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Low master's GPA, chances on top 20 MBA?

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Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 5
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Low master's GPA, chances on top 20 MBA? [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2013, 13:55
Hello Jon,

You gave me great advice on including my Chinese masters in applications back in November, so wanted to follow up now that I have a better idea on the kind of program I want.

I'm planning on applying in Fall 2013 for 2014 matriculation.

White American male, 26 yrs old when applying, born and raised in Michigan, now living in Beijing for last 3.5 years. Plan on taking GMAT this summer.

•Undergraduate BS in Accounting from low ranked state school in Michigan. (Minors in Econ, Business, and Chinese Language)
•Undergrad GPA 3.68
Vice-President of accounting club
College Republicans (Precinct Delegate - 2 years)

•Moved to Beijing right after graduation and studied Mandarin Chinese for one year at Beijing Language University.

•Master's in accounting at a top 5 Chinese University in Beijing (2 year masters + 1 year language). Reason for starting program was that I wanted to continue studying Chinese language, and scholarships are readily available.
•Graduate GPA 2.35. Was not prepared to take tax and audit classes in Chinese with grades mainly based off papers and essays for final exams.
•Will be first Westerner to complete program in June 2013. Currently only international student in class.

•Three years working for family business ($2m revenue/yr) as the main accountant and placed on the board of directors for 2 years. (Worked 20hrs/week)
•One year as a debt collector at a regional bank; great record and wanted change from family business. (Worked 30hrs/week)
•Currently interning full time at small investment firm in Beijing. Using Chinese daily with direct boss and managing projects (1-2 Chinese interns).

Current plan is to settle down in California or the UK. Looking to stick with finance/consulting and try to use my China experience. Dealing with Chinese funds, it seems very prestige based on their hires (in case I end up in China).

Target Schools (full time 2 year MBA), in current order of "hoping" to "dream":

1. Yale
2. Stern
4. Haas

Possible move to UK, so may also apply to:

1. Cambridge
2. Oxford
3. LSE master's program

My other top concern is how little full time work experience I have. At matriculation I'll only have two years of work experience, so should I only focus on master's programs?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

-Stuck in Beijing
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 3656
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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Re: Low master's GPA, chances on top 20 MBA? [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 06:53
Expert's post
I do remember your profile, actually... The only foreign accountant in China :)

Your concern is justified to be honest. Your work experience is likely to be too low to make it into a top MBA program, so if your mission is to do this now, maybe a Masters program is better for you. But your first criteria is that it should allow you to reach whatever goals you have. If Finance is your thing, you could certainly go the MSF road, but if consulting is really your dream its pretty much MBA or nothing, and for that you would have to work a few years full-time first. So before you make this big decision I'd definitely recommend looking into the programs and thinking long and hard about what you really want to do.

And of course if you have any other questions, let me know. I'm here!!!!

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

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Low master's GPA, chances on top 20 MBA?

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