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Overcoming undergrad failures

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Joined: 27 May 2008
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Overcoming undergrad failures [#permalink] New post 27 May 2008, 16:22
Hi there,

I am 29 and would like to do an MBA next fall, but I am concerned about my academic history. When I first started University, I majored in CS from a great school but I flunked really badly and ended up suspended for poor performance. While I had some extenuating circumstances (family problems), it was because I just wasn't ready to put in the effort and I had some very self-destructive tendencies. I showed up to exams late, and barely studied. Instead, I hung around the wrong crowd and made some very poor decisions. Still, I learned some powerful life lessons.

After spending a year out of school, I transferred to another lesser University and majored in MIS. I worked extremely hard and got scholarships and awards every year. I completed an internship program and worked for several blue chip companies and finished my degree very near the top of my class with an 87% GPA. However, my initial failures cost me a total of three extra years, so I started my career very late. Since I graduated two years ago, I have been working as a client-facing IT consultant (SAP), and make a decent salary (80K+). As a consultant, I haven't had a chance to manage many people, but from day one I have pretty much held senior repsonsibilities, such as managing the client relationship and often acting as a team lead.

In terms of extra curricular, I haven't done much lately as I have been focused on my career, but I was a student mentor at University, and also worked for a research lab dedicated to innovating technologies for the disabled. I also plan to volunteer to help troubled youth over the summer for a charitable organization.

Assuming that I can score 680+ on my GMAT, how much weight do you think the adcoms will put on my past academic history? I am realistic, and know my profile won't meet expectations of the very elite schools, but I'd like to aim high as possible. I would like to continue consulting, but move to management consulting, with a focus on ERP so I can leverage my existing skillset and experience. My purpose of pursuing an MBA is to open doors outside of the technical arena, and further develop business/management skills. One day, I'd like to run my own professional services company. I know that I'm not a typical applicant, as I will have only 3+ years experience post undergrad by the time I start (not counting the two years from my internships). I know my profile is not remarkable, but one thing that I learned from my past failures is never to give up.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate any feedback.
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Joined: 23 Apr 2008
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Re: Overcoming undergrad failures [#permalink] New post 27 May 2008, 21:46

This may not be the best part of the forum to post. Please re-post it in either Hjort's or's sub forums and you probably might see some expert responses. Wish I could answer your queries but I am in the same boat as you are.

Scoring a 680+ is not so easy unless you have solid fundamentals or you have prepped for the test for good enough time. I mean a 680+ (well, if you are Asian candidate then 710+) can compensate for your poor undergrad scores. Given the huge volumes of applications, you may want to add in some leadership, extra curricular stuff to distinguish yourself among other applicants.
Re: Overcoming undergrad failures   [#permalink] 27 May 2008, 21:46
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