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Profile Evaluation- Low GPA for Top 10

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Profile Evaluation- Low GPA for Top 10 [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2013, 09:12
Age: 29
Work Experience: Current- Equity Analyst- research the consumer staples sector for a large buy side investment management firm think (Fidelity, Wellington, T Rowe, American Funds) for the past two years. Previously was in a research support role supporting portfolio managers for non-stock research and before that traded international equities and currencies.
GMAT: Haven't taken
College: University of Vermont- 2.7 GPA Business Admin/Finance, had 3 really bad semesters 1 my uncle died, and the other 2 my mom spent a lot of time in ICU with an undiagnosed kidney ailment, I was young and incapable of dealing with my personal issues and school at the same time, I just didn’t go to class, without the my other 5 semesters my GPA averages over 3.3. I knew my low GPA and non-target school would hurt me so I enrolled at Boston College for their MSF program, graduated last year with a 3.75 GPA.

Extra-Curricular: Treasurer for my fraternity, managed a 200k budget. 100 hours of community service in college. I plan to get involved with a local charity to volunteer now that I have a lot of free time back in my life; I just finished the CFA program.

Certifications: CFA

Targets: Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, Tuck, Sloan, and Booth.

Timeframe: R1&R2 2014-2015

Post MBA Goal: Become a portfolio manager at Mutual Fund Company or analyst at a leading hedge fund.

What GMAT score range do I need to be in to even be considered at any of these schools? I know each of these schools are very difficult to get in to especially with my poor undergrad. Harvard and Wharton are probably extreme reaches for me and I am more realistically hoping for Columbia or Tuck but understand those my also be out of the question.

Is there anything else you would recommend I do between now and applying to try to overcome my poor undergrad? I believe I will have strong recommendations; I will be able to select alumni from each school to write them for me. I am hoping my MSF GPA, a strong GMAT, and passing the 3 CFA exams 3/3 consecutively can overshadow my 2.7 that I got when I was a lot younger and a much different person.

Thank you very much for you time and consideration.
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Affiliations: Columbia, Wharton, LBS
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Schools: Harvard, Stanford, LBS, Columbia, Wharton, HEC Paris
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Re: Profile Evaluation- Low GPA for Top 10 [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2013, 18:14
Thank you for your posting.

To start off with, I think that you are being a bit too hard on yourself for some grades that happened almost a decade ago. The good news about this aspect of your application is that you rebounded well -- so this will diminish the impact of the low grades that happened in college. Also, admissions weighs your most recent academic experience most heavily - so your 3.7 GPA in your MSF program will count much more than your college grades. (However, saying this, your early grades have used up your entire margin of error in your application -- so everything else has to be top notch). As for your GMAT, try to get above a 700 and above 80th percentile on both the verbal and quant sections. A strong GMAT will support the claims that your earlier grades were a fluke.

The next issue that we have to address is your age - by the time you enroll you will be 30 years old and some schools just prefer younger candidates. This means that I would re-evalaute HBS -- as they do prefer candidates in the 24-27 age range -- with 30 being on the very upper end of what they usually consider.

As for all the other schools on your list, with a strong application, I believe that you can be a compelling candidate. I also think you chose the right portfolio of schools to apply to -- however, I would also recommend that you apply to Johnson (as a backup) -- as the finance program and placement is very strong.

Good luck.

Kimberly Plaga
Senior Admissions Consultant
Manhattan Review

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Re: Profile Evaluation- Low GPA for Top 10 [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2013, 11:47
Kimberly,

Thank you very much for your response. I am glad to hear that you don't think my undergrad will sink my application at all the schools I am looking at. HBS is hard for enough for perfect candidates to get in to so I don't like my chances there but will probably still apply on the chance I can get lucky, I would be thrilled getting in to any of my 6 targets. I haven't really looked at Johnson but I will look in to it on your advice.

Thanks,
Galan
Re: Profile Evaluation- Low GPA for Top 10   [#permalink] 14 Aug 2013, 11:47
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