Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories : The B-School Application - Page 9
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# Low Undergrad GPA Success Stories

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Manager
Joined: 30 Jun 2011
Posts: 50
Location: NY
WE 1: Operations, Marketing
WE 2: Finance, Consulting
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 0

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22 Aug 2012, 18:25
BigUp wrote:
This is a great thread; so much so I had to resuscitate it.
...
GPA: 83% (school doesn't use gpa) with upward trend from a Top Liberal Arts College (think Amherst, Williams, Colby)
GMAT: To be taken but based on what I'm scoring in practice, I think 680-710 is a realistic target
Age: 25
Work Experience: This is probably the strongest aspect of my application. Total of 4 yrs. I worked at two very well known organizations and held unique jobs there (internal transformational consultant). Also have spent a couple of years working abroad.
Community Involvement: started a non-profit that now has 20+ volunteers. Mentored underprivileged college students to help them map out their career progressions.
...
Questions to you are the following:
1). Do you think my profile/work experience would be enough to offset my relatively weak gpa?
2). What is your point of view on the odds of getting into some of the top listed programs (hbs, kellogg, tuck, haas)?
3). Any broader advice you can give me on how to best position myself to be a competitive applicant?

Thanks all!

1) You really need to sell you 4 years of experience. What did you do that was so remarkable? If you led a reorg, show your intellecutal capacity by writing about your thought process in weighing pros / cons of restructuring, business disruption, cost savings, morale, etc. Demonstrate you can be successful in a very intellectually challenging environment.
2) Not enough info to be certain. Send me your detailed resume and your draft essays.
3) Use your recommendations strategically. Biggest area that applicants overlook. Choose your recommenders wisely and help them by crafting the message you want them to tell!

Intern
Status: I know my GPA is brilliant.
Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 36
WE 1: Big4 Assurance (2 years)
WE 2: Big4 M&A Advisory (2 years)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 7

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28 Aug 2012, 11:32

I am going to crack my head about my low gpa; 2.27. Although all the schools say that they evaulate the application holistically, I have no idea about will I be able to overcome my weakness in this area. I listed some some details about my profile below;

- Scored 720 in GMAT (Q50)
- Graduated from a top college in Turkey (Major: Economics)
- Captain of college basketball team
- Strong work experience on M&A advisory
- Strong recommendations from company executives

etc...

The schools I am going to apply are Columbia, Tuck and Fuqua. Any help will be appreciated.
Manager
Joined: 18 Jun 2012
Posts: 145
Concentration: Healthcare, General Management
GMAT Date: 09-14-2012
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 1

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29 Aug 2012, 08:31
frankiegar wrote:

I am going to crack my head about my low gpa; 2.27. Although all the schools say that they evaulate the application holistically, I have no idea about will I be able to overcome my weakness in this area. I listed some some details about my profile below;

- Scored 720 in GMAT (Q50)
- Graduated from a top college in Turkey (Major: Economics)
- Captain of college basketball team
- Strong work experience on M&A advisory
- Strong recommendations from company executives

etc...

The schools I am going to apply are Columbia, Tuck and Fuqua. Any help will be appreciated.

You might want to look into taking some additional coursework...search for alternative transcript. My question is, how were you able to obtain a big 4 role in advisory with your grades?

I dont know how your college in Turkey grades, but if your GPA was low...can you justify is by using a class rank? Were you in the top 20%?
Intern
Status: I know my GPA is brilliant.
Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 36
WE 1: Big4 Assurance (2 years)
WE 2: Big4 M&A Advisory (2 years)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 7

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29 Aug 2012, 08:44
frankiegar wrote:

I am going to crack my head about my low gpa; 2.27. Although all the schools say that they evaulate the application holistically, I have no idea about will I be able to overcome my weakness in this area. I listed some some details about my profile below;

- Scored 720 in GMAT (Q50)
- Graduated from a top college in Turkey (Major: Economics)
- Captain of college basketball team
- Strong work experience on M&A advisory
- Strong recommendations from company executives

etc...

The schools I am going to apply are Columbia, Tuck and Fuqua. Any help will be appreciated.

