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Advice for admission to Ph.D. Marketing [#permalink]
17 May 2004, 04:01
I have a GMAT of 700 and TOEFL of 280. My educational background includes a B.Sc. & MBA, despite that I was in top five student in both, my %s are just about ok. I have around 8 years of work experience out of which 3 is in academics. I am an Asst.Prof in an undergraduate business managment college in India. I plan to do my Ph.D. in Marketing from US? Can anyone helpme choose soem Tier II universities?
Your credentials are relevant and strong for a PhD in marketing management !. I am not sure why you are only focused on tier II univs, when you can get a shot at tier I univs IMHO, given your background and your scores.
Please see my previous posts for the leading universities in Marketing area. In my view, the most important activity you can initiate is to have dialogues with marketing faculty of Leading universities. Also, it is important that your statement of purpose delineates your future goals. Since you are in academics, I am sure you will be able to get some good professors write letters of recommendations for you. With all these, I am sure you will make a strong candidate.
What is clearly important for you to get admission in a top class university will be your research goals. I am not sure which stream of marketing you are interested in - behavioral/quant/research/brand ? What is important is the fact that your interests and the faculty interests must match. As I said, you have already made the basic cut for PhD programs, so initiate the dialogues and then make your decisions.
Thanks for your encouraging reply. I do believe that corresponding with professors regarding one's area of interest is a must. I learned this the hard way!!! My research interests are in the behavioral stream of marketing and my future career plans are strictly academic. I do have a problem though that I have no prior research experience. The place where I am currently working , I hardly get any time from teaching and admin. What do I do regarding that? Is it a must to have some prior research experience?
I don't quite get what you mean by "tier I univs IMHO". Still I would rather play safe and apply to some Tier II univs. What do you think?
Apart from the list of top ranked univs, the following univs also are highly ranked in marketing
University of Minnesota
University of Florida
Two univs which are quite agreeable to people from higher age group are Wharton and Insead. Harvard and MIT tend to favour younger people.
Research Experience is not a must. What is important for adcomms is the "Potential" to do research and the confirmation from your recommenders about this potential.
IMHO is short for In My Humble Opinion. What I meant was that you should ALSO apply to some tier I univs apart from tier II. When you go to top univs websites, see where from their Profs in marketing have done their PhD's from. This may give you a clue to some univs you did not have in your list.
And yes, try to increase your GMAT score if possible. Apps start in November-December (I am assuming you are planning to apply for Fall 2005 admit) so there is still time. Use this club and try to improve it to 750+, you will have a very good shot at tier I univs.
After your suggestion of 750 + GMAT score, I thought about it .........I think I will! Though I am afraid as to what will happen if I muff it up and score below 700( my previous score), my major area of concern is English. But what the hell!So back to the books.
Age is another worry! I am 32 now. Though I have corresponded with some professors and the their uniform replies have been the same...Age is not consideration in admissions. But I feel at the back of the mind they must have it somewhere!
I have started looking at some research papers. Can you suggest some online journals?
Getting 750 is tough but doable. If you can increase your score, you will have a better chance at better Universities. PhD at top tier univs is a major commitment. Unlike India, PhD in Business in US and Europe takes a MINIMUM of four years and on an average it actually takes five years. A higher score is beneficial since you are an international, you are near the age boundary and there will be hundreds of other people with more stellar records to compete against.
Please don't be too taken in by my rant of top tier etc. Getting into a PhD program - any program - is more important. I only wanted to make sure that you do not aim too low !
Now as to the chance of lowering of score ! - well for the first thing, Univs in general take the highest of your scores into consideration, so that is not a problem. Secondly, if you do prepare well, a lower score is a lower probability. It does happen, see posts of people on the GMAT thread, but in general, if the preparation is better, scores improve.
Disclaimer - I only took the GMAT once. No time for a repeat !
Good Luck !
Last edited by Sameer on 29 Jun 2004, 21:27, edited 1 time in total.
I have a friend who had a GMAT of 640 and after retake he got 760. Now that's improvement. But tell me , any idea as to how much weight do the admission committees give to GMAT?
Secondly I want to start communicating with the Profs regarding their research interests. I have gone through some articles in consumer behaviour and though the general idea is quite clear but their research methodologies tend to "baffle"- to say the least AND I have a fair amount of command over statistics and maths.
