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psychology and OB focus in personal statements..

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psychology and OB focus in personal statements.. [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2008, 01:43
Hi all,

I'm applying this Fall for OB programs, and I was having a hard time figuring out how to structure my personal statement. I have a psychology background, and am also applying to some psych programs, so I'm not sure how my personal statements would differ for psych programs and the OB programs. In particular, should I mention how I became interested in psychology if the topics I'd like to explore in grad school are psych-related? and should I also somehow mention how this is relevant to organizational behavior or is that already implied? When I say that my end goal is to become a professor, should I say in a business school or just omit that part altogether? It's late, and these thoughts may not be coherent, but basically I'm unsure on how these essays might be different from the ones I'm applying for in psych PhD programs.

Thanks for any help you can give!
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Re: psychology and OB focus in personal statements.. [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2008, 07:58
I will only comment that being a Psych prof and being a Biz prof are very different endeavors IMO. I can only speak as a OB doc student who takes some psych classes. There is a reason why I chose management over psychology! Why are you interested in both? The starting salary discrepancy alone for assistant profs in Management is enough to be a deciding factor in most cases--although the scope and nature of research is very different as well.

Anyway--my advice is a paraphrase of Socrates: "Know thy program" that should determine what you emphasize in the SOP, but Socrates' original might be more helpful, "Know thyself"--psych or business?
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Re: psychology and OB focus in personal statements.. [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2008, 09:09
I'm interested in both because the research I'm interested in has a strong focus in psychology but is very applicable to business.. in fact, the research done by the advisors I'd be interested in working with is very similar across psych and business. Starting salary in management is a definite bonus (and for me teaching psych may be more interesting, although I haven't taken an OB class before), but I think the research that I'd end up doing is most important to me and I think both types of programs have research that I'm interested in.

As for the SOP, perhaps I can emphasize the fields of research more than that they are psychology-related?
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Re: psychology and OB focus in personal statements.. [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2008, 06:57
Well, research/teaching interests are paramount to your decision. Apply to both emphasizing your key interests--and hope that the right program (or both) select you based on a good fit.

have you considered I/O psychology? It is a kind of middle ground between Psych and Management--there are some good programs out there. Many I/O psychologists cross over to management.
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Re: psychology and OB focus in personal statements.. [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2008, 14:44
amoon wrote:
Hi all,

I'm applying this Fall for OB programs, and I was having a hard time figuring out how to structure my personal statement. I have a psychology background, and am also applying to some psych programs, so I'm not sure how my personal statements would differ for psych programs and the OB programs. In particular, should I mention how I became interested in psychology if the topics I'd like to explore in grad school are psych-related? and should I also somehow mention how this is relevant to organizational behavior or is that already implied? When I say that my end goal is to become a professor, should I say in a business school or just omit that part altogether? It's late, and these thoughts may not be coherent, but basically I'm unsure on how these essays might be different from the ones I'm applying for in psych PhD programs.

Thanks for any help you can give!



I think anyone reading your SOP in a business discipline is hopefully smart enough to know that many "business disciplines" such as management, OB, marketing, are built on the foundations of some other science such as economics, psychology, statistics, etc... and in many respects many of the business disciplines are just applications and extensions of these core sciences. IMHO, the fact that you have a psych background vs. someone who has studied business as undergrad and grad makes you a stronger candidate.
Re: psychology and OB focus in personal statements..   [#permalink] 11 Oct 2008, 14:44
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