You might want to look into taking some additional coursework...search for alternative transcript. My question is, how were you able to obtain a big 4 role in advisory with your grades?

I dont know how your college in Turkey grades, but if your GPA was low...can you justify is by using a class rank? Were you in the top 20%?

lets say high quantative abilities and charming personality

Actually I don' t know my rank, but its probably low I suppose.
Intern
Joined: 30 Dec 2012
Posts: 22
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 0

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05 Jan 2013, 09:00
BklynMatt made a great point about the importance of work experience, extracurricular activities, and having a strong recommendation.

One way to accomplish all of these things is by getting involved in a leadership capacity in your local community. In addition to joining a Board of a local non-profit, volunteer strategy consulting to non-profits and small businesses can be a way to increase your leadership exposure, gain a great activity you can put on your resume, and potentially receive a strong recommendation from a credible organization.

If volunteer business consulting is something you are interested in learning more about, consider organizations such as SCORE, Net Impact, USALC, or Taproot. These organizations can facilitate a great career-enhancing experience for you.

Thanks & Good Luck,

Maxwell Roper
Outreach Director
Intern
Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 22
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, General Management
GMAT 1: 700 Q48 V38
GPA: 3.1
WE: Management Consulting (Internet and New Media)
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 1

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05 Jan 2013, 11:30
Hey All-

Undergrad was only a 3.1 GPA (GW BS Economics) - had one F and maybe a couple Ds. GPA within major was 3.3 - 3.4.

I knew I wouldn't get into the kind of MBA program that I wanted to attend, so I first went and got an MS Information Systems at GW School of Business (well within my core skillset). Easily pulled off a 4.0 graduate GPA.

Got 700 / Q48 / V38 / AW6 / IR8 on GMAT.

As I was getting ready to apply, I realized that my age and experience are actually not desirable in full-time MBA programs. Definitely more suitable a candidate for executive (EMBA) type programs.

Applied to Stanford Sloan and UVA Darden GEMBA - accepted to both. Will be matriculating to Stanford GSB.

I also had 18 years of work experience (combination of IT infrastructure, IT management consulting and technology entrepreneurship), bullet proof recommendations from C-level executives and a very consistent track record of professional success and increasing responsibility.

It was a long and expensive path, but I really view my first masters degree as GPA repair... It's the price I had to pay for not being a good undergrad student.
Manager
Joined: 25 May 2012
Posts: 187
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
GMAT 1: 690 Q V
GPA: 2.99
WE: Investment Banking (Investment Banking)
Followers: 10

Kudos [?]: 65 [5] , given: 42

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21 Feb 2013, 06:32
5
KUDOS
3
This post was
BOOKMARKED
Thought I'd write my story here and the other low GPA thread since I read through all of the low GPA threads a bunch of times when applying because I was so nervous about my chances. Hopefully I will give another low GPA-er some hope!

Profile:
Age/gender: 28 y/o female
GPA: 2.9 from a top 10 liberal arts school, economics major
GMAT: 700 and 690 (yes did worse the second time), don't remember my split but my quant was nowhere near that 80% everyone says to get.
WE: 3 years in a rotational program for a well known financial services firm, 3 years in risk at a global investment bank
Extracurriculars: Captain of sports team in college, consistent volunteering since college (some leadership positions and unique stuff), very involved with former college, and have a lot of hobbies I mentioned in my apps to sort of differentiate myself.

Schools I applied to and results (all Rnd 1 or Regular Decision):

Wharton: Waitlisted (after a terrible interview mind you, Team Discussion was great, but interview, yikes)
Kellogg: Waitlisted
Columbia: Accepted
Fuqua: Accepted
Stern: Accepted

I think the following helped my case:

1. A clear idea/and description in my apps of my career goals, why an MBA would help them, why that specific school's MBA would help them, why now was the time I was pursuing MBA, and how my prior work experience would help me achieve those goals. I had heard that schools worry career changers won't find jobs if it is too great of a change, so I highlighted aspects/stories of my work experience that directly applies to my goals. I also made sure to show why I was passionate about my goals and what had led me to realize my goals.

