Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I have already submitted my application to this school one month ago and have no idea about why he replied to me at this time, three months after my email to him, especially as the only possitive word in his email is "encourage". Does it mean that he is interested in me? I am also curious about why he kept my email for three months. This professor is the one I would like to work under most during my PhD study, but the average GMAT at this school is a bit higher than my score. Since I emailed him and got no reply in Oct., I had already put this school on my "waiting list" as I had no clue about my chance of getting in. All of a sudden, I got his email today, making me nervous again. If this school admits me, I will no doubt take this offer and give up on the others. Am I wondering too much?
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
This time measurement strategy could, I believe, be applied to applications to schools. The trick is trying to get the faculty's interests and its willings to spend time with me. I have been trying to make contacts with the faculty and asking for a campus visit as possible as I can. Besides, I always left a room for further discussion in the future as communicating with the faculty. If a professor spends, in total, more than two hours exchanging tens of emails with me, the case is rare, I guess, and my chance of getting admitted is high. If a professor is willing to talk with me via phone for more than half an hour, the chance is higher. If a professor would like to spend half a day meeting with me on campus, the chance is sky-high.
The time measurement is a prevailing approach in the real business world. Since the professors I would like to work with are all with B-schools, they should know this approach. Thus, the feedbacks that I have from them at present should be a positive sign.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
出来年纪都一把了，还能干嘛呢？况且，也不见得四年就能毕业，即使毕业了，也未必能找得到教职。不过，若是这样想，就什么事也都不必做了。毕竟，这么多年的工作经验下来，entrepreneurship research是我真正感兴趣的东西。有passion是很重要的，至少我还知道自己的passion是什么。回想刚出社会时，原本有个领股票领到饱的工作机会，但却为了自己的兴趣进了某大计算机公司，后来又为了自己的兴趣离开前途似锦的职位，花了$$$$去美国念硕士，谁知念完碰到Internet bubble，在美国找不到工作，只好回国创业。这一创就创了五年，钱是没赚到几个，但却跑了不少国家，见了不少人。若是待在那家领股票领到饱的公司，现在应该快退休了吧？后悔吗？好像不会？
对我来说，人生好像不是只有赚钱而已。财聚人散、财散人聚。钱只要够用就好，如果能够做我喜欢的研究、在我感到舒适的环境、有充分的自由、可以去全世界各地参加seminar，同时交交异国的朋友，或许在不同的城市各待上几年，作作visitng/guest scholar，和喜欢的人在一起；也许我可以出一本书，像Good to Great一样畅销，让我的爸爸妈妈感到骄傲，人生如此，也就够了吧。
Monday, December 18, 2006
這教授的學識素養以及專長研究似乎就是我要找的，但他卻打算在2009年退休。他的學生T 今天回信告訴我，我可能會面臨在 PhD 第三年及第四年需要找其他的 professors 來 guide 我，但問題是這學校其他的教授對entrepreneurship沒有太大的興趣。T 告訴我市場上很缺PhD-trained instructors in entrepreneurship，是件好事也是壞事。好事在於PhD 畢業後應該很搶手，壞事在於很難找到老師敎你...It's a dilemma.
想太多了，先拿到 admission 再說吧。
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Second, if you don't get a professor's reply, this implies that he might not be interested in you or too busy to emailing you, or that he is not willing to open a dialogue to you before he begins to review your application. It is no harm as long as you keep your first email short, concise, and polite. You can still apply to this school, but it's difficult to predict your chance of getting in.
Third, you should have a better understanding of the professors' current research from their replies and thus be able to rule out some whose field of interest does not interest you. This could narrow down your "shopping list" and help you find accurate matches. Sometimes a professor will send you his recent research papers. This is a good sign. If you are interested in his research, you could easily find out some research questions in the papers he sends you. If you can not find any questions in his papers, then he may not be the one you would like to work under for four or more years.
I emailed 13 professors in different schools in North America and Europe and got 10 replies. From my experiences, the chance that the schools with higher ranking will reply is lower. It, however, really depends on each professor, the school policy, and your "touting strategy", I think. I once got an email back from a nice professor at MIT but no reply from a professor at the school out of top 100. So, this really depends.
