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Intern
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Joined: 12 Oct 2013
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Concentration: Economics, International Business
WE: General Management (Aerospace and Defense)
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Evaluate Profile [#permalink] New post 13 Oct 2013, 14:29
Due to my low undergraduate GPA I'm wondering about the quality of B-school I can get into.

1) Full-time work experience
US Army - Captain - Battery Commander (current job)
• Performed exceptionally well in positions of leadership, training management, and operational planning.
• 1 year of project management experience in Iraq where I was responsible for project nomination and management of $15 million in reconstruction projects (ranging from building elementary schools to courthouses).
• 9 months Network Manager Experience

National Life Group (Sentinel Funds)
• Investment Representative Intern- 1 year of experience managing customer accounts.

2) GMAT Score
• 710

3) College info:
• Norwich University, VT
• Bachelor of Science, Major in Computer Information Systems (Emphasis in Information Security)
• 2.1 GPA – Experienced a lot of anxiety over a future career in the military. During my time in school a friend and mentor was killed, and two of my friends became amputees.
• ROTC Cadet, Varsity Lacrosse player, and member of Association of Computing Machinery.

4) Extra-curriculars
• Big Brother Big Sisters - 1 year

5) Certifications
• Network+

6)Languages
• Fluent in Spanish
• Non fluent speaking knowledge of Arabic

7)Letters of Recommendation
• 1 Army General
• 1 US State Department Consulate General

8) Target Programs
Looking for best program I can get into, but I'm wondering if any of these schools will take me with my GPA.
• Most preferred: Booth, Columbia, Kellogg, Johnson, Wharton
• Preferred: Darden, McDonough, Boston University, Carroll, George Mason
• Least Preferred: Pamplin, University of Vermont, Howard University, Fox
• Safety: Norwich University

9) Post-MBA goal
• Project Management, IT Consultancy, Government Contracting.
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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 12 Oct 2013
Posts: 5
Concentration: Economics, International Business
WE: General Management (Aerospace and Defense)
Followers: 0

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

Re: Evaluate Profile [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2013, 15:44
Have I set my goals too high?
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Re: Evaluate Profile [#permalink] New post 16 Oct 2013, 15:54
Expert's post
Hi there mate,

Thanks for providing so much information - it's definitely helpful! Let's see if we can't get you some answers to your questions.

Firstly, no, you are absolutely not aiming too high. But we'll get into that a little bit later. Let's talk about the various components of your profile first.

GMAT: Great - nothing to worry about here!

Academics: Ok, so this is a definite speedbump / low brick wall. Key word is "low". Part of it can be explained by your extracurriculars. Between ROTC and Lacrosse, I'm sure you had your plate full and adcoms understand the burden this places on folks. However, you also went through some significant distress which can be impactful in laying out cause and effect but within reason. I'm not going to lie to you - your GPA is pretty bad but it's the only part of your application that is a source of concern for me and in that is its saving grace.

Professional Experience: As a battery officer, you clearly have some fantastic leadership opportunities to pull from. You have a deployment along with some impactful projects that you managed. And you're a captain! That's all great stuff.

Recommendations: Um, you're set. That's a pretty strong pair of recs!

Extracurriculars: These are a little light post graduation BUT it makes perfect sense - you're in the army. You don't have the same opportunities other applicants do. However, you're still involved and being a part of the Boys and Girls club is a nice thing that rounds you out.

So back to schools, you've listed some great programs and then some that raise my eyebrows. Some of your "preferred" and all of your "safety", in my opinion, are too low. You should be a little more ambitious. On the flip side, Wharton is going to be a tough nut to crack. Also, with your career goals, some make more sense for some than others. For example, IT consultancy is at most programs but government consulting is a little harder to find.

To kick it back to you for a moment - what do you REALLY want to do after you graduate? What's your #1 choice? There's no right answer but I'm not asking you what you think is most realistic, but what your dream is. The rest will fall into place around that.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Bhavik
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Intern
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Concentration: Economics, International Business
WE: General Management (Aerospace and Defense)
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Re: Evaluate Profile [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2014, 02:22
I was recently given the opportunity to pursue a undergraduate in Financial Economics for near free, I wonder if strong grades in this program would help out my cause of going to a top ranked MBA program.
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Re: Evaluate Profile [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2014, 06:17
Expert's post
mbailey2 wrote:
I was recently given the opportunity to pursue a undergraduate in Financial Economics for near free, I wonder if strong grades in this program would help out my cause of going to a top ranked MBA program.


Army captains with 710 GMAT's get into Columbia all the time, not with 2.1 GPA's though. Create an alternative transcript, and you have a decent shot. A 2.1 is going to be hard to overcome regardless though.
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Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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Re: Evaluate Profile [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2014, 03:53
Expert's post
mbailey2 wrote:
Due to my low undergraduate GPA I'm wondering about the quality of B-school I can get into.

1) Full-time work experience
US Army - Captain - Battery Commander (current job)
• Performed exceptionally well in positions of leadership, training management, and operational planning.
• 1 year of project management experience in Iraq where I was responsible for project nomination and management of $15 million in reconstruction projects (ranging from building elementary schools to courthouses).
• 9 months Network Manager Experience

National Life Group (Sentinel Funds)
• Investment Representative Intern- 1 year of experience managing customer accounts.

2) GMAT Score
• 710

3) College info:
• Norwich University, VT
• Bachelor of Science, Major in Computer Information Systems (Emphasis in Information Security)
• 2.1 GPA – Experienced a lot of anxiety over a future career in the military. During my time in school a friend and mentor was killed, and two of my friends became amputees.
• ROTC Cadet, Varsity Lacrosse player, and member of Association of Computing Machinery.

