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Low GPA Candidate hoping for a profile review please

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Joined: 24 Apr 2013
Posts: 13
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Low GPA Candidate hoping for a profile review please [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2013, 04:55

I was hoping you could take a look at my profile below and let me know what you think my chances are at the schools I’ve listed? Any help or insight you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

About me:

I’m 27 years old and am from Northern Ireland. Growing up I was fortunate to live in 13 countries (mostly Asia but with spells in S.America and Australia) and travelled to many more (35+).

Work Experience:

Currently just under 5 years. Would be 6 or 7 depending upon when I decide to matriculate.

1 years 6 months: After graduation I was employed by (and co- founded) a start-up which focused on providing VC, Executive management expertise and international marketing to small to mid-stage growth companies within the oil and gas sector. We had a VC fund of $5million, which I raised funds for, and my work took me to Norway and Singapore regularly. The partners have recently wound up the business as they have been offered senior positions with other start-ups (they are both VP level within the industry)

6 months: I worked for an executive level figure within a multinational asset manager to create, develop and market new investment vehicles. These focused upon the alternative energy space and were marketed to institutional investors in Europe alongside the larger Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds.

3 years Worked for another multinational asset manager, the investment arm of one of the world’s largest banks. Joined at the Analyst level and was promoted to Associate after 1 year and 3 months. Initially worked in global strategy but requested a move into institutional sales as I wanted to have a more direct and perhaps tangible effect upon the balance sheet, along with wanting to interact with fund managers, investment analysts etc more. Primarily worked on pitches and research for our emerging market focused products.

Present (4 Months): Business development manager, raising assets from institutional investors for an Asian based investment firm with responsibility for clients in the Uk, Netherlands and Ireland.


College: I played rugby for the college team; I also managed one of the intramural teams (Got the squad together, liased with other teams, secured sponsorship etc). Assisted with coaching of a local junior school rugby team in the area. Was a member of the university investment club.

After College: I sit on an alumni committee for my university which gets events going in and around the capital and which also seeks to increase alumni involvement with the university for mutual benefit. Participate in various charities and do volunteer work. I have climbed Mt Kilimanjaro to raise money for charity and have helped to build an orphanage in Vietnam. I continue to travel as opportunity allows, and hobbies include golf and rugby.

I have been accepted onto a part time MSc in Finance at Cass Business School in London, commencing September 2013. The MBA would definitely be my preference and, if the masters won’t aid my admission, I’ll forgo it to focus on my MBA applications

Very low GPA. I don’t know what it translates to in the American system as I studied in the UK, but I’ve seen it converted as low as 2.0. No excuses, I had a hard time at college but bare sole responsibility for my own failings. I’ve worked hard to prevent it from holding me back.

I not sure which is the best way to combat this, taking several college level classes and getting A's (UCLA extension perhaps) doing the masters and putting off my MBA application for a year or two?

GMAT: 720. I may be able to push this higher with dedicated study and practice. I’m looking to matriculate in 3 years.

Target Schools

Stretch: NYU, Duke, Darden,Ross

Sweet spot/Fall back: UNC, Emory, Georgetown, Texas @ Austin, Rice, Marshall

- Is the MSc in Finance something I should pursue? My only interest in doing so would be if a) I’m very unlikely to gain admission to any of the schools listed above b) it would help my application
- Are the schools I have listed appropriate?

Thanks again, I look forward to getting your input
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Expert Post
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Re: Low GPA Candidate hoping for a profile review please [#permalink] New post 07 May 2013, 20:27
Expert's post

Thanks for sharing your profile! You have had quite a colorful life thus far. Don't underestimate the strength of your profile -- it seems to me that the only real weakness in your profile is your low GPA. I believe your entrepreneurial experience coupled with your extracurricular/community leadership experiences will help you overcome this.

It could help to retake the GMAT and score 730+ in your case (to really help balance the GPA). An alternative transcript is an option as well - though you could probably just take a few courses in stats/econ/finance etc., score As and submit those grades as evidence of your abilities. I would also write an optional statement explaining (read: taking responsibility for) your undergrad scores.

I really don't believe that you need to pursue the Masters in Finance degree. I would suggest you accelerate your process and aim to apply either this fall or next at the latest.

As for school choices - I think you could aim higher, if you wanted. I'd suggest:

1 stretch (say, Wharton or Chicago?)
2 reach (Ross/Darden)
3 safer (pick from your list)

Hope this is helpful!

Mili Mittal
Senior Consultant
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