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Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories

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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 26 May 2011, 08:53
lulumocha wrote:
My story is different than most others here..... and please don't take my advice, I think I got lucky

29 year old Asian (born in US, grew up in New Zealand) living in LA

UG GPA (Operations Management/Statistics): around 2.6 to 2.7 (got better as the years went on), NZ uses a different scale, so not exactly sure
MSc GPA (Statistics): low 3s
GMAT: 700
WE: 5 years, biggest video game publisher, biggest entertainment/media company (in Video game division)

Applied to:
Duke - R2, invited to interview, accepted
MIT - R2, waitlist, ding
UCLA - R3, interviewed, withdrew

I wished I had applied to more schools, I studied for around 2 weeks and took the GMAT in Dec thinking I would need to retake anyway, turned out ok, didn't want to study again for a higher score (new born son to look after ) :)
So I ended up with 2 weeks to write essays, again thought I would get dinged anyway so I didn't want to rush and apply to a lot of schools since writing the additional essay about how you have improved and not to mention new topics scared me.... So I only applied to two schools I really wanted to go to.
Didn't like my chances because of the following:
1) Didn't visit any schools nor attend any info sessions/lunch sessions/online chat, etc...
2) Low GPA, it got better as the years went on though (I failed like 4 papers in the first year... Diablo 2...)
3) No writing skills... no english related classes since form 6 in high school (2nd to last year)
4) Didn't have anyone to proof read my essays since I had such a short time frame
5) absolute zero community/extra-curricular activities though Under and Post Grad. (Video Games/Cars/Gambling was my life)
6) GMAT was ok... not excellent especially compared to most of people here.

Not saying my results were a huge success by most peoples standards here.. but here are what I think worked for me
1) I explained about my GPA - I played video games, as simple as that, I logged 600 real life days on Final Fantasy XI MMO during the last 10 years. Other people like doing community work, clubs, etc. I just like Video Games and Modifying cars.
2) My other essays were focused on things I really enjoy - Games and Fast cars and a little about family :)
I wrote about being one of the only 10 people in the FFXI server that has this sword which can only drop from a monster that comes out in game once every 3 real life days and the drop rate is around 10% if you do claim and kill the monster, then you have to win the dice roll for it against your team members... you do the math.
3) My recommenders were awesome, both have had their MBAs and have known me a long time and writes well
4) My essays were not proof read by anyone, I think that helped me.... it probably reads different than some really refined essays, I wrote more like how I speak in real life.
5) Maybe the Company I worked at are well know and that helps (not really sure about this one)
6) I wasn't really sure about putting down around 5 extra-curricular activities that were all things like FFXI guild leader, WOW guild member, Car clubs, but guess it didn't hurt me... better than blanks I guess :)
7) All the papers I failed, I had DNS (did not sit, which means I didn't even go to the exams, and all those papers I later got A's or high B's on, but yeah DNS really hurt my GPA). I guess this is a good sign? shows I can do the work, just that school wasn't most important, getting my Windforce in Diablo 2 was more important :) .. for all the Diablo players out there

So yeah, I hope anyone that reads this won't be put off trying to go to schools they dream about, it is very easy to do that if you read these forums a lot....
I would recommend writing the real you, show passion, and just try to show who you are.

Sometimes I think about applying to more schools this year since I will have more time to study GMAT, visit schools, network, etc. But what the hell, Duke is awesome, I was born there (left when I was 1 though) and I just don't want/have the time to study and write more essays... I have a boxes of games I need to finish and a son to look after.

Best of luck to everyone applying


Dude that's the most AWESOME story I have ever heard! The fact that you had a 2.6 and MIT considered you for a waitlist (instead of straight out ding) and Duke admitted you is awesome! I have a similar story except that I spent time on the Total War series.
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2011, 07:55
I am an international applicant but with a GPA of 2.69/4.00, I was accepted to Duke, Michigan, UCLA, Cornell and UNC, some of them with full-scholarships.

As long as other parts of your application are strong, you can offset the GPA I believe. (However, I am not so sure for the top 5-6 schools).
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2011, 17:00
2 questions.

1.) When is the best time to apply with a low GPA, round 1, 2 or 3? I know there are more seats in round 1, but is it true adcoms take more risk in round 2? When is the best time to apply?


2.) Are there any particular schools who are more sensitive (than the others) with low GPAs? Somebody here said MIT. Any else? I want to compare it to my target schools.
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2011, 11:55
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Hi gablaze23,

With regards to which round to apply to, you should apply when you feel your application is strongest. The only exception to this rule is that you should avoid applying to the last round. This round tends to be the most difficult to be accepted into.

Hope this was of help.

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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2011, 00:46
StacyBlackman wrote:
Hi gablaze23,

With regards to which round to apply to, you should apply when you feel your application is strongest. The only exception to this rule is that you should avoid applying to the last round. This round tends to be the most difficult to be accepted into.

Hope this was of help.

Cheers,

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Hi.

What about applying late to a round? Would that make a difference?

If I apply on the first day of round 2 as opposed to the day of round 2 deadline?
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2011, 07:41
Hi gablaze23,

Most schools have a hard deadline for each round and as long as you have submitted your application before the deadline the application is viewed as favorably as the other applications submitted before yours.