4) Extra-curriculars
• Big Brother Big Sisters - 1 year

5) Certifications
• Network+

6)Languages
• Fluent in Spanish
• Non fluent speaking knowledge of Arabic

7)Letters of Recommendation
• 1 Army General
• 1 US State Department Consulate General

8) Target Programs
Looking for best program I can get into, but I'm wondering if any of these schools will take me with my GPA.
• Most preferred: Booth, Columbia, Kellogg, Johnson, Wharton
• Preferred: Darden, McDonough, Boston University, Carroll, George Mason
• Least Preferred: Pamplin, University of Vermont, Howard University, Fox
• Safety: Norwich University

9) Post-MBA goal
• Project Management, IT Consultancy, Government Contracting.


Leaving aside that one massive blemish on your application, you have a pretty great profile. The problem is what to do with that blemish. I think an "alternative transcript" can help, but only a wee bit. Honestly, if you are going to get into the schools you listed with such a massively low GPA it is gonna be the STORY you tell that will get you in. Why did you mess up so royally? What were the causes of this awful GPA? What have you learned since then? How can you PROVE that a) you have changed and b) you are academically capable. A deep, insightful, introspective essay is worth a LOT in cases like yours where really your base profile is quite nice, but there's just one major sucky thing inside. :) I'd also say, that if you are aiming high, plan to apply to more schools. Most people will apply to 4-5. Plan on applying to 7-8 instead just to cover yourself. And have a plan B. I think ultimately you might be able to do as well as you hope if you have totally awesome essays and recs.

Hope this helps,
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Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado.com

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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 12 Oct 2013
Posts: 5
Concentration: Economics, International Business
WE: General Management (Aerospace and Defense)
Followers: 0

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

Re: Evaluate Profile [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2014, 18:24
JonAdmissionado wrote:
mbailey2 wrote:
Due to my low undergraduate GPA I'm wondering about the quality of B-school I can get into.

1) Full-time work experience
US Army - Captain - Battery Commander (current job)
• Performed exceptionally well in positions of leadership, training management, and operational planning.
• 1 year of project management experience in Iraq where I was responsible for project nomination and management of $15 million in reconstruction projects (ranging from building elementary schools to courthouses).
• 9 months Network Manager Experience

National Life Group (Sentinel Funds)
• Investment Representative Intern- 1 year of experience managing customer accounts.

2) GMAT Score
• 710

3) College info:
• Norwich University, VT
• Bachelor of Science, Major in Computer Information Systems (Emphasis in Information Security)
• 2.1 GPA – Experienced a lot of anxiety over a future career in the military. During my time in school a friend and mentor was killed, and two of my friends became amputees.
• ROTC Cadet, Varsity Lacrosse player, and member of Association of Computing Machinery.

4) Extra-curriculars
• Big Brother Big Sisters - 1 year

5) Certifications
• Network+

6)Languages
• Fluent in Spanish
• Non fluent speaking knowledge of Arabic

7)Letters of Recommendation
• 1 Army General
• 1 US State Department Consulate General

8) Target Programs
Looking for best program I can get into, but I'm wondering if any of these schools will take me with my GPA.
• Most preferred: Booth, Columbia, Kellogg, Johnson, Wharton
• Preferred: Darden, McDonough, Boston University, Carroll, George Mason
• Least Preferred: Pamplin, University of Vermont, Howard University, Fox
• Safety: Norwich University

9) Post-MBA goal
• Project Management, IT Consultancy, Government Contracting.


Leaving aside that one massive blemish on your application, you have a pretty great profile. The problem is what to do with that blemish. I think an "alternative transcript" can help, but only a wee bit. Honestly, if you are going to get into the schools you listed with such a massively low GPA it is gonna be the STORY you tell that will get you in. Why did you mess up so royally? What were the causes of this awful GPA? What have you learned since then? How can you PROVE that a) you have changed and b) you are academically capable. A deep, insightful, introspective essay is worth a LOT in cases like yours where really your base profile is quite nice, but there's just one major sucky thing inside. :) I'd also say, that if you are aiming high, plan to apply to more schools. Most people will apply to 4-5. Plan on applying to 7-8 instead just to cover yourself. And have a plan B. I think ultimately you might be able to do as well as you hope if you have totally awesome essays and recs.

Hope this helps,


I've been wondering whether its worth even a small financial commitment to pursue a second undergraduate degree. If it won't strengthen my profile I may opt to save my time and money.
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Re: Evaluate Profile [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2014, 08:16
Expert's post
Hey mbailey2,

I think building an alternative transcript is definitely something you should consider doing. Even if you go through and say, "Look, here's why I screwed up, and here's what I've learned from it", that won't change the 2.1. An alternative transcript will help. Because taking a few alternate classes (especially ones that set you up for an MBA) will say, "Look, here's why I screwed up, here's what I learned from it, and here's what I've done to try to fix it." That's a stronger sentence.

Bhavik
_________________

Bhavik
Managing Partner

Critical Square | MBA Admissions Services

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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 3157
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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Re: Evaluate Profile [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2014, 00:21
Expert's post
Pursuing a second UG degree seems a bit extreme, and not very efficient. Better to just own up to the past in an essay.
_________________

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Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado.com

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Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Posts: 726
Location: Chicago, IL
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Kudos [?]: 108 [0], given: 0

Re: Evaluate Profile [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2014, 06:38
Expert's post
I just realized I wasn't clear on that point - yes - I agree with Jon. An alternative transcript doesn't equal a second degree!

Bhavik
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Bhavik
Managing Partner

Critical Square | MBA Admissions Services

Web | Blog | Free Resources | Facebook | Twitter

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Re: Evaluate Profile   [#permalink] 31 Mar 2014, 06:38
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