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Targeting INSEAD and other top PhD programs

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New post 17 Jun 2019, 03:20
Hello Everyone

Found this thread to be extremely useful especially in learning about GMAT scores across top schools. Would love to know how much of TA/RA experience weighs in?
I am targeting PhD in OB and leadership effectiveness as these are the areas I have been consulting organizations all across the world but know I wish to explore the discipline and undertake interdisciplinary research

Background-

I am a McKinsey consultant by profession based out of New Delhi India. I was working in the organization practice particularly around culture and change management for our clients. It involved survey setups, data collection and analysis and finally workshops etc. to implement change
I completed my MBA in Human Resources, about 2 years back from Symbiosis University, wherein I was a University Gold Medalist with a GPA of 8.9/10 (4.0/4.0). Currently, I have left my job as I wanted more time to prep for PhD applications and consulting left me crunched for time. My motivation to pursue PhD stems from the interest in research areas and creation of further knowledge. I have well experienced the delivery side of frameworks and theories

Help from you
As I start to prepare for applications , SoPs etc , would love to know your perspectives around:

1. How important is RA/TA experience as a part of application? (I have published one paper but do not have extensive experience)
2. Will a career break contribute 'negatively' to my application?
3. I understand 700+ should be a good score to apply but do you think consulting advantage could help if I miss out by 10-20 points? In mocks am hitting 680, 690 already

Happy to personally connect and share my experiences so far as well :)

Thanks

Regards
Hullas
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Re: Targeting INSEAD and other top PhD programs  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2019, 06:52
1
Hullas wrote:
Hello Everyone

Found this thread to be extremely useful especially in learning about GMAT scores across top schools. Would love to know how much of TA/RA experience weighs in?
I am targeting PhD in OB and leadership effectiveness as these are the areas I have been consulting organizations all across the world but know I wish to explore the discipline and undertake interdisciplinary research

Background-

I am a McKinsey consultant by profession based out of New Delhi India. I was working in the organization practice particularly around culture and change management for our clients. It involved survey setups, data collection and analysis and finally workshops etc. to implement change
I completed my MBA in Human Resources, about 2 years back from Symbiosis University, wherein I was a University Gold Medalist with a GPA of 8.9/10 (4.0/4.0). Currently, I have left my job as I wanted more time to prep for PhD applications and consulting left me crunched for time. My motivation to pursue PhD stems from the interest in research areas and creation of further knowledge. I have well experienced the delivery side of frameworks and theories

Help from you
As I start to prepare for applications , SoPs etc , would love to know your perspectives around:

1. How important is RA/TA experience as a part of application? (I have published one paper but do not have extensive experience)
2. Will a career break contribute 'negatively' to my application?
3. I understand 700+ should be a good score to apply but do you think consulting advantage could help if I miss out by 10-20 points? In mocks am hitting 680, 690 already

Happy to personally connect and share my experiences so far as well :)

Thanks

Regards
Hullas



Hello Hullas

TA/RA experience is a plus if you have it, but is not an minus if dont have it, since they cannot expect for all candidates to have that kind of experience on undergraduate or master studies.

There is also importance of relevance of that subject (TA/RA) to PhD studies, strength of institution, is it well known professor in the field etc. but it is not condition for admission by any means.

Being a Gold Medalist and having GPA of 8.9/10 (4.0/4.0) is a plus. :thumbup:

Paper being published is a plus, that is important.

Career break will not contribute negatively to your application, if anything it shows how serious you are and what is most important to you (PhD). :idea:

Yes, 700+ would be a good score...however since you have relevant experience in the field I would agree with you that 10-20 point miss will still make you very serious candidate.

Which mocks do you refer to ?

Since you are interested in INSEAD, here are their requirements :

There's no cut-off point for either exams and there is a wide range for accepted scores. Our selection of applicants is based on the applicant's general profile and overall academic background, and faculty preferences; and test scores are only one component of the many factors considered. Perfect scores do not guarantee admission and lower than average scores will not invalidate your candidacy. However, scores of 700 upwards for GMAT and quantitative scores of 163 for GRE are not uncommon.

As a general tip, you should aim to score 85% or higher in your quantitative and verbal sections to be highly competitive.



