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Advice needed! THank you!!

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Advice needed! THank you!! [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2013, 18:20
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I just took the GMAT and I'm wondering if I should even bother applying to b-school, or if I should just apply to a few MHA (masters in health admin) programs... I would appreciate any advice you can give!

Here is my profile:
-Asian
-Female
-GPA: 2.9
-University: Ivy League, class of 2010, biology/public health major
I don't have any grade patterns. I was just a terrible student.. I was too involved with extracurricular clubs, greek life, and working several part-time jobs. I was first generation to go to college. I have a few relevant health and non-profit experiences that led me to my first job.

- Job: Consulting (vault ranked top 3 technical consulting) since oct2010 (33 months WO)
I worked as an analyst and was promoted twice in 2 years to project manager. I managed a small team, and a quarter-million dollar budget. I worked with clients from a government health agency to look into affordable care act regulations around health exchange set up and insurance laws. I also worked on a health IT project doing software maintenance and business requirements collection. On the side, I do some cost analyses on Medicare data, write proposals, manage a small team of interns. I also volunteer with the firm for the wounded warrior project, special olympics, and I'm on the outreach committee for a resource development group (approximately 200 employees) to help people who are new to the firm find what they need.

Recs: I should be able to secure 3 fairly decent rec letters from my supervisors from work.

On the side, I do pro-bono consulting for local nonprofits for over a year now. These non-profits include a strategic development for a local mental health service facility, and board development for a local chapter of a national home-building non-profit. I also tried to start up a non-profit of my own but failed miserably.. might speak to that?

GMAT: took it twice. 610 in may, 690 in june (41Q, 43V, 5.5AWA)

I really wanted to do MBA with a focus on health management, or social enterprise, but I wonder if it's even worth a shot. I am completely done with the GMAT and don't want to take it again, because I'm awful at standardized tests and have been studying too long.. too depressing..

My target schools WERE Haas, Yale, Anderson, and Kellogg but at this point, I'm thinking of only trying for Anderson, but that might be too much of a stretch. I could emphasize some quant and leadership experience from work.

I would appreciate any advice, and I can definitely provide follow up information. Thank you!!
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Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 37
Concentration: Technology, Entrepreneurship
Schools: Haas '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.5
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Re: Advice needed! THank you!! [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2013, 09:01
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I can’t speak for the other schools but I don’t think you should give up on Haas. Don’t let the GPA and GMAT averages scare you away - check out this year’s Haas thread (http://gmatclub.com/forum/haas-uc-berkeley-2013-calling-all-applicants-134947.html) and you’ll notice that a GMAT Clubber was admitted with a 2.9 / 680. Otherwise your profile and background match up well with Haas’s culture, especially considering the school’s strength in non-profit and health management and its MBA/MPH program. As applicants we put a lot of weight on stats because they're the most tangible things we can track in this process, but you're not defined by your GPA and GMAT.

Pro-bono consulting and starting a non-profit (despite failure) are excellent application/essay points (a well-written essay about your failed non-profit experience could hit all four of Haas’s defining principles: beyond yourself, student always, question the status quo, and confidence without attitude). You’ll need to convince the adcom in your essays and recommendations that everything you bring to the table as a student and alum is more than enough to offset the numbers (I’m sure there are admissions consultants on this board that would be eager to work with you to help craft your story – might be worth it).

From what I’ve read schools also like first-generation college students and I think that alone can wash away a bit of the below average GPA stigma. Wrap that into a good optional essay explaining your college experience (you prioritized extracurriculars, had to work to get through school, came out of the experience having learned X, Y, and Z, etc.) and I think you have a shot. Don’t apologize or make excuses, but explain your situation in a positive light. If you’re going to be applying with a 2.9, as an Ivy League science major is probably the best way to do it.

Anyway, just my two cents. Good luck!
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Re: Advice needed! THank you!! [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2013, 09:19
Mrbucket, thank you so so much for sharing that- could definitely use a little bit of hope in this process.
I will definitely reconsider Haas, as that is my dream school.
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Re: Advice needed! THank you!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2013, 04:45
JJ2014, really wish we could agree with what mrbucket said but unfortunately we just can't. :-( Haas cares about grades A LOT and you don't sound like you have a very good story about it. Your GMAT quant is also much too low for any of these schools to be comfortable with.

We worked with a woman a bunch of years ago with a 660 GMAT and a 3.1 GPA who applied to all the schools on your list and didn't make it in anywhere. You might think it was the GMAT total but actually it was everything - her quant was much higher than yours (47) but the grades? All she could say was she did too many extracurrics in college. And it's true, she had a gazillion things she'd done, but she just never focused on her classes. She got interviewed at Booth but that was it.

The following year she tried again - she retook the GMAT and got it up to 690, and she took some classes to help boost her academic record. That time she made it in - but not easily - she was interviewed at more places (she also tried in Round 1 that year) but waitlisted all over before finally getting an offer after practically begging the adcom.

Haas in particularly cares about quant A LOT - they have a separate optional essay about it - we just don't see them overlooking your current stats. Sorry to be so negative! We STRONGLY suggest that you do more work on your profile before submitting any apps anywhere. You will only go through frustration and heartache if you don't.

We have a bunch of posts on the EssaySnark blahg that may help:

Low GPA + lots of leadership in undergrad = optional essay?
Low GPA? Want to really convince the adcom you’re serious?
What's a low GMAT?

And all that being said: Your background DOES have some strong points too - but from what we see so far they will not be enough to offset these negatives. :-( Do a little work to shore up these issues and you will likely see success!!

Keep us posted and please feel free to ask any questions, we'd love to help.

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Joined: 09 Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Economics
GMAT 1: 710 Q44 V44
GMAT 2: 740 Q48 V44
GPA: 3.1
WE: Sales (Mutual Funds and Brokerage)
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Re: Advice needed! THank you!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2013, 16:33
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Haas and Anderson care a lot more about GPA than some similarly ranked schools. Not quite sure why... perhaps it's because they're based inside of public schools and their primary feeder schools are also public so there's grade inflation? Anyways, if you look at the 90% range for Haas and Anderson, you're well outside of it...

YOu should really look into Duke's program - you'd be a really good fit there.
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Re: Advice needed! THank you!! [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2013, 07:50
As people have noted above me, Hasss is known for putting great emphasis on the GPA, so I think you will have a hard time there but other than Hasss I really think you have a great shot at schools from top 15 to top 25 which still are great schools! Don't be discouraged so easily! Best of luck!

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Status: Yale! (whipped and bound)
Joined: 02 May 2012
Posts: 404
Location: United States (CA)
Concentration: Nonprofit
GMAT 1: 730 Q48 V42
GPA: 3.41
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Re: Advice needed! THank you!! [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2013, 11:59
dave785 wrote:
Haas and Anderson care a lot more about GPA than some similarly ranked schools. Not quite sure why... perhaps it's because they're based inside of public schools and their primary feeder schools are also public so there's grade inflation? Anyways, if you look at the 90% range for Haas and Anderson, you're well outside of it...

YOu should really look into Duke's program - you'd be a really good fit there.


I totally second this. You sound like a great fit for Duke, which has a strong healthcare management focus or dual degree option. You stand a good chance, especially if you apply EA!
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Re: Advice needed! THank you!!   [#permalink] 13 Jul 2013, 11:59
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