Thirdly how long can one sustain the communication with the professors???? That might be a crucial thing, because by the time my application is through , my communication with the prof. may have fizzled out and when the admission committee makes the decision....Prof. no longer remembers me!
1. Your Application is a whole. When you are applying across great distances, you need to tell the Adcomm why they should take you. Well look at it from their standpoint. Why will they take you ? There can be many reasons or a combination
a) Your academic records are stellar. You have been an outstanding student, attended India's best university, great grades. You also have a great research experience and have done some notable things like publishing till now
b) You have a very high GMAT score
c) You have written a Great statement of purpose and it is very clear why you will be an outstanding research candidate
d)You have glowing recommendations from people who are doing cutting edge research in marketing area
hmm. got that ? It may be that for a couple of candidates , it is absolutely clear case and the adcomm may not even have to think before offering them admission. But in 90% of cases, it is not clear. Then , What is the differentiator ? A great GMAT ? MAYBE !!. It may also be SOP and recommendations. So , to answer your question, if you do not have ANY OTHER differentiator, make GMAT your differentiator. Otherwise, what is the USP ?
2. You need to start communication with profs/PhD students whose research interest you. I don't know about marketing, but I am sure you can continue the dialogue. You may not get response easily -since a prof will be only interested in responding to you if he/she sees that you will add to his/her "intellectual capital". So you need to go thru some research areas, identify some areas, develop your own ideas and then talk !
Thank you so much for answering the queries of folks like me. We all truly appreciate the first-hand information and advice that all of you provide.
I have a quick question for all of you. I did my undergrad in India from a good (Pune) university. Though I stood 4'th in mechanical engineering dept at my university, my performance in the Math 3 and 4 courses (Math 4 of the third year was full of Vector Calculas, which if I understand correctly, is not really used at B Schools) was bad. Obviously, I did very well in the other core mech engineering courses.
However, later I did my MBA (evening program but leading to the same MBA degree) at a top-ten school in the US, with a 3.55 GPA. I am 32 years old.
I am aiming at a high score on the GMAT. I have 10+ years of work experience in IT, five of them in software product management and marketing. I have been in the US for the last 8+ years.
I am currently working part-time from home for a software startup up. Working part time gives me extra time to pursue some other activities of interest. I am currently working under a famous professor of marketing as an RA (about 8 to 10 hours a week), and am certain that I should be able to get a strong recommendation from him. I am planning on applying for PhD programs in Marketing and MIS (but not to both progams at the same university). My top choices geographically are the Bay Area, Raleigh-Durham NC, Gainsville FL (I understand that their Marketing PhD program is great) and a few others.
Also, I am trying to take a few graduate-level statistics courses at a local university here in the South East US. But, I am running into a few problems. The university, at which I am working for my guide, does not allow people to take any courses unless admitted. My guide is trying hard to see, if he can get me to attend these courses for credits. Will let you know how it goes.
Do you think, I should apply to the top schools like Duke/Berkeley/UCLA (for marketing) or UT Austin/CMU (for MIS) etc., or should I not even bother doing so? Do I have a strong-fighting chance at the top schools, or will I get the jerk? All of you folks, please give me your opinion and advice.
Your basic query is whether you shd apply to top tier univs or not. I guess you know my thinking pattern. While it would depend on you, I am one of those who would not think about missed chances after having missed them.
So going in order for your queries
1. 32 is NOT a over the hill age for PhD, I am entering at 33+. 3 of the 12 PhD entrants at my University last year were over 35, one over 40. I will report the current year mix when I actually enroll - in September.
2. GMAT, Recommendations, undergrad GPA and Grad GPA - EVERYTHING counts. For very specific schools like Harvard, your profile DOES NOT match, Wharton is fine !
3. DO NOT FAIL to apply to top tier. Duke is a very fine school. Look up page of Dr. Pranab Majumder which I have indicated in another post.
4. High score on GMAT - 700+ - is not a big positive, it is a basic requirement for PhD for international applicants. Indians, Turkish and Chinese applicants form a more competitive pool among themselves.
5. RA ship and extra courses count a lot.
6. Your background is perfect for doctoral admissions. Now the application package counts !
Thank you so much for your feedback and encouragement. It does mean a lot to me that there are other successes at top B schools (including you) who are as old as me. Some people had actually begun to scare me about my being too old to be considered by top B schools.
However, thanks to your first-hand experience, it seems that that is not the case. I will certianly apply to Duke, UCLA, Berkeley etc. I will also keep asking you questions about the application process, and at times will also ask you for your advice and opinions. I will also look into Prof. Pranab's page.
I'd like to thank you for answering my queries. Also, I'd like to thank you for all the advice that you will give me in future. With hard work and god's grace, I am hopeful that something good will happen with me in Fall 05.
It's been some time since I had been preparing for the GMAT.
I took my GMAT today. And, I regret to say, but I scored 660 (Q 48 and V 34). I am actually a little tired to retake the GMAT. So, here is my question. Is this score a bad GMAT score to be competitive at my target schools (Berkeley. Duke, UCLA etc.)? Or, is it good enough? So, basically, should I retake the GMAT to increase my verbal score - my experience while practicing for GMAT is that getting above 48 in Quant is really hard.
I need your advice on what is to be done. I still have time. But, I am genuinely tired of these GMAT studies.
This information might help. You might consider taking the GRE as well since many schoools consider either examination.
"Which test is preferred, the GMAT or the GRE?
The Doctoral Program will accept a test score report from either the GRE or the GMAT. Preference to one exam is not given over the other."
"What is the average GMAT or GRE score for accepted applicants?
For those admitted for Fall 2004:
-Average GMAT: 718
-Average GRE: 613/783/725"
UC Berkeley (General): "among those applicants recommended for admission in recent years, the median GMAT score was 720 with a quantitative percentile of 97. The median GRE percentiles were 93 verbal, 93 quantitative, and 97 analytical. The median grade-point average was 3.8 for both undergraduate and graduate work (on a 4.0 scale)."
Duke (General): "For the past three years, acceptance rates have ranged from 7-8% (based on 488-556 applicants). Average GMAT scores of accepted applicants have ranged from approximately 710 to 720 (the overall range of scores for accepted applicants was 520 to 800); average undergraduate GPA's have ranged from 3.5-3.7, average graduate GPA's have ranged from 3.6-3.9."
"The average GMAT score is 700 (for the last 5 years). The range is 650-780."
"The typical doctoral student in marketing has an undergraduate GPA of 3.5, holds a master’s degree, has about three years of work experience, and has a GMAT score above 650."
Sorry, for the delay in replying to your email. I was so taken back by my performance that I decided not to even log to the internet for a few days.
Thank you so much for your reply. Based on the data that you have provided, the answer is pretty obvious. My lower GMAT score of 660 will be the first reason for PhD Adcoms to consider me a weak candidate. However, hopefully, and godwilling if I can raise my score to 700 or 700+ by retaking the GMAT, I will stand a better chance.
Now, I have one more question for you. Is there any advantage of taking the GRE instead of the GMAT? I am a little tired, mentally, with the GMAT. That's why, I am going to take a break of 15 to 20 days, and then reinitiate my GMAT practice. However, if I have to take the GRE, I have to start memorizing this endless list of words. But, if there is an obvious advantage that I have of taking the GRE, I am all ears.
The GRE and GMAT have considerable overlap in coverage and scores between the two tests are highly correlated. However, some students will probably perform better on one test than the other. Some students prefer the shorter Q and V sections on the GRE. If you are particularly weak on CR or SC you might prefer the GRE. The GRE is more vocabularly-intensive but it is important to remember that the goals for the Verbal score on the GRE are relatively modest.
Often students view the GRE as a welcom break from the GMAT (or v.v.)
We could go on in much greater detail of the relative merits of each test if that would be helpful.
I would try some sample GRE tests and see how you perform.
In the previous threads I ahve mentioned that I have GMAT of 700. GOing by the advice of many people I want to take another shot at it. I Think I can manage around 750 but in case I manage to mess it up, I was wondering whether I can send the score of 700 to some lesser places and then register from GMAT with a later date so even if I do not score high enough the previous schools do not get to know about it.Is it cheating? Awaiting your response.