Friday, 10 December 2010

'tis the season ... for peddling PhDs

What does faculty do all day? I know it's a question many students wonder about. In addition to running ITFD, the department made me placement officer for the graduating PhD students. This means three things - organizing trial job talks and mock interviews, answering emails of the kind "who are you top candidates in IO and micro? which Canadians from your department (...) should we hire independent of field?", as well as sending unsolicited emails to all and sundry telling them how great our graduates are. This, plus a few dozen small administrative things, like making sure that the website for the jobmarket candidates looks ok.

After all this activity, we are now anxiously waiting for the results... this is how parents must feel when the report card arrives. We have 8 PhD candidates on the market. Combined, they have 43 interviews at this stage, or more than 5 each. Quite a few places still have to decide, others will have a second round of decisions, so I am hopeful that this will be a pretty good year. As always, the response is uneven. [update - the final number in late December was 101 interviews for 8, or more than 12 per head] Finance candidates are doing particularly well, with 15 and 10 interviews for two candidates, plus one early flyout. I am reasonably pleased with the quality of places calling, too -- the top always matters more than the average in this game - and this year our candidates already got calls from Berkeley, Northwestern, Harvard Business, Stanford GSB, UCSD, Bocconi, Warwick, Carlos III, CEMFI plus assorted central banks. Fingers crossed for this year's PhDs!

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