2. In addition to tying my work experience to my goals, I tried to give examples of leadership at work. I told a couple of stories that demonstrated me taking initiative and leading teams. I also told my recommenders that schools like that so if they had any stories to put in their recommendations that would be great. Don't know what my recommenders ended up writing, but I did send them both an email with what my goals are and some of my professional and personal accomplishments.

3. Once you start doing in depth research on a school and its programs, it is pretty easy to figure out what is important to that school (what type of candidate they are looking for). So in each of my essays, I made sure to pick examples and tailor my message to that specific school's values.

4. I took two classes in the summer before I applied, 1 accounting class and 1 math class (not calculus level) to show that I have quant skills and can be a good student, got A's in both courses. Was told specifically by one of the schools that they really liked that I took the initiative to take those courses.

5. I visited every school I applied to. Luckily for me this was easy and the only two schools I really had to fly to were Duke and Kellogg which meant I could self-initiate an interview while I was there. Just felt like this showed my interest but more importantly allowed me to speak of my visit in my application.

6. In general I just really tried to show that I was ready to fully engage in the program and the school's community. Also tried to show a coherent story as to how my career goals were formed, how MBA would help achieve them, and what I hoped to do in the short term and long term.

7. Just a note about the optional essay since I wondered about this. I chose note to come right out and say "I have a low GPA because...". Instead I chose to use the essay to highlight the two courses I took in an effort to prepare myself for the rigors or the MBA program and since I had been out of school for awhile.

Hope that is helpful to someone! Nothing earth shattering above, but there are so many things to keep in mind and think about in this whole process it's easy to just get stuck on your low gpa or gmat and think that means you're not a strong candidate. Especially looking on this board, it's amazing how many people have such strong stats. But you never know, you see people with 750 GMATs and 3.8 GPAs get rejected from top schools all the time while someone with much lower stats gets in. To me, that really shows that the adcoms really do take a look at the holistic picture. Good luck!
Intern
Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Concentration: Finance
Schools: Fisher '16
GPA: 2.38
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

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20 Mar 2013, 17:52

Here's my story: I am an African American women, age 30. I graduated from Ohio State in 2006 with a 2.38 GPA. My major was Financial Management. I really, really want to be accepted into Ohio State's MBA for Working Professionals Program which is currently in the top 10 for part-time MBA programs. I have not taken the GMAT yet but I have enrolled into a GMAT prep course at Kaplan and plan to get at least a 750. I've been working full-time since my sophmore year in college so I have 9 years of work experience. I also got pregnant at the beginning of my junior year, so the last two years of school I worked and raised an infant. Looking over my transcript, I have so many W's and about three F's. My grades sub-par, but I do have solid work history in the Finance industry with two great companies. I am also involved in the community and plan to use my to use my degree to advance my career in Finance and also make a difference within the inner city. I have plans to start a non-profit organization to teach young students within inner city schools the basics of Finance and Financial Management. I am extremely passionate about our youth and know that getting a MBA at OSU can give me the knowledge and expertise I need to move forward.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can be admitted into Ohio State with my poor GPA??
Intern
Joined: 15 Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance
GMAT Date: 08-11-2013
GPA: 2.39
WE: Engineering (Pharmaceuticals and Biotech)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

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15 Aug 2013, 15:38
I graduated with a low GPA from Georgia Tech studying Bio-medical Engineering, and I'm wondering if I should add the following essay to explain my poor GPA.

High School and First 3 semesters in college: Made some very poor decisions in high school and college that kept me from focusing on academics (mostly too much partying and laziness but I won't go into detail).

Focused the next semester and did pretty well, even earning an award from my peers for the turnaround to my behavior and study habits.

Next year, I improved to just an average student. Obviously my previous struggles weren't focused around academics, because I made some sweeping changes everywhere. I devoted a lot of my time to philanthropy activities and getting involved on campus as a constructive way to spend my time.

With three more semesters to graduate, I made the decision to not stress about my grades and focus on something I could excel in. Instead of becoming just an average student which to me was the best case scenario if I focused on academics exclusively, I was hopeful that I could take on key leadership positions on campus and demonstrate to future employers that I could be extremely successful at managing projects and people. I was very successful at achieving what I set out to do, but my grades dropped those last semesters to a 2.0.

