Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Interested in business school PhD programs?


Interested in business school PhD programs? I sat with a leading business school prof and asked him for his thoughts (listed some notes from the conversation below).

For some context, this professor finished his PhD about 5 years ago, and is about 3-4 years from reaching tenure in an institution that is research-focused.

Ultimately, he recommends the PhD route if you like long hours of analyzing data, re-writing papers, research, and occasional teaching.

For most professions, staying in industry is probably more lucrative. In terms of specific Business PhD programs, the demand characteristics of accounting PhDs in the job market alone requires exploring the program.

Phd offers a choice to make a difference (e.g. there are opportunities such as starting a business program overseas).
Teaching is mostly good.

You need to think about the PhD in terms of a 15 year investment, 6 years getting a PhD, 9 years getting tenure.

Professor is working 6 days a week.  Lifestyle is tough, you are spending a majority of the time performing analysis, rewriting papers. Typically, business school professors don't have to worry about raising money/funding.

A professor's life is a bit entrepreneurial, you have a lot of independence, and you are responsible for your success. Top 5 business prof salary is about 160k, accounting is about 200k. In academics,  you are making 60% of what you will make in industry, these industries (business, computer science, medicine) income is mark to market.

If you don't have accounting or finance work experience, think about starting some research or accounting work. As an alternative to business PhD programs, consider data science jobs at LinkedIn, Facebook, Google.

One cautionary thought:
What will be the state of business school in 20 years? What will happen to mid-tier universities with the advent of virtual academic institutions such as Khan Academy or Coursea?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Questions to ask when drafting a project (using Mircrosoft Project as your project management tool)


Are you thinking about planning a project using Microsoft Project? I listed some notes on what information to gather in preparation to developing your Project Plan.

Determine your final deliverable and/or list of deliverables
. The gathering requirements phase will be very important to planning and ultimately executing your project/goal.

  1. What are your project’s work breakdown structures (i.e. tasks/work that need to be completed)?
  2. Have you determined summary headers (group headers of logically related tasks (WBS))
  3. What are the milestones (key events of a project such as a beginning or completion of a deliverable)
  4. Who or what will be working or are needed to complete the project (Resources)?
  5. What is our project’s availability (Calendars for the project/resource or task; need to know when the tasks, resources, projects are available)
  6. Are there any deadlines?
  7. How much time will each task take?
  8. How are tasks dependent on each other (finish to start, start to start, start to finish); Per UMT workbook, generally, all tasks and milestones must have at least one predecessor and one successor
  9. What are the fixed and variable costs of your resources? What is your project's budget?
  10. How will you categorize your task types (fixed duration, fixed units, fixed work)?
  11. Should you add contingency tasks to the plan?