Positive thinker wrote:
My parents are immigrants from Croatia and im the only person to go to College in my family here in the U.S. My first language is Croatian and my second is English. Im learning a few other languages.
3.38 B+ Cumulative GPA
3.44 B+ GPA (Finance - Major)
3.93 A GPA Economics
Graduated this past December 2005 and my last semester GPA was a 3.82 - A. Took 2 Finance classes, 2 Management classes, 1 Theology classes requirement graduate.
Honors: Deans list 2004 & 2005
Participated in an Honors Finance class called Student Managed Investment Fund managing the University's portfolio of $1.5 Million Dollars. Worked on projects such as Bell South and Microsoft. Took the class twice.
Math classes while at college was Pre-Calculus, Calculus and Linear Programing. My grades in these classes were B, A, A- my average GPA was a 3.56. I took five total Economics classes four of them being in the Business school where my GPA for Economics was a 3.93.
For five summers I worked overseas in Croatia for a freight forwarding firm managing corporate accounts and holding meetings with other firms and local business to support Croatia's economic growth and development for the European Union. Currently i work in a law firm in New York City. Worked at the same firm in 2004 and now work full time.
One letter of recommnedation i got from the University's assistant who is a very prominant figure with the University and who has pull. The other professor is a well regarded faculty member who mentioned my leadership skills and my work etthic. Both recommneders noted my excellent academic skills and GPA's and recommended me for the program. I have good relations with them and one of the deans for the graduate school.
GMATS...never was a good standardized test taker. Im preparing to go for my third attempt. My school wants a score of 400 or more. My question can some one offer me guidance on a excellent Prep Course for example i have heard from a few sources TestPrep NY is really good. My other question would be how to mitigate a low GMAT score in the optional essay which my school says its for extenuating circumstances. Using the information I have provided can someone offer me some good advice on what i can use to develop a great optional essay.
My school of choice:
St. John's University
You have a distinctive background, so if you can get a decent GMAT score you should be in good shape. I have no personal knowledge of TestPrep NY, but certainly Kaplan
and Princeton Review have reputations for boosting applicants' GMAT scores. In terms of mitigating the low GMAT
, you can argue that you are not a strong standardized test taker. To do this, however, you will need to refer to some other standardized tests besides the GMAT (SAT or GRE, for example), and show that even though you did poorly on that test your grades that year were high. This evidence can support your case.
Another factor is where your GMAT scores were weak. If it's your verbal score that's dragging you down, then, to some extent, schools will cut you some slack since English is your second language. If your quant score is dragging you down, then you have a problem, and I'm not sure how much the optional essay will help you. However, you could talk about high grades in quant classes, the amount of quant work you do in your job, and any extenuating circumstances that affected your GMAT scores (i.e., factors outside your control the day of the test--though usually these explanations sound uncompelling). Also, you could perhaps take a course or two in some pre-MBA quant courses (and get A's). You can also make sure your recommenders emphasize your quant skills in their letters.
Hope this helps,
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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