Thursday, March 12, 2009

A post-3rd-semester recap...

I've just completed my 3rd semester in Dec 2008, and now finishing up with the 4th semester (i.e. 2nd year).

Significant milestones:
1. Cleared my qualifiers in Jan. 4 long exams in a week (Two 12-hour papers, two 4-hour papers, and 1 full day of pre-reading for 1 of the paper.) My initial plan was to start preparing for the qualifiers in Oct. However due to an urgent research project, I could only really do the readings in mid-Dec. I think I read about 120 papers - that's like 3600 pages. I seriously don't know how I did all these readings...

By God's grace, I managed to clear the qualifiers successfully. If I were to do this again (and thankfully I don't have to), I would really try to prepare much earlier. 

2. Submitted a paper to a journal in Jan....
And it just got rejected. We (the other co-authors and I) received a 2-page assessment on a paper that represents 10-months of toil. I always wonder how it would be like to read a rejection letter. Now I know. And I'm beginning to wonder how it would be like to read an acceptance letter.



So basically I'm done with coursework (although I will continue to do more....). And I just have to focus on research and more research. Trying to get a project started for this summer. Hopefully that will work out well.




3 comments:

Alex said...

Thank you very much for maintaining this blog - I learned a lot of relevant information!

I have just gotten accepted to a PhD program in finance at one of the more competitive universities. Currently, I am self-employed and have a lot of free time, but I work in the mortgage industry, so I figured that it might be good to make a change. I haven't taken a math or a statistics class since my bachelor's (8 years ago) degree. I was wondering if you could answer a couple of questions:
(1) Does the program afford a lot of free time (e.g. like a 9-5 job) if one is very organized?
(2) Are most students expected to work or study during the summer or do students essentially have summers off?
(3) In your opinion, would finance professors have equally lucrative job opportunities 5 years from now as they do today? Do you know if a typical finance professor has summers off or does research/works during his or her summers?

Alex said...

Thank you very much for maintaining this blog - I learned a lot of relevant information!

I have just gotten accepted to a PhD program in finance at one of the more competitive universities. Currently, I am self-employed and have a lot of free time, but I work in the mortgage industry, so I figured that it might be good to make a change. I haven't taken a math or a statistics class since my bachelor's (8 years ago) degree. I was wondering if you could answer a couple of questions:
(1) Does the program afford a lot of free time (e.g. like a 9-5 job) if one is very organized?
(2) Are most students expected to work or study during the summer or do students essentially have summers off?
(3) In your opinion, would finance professors have equally lucrative job opportunities 5 years from now as they do today? Do you know if a typical finance professor has summers off or does research/works during his or her summers?

Anonymous said...

(1) If you are organized, you may be able to have a 2 or 3 hours per day of free time. However, for the 1st two years, before your qualifying exams, expect to be stretched to the max with whatever time you have.

(2) It depends. I usually work thru summer (and so do many of my friends). Of course, you may slow down the pace somewhat, and go for trips etc. Even then, we tend to spend some time on our work during the trips.

(3) I can't predict what going to happen in 5 years' time. I know profs who go on vacation during the summer, but I also know those who work during the summer. It really depends on how driven you are, the culture of the university that you are in, and your own personal choice.