I applied this year to HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg and Columbia. I got interviews from Stanford and Wharton (and obviously Kellogg) but unfortunately no admits. I feel I still have a strong profile. I graduated in 2005 and I am 25 and a CPA and CFE (certified fraud examiner) who works for a Big 4 accounting firm doing fraud investigations. My ECs are good and I have good leadership in and out of the work place. My GMAT was 710 (Q - 48 (84%) V - 41 (92%)). However the huge black eye on my app was my UG GPA. I majored in accounting and I have a 3.1 cumulative GPA. In addition to the low GPA I got a C in calculus my freshman year.
I want to apply R1 next year as a re-app to Stanford and Wharton bc I feel like I was close this year. I will add some other schools that may be more realistic for me.
My question is what classes should I take? Obviously I will take a calc class, but what else? How many classes should I take? I have heard of people using the alt transcript to prove their quant abilities, but can it also be used to make a 3.1 UG GPA more competitive? In addition to calc should I take stats (got a B in college) and/or maybe a soft class like Org Behavior (got C+ in college)?
The only C's that I got in business related classes are in calculus and Organizational Behavior. I got a B in Stats. I am definitely going to take a Calculus class. For my second class I can't seem to chose between OB and Stats. I have always heard that it is best to take Quant based classes when going for the alt transcript, but then I also am looking to make up for poor undergrads and my generally low UG GPA (3.1). So part of me says take Stats because it is quant based and a more traditional biz class (however I got a B in college). However, another part of me says to just try to make up for my C+ in Org Behavior and retake that class (however it doesn't seem to be a really important or necessary biz class). Also the class that I have found most like OB thru Berkeley Extension is called Organization and Management, do you think that adcoms will see that I am trying to make up my OB grade with that class?
I am really torn here. Should I try to take all 3? The OB class at Berkeley Extension is only 2 units (normal classes are 4). So it may be possible to do all 3 over the summer.
If I can't take all 3, which 2 would be the best to take in order to improve my academic background and application as a whole?
Does it matter where I take the classes? I am located in the SF Bay Area, and trying to see what will work with my schedule. I can take online classes through local community colleges or try for the UC Berkeley Extension program. I obviously know that Berkeley Extension is a better name, but does community college vs. Berkeley extension matter to the b schools?
I feel like I was really close this year and need to address this glaring issue, any advice would be appreciated.
If you can, take both OB (or the equivalent) and the stats class. If you have to choose, choose stats or the one you are most likely to get an A in. Frankly, if you haven't had econ, I would take econ perhaps before the OB class.
Regarding the community college vs extension, you want to go with the option that is most likely to earn you a meaningful A. If the commuting to Berkeley will make it harder for you to attend and affect your ability to excel, then go with the local community college. However, I would take online course in your case. Your purpose is to show that you know how to excel in an academic setting, not via online independent study.
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog