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Profile Evaluation - Bio major, tragic GPA

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Current Student
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Joined: 18 Nov 2011
Posts: 153
Schools: Johnson '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 730 Q47 V44
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 50 [0], given: 21

Profile Evaluation - Bio major, tragic GPA [#permalink] New post 04 May 2012, 12:55
8-)

Last edited by EmBeeAy23 on 15 Feb 2013, 13:54, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Bio major, tragic GPA [#permalink] New post 08 May 2012, 21:31
Hello,

I am sorry for delay in reply

Your GMAT and low GPA - Your gmat is competitive for the schools listed, but I would suggest that if you think you can retake gmat and can improve your quant and overall GMAT by 30 points, retake it , else do not retake it. Personally I would suggest you that there is some time for you to apply these schools, and you can increase your score to offset your low GPA.

Leadership experience - Leadership at work is something that every b-school appreciates the most, but do not worry , you can highlight your leadership skills at EC (these skills should ideally be concrete, not for the sake of mention). since you have some time left till you apply, take initiative at work place (if possible) and build some leadership experience stories.

Can you share your ECs.

thanks
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Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 18 Nov 2011
Posts: 153
Schools: Johnson '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 730 Q47 V44
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 50 [0], given: 21

Re: Profile Evaluation - Bio major, tragic GPA [#permalink] New post 21 May 2012, 06:17
8-)

Last edited by EmBeeAy23 on 26 Feb 2013, 15:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 82
Detail: MBA admissions help
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 2000
GMAT 1: Q V
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 16 [1] , given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation - Bio major, tragic GPA [#permalink] New post 21 May 2012, 10:10
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Hey OjilEye,
I went to Kellogg and was on the adcom while I was there. When I look at your profile, I actually don't think the GPA is going to be your biggest concern. Sure, it could def be better, but I think Kellogg is the only top program that gives people with a low GPA a bit of a break (myself, i had a sub-3.0 GPA too). You took a tough major, and there's a recognition of that. I don't know where you went to school, but if it's a top tier univ. that helps your case too.

The GMAT score is good, but the quant part of it is a concern. Overall, my read on this data is that you're someone who might not be rock solid in the quant part of your background, but i don't think you'd be an academic risk and present challenges to your profs.

My bigger concern is that your career trajectory is (as you put it) in a support function, rather than a decision-making / business judgment function. You've got all the right companies listed out, but your role within them won't be directly relevant to classroom discussions, case study reviews, etc. For that reason, my suggestion would be to address the GPA lightly in your essays, and hammer hard the "WHYs" on going to Kellogg (or any other program). Be very specific about why you want to go, and be clear about how the degree will help to accomplish this. And importantly, cite specific examples of how when you set your mind to something, you're the kind of person who can make it happen. There were candds like you admitted every year, but they were very clear on goals (I work at McK in research..they love me and want me to come back as an associate, blah blah blah...). To me, this is a better use of your time than the hours you'd spend to improve your GMAT quant score. Believe me. If Kellogg wants you, you'll get a spot, and they have ways to accelerate your quant learning.

Hope this info helps,
-james
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Joined: 18 Nov 2011
Posts: 153
Schools: Johnson '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 730 Q47 V44
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 50 [0], given: 21

Re: Profile Evaluation - Bio major, tragic GPA [#permalink] New post 21 May 2012, 10:29
Thanks for your feedback James!! I ultimately decided to forgo the 2nd attempt at the GMAT and have, since the date of the first post, registered for a Data Analytics Marketing summer course at an accredited university. I have also communicated across my plans to my managers at work who are supportive of my plans, and I have recently identified an opportunity to make a very constructive and meaningful impact at work. The opportunity, similar to your suggestion, utilizes more of a decision-making functionality as opposed to a reactionary-based judgment.

Again, thanks for your feedback and I am in full agreement: it's not worth spending an additional 30-50 hours on a chance (not a guarantee) to bump up a 730 GMAT score, as opposed to using it to apply myself at work and in other areas. I'll need to really focus, dig deep, and brainstorm for my WHY's and specific examples in essays in order to give myself the best chance.

