I have a unique story and I'm curious as to what you think my chances of getting into a top mba or msf program are.
I started in Civil Engineering and was doing ok for the first year and a half (3.2-3.3 ish). Then, everything went wrong. During my 2nd semester of my sophomore year, I ended up getting around a 1 GPA.
Here are the things I believe contributed to my poor performance:
- Engineering was not where I wanted to be
- I moved in to an apartment with people I ended up seriously disliking
- My girlfriend of three years broke up with me
- A combination of these things created mental health issues (depression/anxiety)
- I was young and very stupid
I ended up leaving that institution and getting an associates in business at a community college (3.75 GPA). Using that, I transfered into accounting at a 3rd tier institution. Here's the stat's that I now have:
- 3.77 GPA (the school I go to doesn't consider the GPA from any prior universities once you start)
- Will soon be an elected board member of Beta Alpha Psi, accounting honors society
- Member of the Financial Management Association
- Got 2nd place in an "Ethics Case Competition" which involved giving presentation on hypothetical scenario in front of 30+ people with 12+ teams to compete with
- Will be doing a busy season internship with a mid-sized public accounting firm (school works around internship so i'll still graduate at the same time May 2014)
- Trying to get some practical work experience this summer (summer 2013)
I chose to go into accounting as opposed to finance because opportunities are way better in accounting from a 3rd tier than in finance. All of the Big 4 recruit at my school and I'm pretty confident that I can get an internship with one of them especially once I have experience from a mid-tier first. I don't mind accounting and I'm sure I could have a successful big 4 career if it came to that but my real interest lies in finance. Given this, I have a few questions for you:
(1) How much do you think my experience in engineering will hurt my chances of getting into a good msf or mba program even after a strong undergraduate performance at my second 4-year institution and solid work experience at a big 4?
(2) Would it be worth pursuing a msf at a lesser university if I didn't get in to a top school?
(3) What would you suggest I do to help my chances?Additional Information
I'm a completely different person from who I was when I was in engineering. I'm most likely going to pull a 4.0 this semester, I'm good at interviews, I'm a good test taker and I'm pretty confident that I will get a pretty good GMAT. I've been trying to join as many clubs and organizations as I can to beef up my resume and open myself up for opportunities for leadership positions.
Hi FinAccAchiever. Sounds like you're being proactive about making up for your earlier poor performance which is great. Knowing that you eventually want to get an MBA or an MSF means you can make choices now that will help your chances down the road. I'm no expert, but I don't think you need to worry too much. At least for MBA, I don't know anything about MSF programs. It sounds like your academic performance since your engineering days has been great. I also think that strong work experience can really help make up for a poor GPA. So I would definitely focus on getting the best job possible that fits with your career goals. In my experience, I think having big name companies on my resume definitely helped me overcome my sub-standard GPA. I also would work for a few years and make sure to take the initiative to be a leader whenever possible (since you'll be entry level, obviously you won't be managing people, but there are other ways you can show leadership at your job that you will be able to reference in your essays/interviews when you apply). Also, be sure to get involved in something outside of work (as you mentioned you're trying to do), having consistent involvements outside of work can only help you. When the time comes to apply you may want to explain what happened with engineering in your optional essay, but I don't think you need to go overboard with excuses. Oh, and rock the GMAT if possible.
As someone who stressed about her GPA for years (only after school of course, ha!), just want to let you know that there are definitely ways to overcome a low GPA. Sounds like you're already doing a lot of them. Good luck!