From the "touting process", I narrowed down my "shopping list" to 9 schools in North America. 7 of them replied to me (I dicided not to apply to MIT). From their replies I selected 4 from the 7 schools as my "high priority", which doesn't mean that I want to get in them most but just means that they are highly interested in me. I exchanged many emails with the professors in thses schools to talk about my research interest. I think I am on their candidate list already.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
刚刚和研究生院的staff online chat聊完，他告诉我只要不是从学校里直接毕业的外国学生都需要托福（比MIT还囉嗦，MIT说如果有faculty对你有兴趣，则可以讨论免掉T）。不过他说T可以在deadline后补交，又说除了T外只要我的材料齐了会直接送到department去审，有可能在make decision之前要我的T。言下之意似乎是T的问题要找department去谈了，不知会不会像MIT一样只要有教授愿意收你，就可以免了？
反正既然打算明年二月去一趟学校拜访，就到时候再问问 Professor C吧。现在问似乎不大好，他可能会叫我去考T。问题是最近ETS的T网有问题，无法网上报名，又听说三月前的位都满了，要考也得等到四月了。明年二月问问Professor C，如果他愿意收我，我就去考T，若是他对我没兴趣，就别花$$了，毕竟我申请的学校当中，只有这所特别难搞。
我想如果我是professor，又看到你花了$$大老远跑来美国找我谈，你的credential也不错，research interest又match，也有个英语系国家的Master’s degree，我应该会收你吧？要是我对你没兴趣，就不会让你大老远花$$飞一趟了。剩下就是TOEFL的问题，如果我是professor，真要想收你了，大不了让你去补个T，应该没事。如果真不巧，因为T而把我拒了的话，那就是天意吧，就不去这所学校了，我应该还有别的学校可去。Wish me a luck.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
我的個性是很屬於很 paranoid 的那種，雖然已經預訂了明年初去兩所學校 interview, 該做的準備也都做了，申請文件也都寄了，理論上我想應該不會連一所學校的 admission 都拿不到，但是我還是忍不住東想西想，想著萬一最壞的情況發生了怎辦？真的一所學校都不要我的話，該怎辦？再重新申請？我沒法開口跟那位幫我寫推薦信的美國指導教授說請他再幫我寫一次。況且，即使他願意，我也沒把握今年申請不到明年就一定申請得到。把GMAT考到750嗎？我也沒把握考到750就一定進得了。所以，要是真一所學校都進不了，我打算明年就申請MBA吧，我想以我的背景申請MBA，進MIT或Stanford應不是問題，進去之後唸個一年拿 straight A's 再轉PhD，這樣總進得了了吧？想起李安在拿到奧斯卡獎後接受媒體採訪說的一句話: If there is a wish, there is a way.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
She would like to know my schedule to arrange a meeting with the professor, the current PhD students, and the Director of the PhD program. I am not nervous of meeting the professor, but am hesitated to meet the Director. I guess it's because I have plenty to discuss with the professor, but less to say when meeting with the Director. Since I have submitted all of my application materials, I have plenty of time to prepare the interview. I suppose that some of the interview questions be like:
1. Why Ph.D.
2. Why this school
3. Why this professor/research team
4. What motivates my desire to pursue a Ph.D./Why leave my current company
5. What's my career goal
6. My research interest
7. Asking about the papers I read
8. Asking about my work experience/current company
9. Asking about my research assistant experience
10. Asking about the courses in which I got B's at the graduate school
11. My questions regarding the program and the school
12. How will I cope with the inevitable setbacks during my research?
13. How do I cope with pressure and deadlines?
My questions to ask:
2. Working/studying hours
3. The progress of the current research project the professor is working on
4. Questions I encountered when reading the professor's papers
5. What motivates the professor to pursue research in this field of interest?
6. How many applications the program received this year?
7. How many applicants will you accept this year?
8. Do you think if I have a good chance to join your research team?
Thing to do before the interview:
1. Refresh my memory about the results and further research of papers I have read
2. Refresh the research questions I have taken notes.
Things to avoid during the interview:
1. Dismissive attitude
2. Arrogant attitude
3. Convoluted story of why persuing a PhD (just tell a concised, sweet, and emotional version.
Things to do after the interview:
1. Thank You letter
Any others? I am still thinking...
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
申请PhD像是在求职，像是Trump的 The Apprentice 里的应征者一样，要杀出重重关卡才能得到mentor的青睐。申请MBA是拿着钱去买商品，申请PhD是拿着你的履历去找老板，本质上不同，申请策略也必定不同。
想想自己在过往应征新人的时候，最看重应征者的哪些特质？嗯，passion、fit、personality，都对。Skills? Well, maybe. 所以mentors也在看这些吧。这样看来，或许我被录取的机率蛮大的，因为我想念的专业应该不会有太多的人申请，在不会有太多竞争者的情况之下，我有很强烈的动机与兴趣，只要mentors们不是太看重量化成绩，应该没问题。Well, we will see very soon.
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