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Columbia GSB -- Please Evaluate

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Columbia GSB -- Please Evaluate [#permalink] New post 16 Oct 2005, 20:26
Thanks Linda and Hjort for putting in the time on this forum. Excellent.

I am a 27 year old Computer Engineer at a Fortune 500, and I will have over 4 years of experience by the time I am planning to enroll this Fall of '06.

I read school profiles, fit most, but still don't have a feel for my chances of making one of the Top 5. Appreciate your help.

I graduated from a top 20 engineering school, Texas A&M, with a BS. in Comp.E. in 2001, 3.0 (Major GPA, 2.96 Overall :? )

GMAT 740 (98%)

I've had a full work experience in a truly cross-functional role. Lead responsibility for hardware and software development on over 10 projects from concept to deplyoment, with high visibility into and involvement in Vendor and Technology Selection and Evaluation, Product Marketing decisions, Supply Chain Management, Process Quality Control, and Customer Service and Support decisions.

Worked all through highschool and college, but this has been my only role post-undergrad. I was promoted in a year and faster than all 7 or 8 fresh college grads I started work with. I continue to grow and have proven myself under high pressure several times.

I know I can excel at the coursework, but I'm worried my GPA will hold me back from the top tier, specifically Columbia. I did not enjoy the coursework during undergrad, and did not do as well as I could; part of the reason I want an MBA is to make a move out of engineering. I'm not sure if my GMAT score compensates.

I stay active in sports, have broad interests and hobbies, enjoy the company of people, and am lucky to have many friends, but I've never led a Habitat for Humanity team, saved a tribe in the Amazon, and have yet to climb Everest.

I know I will fit in and succeed. The question is, will they give me the chance?

Thanks again.

Last edited by MBAorBUST on 24 Oct 2005, 11:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Columbia GSB -- Please Evaluate [#permalink] New post 17 Oct 2005, 13:17
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MBAorBUST wrote:
Thanks Linda and Hjort for putting in the time on this forum. Excellent.

I am a 27 year old Computer Engineer at a Fortune 500, and I will have over 4 years of experience by the time I am planning to enroll this Fall of '06.

I read school profiles, fit most, but still don't have a feel for my chances of making one of the Top 5. Appreciate your help.

I graduated from a top 20 engineering school, Texas A&M, with a BS. in Comp.E. in 2001, 3.0 (Major GPA, 2.996 Overall :? )

GMAT 740 (98%)

I've had a full work experience in a truly cross-functional role. Lead responsibility for hardware and software development on over 10 projects from concept to deplyoment, with high visibility into and involvement in Vendor and Technology Selection and Evaluation, Product Marketing decisions, Supply Chain Management, Process Quality Control, and Customer Service and Support decisions.

Worked all through highschool and college, but this has been my only role post-undergrad. I was promoted in a year and faster than all 7 or 8 fresh college grads I started work with. I continue to grow and have proven myself under high pressure several times.

I know I can excel at the coursework, but I'm worried my GPA will hold me back from the top tier, specifically Columbia. I did not enjoy the coursework during undergrad, and did not do as well as I could; part of the reason I want an MBA is to make a move out of engineering. I'm not sure if my GMAT score compensates.

I stay active in sports, have broad interests and hobbies, enjoy the company of people, and am lucky to have many friends, but I've never led a Habitat for Humanity team, saved a tribe in the Amazon, and have yet to climb Everest.

I know I will fit in and succeed. The question is, will they give me the chance?

Thanks again.


Your GMAT partially compensates for your mediocre GPA. To further compensate, take some busienss related courses and earn A's in them. Even if you have to take this classes in winter, take them. If waitlisted, you will hopefully be able to show recent As. If rejected, you will be in a much stronger position to reapply next year.

Will a few recent A's, good essays, interviews, and recs, I do think you will attend a top-ranked MBA program.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Oct 2005, 14:41
Thanks again Linda, much appreciated.

Enrolling in a Business class or two is a great idea, but I'm not sure how this will help my chances for the Columbia R2 deadline on Jan 5th... I can assure the ad committee that after Advanced VLSI Design Concepts, an accounting class, even at the graduate level, is a breeze :-D .

On the application, should I round up the 2.96 to 3.0 or leave as-is? I am worried that the school will reject me off hand because of my GPA. The average applicant to the top tier has an impressive GPA, but I actually had fun in school! I appreciate any pointers on dealing with this effectively in my application.

Extra-Curriculars is another point, and while I can talk to that, I haven't done any community service or held any leaderships roles in oganizations since college, years ago.. Is this is a disqualifier?

I have to say I got somewhat discouraged after reading all the outstanding resumes of recent Columbia, Wharton and other top tier graduates..
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Oct 2005, 15:17
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MBAorBUST wrote:
Thanks again Linda, much appreciated.

Enrolling in a Business class or two is a great idea, but I'm not sure how this will help my chances for the Columbia R2 deadline on Jan 5th... I can assure the ad committee that after Advanced VLSI Design Concepts, an accounting class, even at the graduate level, is a breeze :-D .

On the application, should I round up the 2.96 to 3.0 or leave as-is? I am worried that the school will reject me off hand because of my GPA. The average applicant to the top tier has an impressive GPA, but I actually had fun in school! I appreciate any pointers on dealing with this effectively in my application.

Extra-Curriculars is another point, and while I can talk to that, I haven't done any community service or held any leaderships roles in oganizations since college, years ago.. Is this is a disqualifier?

I have to say I got somewhat discouraged after reading all the outstanding resumes of recent Columbia, Wharton and other top tier graduates..


Given your age, desire to attend a top MBA program, and weaknesses, perhaps it makes sense for you to apply in Fall 2006 for Fall 2007. During the next year you can beef up your GPA and academic profile while also involving yourself in community service. I'm not saying it's impossible for you to get admitted, because you do have a 740 GMAT, but schools like CBS, which get applicants from many gifted Indian applicants may just find someone with a similar background who has a higher GPA and community service as well as a high GMAT. If so, why should they take you? (Lack of community service post-college isn't an automatic ding, but it is a negative. ) When you apply, list your GPA as a 3.0.

If you decide not to wait to apply and do enroll in a class in January, your enrollment will only help you if you are waitlisted or rejected and have to reapply.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2005, 07:27
Thanks for taking the time Linda, much appreciated!
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2005, 13:14
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MBAorBUST wrote:
Thanks for taking the time Linda, much appreciated!

You're most welcome.
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