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low gpa + masters?

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low gpa + masters? [#permalink] New post 10 May 2009, 14:08
Hi folks,

Just wondering: I know we have some applicants on this board who have a undergrad gpa that's less than 3.0. For those of you with that gpa, did you decide to do a master's degree prior to the MBA? Why/why not? What's the benefit of that as opposed to doing something like building an alternate transcript with just a few classes?

Thanks!
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Re: low gpa + masters? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2009, 08:22
isa wrote:
Hi folks,

Just wondering: I know we have some applicants on this board who have a undergrad gpa that's less than 3.0. For those of you with that gpa, did you decide to do a master's degree prior to the MBA? Why/why not? What's the benefit of that as opposed to doing something like building an alternate transcript with just a few classes?

Thanks!
isa.



I can only speak for myself, I would recomment doing the classes route. I did the masters route and balancing a MS Engineers with work was pretty difficult.

The problem with the masters in my opinion is that although the grades are pretty fair A thru B-:
[*]you will be competing against people who are full-time students.
[*]the masters level a little more difficult since professors don't review AT ALL
[*]Also with a masters of engineering, each class is totally different and chances are a couple of the subjects will be outside of your expertise. Example, designing manufacturing process for building microchips even though my UG was Mech E.
[*]As for my case, what you learn is completely useless for Bschool.


My opinion is that you probably look just as good taking GE level Accounting, management courses with A's at a notable university.
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Re: low gpa + masters? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2009, 08:45
I agree with GoBruins' comments:


My Background:
2.6 undergrad gpa in engineering
ms in engineering completed while working full time

Haas, Anderson - Ding w/o interview
Chi, Duke - Ding w/interview
Darden -Accepted/matriculating

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have one eye on the possibility of my ms helping me get into bschool - but I completed my master's in order to have the degree itself. Getting the ms is probably not the most effective or efficient way to compensate for a low undergrad gpa. Do I get accepted or get interviews without my ms? Probably not. Are there easier/cheaper ways to go about mitigating the ug gpa and achieving the same results - I believe so. Doing well in classes relevant to bschool (stats, econ, etc) would probably help address the academic concerns better than getting an A in mechanics of structural materials - and that's not a gimme.

That all being said, I think that there one aspect (related to bschool) where having an ms is beneficial. My guess is that it will help in recruiting for positions at tech/engineering firms - especially if the job involves interactions with the technical groups.

If the sole reason someone is pursuing a masters is to help them get into an mba program, I would advise them against it.
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Re: low gpa + masters? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2009, 09:00
I actually took the classes route to mitigate my GPA. While I got my BS in Engineering, I worked in consulting and a MS in Engineering didn't make sense given my type of work/availability. I took a total of 7 Accounting/Finance courses through a reputable extension program. This was more convenient because the classes could be online/on weekends, and the professors understood that most people were working professionals and were lenient and understanding about deadlines.

However, I must disclaim that I took these courses because my company would pay for them and I wanted the additional knowledge to help me perform my job better. I was going to continue to get a Certificate, but they stopped paying for them and I didn't find any more courses that would fit my travel schedule.
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Re: low gpa + masters? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2009, 13:23
I don't know why but reading this thread is making me worry (especially since I paid my deposit for LBS's MiM today). I had a low GPA in my undergrad, and now have less than a year's work experience and I am hell bent on getting a Masters to change geography, job function , earning potential etc... all the while hoping that the job post-LBS would be good enough to let me save for an MBA AND the MiM would give some positive signals to the adcom when I apply for MBA. I know you guys are giving out your experiences but could someone elaborate whether they feel all Masters are a relatively 'not-so-good' idea or would you rather pin down certain types of Masters?
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Re: low gpa + masters? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2009, 14:39
MJ,

What are you planning on getting your Masters in? Speaking only for myself, the masters degree that is right for me is a MBA. I didn't feel I wanted to take my career into the paths that a MS in Engineering would have opened. It really depends on what you want to do. For some people, having a technical MS along with a MBA is absolutely the right decision because it will open doors that would normally be limited to one or the others. Many technology companies want their executives to highly technical people themselves. An example as river can probably elaborate on is Energy companies hiring MBAs with UG Engineering degrees. For others, it may not be really useful to have the MS; career switchers are an example of this.

I would say if you want to do a Masters in something, and want to work in a tangentially related field, by all means I would say its worth it for you. All IMHO, of course. :)
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Re: low gpa + masters? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2009, 14:52
unhedged,

Now I feel somewhat even worse, because I am planning to get my Masters in Management from LBS which is anything but tangential to a MBA, later on!! :?
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Re: low gpa + masters? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2009, 15:29
MJ2009 wrote:
I don't know why but reading this thread is making me worry (especially since I paid my deposit for LBS's MiM today). I had a low GPA in my undergrad, and now have less than a year's work experience and I am hell bent on getting a Masters to change geography, job function , earning potential etc... all the while hoping that the job post-LBS would be good enough to let me save for an MBA AND the MiM would give some positive signals to the adcom when I apply for MBA. I know you guys are giving out your experiences but could someone elaborate whether they feel all Masters are a relatively 'not-so-good' idea or would you rather pin down certain types of Masters?



I think you mistook what we were talking about. We were mainly focusing on getting a masters to solely alieviate UG GPA. In which case I personally thought it was much more work than needed. But even if I was to get admitted I would still try to finish my masters because it's a bonus to have. I can't imagine when a masters is a bad thing, just if you are trying to add a couple courses to boost you GPA, taking graduate level courses is a little over the top.

Another note is that I was very fortunate that my work covered 100% of the tuition and books, otherwise it would have been 30,000 dollars vs like 2K for same amount of accounting courses.
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Re: low gpa + masters? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2009, 18:26
Thanks everyone for the insight.

MJ - I think doing an MiM to help with your career is a fine idea. Your challenge will be explaining why even after an MiM, you need an MBA. I don't think it will keep you out of mba programs or anything like that, it will just mean your story for why you want an MBA will have to be tighter.
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Re: low gpa + masters? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2009, 19:56
MJ once you have that MiM from LBS, you will already benefit from many aspects of an MBA - such as networking, brand on the resume etc. Heck with the job opportunities post MiM you may realise that you dont need an MBA in the future. However, if you did decide to take on an MBA in a few years time, that MiM would give the ad-com a certain level of reassurance that this candidate can tackle the businessy stuff. Its like getting a BBA from Wharton or another top ugrad b-school, becuase you wont be covering the entire range of electives that the MBA covers, but you will gain a solid core foundation along with great networks.

The root question on this thread was about non-commerce / finance oriented Masters (I think).


MJ2009 wrote:
unhedged,

Now I feel somewhat even worse, because I am planning to get my Masters in Management from LBS which is anything but tangential to a MBA, later on!! :?
Re: low gpa + masters?   [#permalink] 11 May 2009, 19:56
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