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LOW GPA: between 2.5-3.0 - Chances to Top 10 USA B-schools?

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LOW GPA: between 2.5-3.0 - Chances to Top 10 USA B-schools? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2013, 02:02
Hy there,

Please if you have time, could you give me advice about whether to apply or not to a top MBA.Have i got any real chance?

Short Profile:
- International Student - Woman
- low GPA(Computer Science Degree - didn't like it, and just simply refused to learn ) - between 2.5-3.0
- very passionate about math in high-school : went to the nationals and different other local competitions and won prizes
-GMAT - 750+
-Foreign languages skills(apart from English and mother tongue):Spanish(DELE certification), French, Portuguese, Italian(for the last three plan to be certified by the moment of app deadline- level B2 - Intermediate )
-working experience : 4 years - banking, insurance - programmer in the IT department
-NGO volunteer - children with cancer
-Coursera courses in business , marketing, economy

The bottom line is that i followed the wave, and got admitted to Computer Science, but discovered i didn't like it that much, and simply didn't want to learn, i lost confidence in myself, and had 4-5 years that were simply a nightmare for me,i struggled with something that i didn't like, my financial situation didn't allow me to change the major, i didn't know clearly what i wanted for my life, and thought that programming would offer me the chance of a decent job, that could pay the bills.
But after graduating i realized that i could do more, i started to dream again, to search for my passions.
I simply don't want to give up to the idea of being a simple programmer.
I know that i have a huge potential, that has been asleep all these years since high school ended.
Now i am decided to commit myself and to follow my dream,to change career, but i don't know if i have any chance.I don't want to invest money, hopes and time, and then find out that i am rejected from the start, because of my low GPA, and lack of working experience as a manager.
I want to get rid of my low gpa, but i cannot, it's like a nightmare.

Thank you so much in advance, it would mean the world to me if i received any feedback.
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Re: LOW GPA: between 2.5-3.0 - Chances to Top 10 USA B-schools? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2013, 02:36
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Hi there!

I have a few questions with regards to your numbers.

What is your GPA? You mentioned 2.5 - 3.0 but what is it?
Same is valid for the GMAT, what score is 750+? Have you taken it already or is it your goal to get minimum 750?

I think your story adds up to some extent but I'm not sure if you want to give the impression of not following things just because you don't like them. Frankly speaking that's exactly what you wrote.
So what do you think you want to do with an MBA? You only mentioned that you think you have talents that are asleep but what are they? How would you ensure that you don't get frustrated in an MBA programme and follow the same approach that you followed during your undergraduate studies? How can you prove that you will be an active part in a study group that won't let people down just because you don't like the subject? How do you know that you don't follow the wave once more?

So in a nutshell: how have you changed from the student who just went through computer science without ambition?

Sorry for these questions, I don't want to be mean but I think this is what you'll be facing so please don't get me wrong :wink:
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Joined: 25 May 2012
Posts: 187
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
GMAT 1: 700 Q V
GMAT 2: 690 Q V
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Re: LOW GPA: between 2.5-3.0 - Chances to Top 10 USA B-schools? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2013, 05:55
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blueflower wrote:
Hy there,

Please if you have time, could you give me advice about whether to apply or not to a top MBA.Have i got any real chance?

Short Profile:
- International Student - Woman
- low GPA(Computer Science Degree - didn't like it, and just simply refused to learn ) - between 2.5-3.0
- very passionate about math in high-school : went to the nationals and different other local competitions and won prizes
-GMAT - 750+
-Foreign languages skills(apart from English and mother tongue):Spanish(DELE certification), French, Portuguese, Italian(for the last three plan to be certified by the moment of app deadline- level B2 - Intermediate )
-working experience : 4 years - banking, insurance - programmer in the IT department
-NGO volunteer - children with cancer
-Coursera courses in business , marketing, economy

The bottom line is that i followed the wave, and got admitted to Computer Science, but discovered i didn't like it that much, and simply didn't want to learn, i lost confidence in myself, and had 4-5 years that were simply a nightmare for me,i struggled with something that i didn't like, my financial situation didn't allow me to change the major, i didn't know clearly what i wanted for my life, and thought that programming would offer me the chance of a decent job, that could pay the bills.
But after graduating i realized that i could do more, i started to dream again, to search for my passions.
I simply don't want to give up to the idea of being a simple programmer.
I know that i have a huge potential, that has been asleep all these years since high school ended.
Now i am decided to commit myself and to follow my dream,to change career, but i don't know if i have any chance.I don't want to invest money, hopes and time, and then find out that i am rejected from the start, because of my low GPA, and lack of working experience as a manager.
I want to get rid of my low gpa, but i cannot, it's like a nightmare.