Obviously, I'm headed down a better path now. My other essays will discuss more about my leadership experience and how I am using my previous mistakes to be an example for high school students now. This statement would just be added to account for my low GPA. I am not sure how some would react, but it's the narrative of my life in college. It's not your typical "growing up" statement where everyone starts doing better academically once they manage their time. It doesn't show that I can handle the course load, but I did graduate from a rigorous school and did pretty well on the GRE.

Any advice on how to handle this low GPA would be great. Not including a statement about why my GPA was poor didn't seem to be an option with the admissions counselor.
Manager
Joined: 11 Sep 2013
Posts: 141
Concentration: Finance, Sustainability
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GMAT 2: Q V0
WE: Analyst (Commercial Banking)
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 78 [0], given: 153

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11 Dec 2013, 08:36
Thought I would throw mine into the ring.

2.69 GPA ( UNC - Charlotte not UNC Chapel Hill)
750 GMAT
White
Male

So far I am in at Cornell. You can see under my name where I was accepted.

I did play professional soccer but that is really it. I think the main thing is to find your story and tell it. Who you are and more importantly who you become.

Thought I would update. I not only got in to 4 top 25 programs I had scholarship offers to 3.
Cornell $Carnegie Mellon $$Vanderbilt$$$

I am a perfect example of what you can do if you put your mind to it!!!

Last edited by thisisatestonlyatest on 24 Feb 2014, 13:29, edited 1 time in total.
Manager
Joined: 11 Sep 2013
Posts: 141
Concentration: Finance, Sustainability
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GMAT 2: Q V0
WE: Analyst (Commercial Banking)
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 78 [1] , given: 153

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11 Dec 2013, 08:43
1
KUDOS
tevans37 wrote:

Here's my story: I am an African American women, age 30. I graduated from Ohio State in 2006 with a 2.38 GPA. My major was Financial Management. I really, really want to be accepted into Ohio State's MBA for Working Professionals Program which is currently in the top 10 for part-time MBA programs. I have not taken the GMAT yet but I have enrolled into a GMAT prep course at Kaplan and plan to get at least a 750. I've been working full-time since my sophmore year in college so I have 9 years of work experience. I also got pregnant at the beginning of my junior year, so the last two years of school I worked and raised an infant. Looking over my transcript, I have so many W's and about three F's. My grades sub-par, but I do have solid work history in the Finance industry with two great companies. I am also involved in the community and plan to use my to use my degree to advance my career in Finance and also make a difference within the inner city. I have plans to start a non-profit organization to teach young students within inner city schools the basics of Finance and Financial Management. I am extremely passionate about our youth and know that getting a MBA at OSU can give me the knowledge and expertise I need to move forward.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can be admitted into Ohio State with my poor GPA??

Very easy. You have a story, so tell it. Also, it would be nice to see your career progression. But, being that you are a minority female your stats can be lower than the average. If you really get a 750 gmat than it will be no problem. But, that is a pretty big task. Have you taken any practice tests to gauge where you are? Basically hit 650 or up and tell your story. I think what you have done in the workforce is going to be a big factor. But, if you have decent career projection and a 650+ gmat you will definitely have a good chance.

Last edited by thisisatestonlyatest on 24 Feb 2014, 13:27, edited 1 time in total.
Manager
Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 74
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Technology
GMAT 1: 710 Q45 V41
GPA: 2.47
WE: Operations (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 15 [1] , given: 11

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11 Dec 2013, 10:41
1
KUDOS
I will throw mine out there as well

710 GMAT
White
Male

Matriculating at Notre Dame next fall. I agree with onlyatest, it is all about telling your story and what makes you unique. Clearly undergrad is not cake for everyone and there are struggles along the way. Life is all about how you take those struggles and turn them into something positive down the road. Don't hide anything, be honest and share how you turned things around. It says a lot more about someone to take a negative and turn it into a positive than it does to coast along in one direction.
Intern
Joined: 16 May 2011
Posts: 14
Location: United States
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
GMAT 1: 690 Q48 V35
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [1] , given: 2

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05 Feb 2014, 07:21
1
KUDOS
Been reading on these boards for a long time. So it is my duty to contribute and help motivate others to pursue their goal.

