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Advice Requested - Low GPA, High GMAT, Story

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Author Message
Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 6
Location: United States
WE: Project Management (Computer Software)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

Advice Requested - Low GPA, High GMAT, Story [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2013, 06:36
Hello all,

Longtime reader, first time poster. Like many b-school underdogs, my undergraduate record is less than stellar. The weakest point first: I received a BA in Philosophy from a large, undistinguished state university with a cumulative GPA of 2.7. I floundered around a bit in undergrad, unable to commit to a major. As a result, I received many low grades in introductory courses throughout the early years of college in a variety of fields. While my trajectory was positive in my latter years of undergrad, it was not miraculously so.

The strong points: while I have not yet taken the GMAT, my practice tests are all in the middle 700's, so I expect to score about 720. The reason for my low undergrad grades is this: when the American recession hit in 2008, I was just beginning college. My parents were particularly hard-hit by it, and I was forced to get several jobs (full-time and part-time simultaneously) to support them and myself. Throughout college, I worked 50+ hours/week, pulling graveyard shifts at a hospital and daytime work at an e-learning software company. I was promoted quickly from QA analyst to project manager to production manager, and I now have 10 direct reports. I'm presently 23 years old, 1 year out of college, with 4 years of work experience. I hold the PMP certification from PMI. Finally, I was partially responsible for the acquisition of and am presently personally managing implementation of multimillion dollar pilot project to supply the entire math education curriculum of an African nation (and will be subsequently publishing a whitepaper on this subject).

I realize that my major and GPA are very weak and I lack a history of community service. I hope, however, that my circumstances and work history will make me competitive at a few good schools. My current targets are Goizueta, Georgia Tech, IESE, and Kenan-Flagler. Are these reasonable targets given my stats and story? I can readily assess where I am based on their class profile, what I'm unsure of is the influence that my resume will have.

What other schools am I a candidate for?

All help genuinely appreciated!
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Current Student
Joined: 14 Feb 2013
Posts: 23
GMAT 1: 720 Q46 V42
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 33 [0], given: 6

Re: Advice Requested - Low GPA, High GMAT, Story [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2013, 16:55
As far as the small amount of post-grad work experience and age, your academic stats are realistic at the schools you are targeting. Biggest advice though, take a few postgrad classes and get A's like I did.

If it makes you feel more confident - I am a 720 GMAT with a 2.77 undergrad, accepted at Tepper and Kenan-Flagler.

Go for it man and sell yourself.
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Status: Mock Interviews for Business Schools by Alumni
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 194
Location: United States
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 20 [1] , given: 2

Re: Advice Requested - Low GPA, High GMAT, Story [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2014, 02:20
This post received
You're GPA is definitely on the lower side but that can be compensated by a good GMAT score. Try to aim for more than 725. Even though your experience of 4 years includes both part-time and full-time jobs, what matters is whether you have done quality work in these 4 years. Your promotions at the e-learning software company will definitely help your cause. On top of that, the multi-million dollar project will surely boost your chances at landing in a business schools. You have a very unique story. Make sure you mention it in the essays. If you score more than 720 in GMAT, you can also think of trying for top 5 programs. All that is required is that you create an impressive application. This link can help you in that regard: ... pplication

Try getting your application reviewed by alumni of your target schools before applying

Good Luck!
Current Student
User avatar
Status: Too close for missiles, switching to guns.
Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 788
Location: United States
Schools: Johnson (Cornell) - Class of 2015
WE: Military Officer (Military & Defense)
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 315 [0], given: 175

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Re: Advice Requested - Low GPA, High GMAT, Story [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2014, 08:04
The good news is that it's better to have high GMAT low GPA than the other way around.

However, 3 years of part-time work doesn't equal 3 years of full-time work experience, especially since you're 23. Definitely on the low end of the spectrum. Also, what are your post-career plans? Some employers prefer 3 or more years of (full-time) WE, so just getting into a school may not land you your preferred company.

I would be patient here and try to take on more responsibility at work and get promotions and apply at 25 or so. More impressive WE will help you offset that lower GPA.

Re: Advice Requested - Low GPA, High GMAT, Story   [#permalink] 20 Jan 2014, 08:04
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