As you can see, considering everything so far, you have a fair chance at INSEAD.




Good Luck :cool:
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New post 17 Jun 2019, 09:28
Thank you billionaire for sharing your wisdom and the INSEAD info :)

My current scores are based upon official GMAT mocks 1 and 2. I plan to take these 6 first along with prep.
Would you recommend any specific mocks apart from these? Am a bit stuck around 680s to be honest

Regards
Hullas
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New post 18 Jun 2019, 04:46
1
Hullas wrote:
Thank you billionaire for sharing your wisdom and the INSEAD info :)

My current scores are based upon official GMAT mocks 1 and 2. I plan to take these 6 first along with prep.
Would you recommend any specific mocks apart from these? Am a bit stuck around 680s to be honest

Regards
Hullas



Hi Hullas

You are welcome.

Yes official mocks, like GMATPrep and additional paid ones are the best there is.

I would not recommend any other beside mocks of actual creators of the test, but then again almost nobody listen this :)

When you finish with all official ones available, if you still think you need additional ones, then Manhattan mocks are the next best thing in my opinion.

If you take Manhattan mocks, you may find their Quant on the harder side, which is actually a good thing, it will serve as good prep.

That means if you score lower on Manhattan you should not worry, it is normal.

Official mocks are the best score predictor.

They are also best way to learn how test creators actually think and no other third party company can match this.

But, Manhattan mocks and prep materials will be second best thing on market, for people who think they need them.



Good Luck with prep :cool:
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New post 05 Jul 2019, 07:24
1
Hullas wrote:
GPA of 8.9/10

Good! That would help you.

Hullas wrote:
How important is RA/TA experience as a part of application?

As has been said before, helps if you have it, doesn't hurt if you don't. RA is better. TA is almost useless. Even RA is only useful if you actually helped with the research.

Hullas wrote:
Will a career break contribute 'negatively' to my application?

No. Nobody cares.

Hullas wrote:
I understand 700+ should be a good score to apply but do you think consulting advantage could help if I miss out by 10-20 points? In mocks am hitting 680, 690 already

Absolutely not. If you are applying to top US or European schools, they don't care 2 hoots about your corporate/consulting experience. They should - a PhD in Management (esp OB), by definition, should value your experience. Sadly, most academics don't.

Hullas wrote:
I was working in the organization practice particularly around culture and change management for our clients. It involved survey setups, data collection and analysis and finally workshops etc. to implement change

It's better than nothing, but not necessarily hugely overlapping with academic research.

Hullas wrote:
I have published one paper

That could be your ticket, esp. if you published in a peer-reviewed journal.
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New post 08 Jul 2019, 21:58
corpguy!

Thank you so much for your advice here! Current challenge is a good GMAT score :)
I am also applying to UNSW Australia since they are pursuing a lot of research, I am interested in
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New post 08 Jul 2019, 22:24
Hullas wrote:
corpguy!

Thank you so much for your advice here! Current challenge is a good GMAT score :)
I am also applying to UNSW Australia since they are pursuing a lot of research, I am interested in


Yes - that should be the approach. Find an overlap with your research interest.
Sydney is a great city, btw. It helps.
All the best.
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New post 06 Oct 2019, 05:19
Hello Folks

Thanks for your advice earlier, I have applied to a few PhD programs. The outcome is due for UNSW application this week and I find my research application to have overlaps with faculty interests.
For the rest of the applications, GMAT is a requirement and that is where I need your help. Score of 650 came as a bit of shocker to me since my last 3 mocks were 740, 690, and 710 (all new mocks) and I never scored below 48 in any mock ever. However, my official score was 46 only :(

I am not sure, if I apply to INSEAD and HEC-P with this score or should I consider another attempt. My profile is as below -

Background-

I am a McKinsey consultant by profession based out of New Delhi India. I was working in the organization practice particularly around culture and change management for our clients. It involved survey setups, data collection and analysis and finally workshops etc. to implement change
I completed my MBA in Human Resources, about 2 years back from Symbiosis University, wherein I was a University Gold Medalist with a GPA of 8.9/10 (4.0/4.0). Currently, I have left my job as I wanted more time to prep for PhD applications and consulting left me crunched for time. My motivation to pursue PhD stems from the interest in research areas and creation of further knowledge. I have well experienced the delivery side of frameworks and theories
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Re: Targeting INSEAD and other top PhD programs  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Oct 2019, 03:01
Hullas wrote:
Hello Folks

