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Can a GMAT outweigh a bad GPA

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Can a GMAT outweigh a bad GPA [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2005, 15:05
Linda

I would like to gain acceptance to a top program like Sloan or HBS but my undergrad GPA is a glaring weakness.

Age: 30, US citizen, caucasian
Graduated: Feb 1999
Undergrad Major: Biochemistry
GPA: Around 3.0 (I won't lie its ugly w/ a lot of Cs)

GMAT: 730 (48Q, 42V)

Work experience: I have worked on the bench doing drug discovery for 5 years. I have my name on 8 patent applications, a few publications and some of my direct discoveries are now in clinical trials. A year and half ago I transferred down to the business group and I now do product development, competative market analysis, etc.

Extras: For the past three years I have been on the Board of Directors of an inner city youth mentoring organization. We have tripled membership, held large corporate fund raisers, and even recieved a large grant from Harvards HARBUS foundation.

In college I was a resident advisor, and before my current youth work I voluteered for another inner city youth mentoring program sponsoered by Burton Snowboards.

My age is a little high because I performed the international baccalaureate degree at a boarding school in Austria.

Reason for an MBA: I feel that in order to sucessfully develop a winning strategy at a pharmaceutical company you need an intimate understanding of drug discovery and the entire process involved with bringing an experimental drug to the market. An MBA will allow me to gain the leadership skills to transistion my laboratory experience into a senior managment position at a startup biotech and help transform the company into a pharmaceutical success story. I want to continue working at small start-up stage biotechs since so many of them are founded on new and innovative science, but most importantly they have that entrapreneural spirit that is so full of hope and excitement. My ultimate goal is to secure a senior position at a venture capital firm that specializes in biotech seed money. From this position I could leverage all my experience from the laboratory bench and business development to foster the development of several companies at a time. I would love to be in the position to evaluate emerging techonologies and really be responsible for letting them grow and prosper.


My reccomendations are very solid all from current or previous direct supervisors. I also have many project examples within my work etc.

Can I overcome the bad GPA with good essays? Should I address it right away with Harvards "What about your undergrad experience" question? Does the GMAT score outweigh the GPA since I am so far out of school?

Thanks for any insight you might be able to offer.

Brendan.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2005, 16:03
IMO you are extremely competitive...just articulate why you are different from others...bring out the "wow" in you...you should do just fine..
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Re: Can a GMAT outweigh a bad GPA [#permalink] New post 20 Oct 2005, 15:36
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bsmith75 wrote:
Linda

I would like to gain acceptance to a top program like Sloan or HBS but my undergrad GPA is a glaring weakness.

Age: 30, US citizen, caucasian
Graduated: Feb 1999
Undergrad Major: Biochemistry
GPA: Around 3.0 (I won't lie its ugly w/ a lot of Cs)

GMAT: 730 (48Q, 42V)

Work experience: I have worked on the bench doing drug discovery for 5 years. I have my name on 8 patent applications, a few publications and some of my direct discoveries are now in clinical trials. A year and half ago I transferred down to the business group and I now do product development, competative market analysis, etc.

Extras: For the past three years I have been on the Board of Directors of an inner city youth mentoring organization. We have tripled membership, held large corporate fund raisers, and even recieved a large grant from Harvards HARBUS foundation.

In college I was a resident advisor, and before my current youth work I voluteered for another inner city youth mentoring program sponsoered by Burton Snowboards.

My age is a little high because I performed the international baccalaureate degree at a boarding school in Austria.

Reason for an MBA: I feel that in order to sucessfully develop a winning strategy at a pharmaceutical company you need an intimate understanding of drug discovery and the entire process involved with bringing an experimental drug to the market. An MBA will allow me to gain the leadership skills to transistion my laboratory experience into a senior managment position at a startup biotech and help transform the company into a pharmaceutical success story. I want to continue working at small start-up stage biotechs since so many of them are founded on new and innovative science, but most importantly they have that entrapreneural spirit that is so full of hope and excitement. My ultimate goal is to secure a senior position at a venture capital firm that specializes in biotech seed money. From this position I could leverage all my experience from the laboratory bench and business development to foster the development of several companies at a time. I would love to be in the position to evaluate emerging techonologies and really be responsible for letting them grow and prosper.


My reccomendations are very solid all from current or previous direct supervisors. I also have many project examples within my work etc.

Can I overcome the bad GPA with good essays? Should I address it right away with Harvards "What about your undergrad experience" question? Does the GMAT score outweigh the GPA since I am so far out of school?

Thanks for any insight you might be able to offer.

Brendan.


Brendan,

I would say you are a long shot at HBS, but you do have a shot at MIT and other top programs. The other poster is right that you profile is very impressive. Were there extenuating circumtances that contributed to the low GPA?

YOu MAY ALSO be interested in "MBA Admissions: Low GPA /GMAT".

Good luck!
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Thanks Linda [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2005, 06:04
I wish there were extenuating circumstances Linda. I could dig for excuses but they would sound hollow. It was really a result of the complete lack of foresight on my part. I had no long term vision of what my career was going to be and was too focused on simply graduating and then starting work. I consider it one of the most important life lessons I could ever learn. I hope to communicate this through my essays. I look at my transscripts and them make me physically sick, such a wasted opportunity.

Its my hope that my GMATs and project experience will really reinforce this. The new attitude of putting all I've got into projects b/c it is a representation of who I am and I never want to look back at something I've done and be dissapointed. I've taken two graduate level business courses in the past year ond gotten A- and B+ to further drive the point home.

I am meeting with my reccomenders very soon, how should they figure in to help allviate the strain my GPA puts on the application? Should they even mention it? (ie. "When hiring Brendan his GPA was a concern but he proved us all wrong... etc etc)

Thanks for all your help and advice. It is an immense help.

Brendan.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2005, 13:43
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First of all, I want to keep things in perspective. Your undergrad GPA is a negative, but it isn't an automatic ding. You have a strong GMAT and those two grad courses reflect well on your focus today. Your int'l background and biotech experience are also valued.

IN some essay, whether it's HBS's Essay 1 or an optional I can't tell you with the scant information in this thread, you should frankly say that when you were an undergrad you were not motivated to focus on grades. Today you are. Keep this part short and to-the point. Point to your GMAT, your recent grades, and your career progression as evidence of what you can do when focused and motivated.

In terms of your recommendations, I wouldn't have them also express concern about your GPA. Just have them comment with examples on your commitment to excellence and high quality work, as well as smarts.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2005, 10:53
Thanks Linda. Your input is greatly appreciated.

Brendan.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2005, 22:05
What about the opposite - can a high GPA outweigh an "average" GMAT score?
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2005, 13:32
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ValleyBall1 wrote:
What about the opposite - can a high GPA outweigh an "average" GMAT score?


Depending on how high and low the GPA and GMAT are, to a limited extent yes. Please see "MBA Admissions: Low GMAT/GPA."

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2005, 15:22
Thanks Linda!

GMAT in 2 more weeks!
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2005, 15:13
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ValleyBall1 wrote:
Thanks Linda!

GMAT in 2 more weeks!

You're welcome. Good luck with the GMAT!
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