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Seeking chances - PHD in Strategy/management

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Intern
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Joined: 29 Jun 2018
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 17:42
Hi guys:

I recently started exploring PhD programs in business, with an interest in strategy and management. Could you evaluate my chances please? Thank you!

Bio - 28 year old Chinese born female (educated overseas)
U/G - H/Y/P, math and economics, 3.73 /4.00 gpa, debate society leadership
Master - #3 MBA program (current first year student) - current GPA top 5% (3.88/4.00 ish)
Test scores - 770 gmat, 169 gre (170 math 168 verbal)

I have 5 years of working experience between UG and Master - at a top asset management firm, and the world bank's investment arm. I'm currently doing a hedgefund internship.

Why I want to apply - I realized I'm much more interested in research and i want to be able to contribute to history - help real understanding of chinese business and western business to be propagated, not just myths.

I don't have academic research experience, but my past jobs were about research (financial research...) I will be working with a professor as a TA starting next fall in my 2nd year of MBA program.

Could you please chance me please? Would love to know what are my weakest spots! (For example, does it hurt to be an Asian in this process? am I too old?)

Thanks!
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New post 01 Jul 2018, 13:55
Hi phdapplication

Since you're currently in an MBA program, I would suggest you start speaking with your professors about your interest in pursuing a PhD. Faculty members in your target area would be great, but I would actually start with the professor with whom you feel the best connection. In my experience, most professors are excited when an MBA candidate shows interest in continuing in academia ... it's a little bit unusual but can be flattering to the professors, since you want to pursue a career path similar to theirs! They can help you evaluate your fit for a PhD program and perhaps help you connect with research opportunities now that could strengthen your PhD application.

Best, Jennifer
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New post 03 Jul 2018, 23:25
No, it doesn't hurt to be Asian. I don't think race is really an issue for PhD.

You are not too old. I'm 45, and I'm not the oldest PhD student at my school. Age can play a role in the process, not because of some valid concerns. You need to convince the schools about the reasons you would be willing to sacrifice a lucrative career after your MBA to live the hard life of a PhD student, for example.

The GMAT score is going to be really helpful. Undergrad with math and economics too.

Work experience is usually of little importance for PhD applications.

About your experience with research from past jobs. Be very careful about that in your application. It can help, but it can also backfire. Probably some parts of that experience can be useful. But if the schools feel that you are interested in research in industry instead of academia, that can be considered a red flag. Another potential red flag if they feel you don't really understand the differences between the research you have done and academic research.

Right now, I think there are two things you can do to make your profile stronger: getting some kind of research experience and getting strong letters of recommendation.

Since you will work as a TA, that can be the perfect opportunity. Try to get close to at least 3 professors who are actively doing research and show your interests, skills etc., since you will need 3 letters attesting to your potential as a researcher (not a student or an employee). See if you can help in their research in some way, from small stuff like organizing data to big deals like being a co-author in a good paper.

If you can get strong recommendations from 3 professors, and at least some level of research experience, your profile will have no major weaknesses that I can see.

Then, it is a matter of defining your research interests and selecting schools wisely. If you do that, I think it's almost sure you can get into a very good school.
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Re: Seeking chances - PHD in Strategy/management &nbs [#permalink] 03 Jul 2018, 23:25
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