Brown Male
Indian Born - Raised in the Middle East - Living in the US for the past 11 years
UG from Virginia Tech - GPA - 2.48
Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Work Expereince
Consulting ( IT and Strategy) 5 years
Supply Chain ( 1+ years)

GMAT 690
Was looking for a part time admit- applied to Kellogg and got in!!!
This was after I applied to a bunch of schools for a full time MBA when I was still in consulting- didnt get into any one of them....
I have explained my story in greater detail in a post in this blog.

Dont give up on a bad GPA = 2.48 is tough GPA to overcome.... but in the end its all possible.
IT IS ALL ABOUT THE ESSAYS and the interview.
Manager
Joined: 01 Mar 2010
Posts: 106
Location: United States (FL)
Concentration: Finance, Nonprofit
GMAT 1: 640 Q36 V41
GMAT 2: 630 Q42 V34
GMAT 3: 640 Q42 V35
GMAT 4: 620 Q42 V34
GMAT 5: 700 Q45 V40
GPA: 2.71
WE: Underwriter (Other)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 13 [1] , given: 20

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18 Mar 2014, 18:44
1
KUDOS
It has been a long and arduous journey, but it has finally come to an end. Today, almost five years after I started studying for the GMAT, I was admitted to Georgetown.

Undergrad: top 65 liberal arts college (per USNews & World Report)
GPA: 2.71
Major: English
Denied at: Michigan (2010-2011 and 2013-2014), UCLA (2010-2011), Texas (2010-20011 and 2013-2014), USC (2010-2011)
Waitlisted at: USC (2013-2014)
Current Student
Joined: 30 Jan 2010
Posts: 301
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Economics
Schools: Chicago Booth - Class of 2015
GMAT 1: 770 Q V0
WE: Project Management (Real Estate)
Followers: 12

Kudos [?]: 139 [3] , given: 73

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19 Mar 2014, 20:14
3
KUDOS
I'm here to tell a story. A story about hard work and luck, but mostly luck. There's hope.

University: University of Southern California
Major(s): Mechanical Engineering
GPA: 2.88
GMAT: 770 (99%), Q:50 (93%), V:44 (97%), AWA:4.5 (37%)
Nationality: US, Caucasian
Age: 29
Gender: M

Application Results:
R3 - Fuqua - Dinged without interview
R3 - Ross - Accepted
R3 - Booth - Matriculated after being waitlisted
R3 - Kellogg - Withdrew from WL upon acceptance from Booth

My GPA was terrible, I applied in R3, and I certainly didn't have anything to offer in terms of demographic diversity. My GMAT obviously helped a ton and having significant work experience help distance me from my grades. Beyond that, my essays were solid and I very deliberately addressed my shortcomings. I took a risk for my 2nd rec by having a classmate from an executive education program I completed write about my contributions in an academic setting and devoted my optional essay to addressing my GPA and reasons for applying R3.

Good luck!
Intern
Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 1
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

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13 Apr 2014, 12:37
Hi all, I am an international student so pardon my English. I was browsing this thread nights and nights and over and over because I wanted to get the some hope, and I did. So here it goes.

Undergrad: Ranked as 110 LAC this year
Major(s): Finance with minor physics
GPA: 2.41
GRE: 1390 twice
Nationality: Chinese
Age: 23
Gender: M

Application Results:
R3 - Brandeis - Dinged without interview
R3 - BC - Dinged without interview
R3 - Penn state - Dinged without interview
R3 - Olin(campus visit and interviewed before application) - Dinged without interview
R3 - Simon - nothing yet
R3 - NYU contiuned study real estate finance - nothing
R3 - Syracuse - accepted with scholarship ( was surprised to get scholarship and an offer)

Background:
Basically, I havent participated any activity during undergrad, and I was honest to state I had no interest. I lacked of attitude on academic performance and attitude toward career development since my family runs decent high tech business and most likely I would take over it. I was put in charged on a managerial capacity position as remote job to learn the business during night time ( time difference ), I followed my father with all possible meetings via Skype and acted as the second hand but with limited authority. I took that more seriously that nailing A in classes. But I have super super interest in investment and industries, on my transcripts, I had most major courses A and B but cultural diversity or other courses, all C and worse. Got 2 D: Mechanical analysis in physics and Linear Algebra ( I had good start, but I really didn't do homework so ...) I also did a equity research on TSLA on March last year and if anyone is familiar with it, you know how it is trading today. And I took an extra semester to finish my degree since I dropped a course.