Last edited by EmBeeAy23 on 20 Feb 2013, 15:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Location: United States
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
WE: Sales (Consumer Products)
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Bio major, tragic GPA [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2012, 21:03
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Your target list becomes realistic/unrealistic based on your execution.
1. Do not retake the GMAT. A 730 is a great score and your quant is not that low. Contrary to popular opinion a nosebleed GMAT does NOT offset a low GPA. It definitely helps your case, but GPA and GMAT are not interchangeable. Getting a 760+ on the GMAT likely will not get you the ROI you're looking for. The best way to "offset" a low GPA is by creating an alternate transcript. Take 1-2 classes in econ, stats, accounting, etc. at a reputable online school (Harvard Extension, Berkeley Extension, NYU School of Continuing Education, etc) or at a local college. What this does is show schools that you recognize your GPA is a weakness and that you're addressing any concerns it might raise. Plus it's your penance for not doing well in undergrad and show of good faith that you will put forth the effort to do well in grad school. Don't OD on taking classes (no more than three, with 1-2 likely being sufficient). Also write the optional essay. Acknowledge your GPA, take responsibility for it, and then explain any mitigating circumstances. Keep it brief.

2. As you probably already know front office roles go further in bschool applications than back office. However, that is not to say that you can't get into a top program from a support role. I notice that you were placed on very high profile accounts. Use this to your advantage. Have your recommenders speak to the fact that when it comes to projects for their most important clients you're the person they want on the team. That will say a lot about you. The promotion helps your case too. Your resume needs to focus not on your tech skills but on your ability to manage clients, influence people, and achieve quantifiable results.

3. I think the biggest hurdle for you will be to tie your background to your career goals. It's perfectly okay to talk about switching careers (I did it in my essays). However, you need to explicitly tie your background to your desired future. Did you do any IT work for a marketing firm or in a CPG or apparel company's marketing dept? You are going to have to explain why you want to move into marketing/brand management and what applicable skills you have picked up along the way. Look at your ECs as well as WE to find examples of when you did work that's transferable to marketing/brand management.

4. What did you do as the lead coordinator? Did you supervise or manage anyone? Were there opportunities for you to directly lead a team (even on a temporary basis)? Don't simply think of leadership in terms of a title. Leadership is about influence and impact. Can you get people to follow your lead to eventually deliver tangible results? You don't need a title to do that. Tutoring at the charter school and coaching the basketball team can also yield some decent leadership stories for your app.

Overall, a lot will depend on how you execute your application. I do think Kellogg and Columbia would reach schools for your profile, but I don't think it's impossible either. I would add Johnson and Ross to your list of schools to research. Both have slightly higher admit rates and place very well in brand management roles at major companies. They'd be good alternatives to Kellogg if you don't get in.

Hahaha, just read the above exchange between you and Young James. I pretty much just regurgitated his advice. If I added any other insight, then I hope it helps.
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Current Student
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Joined: 18 Nov 2011
Posts: 153
Schools: Johnson '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 730 Q47 V44
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 50 [0], given: 21

Re: Profile Evaluation - Bio major, tragic GPA [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2012, 09:54
Thanks for your feedback cheetarah !! definitely not a repeat of Young James' advice.

I'm 95% certain a GMAT re-take isn't in my sights, especially considering I did better on my actual exam than I had done on my practice exams (though perhaps more of a sign of me not taking the practice exams seriously and failing to properly mimic a test-day environment). I'm not too satisfied with my quant score, but overall pretty pleased with my total score. More importantly, I studied a lot to get to this score, and to invest an additional 30-50 hours on a retake is time that could be better spent honing my essays. The opportunity cost at a chance (not a guarantee) to score 10-20 points higher just isn't worth it.

I am taking a summer course in a statistics class so I'm actually already on my way to executing the advice you laid out. As much as I'd love to tack on a 2nd course, I'm afraid I wouldn't have the time working full-time and all. I'll definitely take your suggestions and advice to heart as I tackle the optional essay.
Re: Profile Evaluation - Bio major, tragic GPA   [#permalink] 13 Jun 2012, 09:54
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