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Just graduated with a 2.7 GPA. What now?

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Just graduated with a 2.7 GPA. What now? [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2012, 07:12
Hey guys,

I'm new to the GMAT club forum and I saw a few posts on getting into quality MBA programs with low GPAs.

I studied general business administration at what was ranked as the Top 3 universities in Asia recently. So, it's just general business with no specified major(i.e., finance, accounting, information systems, etc.).

Since I've just graduated it would be great if you guys could give me some guidance on what I should do from now on in order to increase my chances of getting into a quality MBA program. I don't have a solid reason why my grades were this low, mainly because of a lack of motivation towards my studies.

I was quite active in participating in the extra-curricular activities during university and whenever I show recruiters my CV (without showing my grades) they are quite impressed. Nonetheless, without a great GPA many MNCs wouldn't have me regardless of my accolades. Therefore finding a job within a reputable company would be tough. At least that's my perception.

I need some help in planning what I should do in the next 3 years to increase my chances in getting into top tier MBA programs (correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression that Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and other top tier US programs are out of the question. I read a forum of someone with a 1.9 GPA getting into Insead and Oxford university MBA.)

How should i structure my extra-curriculars during this 3 year period? Since I doubt I'd be able to get into MNCs, how should I structure my career to get into better MBA programs? I understand that it should be career specific, I'm interested in getting into management consulting after my MBA cause now it would be tough with my grades.

Thanks in advance
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Re: Just graduated with a 2.7 GPA. What now? [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2012, 07:26
Expert's post
As it stands right now, your GPA is not competitive for any top MBA program. However, you can turn things around especially if you give yourself a few years to address this deficiency. Here are a few steps that I recommend:

(a) you need to continue to take college and graduate level classes; and make sure you excel at them. While admissions looks at your entire academic history, they look (and weigh) your most recent academic experiences the most.
(b) excel at your GMAT - grades and test scores are the two ways that admissions determines your academic abilities and potential so a very high GMAT score is a must for you
(c) do academic or professional research - speak to professors, authors, research analysts, etc. and see if you can perform some research for free. Demonstrating that you can perform sophisticated research from published sources also demonstrates your academic commitment and your true academic abilities.
(d) tutor college students in a subject area you excelled at. This will show that you are unselfish with your knowledge and that others value your knowledge and wisdom
(e) get recommendations today from college professors; specifically those in classes where you excelled. Professors teach hundreds of people a year and in a few years their memory of your work and abilities will be faint. You can usually have these saved at your academic dean's office and they will be in your permanent file.

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Re: Just graduated with a 2.7 GPA. What now? [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2012, 08:18
Thank you for replying Kimberly!

Quote:
As it stands right now, your GPA is not competitive for any top MBA program.


With a high GMAT score and some of the recommendations below, which MBA programs shall I have a greater chance in being admitted to given my GPA?


Quote:
(a) you need to continue to take college and graduate level classes; and make sure you excel at them. While admissions looks at your entire academic history, they look (and weigh) your most recent academic experiences the most.


You mean apply for courses at community colleges? I was weaker at quantitative courses like REALLY bad. I'm embarrassed to say this but I failed a few quantitative courses and was on the verge of being expelled from college until I increased my GPA which I did. But that was more out of poor discipline.
Quote:
(b) excel at your GMAT - grades and test scores are the two ways that admissions determines your academic abilities and potential so a very high GMAT score is a must for you


What GMAT score should I aim for at a minimum?

Quote:
(c) do academic or professional research - speak to professors, authors, research analysts, etc. and see if you can perform some research for free. Demonstrating that you can perform sophisticated research from published sources also demonstrates your academic commitment and your true academic abilities.


So for example if I want to work in a management consultancy firm after my MBA should I focus on research on topics like strategic management, risk advisory? But why would those professors, authors, research analysts, etc want to work with me given my grades? Is free an enough of an incentive to let them let me work for them? Maybe it is :-D But if I want to get into banking I suppose I'm not too sure whether or not the professors would let me do research with them given I have not much background in finance...