I had a normal resume as others: internships every summer back home with different fields and big local firms: Law firms, Government office, Mutual Funds, Family business, Auto manufacturers, to know this, none of them was well recognized in the states.

My family business have a patent which I was part of it and we also won the second place of national high tech funding competition which was a big deal to my firm, I was acting as the second hand as well.

Always wanted to get in IBD for several years, but limited resources and sponsorship had really cut me off. Even I have wealthy clients who is willing to invest 9 billion annually for proper investments, and I offer and IBD who takes me will earn this client, none responds my email, i know it sounds like a scam but it is true. While waiting for hearing back from gradschools, I had a plan B: To open a subsidiary in the states to expand business. Contacting lawyers and potential clients had really fulfill my time these days. And last week just heard from Syracuse, acceptance with scholarship. I need to reconsider timing about all this.

Look at my profile, you should be super confident that hope exists and you should always stick with it. Bad grades will be overcome. I understand Syracuse is not tier 1 but it is good for me already.

Feel free contact me , always want to make new friends.

Good luck to all,
Charles
Current Student
Joined: 10 Apr 2014
Posts: 22
Location: Singapore
GMAT 1: 760 Q51 V41
GPA: 3
WE: General Management (Entertainment and Sports)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 0

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15 Apr 2014, 20:50
1
This post was
BOOKMARKED
Dakells wrote:
Thought I'd write my story here and the other low GPA thread since I read through all of the low GPA threads a bunch of times when applying because I was so nervous about my chances. Hopefully I will give another low GPA-er some hope!

Profile:
Age/gender: 28 y/o female
GPA: 2.9 from a top 10 liberal arts school, economics major
GMAT: 700 and 690 (yes did worse the second time), don't remember my split but my quant was nowhere near that 80% everyone says to get.
WE: 3 years in a rotational program for a well known financial services firm, 3 years in risk at a global investment bank
Extracurriculars: Captain of sports team in college, consistent volunteering since college (some leadership positions and unique stuff), very involved with former college, and have a lot of hobbies I mentioned in my apps to sort of differentiate myself.

Schools I applied to and results (all Rnd 1 or Regular Decision):

Wharton: Waitlisted (after a terrible interview mind you, Team Discussion was great, but interview, yikes)
Kellogg: Waitlisted
Columbia: Accepted
Fuqua: Accepted
Stern: Accepted

I think the following helped my case:

1. A clear idea/and description in my apps of my career goals, why an MBA would help them, why that specific school's MBA would help them, why now was the time I was pursuing MBA, and how my prior work experience would help me achieve those goals. I had heard that schools worry career changers won't find jobs if it is too great of a change, so I highlighted aspects/stories of my work experience that directly applies to my goals. I also made sure to show why I was passionate about my goals and what had led me to realize my goals.

2. In addition to tying my work experience to my goals, I tried to give examples of leadership at work. I told a couple of stories that demonstrated me taking initiative and leading teams. I also told my recommenders that schools like that so if they had any stories to put in their recommendations that would be great. Don't know what my recommenders ended up writing, but I did send them both an email with what my goals are and some of my professional and personal accomplishments.

3. Once you start doing in depth research on a school and its programs, it is pretty easy to figure out what is important to that school (what type of candidate they are looking for). So in each of my essays, I made sure to pick examples and tailor my message to that specific school's values.

4. I took two classes in the summer before I applied, 1 accounting class and 1 math class (not calculus level) to show that I have quant skills and can be a good student, got A's in both courses. Was told specifically by one of the schools that they really liked that I took the initiative to take those courses.