Thanks for your advice earlier, I have applied to a few PhD programs. The outcome is due for UNSW application this week and I find my research application to have overlaps with faculty interests.
For the rest of the applications, GMAT is a requirement and that is where I need your help. Score of 650 came as a bit of shocker to me since my last 3 mocks were 740, 690, and 710 (all new mocks) and I never scored below 48 in any mock ever. However, my official score was 46 only :(

I am not sure, if I apply to INSEAD and HEC-P with this score or should I consider another attempt. My profile is as below -

Background-

I am a McKinsey consultant by profession based out of New Delhi India. I was working in the organization practice particularly around culture and change management for our clients. It involved survey setups, data collection and analysis and finally workshops etc. to implement change
I completed my MBA in Human Resources, about 2 years back from Symbiosis University, wherein I was a University Gold Medalist with a GPA of 8.9/10 (4.0/4.0). Currently, I have left my job as I wanted more time to prep for PhD applications and consulting left me crunched for time. My motivation to pursue PhD stems from the interest in research areas and creation of further knowledge. I have well experienced the delivery side of frameworks and theories


I guess, 650 may be acceptable in UNSW but not in INSEAD.
I know 4 people who made it to INSEAD PhD program (another one WL), and all had 700+
Having said that, the requirement for HR may be a bit relaxed. I think you have time to retake GMAT.
Also, try to get in touch with someone in INSEAD and get their perspective.
All the best!
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New post 12 Oct 2019, 12:36
Hullas wrote:
Score of 650 came as a bit of shocker to me since my last 3 mocks were 740, 690, and 710 (all new mocks) and I never scored below 48 in any mock ever. However, my official score was 46 only :(


I certainly would retake. It's not impossible to be accepted by a good school with 650, but certainly you will be much weaker than a lot of applicants in that regard.

I always say that scores from mock tests are not to be trusted. Even the score I got from an official mock test one day before the actual test was way off the mark. No mock test was a good predictor for me, and I did take many of them.
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New post 12 Oct 2019, 22:56
rudraphd I agree with you and hence contacted one of the students for advice and she was of the same opinion as you BrazilianPhD. 650 makes it tougher to be screened than 700+ of even 680/690. She said 80%ile checks that box.

Thank you both for your guidance

So I am taking another shot at it but if mocks don't give me a good picture, how will I even know about my performance?
Then everything is test and day dependent :(

I am sort of lost , so as to how to focus on my quant to reach that Q50 - In 50% of the mocks I was hitting that score
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New post 12 Oct 2019, 23:39
Well, I'm not sure whether my experience will be useful or not, since it was a long-term strategy and you don't have that much time left if you're going to apply soon.

I took an official test about 1 year before applications, with little preparation. I didn't expect a good score, but at least I'd know how far I was from my goal. I had taken a couple of mock tests before that, I guess, and the results looked weird to me.

Instead of focusing on the score I was getting from mock tests that seemed unreliable, I focused on how much I was improving. I had a spreadsheet showing the percentage of questions that I was getting right, for each category (easy, medium, hard). So, I was able to track my improvement in each category over time.

After about 8 months, it was clear to me that I was getting a much higher percentage of questions right. I also knew my strengths and weaknesses. And I had a much better strategy for the exam, something that I didn't have before.

So, I didn't know what score to expect, but at least I knew it should be much better than my previous official score. I saw that I wasn't making dumb mistakes with easy questions, and that I had a pretty good performance with medium questions. For the hard questions, I knew the types of questions that required a long time for me to solve, that I should be very careful about, that I should just skip because I usually spent too much time on them and still got the wrong answer, or that I had a good chance of getting right.

If you kept track of your performance over time like me, you can use that to see when you achieve much better results and feel when you are ready for another attempt. You should also be able to focus on what needs to be improved, and not waste time with things in which you are already good enough. What topics, what levels of difficulty you should pay more attention to. But if you didn't keep any records like that, then maybe it is too late to start now.
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