There are some schools with rolling admissions (e.g. Columbia, Dartmouth, etc.) and those I believe that it is always better to submit your application as early as possible. That being said, definitely don't submit an application before it's ready.
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2011, 20:05
GPA: 3.1 from top engineering school, downward trend
GMAT: 710
WE: Operations and Healthcare (3.5 years)

This was my second year applying to schools - wanted to share because I know I was demoralized at points during this process.
1st year: Applied only to Wharton (all or nothing!), got an interview then dinged
2nd year: Applied to Wharton, Kellogg, Duke, Vanderbilt. Ding no interview from Wharton (low point). Got into Kellogg, Duke, Vandy (w/ $$$)

Looking back, it really feels like a lot of it is figuring out your story. If your story and targeted schools all tie together in a neat package then the GPA/GMAT become data points. I was most excited about Kellogg (where I'm matriculating) and when I interviewed I honestly was so enthusiastic I'm sure it was very apparent. It's very clear when you are passionate about a program and when you are applying because "it's M7" or "it's Harvard". Spend more time figuring out what programs fit and less time applying to schools that someone told you to apply to and it will shine through in the application. Do your research, talk to alums and current students and use that information in your essays.

Best of luck! PM me if you want any more information, happy to help!
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2011, 09:28
josiebella wrote:
Happy to be able to post here as a success story:

1. UG GPA from Dartmouth - 2.9, major in Psychology, Pre-med (3 Ds and 1 F) - needless to say, disastrous

2. Did extra coursework at Columbia Univ Continuing Ed - 5 courses in total, cumulative GPA 3.9

3. GMAT 720

4. Applied to:
NYU R1 - admit w $$
Columbia RD - admit ($ unknown, but doubtful)
Georgetown RD - withdrawn but got interview invite

I think my secret was the extra courses helped a lot. Also I am female, not sure how much that helps.


I am completely inspired.
I recently (this past week in fact) graduated from UC San Diego. I rushed my courses and finished a four year education in three years. However, my gpa...not so great. 2.875. I couldn't take the quarter system anymore, and my sophomore year things went downhill. I was involved in extracurricular activities though, editor in chief of the first fashion magazine on campus...etc. I will be interning for Oscar De La Renta this summer in their finance sector in New York. I hope I'm making the right decision, because I got offered a paid internship with merrill lynch...but in San Diego.
I am currently looking up Columbia's School of Continuing Education. I am very very interested. I was wondering if you have any advice on the admission process...or am I a bit too young and inexperienced to apply?
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2011, 10:57
While I think it's still a bit early for you to apply to business schools, I think it's good that you are thinking about it. I would suggest that you work for a few years and make sure you know what you want to get out of an MBA program when/if you decide to apply.

I don't think your GPA is a deal breaker, but I think you do need to ace the GMAT to give yourself a fair shot at the top tier MBA programs. I was able to overcome my lackluster GPA with a solid story and a very respectable GMAT score.

Good luck!
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2011, 00:03
Cheerio wrote:
While I think it's still a bit early for you to apply to business schools, I think it's good that you are thinking about it. I would suggest that you work for a few years and make sure you know what you want to get out of an MBA program when/if you decide to apply.

I don't think your GPA is a deal breaker, but I think you do need to ace the GMAT to give yourself a fair shot at the top tier MBA programs. I was able to overcome my lackluster GPA with a solid story and a very respectable GMAT score.

Good luck!


What do you think of post bac school?
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2011, 08:19
What sort of post bac programs are you talking about? I think it can definitely help you cause if you ace the program and get a 4.0 gpa. Building an alternate transcript with solid grades will only help your case.
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2011, 09:58
any advice on how to convert % into GPA system ?
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2011, 10:06
Alchemist1320 wrote:
any advice on how to convert % into GPA system ?


http://faculty.cascadia.edu/dwhittaker/percent2gpa.htm

And I think you just take the averages, but you might also need to weight the scores based on credits. i.e. using a pseudo weighted average formula
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2011, 10:17
Cheerio wrote:
What sort of post bac programs are you talking about? I think it can definitely help you cause if you ace the program and get a 4.0 gpa. Building an alternate transcript with solid grades will only help your case.


I'm looking into Columbia's post bac program, and working for a Business certificate. I think my biggest challenge is writing my statement of purpose. The application is due in August so I have a bit of time. I definitely think I have some solid reasons towards my UG gpa. Thanks so much, because now I'm 100% set on looking at post bac programs.
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2011, 14:20
How did you guys answer questions from the interviewer addressing the low gpa?
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2011, 06:54
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Hi kayo12,

I recommend addressing the interviewer's questions similar to how you addressed the issue in your business school essays. The URL below has more information on how you can discuss the situation.

http://www.stacyblackman.com/comprehens ... ies/case5/

Hope this was of help.

Cheers,

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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2011, 13:56
Forgive my ignorance on the topic. I have not really researched the admissions process yet. My question is, what is a ding and does it constitute immediate dismissal from the process?

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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2011, 16:28
These are inspiring to all of us. Ultimately, we succeed or fail based on commitment, indefinable personal attributes and maybe a bit of luck!
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2011, 19:43
rdylina wrote:
Forgive my ignorance on the topic. I have not really researched the admissions process yet. My question is, what is a ding and does it constitute immediate dismissal from the process?

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A ding is a rejection at any point, so you could be interviewed and thin dinged or no interview and ding.
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Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2011, 00:53
redjam17 wrote:
@ jczgal2011 - Wow... congratulations. Thats absolutely fantastic!

I'm in the low GPA boat myself and when I started this application process, I was a nervous wreck about my low U-GPA. Here are my stats:

GPA: 2.7 non-US university
GMAT: 700 Q47 V38
Waitlisted: Ross, Duke
Admitted: Cornell, Rotman
W.E.: 3 yrs engineering

I realized quite early on that my UGPA might be a huge hinderence so I enrolled in a post-graduate course and aced all my papers. That brought my overall GPA to a respectable number. The rest was all about putting together some good essays + great extra-curricular achievements.


Wow, awesome.

Can I ask for some advice from you, and your profile too?

I sent you a PM
Re: Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories   [#permalink] 24 Jun 2011, 00:53
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