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Relevant work-exp previous to PhD Finance? [#permalink]
25 Apr 2007, 09:42
I`m finishing a pg in finance and doing a research project with a teacher (Ivy-League-graduate, quite a prominent one in my home country). After the pg is over I┬┤d like to go on with and concentrate on the research and do part-time teaching in a uni or a technical college (or even a language school).
How would that move be looked at by adms people, as I wouldn┬┤t be going for the usual private-sector/financial-institution job as everyone else? Thanks a lot in advance.
PD: the research work is not being paid, it┬┤s purely for the love of it.
I'm not sure there's a "usual" path before applying to a PhD in finance. Mostly it's about opportunity cost: what could you have done instead? Thus it would help to know what your current program is (undergraduate or graduate?). With the info that I have, I don't think it can hurt you to get some more research and teaching experience before going on to the PhD. However, about research, would it be freelance research, or would you still be in contact with your current professor? I think the point with research is to get a headstart by (1) getting some experience with data/papers/models, and (2) possibly getting a paper published. (1) you can do on your own, but (2) is going to be awfully hard without the help of your current professor. So if possible I'd advise you to stay in touch with him and continue working on his projects instead of just going away once you're done with your current program.
It┬┤s a postgraduate degree. The idea is to continue with the professor (yes, I guess it┬┤d be awfully complicated without a proper supervisor).
I formulated the question because there would be other applicants with more recent corporate/business work exp (and interesting responsibilities in that regard), while mine would be teaching (part-time, and not necessarily at uni level) and research (possibility to contribute with the new edition of a book by this professor). Would my plan necessarily put me in an advantegeous position, provided the other app elements are good (gmat, gpa, lors, sop(s), etc)?
I don't know if your plan would _necessarily_ put you in an advantageous position, but I think it probably would. For two applicants that are exactly alike, except one has some teaching and some good research done while the other has some work experience, I think the one who's done research is more likely to get in. Of course it also depends on what the actual work experience is (if it's some research-related position at a prestigious investment bank it could be viewed as better than an RA for a not-so-well-known professor), and how it's tied up/presented in the SOP.
In other words, for your situation I don't think not having recent work experience is so bad, given that you have a recent postgraduate degree and recent teaching and research with a respected professor.