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Profile Evaluation- Low GPA for Top Schools

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Profile Evaluation- Low GPA for Top Schools [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2013, 09:24
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: 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.

Basically I want to find out if it is possible to get in to one of my targets with my undergrad, I want to weigh my options before putting the time in to getting a GMAT over 700.

Thank you very much for you time and consideration.
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Re: Profile Evaluation- Low GPA for Top Schools [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2013, 18:28
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Hi and thanks for posting...

You have some competitive (!) schools on that list, and some challenging issues you've mentioned, but you've also shown a maturity and self-awareness of past weaknesses and challenges and ways you've overcome them that I think will serve you well as you put together your application, essays, and interviews.

You are correct that your masters degree with the high GPA will help out that undergrad GPA, and you would likely use the optional essay to explain more about your undergrad situation.

You should as you probably know aim for over 700 on the GMAT for those top programs, and yes HBS and Wharton will be a stretch. There's not too much more you can do at this point unless you take on any particularly interesting projects/accomplishments at work between now and when you apply, or get involved in a community activity... with your masters degree it's less pressing to say, take some additional coursework. So I'd focus on the things you CAN affect-- your GMAT and your essays! Don't underestimate the importance of the essays, nor the time it takes to really create strong essays. ;) Wishing you the best!
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