schools?Also, is the AWA section important and what is the minimum score required? Finally, what are possible careers paths for an accounting researcher who is not too keen on teaching?
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Re: Please evaluate my profile for an accounting phd [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2010, 06:20
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Well you did name 7 of the most presitigious business universities in the world so yeah that's pretty lofty. It's naive to think anyone has a "good shot" at those when the acceptance rate is <5% and almost every top applicant applies to those. Plus hard to determine anything when you don't have an official GMAT score - some of those schools are very GMAT-focused (i.e. Stanford). BTW - am I misinterpreting GPA wrong or are 71% and 3.75/5 not all that great? Do you really want to do academic research or are you more interested in the prestige (i.e. "I'll only do it if I can get into these top-10 schools" is a rather immature statement to make)? Anywya to your specific questions: CFA won't hurt you but probably won't help you either so if you really want to do research, it would be a relative waste of time to spend your time/money taking it. Lots of top schools are more keen on research than teaching in their professors but teaching is a necessary evil so you have to be willing to do it and at least competent at it if you want to work at a university post-grad. The AWA will probably be a little more relevant since you are a domestic applicant. I think anything below a 4 coupled with a subpar verbal score will raise questions about your communication schools in a U.S. program. Good luck
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Re: Please evaluate my profile for an accounting phd [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2010, 07:02
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I really want to do accounting research but I would also like to get into an excellent program which could give me very good opporunities after the Phd. What other schools do you think I should consider?And is being a straight As student a necessary prerequisite to getting into and excelling in top programs at the Phd level?

Thanks.
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Re: Please evaluate my profile for an accounting phd [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2010, 17:46
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Obviously, everyone would love to get into top 10 schools but you're going to have to write tailored essays as to why you want to go to xx school that will have to expand beyond it is a top school to be taken seriously - You're going to have to know exactly the type of research you are interested in and find professors whose interests match yours and you may find that a professor at a second-tier school actually intrigues you more than one at MIT. There are a lot of good schools out there (look up the AAA school profiles or BYU PHD program rankings to see profiles of programs and see who is good at your research field). Most people will echo the sentiment to apply to some long shot schools (i.e. your list above), apply to some middle-tier schools that are less competitive, and then apply to some safety schools. Your odds of only applying to those schools you mentioned and getting in are very small, as are anyone's, so if you really want to pursue the path, you're going to need a greater variety of schools that you are happy with.

No - being a straight A student isn't a necessity but a lot of top schools do have minimum GPA's they will accept. It's more an issue of them investing a lot of money into you based on a small amount of information and historical experience is an indicator of future success - so if you got say < a 3.6/4.0, you may want to explain the circumstances around that - otherwise some schools will look at you with some skepticism on your work ethic/intelligence as to why you didn't get better grades. Best of luck!
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Re: Please evaluate my profile for an accounting phd [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2010, 00:03
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Thanks for your help so far. I have some follow up questions that I hoped you could address .

I would like to go to a strong research institution and be exposed to the different research methodologies across financial accounting (and maybe auditing). I was reading through the BYU site and they wrote about research school. I would like to know what kind of school are referred to as research schools and how can I identify them.

Also, I am still struggling with the concept of personal fit as most school have faculty members who perform financial accounting research. What factors could I be looking at when judging if I would be a good fit at a particular school.

In addition, I was unable to find the AAA school profiles you referred to in the post as a way of gaining insights into other excellent programs. I hope you can assist me by giving me more information about the AAA school profile and where I could find it as i guess it might help me answer my previous question.

Finally, how many school do you think is efficient to send applications to because I have read thread talking about sending to about 10 school but I am not sure how willing my previous professors would be to write 10 recommendation letter each for a candidate. They might even view it as an uncoordinated attempt to get into doctoral school.

Thanks for your help. I really appreciate your input.
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Re: Please evaluate my profile for an accounting phd [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 08:42
zander87 wrote:
Thanks for your help so far. I have some follow up questions that I hoped you could address .

I would like to go to a strong research institution and be exposed to the different research methodologies across financial accounting (and maybe auditing). I was reading through the BYU site and they wrote about research school. I would like to know what kind of school are referred to as research schools and how can I identify them.

Also, I am still struggling with the concept of personal fit as most school have faculty members who perform financial accounting research. What factors could I be looking at when judging if I would be a good fit at a particular school.

In addition, I was unable to find the AAA school profiles you referred to in the post as a way of gaining insights into other excellent programs. I hope you can assist me by giving me more information about the AAA school profile and where I could find it as i guess it might help me answer my previous question.

Finally, how many school do you think is efficient to send applications to because I have read thread talking about sending to about 10 school but I am not sure how willing my previous professors would be to write 10 recommendation letter each for a candidate. They might even view it as an uncoordinated attempt to get into doctoral school.

Thanks for your help. I really appreciate your input.


1) "Research school" is tough to objectively define. Generally, these are schools where graduate (M.Sc. or PhD) programs are relatively more important than undergrad or MACC (or even MBA perhaps) programs, but you have large state schools like UT-Austin, Ohio State or Penn State that are also strong on research, so I wouldn't say the distinction is terribly important. What you absolutely need to keep in mind throughout this whole process is that you need to distinguish between "quality of education" and "quality of (post-PhD) opportunities". Stanford students get better placement than Oregon State but a significant reason is because they were able to get into Stanford in the first place. What I'm trying to say is that there are plenty of excellent research programs to choose from, and with an 730 (expected) GMAT score and a non-quantitative background you definitely don't want to restrict yourself to the Whartons or Stanfords of this world.

2) Personal fit works on two dimensions: (a) do you get along with that person, (b) are your research interests well-aligned. You can get a very good sense of (b) by looking at what people have published recently and what they're doing. You can only get a very imperfect sense of (a) through email -- send the people you're interested in an informal note saying you'll likely apply to their school and may want to work with them. If their answer comes quickly and they're friendly, it gives you an idea. Others won't answer or reply something useless like "send your app in and we'll see".

3) 10 schools is fine. It doesn't take all that much time to write a LOR. Either it's a regular letter (which you can copy-and-paste in its exact form to another recipient) or it's a standardized form that's easy to fill. You don't want to be stuck with a safety school and a place you don't really want to go to when you could have had 3-5 places to pick from.
Re: Please evaluate my profile for an accounting phd   [#permalink] 20 Sep 2010, 08:42
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