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I am considering applying for MBA programs this year. Specifically, I am interested in the hospitality industry and wish to open a restaurant or food service business one day. I have a strong background in the culinary arts as I am currently a working chef in Ithaca, NY. Due to my location and the school's reputation, the MMH (Master of Management in Hospitality) program at Cornell University is of particular interest to me. While I realize that a MBA or MMH degree is not necessary to open a restaurant, I feel strongly that a background in finance, business models, management, etc. will give me a strong advantage over others pursuing the same purpose and allow me more success in the industry.
The problem I am facing is a low undergraduate GPA. While in college I lacked focus and unfortunately was inconsistent at best when it came to academics. Although my GPA in my major (sociology) was decent, at about a 3.5, my overall GPA was an extremely low 2.7. I am afraid that this alone will disqualify me from any decent MBA programs, let alone the MMH program at Cornell.
Despite this, however, after college I immediately attended culinary school and graduated with a 4.0. I realized this was the career path I wanted to follow before attending and dedicated myself to a perfect GPA while working at a restaurant at the same time. I also feel that I can score extremely well on the GMAT exam as I have proven myself to be a great standardized test taker in the past. (I received a 1500 on my SAT and received a national merit scholarship on my PSAT.) I have not yet taken the GMAT but I have scheduled a test date of June 1st.
At 25, I have several years of work experience under my belt with the most recent two+ years being in the restaurant industry. Additionally, I secured recommendations from chefs at my culinary school and have a boss today who would be glad to write me one as well.
Is there any possibility that I could gain admission to an MBA program or will the mistakes of my undergraduate years ruin my chances?