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Getting into a good B-School with a fail grade on transcript

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Getting into a good B-School with a fail grade on transcript [#permalink] New post 16 May 2013, 16:59
I'm Asian Female and I have a degree in Business Administration from a good university in the UK. I have a first-class degree, which is equivalent to a GPA of 3.75. However, this is only because in the UK the final year counts for 70 % of my grade, my second year count for 30% of my grade and my first year does not count at all. I didn't really put in much effort in my first year-and-a-half, and my grades were mediocre, including one failure in a quant course. However, my grades rose very steeply in the second half of my degree (inclduing excellent grades on quant courses) and I have a 740 GMAT.

I graduated last year, and plan to apply to B-School in 2 years’ time. I work with my (medium-sized manufacturing) family business in China, and I'm leading several initiatives for re-structuring the company's various processes and have seen significant improvements in different areas of the business, thanks to my effort. My major extracurricular activity is helping empower migrant, female workers in China by teaching them financial literacy and educating them on their rights and career options.

I would like to apply to Wharton, Columbia and Cornell for entepreneurship/ strategic managament, but do I simply not stand a chance at all because of the failed course on my transcript and my working with the family business and not a brand-name company? Is there anything I can do over the next 2 years to improve my chances? Thank you so much for your input.
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Re: Getting into a good B-School with a fail grade on transcript [#permalink] New post 23 May 2013, 17:38
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Firstly, it is unlikely your failing grade in your 1st year of undergrad would have any bearing at all on your admissions decision. Your rising grades and your GMAT score would more than counterbalance this one anomaly. AS for improving your profile, I would try to seek out leadership opportunities, not only at work, but also in your personal life and community. You will actually be at a slight advantage in the process anyway as a Chinese female, since there are far fewer Chinese females applying vs. other Asian females. If you can sell them on how your perspective as a Chinese female offers valuable perspective professionally and personally, you will be set up for success.
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Getting into a good B-School with a fail grade on transcript

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