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Manager
Joined: 25 Apr 2003
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10 Apr 2004, 10:14
I have never ventured much about myself on this forum. But the PhD forum is as good a place as any.

I come from an Asian country and have an engineering degree followed by a management degree. I have now worked for TEN years in the industry. I decided to enter business academia three years back. I was extremely lucky to find this club in April 2003. Invaluable resource for GMAT, I must admit, and I have not found another yet that comes close. Some people say that Erin's board comes close, but this one is focused on GMAT.

I have got admission in PhD program in a tier I University. Fair amounts of regrets from some universities along with that !!. I do believe that GMAT is one major deciding factor - since it is the one of the only two factors that you have control over in your application - the second being your statement of purpose. The latter should answer Why PhD ? and if you are an old man walking (aka me) you should also answer Why Now !!

I along with our CEO are open to questions and discussions.

Last edited by Sameer on 05 Mar 2005, 05:52, edited 2 times in total.
Intern
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11 Apr 2004, 22:54
anupag wrote:
Me and the other Anu (Anu Anand) along with our CEO are open to questions and discussions. Anu, it would help kickstart things if you post your PhD journey here !

Hi Anup!
Its great to know about you! However, I am a fresher for this field with my Masters completed last year only and have been working for 1 year only.

Anup will really be able to shed more light on the process since he has been through it!

Anyways, I am trying to get relevant information and as our CEO has put on the other topic, I agree that unlike an MBA- providing the justification for a PhD is more difficult since the school is putting a lot on stake when approving you and spending precious resources on someone who doesn't prove his/her worth would be a sheer disappointment for the institution.
However, same is true for the applicant.
I have seen people dropping out from or dragging their doctorates even at IIMs, after getting into once. Since the decision involves commitment of a period of 4-5 years which is quite difficult for a person in early twenties unless he is truly dedicated towards research!!

So, make your choice clear and ask yourself first- why a PhD? Are you comfortable with teaching, and can you stay away from the glamour of corporate world- where you may get bigger money!!

Remember, there is also one saying- my strategic management professor said- "Those who can do, they do. Those who can't, they teach!"...

All the best for your efforts!!
Keep posting!!

Anu Anand
_________________

Knowledge is the only thing which is multiplied when divided!!

Intern
Joined: 30 Apr 2004
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30 Apr 2004, 16:43
Congratulations on your aceptance to the tier-1 school.

I'm also a fairly old applicant (33) with 4 years of post-MBA experience. The most challenging parts for me other than the GMAT will be SOP and academic LOR. Any advices on how to address "why now?" question? How did you get academic LOR from professors? I have VC/business development experience and want to do research in entrepreneurship.

Thanks.
Manager
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30 Apr 2004, 20:27
1. LOR - You need to go back to the College and Institute you graduated from. Unlike an MBA, where it is more important to have recommendations from your superiors who can better judge your potential for managing business, the PhD Adcomms are looking for evidence that the potential applicant can do RESEARCH. Now the ONLY people who can comment on that - with any authority - are people who are into research themselves. Look at what HBS wants - One Reco from work Supervisor. and TWO more
I. If you have completed an unergraduate degree - one reco from Prof, one from tutor.
II. If you have completed a graduate degree, one reco from graduate prof.

Total three recos. Now that is the mix that almost ALL PhD adcomms like. You can skip the supervisor BUT NOT the Profs. So my advice would be to go back, see if the profs recognize you, even if they don't just chat them up. Usually, people in academia are very supportive of people wanting to go into academia. So, my presumption is that PhD applicants - even those who are very old - may not have much of a problem getting academic source recos.

2. SOP - This is actually quite personal and the only advice I can give is " BE yourself". ask yourself why you want to go into acad NOW. Usual spins include things like I went into something else but it didn't work out. You may also have had a particularly interesting experience which has trigerred this thought process. if so, write that. Get many people (not on this board, but people who KNOW you) read your SOP.And be attacking in your SOP, not defensive. Write about why research or teaching excites you.

3. Apply to a broad band of Univs. PhD selections at all tier I universities are not more than 2-3%. You must apply to some top tier univs, but also must have some safety schools. Unlike MBA schools, it will be quite difficult to rank PhD schools. that said, you can safely assume that most of the top 25 MBA scools are also the centres of excellence for doctoral studies.

And lastly - Get the highest GMAT score possible. Remember that International GMAT applicants have very little scope below say a 720-730, irrespective of anything else. What can make an application stand out are usual factors - Great GPA, research experience and in absence of these two, a great GMAT score. And that is where this club comes in !

Best of Luck.
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15 Aug 2004, 10:26
I tend to disagree with age as being an impediment. Actually, I did talk to a fair number of professors in admissions committees who told me that they prefer candidates with at least some real work experience. And if you look at class profiles, you will see that there are quite a few PhD students in their mid 30's or even older. I would say that a good GMAT and a stellar statement of purpose and recommendations are what matters most.
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22 Aug 2004, 05:52
Thirty Yes - probably the line. Anything more and the chances of admissions start diminishing !

BTW I am well over 30, two of my batchmates are near 40 so....
CEO
Joined: 17 Jul 2004
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23 Aug 2004, 10:13
Hi,

Even at many of the elite and near elite schools students in their early 30s would be near the center of the distribution.

Hjort
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04 Oct 2004, 13:59
I have been debating about who to ask for recommendation letter. I would apply for PhD Business for Fall 2006 entrance.
I went to a very unkown/state/historically black university in Mississippi for my undergraduate, (BS in Computer Science, GPA:3.95)
Now I am at Gatech, doing MS in Operations Research (my first semester, no GPA yet, but I am doing quite well so far, and I intend to keep it that way).
Next semester I will spend it at well-known research Lab as a graduate coop). My supervisor there and co-workers have PhDs (I have work there before as an intern).

I notice in one of the above posts, Anupag has mentioned about one reco from undegraduate, one graduate, and one from work.

Do you think in my case, a reco from undegraduate will help?

Do you think it will hurt if I don't send any reco from my college and focus on 2/3 recos from Gatech (graduate school) and one from IBM Research?

My other problem, because of circumstances that I couldn't control, I have almost 2 years gap, between undegraduate and graduate, in which I didn't do anything significant. Will it hurt my chances for admission in a big way?
I really want admission to the PhD program in Information Technology and Management that Harvard Business School offers.

Is being a minority woman helps or its a disadvantage in this situation?

Any suggestions/ advice is welcome. Thanks
CEO
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04 Oct 2004, 20:17
Hi,

Do you have a good relationship with any professors from your undergraduate school?

Considering your fantastic performance in a hard major, a letter of recc would help bring even more attention to this strong showing. On the other hand, such a strong showing without any letter might strike some observers as a bit odd.

Further, do not underestimate the recognition of HBCUs- they are often more well known than one might believe.

Hjort
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05 Oct 2004, 12:45
Thanks Hjort, yes I do have great relaationships with several Profs including the Chair of Dept. I guess I will ask for one , it shouldn't hurt, to say the least.
recos   [#permalink] 05 Oct 2004, 12:45
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