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Atypical applicant. Advice welcomed

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Joined: 11 Dec 2011
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Atypical applicant. Advice welcomed [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2012, 14:38
I hope this message finds you well. I was just wondering if you could do a quick assessment of my potential candidacy for a top US MBA program. Specifically, I am targeting HBS and Booth. Please find a quick summary of my story below.

I am a 27 y/o Canadian male. My cumulative GPA is dismal (approx 2.0), but in my last 10 credits I have a GPA of approx 3.7 from a top two university in Canada. The reason for the huge discrepency between my grades is that my mom developed a life-threatening illness while I was in the beginning stages of undergrad (thankfully she is ok). At that time, however, I became the sole income in my household and foolishly tried to balance working a menial full-time job and school. Needless to say, school suffered badly. During this time, I was actually inspired to start my own company. After gaining some market traction, I successfully applied for a government-sponsored entrepreneurial loan in order to expand our operations. At the time, I was the youngest person in Canada to ever receive government-funding in excess of $100k for a new venture. We used that money to open an office in Asia, as well as start a second, complimentary venture. At this time, I truly grew up and decided to put my education on hold (because I was going to be the first person to graduate university in my family, I think that I put unnecessary pressure on myself to stay enrolled throughout our family's ordeal). After a couple of years of strong growth, we ended up selling both companies to investors.

After the sale of both companies in December of 2009, I took a few months off to travel and re-enrolled in school to complete my undergrad. In March of 2010 I became restless as I waited for school to start, and I decided to apply for a consulting job for the summer. I knew that their application periods were done, but I felt that it was worth sending out a few emails. I ended up receiving a 6-week offer from one of the top 2 managament consultancies, and then through my performance, I was extended an additional 14 weeks and offered a full-time position. As it stands, I am the only off-cycle intern ever brought in by this firm in North America, and I was offered the job after only the first interview. Given that I have a humanities background, I decided to forego the offer of employment and pursue my MBA instead.

Aside from my formal work experience, I have also been one of the founders in a non-profit, and I currently manage a network of 7 homework clubs for students in high-risk areas of my city.

Essentially, I am curious about your opinions on my background, and whether my CGPA will preclude me from admission into a top MBA program. I am currently studying for my GMAT, and I have been consistently scoring in the 760-770 range. My college registrar already knows my situation, and has offered to write a letter on my behalf justifying my previous grades.

Thank you for your time.

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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 4541
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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Re: Atypical applicant. Advice welcomed [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2012, 15:55
Expert's post
You my friend, are gonna do just fine!
One of the most gripping "why my grades are low" stories I've EVER read... and I've read LOTS.

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado | Packages | School Guides | Team

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Atypical applicant. Advice welcomed

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