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Phd in econ/finance profile evaluation

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Hi all,

I am a junior year student thinking about applying for a finance/economics phd program and I need advice on how to improve my profile/what schools to apply for. Here is my background:

 

Undergraduate: Top 10 US Ivy, major in applied math and minor in econoimcs, GPA 3.8

Research interest: macro-finance, behavioral finance, asset pricing

GRE: haven't taken

Math/engineering courses: Linear Algebra, ODE, PDE, dynamical systems, probability/stats, stochastic process, optimization, financial engineering, real analysis, numerical methods

Econ courses: micro/macro, econometrics, financial econ, behavioral finance, game theory, time series. 

Research experience: currently writing a thesis on macro-finance, under the supervision of a young econ professor and an operations research professor. Also doing a project with an adjuct faculty in operation research on data science. Also will do a summer research in finance in a top quantitative hedge fund which is very academic.

Recommendation: one from thesis advisor, an operations research professor slightly related to finance/econ, one from an econ professor who guided my thesis. Potential third one from the adjuct data scientist I worked for but I am concerned with the weights of a LOR from an adjuct faculty. 

 

Here is my concerns: 

1. I am thinking of working 1-2 years in investment industry doing research since it can open my eyes and find more interesting/realistic topics to do research. How hard is it to go back to phd program in finance after working in the industry for a couple of years?

2. None of my professors seems to have a strong influence in finance research. Should I switch to another well known professor but may not know me too well?

3. Any suggestions on the type of schools I should apply for? I am aiming for top 10 financial econ programs, with Booth, NYU stern and Harvard being my top choice. Am I being to ambitious? 

 

Thanks. 

 

 

 

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