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Is there any hope for me? Want to get into an Elite B-School

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Is there any hope for me? Want to get into an Elite B-School [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2012, 17:58
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My undergraduate grades were tough...2.64 GPA.

I know I have placed myself in a huge hole, but I did go to an top liberal arts school and as of now I have good internship/professional experience so a good career is not of the question for me.

-Also, it is definitely an excuse because the main reason for my bad gpa is my personal decisions to focus on partying and at times ignore academics but I was a very successful Division 1 athlete. I was consistently nominated to All-Conference honors and nominated for Most Outstanding Athlete at my school. Do you think the admissions board may see this as a reason for my low GPA (that I could explain in an essay)? I was also consistently nominated Team Captain and voted Team MVP. I know it may be a long shot but will this help at all as an excuse?
-Also I would really hate to use it, but I had a couple of friends pass away while in college and it did put in my the dumps for significant time periods, affecting my grades. I probably wouldn't ever try to profit off of something like that though and would really like to avoid saying that.

I majored in International Affairs and therefore have a strong interest in International Business, etc.

Here is my game plan, please let me know if this could work and I could get into the elite business schools:

(1) Develop a unique and strong work experience
-Through connections I MAY have the opportunity to travel to India with a company and spend significant time there working (possibly up to 2 years). If I can pull this off, I feel that many would not be able to say the same...Would this help?
-Also excel in any position I have (I am confident I can I just need to assert my competitive energy in another direction)
-I just graduated from college by as of now I am working in a Senator's office in DC...once this opportunity is over I hope to work for a US-foreign nation (will take any) Business Council in DC

(2) Score well on the GMAT
-If I score strikingly well on the GMAT, I know obviously it would help, but by how much...Also, how well would I have to do?
-I know I have the capability to do well, it will just take hard work and determination

(3)Get MA in something to show that I am capable of strong academics
-I was thinking maybe getting an MA in International Economics or something similar...hopefully perform extremely well to prove I can compete in a rigorous academic environment.
-Is this a good plan? Does it matter where I get the MA from?

I am willing to take many years to accomplish this goal, but if I accomplish all the steps I just listed, Do I have a shot of overcoming my miserable undergrad GPA and get accepted into an Elite B-School.

I want to go to one of the best schools for International Business...Columbia, Duke, Michigan, Dartmouth, UPenn, London Business School

I can handle the honest truth, so lay it on me

Is there a chance....What else can I do
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Re: Is there any hope for me? Want to get into an Elite B-School [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2012, 11:35
There's always a chance. A low GPA doesn't have to be a deal breaker. A lot of how your application is viewed will turn on your resume and GMAT score. Having a few successful years at blue chip employer goes a long way. Also doing well on the GMAT (especially the Quant portion) will help mitigate the low GPA. You want to shoot for a 720+. As for the MA, I wouldn't do it unless that's a degree you really want. Taking college level quantitative classes to create an alternative transcript is less expensive and time consuming and also serves the purpose of showing you can handle the coursework of an MBA program. 2-4 classes in stats, econ, calc, etc (and getting A's) is enough to serve as your mea culpa for not doing well in undergrad. Also remember that schools will cut you a bit (not complete) of slack on the GPA since you were a D1 athlete. The combination of the high GMAT score, alternative transcript, and optional essay explaining the circumstances of your GPA (without making excuses...you have to totally own it) will help your case. I'm not saying it'll get you into every school you apply to, but it should get you into at least one (and all you really need is one). The biggest thing you can do right now is to focus on building your career and leadership experiences (both at work and in the community). Pursue the things you love and you will find that when the time comes for you to apply you will have plenty of material to create a compelling application.
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Schools: Duke (Fuqua) - Class of 2012
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Re: Is there any hope for me? Want to get into an Elite B-School [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2012, 06:07
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A low GPA will not preclude you from an elite b-school; however, it will make things a bit more difficult. You can offset that by having a stellar GMAT score, something north of 700. Not sure if you had any quant classes while getting your BA, but having a strong quant score would help. You captaining your D1 team is a good story to tell. I wouldn’t get jobs or degrees just to impress the AdCom. If you don’t love it, you may not do well on the job. At the end of the day, it’s your record on your job that counts.
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Re: Is there any hope for me? Want to get into an Elite B-School [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2012, 08:00
There always is a chance and you seem to be pretty well aware of what are your weaknesses and can you tackle them; work hard and you will find out 8-)
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Re: Is there any hope for me? Want to get into an Elite B-School   [#permalink] 04 Jun 2012, 08:00
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