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Writing emails to Profs

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Writing emails to Profs [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2005, 22:04
Hi everyone,

I have given my GMAT (740), and am finishing my part-time MBA from one of India's top schools - IIM Bangalore. I have six years of work-ex and am very clear on what area I want to do my Ph.D in - business marketing.

So I have my list of colleges, and the Profs. And I understand that it's a good thing to email the profs before/while applying.

My issue is what do I say??? I can give my interest area, mention the prof I am working under - cite that Prof's work.... and then what???

Would really appreciate your help.

Thanks!!
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2005, 05:55
Ask about the school, ask their opinion about your chances, ask about their work. The clincher - comment on their work -- this of course means you need at read about what they have written !! The important thing is to read what they have written recently - this should most often be available on their webpage.

Take a 90% probability (even higher) that if you have written a sincere email - you WILL get a reply. So DO NOT write the same email to more than one or two profs at the SAME institute. Email is a great thing but its abuse gets noticed in the hyper environment of faculty - They actually talk about the emails they receive from prospective candidates to each other :twisted:
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Re: Writing emails to Profs [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2005, 20:17
Hi, MHM,

Be careful with e-mail. I personally would prefer to receive a nicely written letter in the postal mail, with your e-mail address included so that I could be the one to initiate e-mail correspondence. Nevertheless, just be sure to prepare your e-mail messages as formally and carefully as you would a printed letter. Nothing irks professors more than to receive an e-mail message from someone who has not bothered to write it correctly and follow good writing protocols. I say this because a great many people have the tendency to write e-mail messages with extremes of informality, such as by neglecting to capitalize words, neglecting to re-edit the message before it goes out, neglecting to provide proper salutation, and neglecting to include all relevant detail so that the reader does not have to wonder what you mean.

By all means, also make sure that your proper name appears in the "From" field. Too often only the e-mail address itself is visible because the sender has never bothered to update his e-mail preferences to include what name to display when each message reaches its destination. E-mail yourself to see what it looks like.

Off the top of my head, I would say that the best letter includes at least the following elements:

1. Clues that you are motivated to do research.

2. A general idea of what major you are after, while acknowledging that you would be open to other possibilities in business as well, as you learn more about what the university has to offer. Do not try to be too specific. It's the school's job to guide you in the best direction after you arrive.

3. Openness to ideas of all types. Do not make it look as though you have already selected your specific line of research.

4. An idea of what you want to do upon graduation. The answer is supposed to be something like, "I wish to pursue a career dedicated to research."

5. No errors of any kind.

Do not ask any information that you could verify by visiting the campus website, such as how to apply or what the fees are. I suppose this means that you should first study the website and figure all of this out. You do not want to ask the professor anything administrative. It should all have to do with your interest in doing research. Of course, it is also an excuse to tip the professor off that you have a high GMAT score.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2006, 04:52
Hi Sameer and rsvoss,

Thanks a lot for your inputs.

I made sure my email was formal - like a written letter. I researched the Professors and their work well, mentioned my research focus (though I was specific there), and asked them about the possibility of working in b2b marketing at xxx school.

I gave a short introduction about me - mentioning GMAT score, IIM-B, work experience and my research project in the same field.
And no administrative questions at all.

Did recieve responses and felt very good about it. :-)
The way some Profs took out time was amazing. Of course, didn't get any response at all from some...

Thank you to both of you again.
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2006, 15:33
Hello,

I am also thinking of sending email to professors. I am very happy that I found this discussion because it is very useful. I have several questions:
1) There are two professors (in the same school) whose research focuses are of interest of mine. Should I write to both or only one?

2) Should I attach my resume and essay to the email.

Thank you very much,
Sincerely,
Julia
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2006, 18:14
1. The common suggestion is write to one. It is assume that they will pass the email around.

2. I wouldn't attached my resume and essay in my first email to them. Instead I will concisely highlight key aspects in my resume and of my essay. Only send them the attachments when they request.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2006, 05:31
Hi liujulia,

Definitely do NOT attach anything in the first email. It should be short and still capture the Prof's interest - highlight any work done in the same area.

Whether you send it to one or both depends on what you are writing in the email - is it is a "I would like to know the feasibility of researching with your group" - you can send to both. If it is a "Honor to work under you" - send to one! ;-)

You could send to one, wait for a week and if there is no response, email the other too. Typically I have seen that if you don't get a response within 3-4 days, you won't.

Good Luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2006, 10:01
Tkkoh, MHM:

Thank you very much for your reply. Very helpful. I am drafting my email right now. I am going to send it to one professor and see what happens.

Thanks again,
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2006, 02:07
Good luck!
  [#permalink] 21 Jan 2006, 02:07
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