Quote:
(d) tutor college students in a subject area you excelled at. This will show that you are unselfish with your knowledge and that others value your knowledge and wisdom


Where I live in Asia, 1 on 1 tutoring is very common. Or do you mean tutor students at community colleges in the subject that I did well at? Again, I believe this should be related to my desired future career right?

Quote:
(e) get recommendations today from college professors; specifically those in classes where you excelled. Professors teach hundreds of people a year and in a few years their memory of your work and abilities will be faint. You can usually have these saved at your academic dean's office and they will be in your permanent file.


That is a great idea!I've not heard that they allow students to save these recommendation letters on the academic dean's office. I'll ask my counselor about this. Should I ask them not to include the date in the recommendation letter to make it more relevant in the future?

Thanks a lot!
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Re: Just graduated with a 2.7 GPA. What now? [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2012, 10:16
I only disagree with the point about getting college professor recommendations. Now I"m no expert, but some of the schools explicitly request that you NOT use a professor unless s/he employed you in some capacity. I guess considering your low GPA it might be a good way to showcase your academic skills, but it seems like a waste of a recommender when they're looking for professional impact.
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Re: Just graduated with a 2.7 GPA. What now? [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2012, 11:02
machichi wrote:
I guess considering your low GPA it might be a good way to showcase your academic skills, but it seems like a waste of a recommender when they're looking for professional impact.


Thanks for the reply Machichi. What kind of "professional impact" are they looking for?
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Re: Just graduated with a 2.7 GPA. What now? [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2012, 17:10
Well, supposing you are legitimate, a 2.7 gpa isn't exactly inadmissible. It's not like you were a liberal arts major. On your application, just explain that maybe you didn't have good connections (or never slept with the right person); or couldn't pay for tutors, grades, classes or maybe had to work, have a life, etc.. On the GMAT or GRE, you must be competitive. Using myself as an example, I've been accepted to several top 25 schools--however, I have good work experience and a personality. As adcoms say, gpa is only one part of any application.
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Re: Just graduated with a 2.7 GPA. What now? [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2012, 18:44
MBA4Jay wrote:
-however, I have good work experience and a personality.


What kind of work experience do you have? I thought it would be difficult to get work experience in a big company with a 2.7.

I'm into affiliate marketing and would like to work in that field. It should be different from most applicants and would probably help me stand out.
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Re: Just graduated with a 2.7 GPA. What now? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 04:32
Triton wrote:
MBA4Jay wrote:
-however, I have good work experience and a personality.


What kind of work experience do you have? I thought it would be difficult to get work experience in a big company with a 2.7.

I'm into affiliate marketing and would like to work in that field. It should be different from most applicants and would probably help me stand out.


Pretty good--corporate accounting, own several businesses, public speaking/presenting, and tons of charity/volunteer work.
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Re: Just graduated with a 2.7 GPA. What now? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 08:32
I think you need to:
1. Smash the GMAT i.e. get it to within or better than the target schools' 80% GMAT range.
2. Build an alternate transcript that addresses your weakness(es), with good results.

Career-wise pre-MBA, it will be tough to secure a solid job at MNCs/IBs/Consulting firms, though. Whatever it is you end up in, you need to show good progress through promotions/awards/etc.
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Re: Just graduated with a 2.7 GPA. What now? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 09:21
Quote:
2. Build an alternate transcript that addresses your weakness(es), with good results.


I did really poorly in statistics courses and accounting. I can do well building taking an accounting course but statistics I just can't see myself wrapping my head around. Do I build an alternative transcript strategically(e.g., take courses that I know I can do well in but simply didn't put in the effort to do so during university) or do I retake all the quantitative courses I did poorly in?

theK wrote:
Career-wise pre-MBA, it will be tough to secure a solid job at MNCs/IBs/Consulting firms, though. Whatever it is you end up in, you need to show good progress through promotions/awards/etc.


I suppose if I want to start my own venture I'd have to obtain exceptional sales figures? I'm not sure which big company would hire me with my GPA...I'm into affiliate marketing but also interested in management consulting. I doubt any Management Consultancy firm would hire me given my GPA. any thoughts?
Re: Just graduated with a 2.7 GPA. What now?   [#permalink] 08 Oct 2012, 09:21
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