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How to explain one extremely bad semester in Essay?

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How to explain one extremely bad semester in Essay? [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2012, 17:22
My undergraduate grades are pretty average (3.25 gpa from top 10 engineering schools in US). But that is not the end of the problem --

During my 5th semester, my aunt fell sick and I went to her residence to help her. I shared a very close relationship with my aunt, and her deteriorating health resulted in me suffering from depression. I even applied to withdraw from that semester, but my University rejected my application. I didn't explain my situation very well to the University as I was myself not fully aware of the severity of my depression. Being an international student, I was far from home and my other family members weren't there to support me. Gradually, my depression worsened and I ended up failing in every single course in that semester.

I knew I had reached rock-bottom, and the only way was up. I regained my focus, and the results were there -- during my final three semesters, my gpa was 3.6 and I was in Dean's List in all of them. After graduation, I have been working for one of the largest tech companies in Asia-Pacific region for more than 2 years, and received two awards for best performing employee in my department. I gave my GMAT recently, and scored 720.

I'm planning to apply to MBA schools, and ridiculously worried about how to deal with that failed semester in my undergrad transcript. I know that I have to address it in my essays. But how should I address it? Can I even think of getting into top MBA schools?
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Re: How to explain one extremely bad semester in Essay? [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2012, 20:13
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ticktok wrote:
My undergraduate grades are pretty average (3.25 gpa from top 10 engineering schools in US). But that is not the end of the problem --

During my 5th semester, my aunt fell sick and I went to her residence to help her. I shared a very close relationship with my aunt, and her deteriorating health resulted in me suffering from depression. I even applied to withdraw from that semester, but my University rejected my application. I didn't explain my situation very well to the University as I was myself not fully aware of the severity of my depression. Being an international student, I was far from home and my other family members weren't there to support me. Gradually, my depression worsened and I ended up failing in every single course in that semester.

I knew I had reached rock-bottom, and the only way was up. I regained my focus, and the results were there -- during my final three semesters, my gpa was 3.6 and I was in Dean's List in all of them. After graduation, I have been working for one of the largest tech companies in Asia-Pacific region for more than 2 years, and received two awards for best performing employee in my department. I gave my GMAT recently, and scored 720.

I'm planning to apply to MBA schools, and ridiculously worried about how to deal with that failed semester in my undergrad transcript. I know that I have to address it in my essays. But how should I address it? Can I even think of getting into top MBA schools?


I think you have to explain it very much as you did above. Then hope they overlook that semester. Clearly it isn't representative of what you're capable of. And also clearly, you have recovered and learned to deal with life's adversities.. Hopefully the schools will see it that way too.

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