Thank you so much in advance, it would mean the world to me if i received any feedback.


WomeMBA asks some good questions. Yes, your GPA is low, but if you have that 750+ GPA as well as good work experience and strong essays, it's certainly not going to keep schools from taking a good look at you. More important than your grades is the story that you tell about what your goals are and what has driven you to want an MBA. If you are really serious about applying, then I wouldn't think you would be so quick to just give up on the endeavor because you fear your profile isn't strong enough. Business school is really expensive so not a decision to be taken lightly. In addition, the application process can be grueling, you have to really want to go to do a good job on your applications.

Top 10 schools are a tough nut to crack, especially when you don't have strong stats across the board like so many others applying to top schools, but if the rest of your application is strong, they are not going to overlook you for mistakes you made 4-5 years ago. There are tons of great schools in the 10-20 range that you could consider as well that might be able to help you achieve your goals. The low GPA success stories on this forum should give you some comfort that people with lower GPAs can get into great schools.
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Re: LOW GPA: between 2.5-3.0 - Chances to Top 10 USA B-schools? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2013, 06:25
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blueflower wrote:
Hy there,

Please if you have time, could you give me advice about whether to apply or not to a top MBA.Have i got any real chance?

Short Profile:
- International Student - Woman
- low GPA(Computer Science Degree - didn't like it, and just simply refused to learn ) - between 2.5-3.0
- very passionate about math in high-school : went to the nationals and different other local competitions and won prizes
-GMAT - 750+
-Foreign languages skills(apart from English and mother tongue):Spanish(DELE certification), French, Portuguese, Italian(for the last three plan to be certified by the moment of app deadline- level B2 - Intermediate )
-working experience : 4 years - banking, insurance - programmer in the IT department
-NGO volunteer - children with cancer
-Coursera courses in business , marketing, economy

The bottom line is that i followed the wave, and got admitted to Computer Science, but discovered i didn't like it that much, and simply didn't want to learn, i lost confidence in myself, and had 4-5 years that were simply a nightmare for me,i struggled with something that i didn't like, my financial situation didn't allow me to change the major, i didn't know clearly what i wanted for my life, and thought that programming would offer me the chance of a decent job, that could pay the bills.
But after graduating i realized that i could do more, i started to dream again, to search for my passions.
I simply don't want to give up to the idea of being a simple programmer.
I know that i have a huge potential, that has been asleep all these years since high school ended.
Now i am decided to commit myself and to follow my dream,to change career, but i don't know if i have any chance.I don't want to invest money, hopes and time, and then find out that i am rejected from the start, because of my low GPA, and lack of working experience as a manager.
I want to get rid of my low gpa, but i cannot, it's like a nightmare.

Thank you so much in advance, it would mean the world to me if i received any feedback.