5. I visited every school I applied to. Luckily for me this was easy and the only two schools I really had to fly to were Duke and Kellogg which meant I could self-initiate an interview while I was there. Just felt like this showed my interest but more importantly allowed me to speak of my visit in my application.

6. In general I just really tried to show that I was ready to fully engage in the program and the school's community. Also tried to show a coherent story as to how my career goals were formed, how MBA would help achieve them, and what I hoped to do in the short term and long term.

7. Just a note about the optional essay since I wondered about this. I chose note to come right out and say "I have a low GPA because...". Instead I chose to use the essay to highlight the two courses I took in an effort to prepare myself for the rigors or the MBA program and since I had been out of school for awhile.

Hope that is helpful to someone! Nothing earth shattering above, but there are so many things to keep in mind and think about in this whole process it's easy to just get stuck on your low gpa or gmat and think that means you're not a strong candidate. Especially looking on this board, it's amazing how many people have such strong stats. But you never know, you see people with 750 GMATs and 3.8 GPAs get rejected from top schools all the time while someone with much lower stats gets in. To me, that really shows that the adcoms really do take a look at the holistic picture. Good luck!

Hey Darkells, thanks for your sharing and it is inspiring!

My GPA is about the same as yours from a Top Asia-Pacific Uni in Engineering. Luckily I got a better GMAT score. My school list includes HBS, Kellogg, CBS, and Fuqua, which is also quite similar to your school choices. Your points gave me a new view of the evaluation process: the adcoms do value your initiatives in making up the shortcomings.

But some of your steps are very difficult for me to take, say school visits, since my working locations lie in Singapore and Germany. Do you have any suggestions on this?

Hope I can make my applications better and get good results as you did!

Thanks and regards
Current Student
Joined: 30 Mar 2012
Posts: 141
Location: United States (TX)
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
GMAT 1: 670 Q45 V38
GPA: 2.64
WE: Supply Chain Management (Consumer Electronics)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 14

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04 Jun 2014, 13:30
I recently applied for McCombs Evening Program (Austin) and got in.

Overall GPA: 2.64 (3 F's)
UC GPA: 2.3
GMAT: 670 (Q45, V38, AWA5.5, 83%)
WE: Apple, Supply Chain, 60 months
Extracurriculars: Texas Exes Alumni Association, Fraternity National Board, Started an E-Commerce Business
Letters from Apple's Sr. Management (2).

I must've read through these threads every couple of months the past 2 years. Although many here would be applying to the full-time program, I still hope that my example may inspire someone to work hard on the rest of their application (let me know if I can answer any questions).

I don't know if I would've been accepted into their full-time program, but I do know that I did everything possible to give myself the best opportunity possible (networked rigorously, mapped out my application strategically to address weaknesses, coached my recommenders to highlight qualities I needed to be highlighted, etc.). I decided to ultimately apply full-time only due to a recent promotion the same month and the quality of employers out of the part-time program, which is a big kudos to McCombs Evening MBA.
_________________

Don't let a low GPA destroy your dreams of a business education.

Intern
Joined: 19 Oct 2014
Posts: 3
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

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19 Oct 2014, 14:14
Hi, I'm from Brazil and I am going to graduate in december 2014 with an electrical engineering major. I am considering applying for the University of Notre Dame MBA program. Since my parents can't afford a MBA in the USA, I'm thinking of applying for a scholarship also. Moreover, I am graduating from the best university of America Latina. However, my GPA is very low: 2.5. Therefore, I have some questions:

1) What are my chances of getting in the University of Notre Dame MBA program?
2) Do they take the name of the university into account?
3) If I do well on GMAT, do I have more chances of getting in, even with a low GPA?
4) I saw on the University of Notre Dame's website that they require a slide presentation for the application, what kind of slide presentation do they look for?
5) What are my chances of getting in as an international applicant?
Intern
Joined: 16 Oct 2014
Posts: 1
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

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27 Oct 2014, 08:04
My GPA 2.58 and ( BSc Accounting with Computing). This is really tormenting me as to whether to write GMAT or not because it seems most of the USA schools are seeking a 3.0 GPA or above . Am confused and wish to get a motivation from someone to carry on. Really worried

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