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work experience

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Intern
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work experience [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2007, 08:11
I'm thinking about applying to OB/management for 2008 and I was wondering what type of work experience is considered more valuable:

research experience in a different field

or

HR type of experience

I have some research experience already from my undergrad work (did a research project and wrote up an honors thesis which may or may not be published, again in a different field).

Thanks in advance for any help!
Manager
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2007, 09:07
My sense is that research has more upside potential to help you. Two ways that I can think of:

1) Research could demonstrate proficiency in overlapping skills (e.g., methods, good framing of research questions).

2) Has the possibility of getting good academic recs, of course depending on your situation. In general, recs from well-known people in the field are the best of course, but academic recs from other fields are far better than industry recs.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2007, 07:49
I agree. I don't really see how the HR work experience would really enhance your profile compared to other applicants, but I see how additional research experience would.
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2007, 22:19
thanks guys! i was mainly thinking that since i hadn't taken any courses in the field, the HR stuff might be thought valuable in teaching me about work-related issues more? in any case, i guess research is more important :)
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2007, 03:36
A job in HR could definitely help you understand work-related issues, which could be useful sometime down the road when you're teaching undergrads or MBAs and you want to have some idea of what you're talking about. However such work experience will not necessarily make you a better teacher. On the other hand, the skills you'd acquire doing research (especially if it's in a field that's broadly related to OB) will help you for sure in "getting your hands dirty". Since the people who'll evaluate your application will most be concerned with your research potential, I think research is your better option.

(Note that this comment DOES imply that you won't get many research ideas just by being exposed to work-related issues. This is my opinion, rather than a fact. Based on my experience, it applies to accounting, but whether it extends to other business fields, I don't know. I'd guess it does.)
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2007, 10:13
Quote:
(Note that this comment DOES imply that you won't get many research ideas just by being exposed to work-related issues. This is my opinion, rather than a fact. Based on my experience, it applies to accounting, but whether it extends to other business fields, I don't know. I'd guess it does.)


i disagree with that.... in my case, my work experience completely changed my research interests and helped me form and shape my direction which i eventually will be pursuing in my phd. however, i admit that during this work I have always "kept in touch" with the academic world by reading related academic papers that related to problems i found at work.

having said that - I agree that in terms of admission (and admission only), and if the choices are working X months in HR vs. working same X months as RA (or similar research position) - you'd be better off doing some research stuff (I had both on my resume... and X was rather large).

and just to add another confusing aspect to my already confusing post - i believe that it is not the experience itself, but what you make of it, that are important - and this should be shown on your SOP. so if you eventually worked as HR and it helped you in shaping your "PhD soul" in a valuable way, then tell this story in the SOP, and it will be better than just saying you've been RA for 2 years.
  [#permalink] 13 Apr 2007, 10:13
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