You want to be careful in terms of how you frame your work experience as well. If you give the impression to any Adcom that the only reason you are doing an MBA is because you hate your current job then that will not do much for your chances
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Re: LOW GPA: between 2.5-3.0 - Chances to Top 10 USA B-schools? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2013, 08:19
Thank you all for your answers.
@WomeMBA:
- GPA is 7.63/10, so i thought it would be between 2.5-3.0 on a 0-4 scale, given the fact that each matter had between 0-5 credits and your final grade was between 1-10.Each year the final gpa would be the
arithmetic mean of all your grades, independent of that matter's importance(number of credits associated: from 1 to 5).
-GMAT- i haven't taken it yet, it's a goal(that is the profile i want to have when i plan to apply: September 2015).
- My career so far has been ok, i like programming(but it's not the passion of my life - it's just an ok job, where i feel ok), but i am not so good at it, i mean i don't think i would be able to enter Google, Facebook as a software engineer, so that is why i want to change career, because i want to perform, to be among the best, to vibrate for that, to do with real passion what i like(for example with maths:i was very good at it, i forgot about eating, sleeping, everything, going out, it was like a drug, was my life, i woke up during the night with solutions to exercises and so on - unfortunately i had the bad luck to live in a small city, the teacher was good, but at a class level, so i pretty much solved tough exercises on my own, and managed to get to the nationals).
-in the last months i have been searching a lot new means for my life and gotten to the conclusion that an mba would be the next step:there you get the skills, network, know how about how to successfully run a business, be a top manager and so on.you get to know there so many smart people, with so many good ideas, among whom one can find a few to associate with in new projects, that could have a good impact on other people in need.
--You only mentioned that you think you have talents that are asleep but what are they?
- eager to learn new things, very friendly, foreign languages skills, quantitative skills, i like to analize things, strong will to help others as much as i can, very passionate and committed when i really love something(see the math example).


@Dakells
-- you reached a very sensitive subject:money.I don't have them, i would want to, but unfortunately my monthly salary is around 1400$-- very good for a programmer with 3-4 years experience(in my country that is a very good salary - a manager in a top company has around 2800$).
--I have a strong will to go for an mba(it's my dream), but in the same time i want to be realistic, that is why i said about the time, money invested, because giving all these tests, applying to at least 8 schools, would be a serious investment, at least 5000$. This investment would be justified only if i had a really strong profile, without red flags(one of them would be my gpa).
--Suppose i got admitted to a top mba, here comes the nastier part - the money(a top usa MBA with all the costs included is around 180.000$)
----to get a student loan in my country with that sum is excluded - too much money.
---- in usa i don't think i could get that loan, being an international student(and even in the us, 180.000$ it's a lot of money)
----the only solution that i see is getting a company from the usa perhaps(from my country is excluded, once again, it's a huge sum invested in only one person) to give me a scholarship that would cover that sum(but i don't think they would, because of my low gpa, to get a full scholarship you have to be the perfect profile).
----universities also offer scholarships(but again here it comes my low gpa), but partial ones, of around 20.000-30.000$, so i am still left with 150.000$, an astronomic sum for me.

So now i hope you understand me better, i have double trouble: low gpa + poor financial situation for paying alone a top mba.

My gpa would affect all the parts of the admission process:
-- getting admitted - red flag for the adcoms
-- if admitted, getting a scholarship: low gpa scares companies and universities, i would have zero chances to get a full scholarship with that gpa.

So the conclusion is that sometimes in live the mistakes from the past and your financial situation won't let you fulfill your dreams for the future.

so now what do you think are my chances of getting and managing to pay for a top 10 us mba?

Thank you so much in advance
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Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
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Re: LOW GPA: between 2.5-3.0 - Chances to Top 10 USA B-schools? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2013, 10:42
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To me it looks like your GPA is closer to 3.0 vs 2.X. That's a much better picture. I do agree with you that merit scholarships are going to be hard to come by without a higher GPA. Getting into a top 10 with a low GPA is one thing, but getting in with scholarship is much harder. It's unclear whether you want to stay in your country after school or relocate to the US, so I'm not sure how much sense a lower ranked school would make sense for you. But maybe you should do some research into lower ranked schools if you're set on getting scholarship awards. As I mentioned before there are some great schools in the 10-20 range (even up to near 30 I would say) that would allow you to achieve what you want to achieve. Just not sure how much they would help career wise depending on where you want to end up after school.

If you don't think you can make financing work and need scholarship awards, you might want to do some research into which schools tend to be a little more giving. There are some schools, like Columbia, that are notorious for not providing a lot of scholarship money, so probably wouldn't be worth it for you to apply to a school like that.

One more note. If/when you do apply, you'll want to have a clear and specific short term and long term goal as to why you want an MBA. It sounds like you haven't totally figured out what you want to do other than something you are passionate about. That's fine, but I wouldn't say that in your application. I would pick a path that makes sense for your experience/background and that you can write passionately about.
Re: LOW GPA: between 2.5-3.0 - Chances to Top 10 USA B-schools?   [#permalink] 03 May 2013, 10:42
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