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30-year old Elec Engineer, 710 GMAT, 2.9-3.0 GPA

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30-year old Elec Engineer, 710 GMAT, 2.9-3.0 GPA [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2011, 18:29
I just finished my first GMAT this morning, and got an unofficial score of 710 (48Q, 40V). The following is a synopsis of my qualifications:
- low GPA from BSc degree from Queen's University (Kingston, Canada)
- electrical engineer with 4 years of full time post graduation experience, with reputable major consulting engineering companies
- have managed at most 4 people at one time
- extra curricular involvements: local Professional Engineers of Ontario chapter positions (a few years ago), raising a toddler

I'm about to embark on the application process, mostly eyeing Business schools in Canada (particularly close to Toronto) due to family commitment, U of T, York, Western Ontario, Ryerson, McMaster.

My questions are:
- with such a low GPA, I was really hoping to get a higher GMAT score to compensate. Should I retake the GMAT? Timing is really tight for September admission now, can I get away with not retaking the GMAT?
- What can I do about the application essays to try to explain/draw attention away from the low GPA? Mention that courses were really tough? That I didn't enjoy many of them?

Please help! Thanks!
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Re: 30-year old Elec Engineer, 710 GMAT, 2.9-3.0 GPA [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2011, 19:00
First, what was your GPA? The specific number will help. A 710 is not a bad score, but it depends how low your GPA was. Also at this point you want to ensure you focus on the essays, because if you only raise the GMAT by 20-30 points, you may be better off putting together solid essays.

The only way to explain a GPA is if there was an extenuating circumstance, family, personal problem, or something else important. You cannot just say that you did not enjoy courses, that will only hurt you.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you are looking for professional essay help to put together a solid application. Good luck!

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Re: 30-year old Elec Engineer, 710 GMAT, 2.9-3.0 GPA [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2011, 09:42
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Hi Jliu,

Thanks for posting. With regards to retaking the GMAT, a 710 is a strong score. I would be very realistic about how much higher of a score you could attain. To answer your question about your low GPA, there are ways to address this issue.

I'll use an example of a client we had to illustrate this. This example is also relevant to you. We had a client who had a strong application, however he had a below average GPA that could have derailed his entire application.

For out strategy, we decided that ultimately this client’s story was a personal one that chronicled how he developed and pursued an intense interest in martial arts. That interest actually took him away from school for two semesters and became a distraction that contributed to a very low GPA. But it also helped him develop certain characteristics and unique abilities that strengthened his character, and made him a much stronger leader and team player. In his essays he discussed his renewed commitment to academics and explained how he had developed qualities that would enable him to excel in business school and in the business world.

As a result, he was admitted to Columbia and Chicago. For your application, look for reasons why your GPA was low and how you can develop a story around these points.

I hope this was of help. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions.

Best,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: 30-year old Elec Engineer, 710 GMAT, 2.9-3.0 GPA [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2011, 17:49
710 is not a weak score. How low is your GPA? It might get mitigated to some extent considering the level of difficulty of your undergraduate course, which I believe is BSc in engineering(?).

Other weak area is your extracurricular - Just affiliation with a professional organization will not be counted as extracurricular if you are not actively involved in organizing activities (for e.g. in leadership roles). (Moreover, the affiliation also seem to be few years back). Ditto with raising a kid. Not an extracurricular.

Last edited by bizschoolprep on 19 Feb 2011, 20:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 30-year old Elec Engineer, 710 GMAT, 2.9-3.0 GPA [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2011, 15:32
Hi Jliu. Thank you for sharing a great question.

If you are looking for application strategies for drawing attention away from your GPA (and perhaps putting more emphasis on other areas: for example, your community leadership profile), you should consider our professional group, USA Leadership Corps (www usaLeadershipCorps org) .

USALC partners with pre-MBAs who are looking to build their consulting, entrepreneurship, and/or community-involvement resumes by leading part-time volunteer nonprofit strategy consulting projects. Please visit our website to learn more.

Thank you again & good luck with your applications.

Maxwell Roper
Outreach Director
USA Leadership Corps
Re: 30-year old Elec Engineer, 710 GMAT, 2.9-3.0 GPA   [#permalink] 17 Feb 2011, 15:32
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