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Profile Evaluation (Low GPA, Good GMAT)

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Profile Evaluation (Low GPA, Good GMAT) [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2011, 10:52
Hello, below is my profile:

Race: Asian (US Citizen)
GPA: 2.63/4 (Not a top university), major: economics
GMAT: 740 (Q:49, V:41, AWA:4)
Work Experience: 0.5 year in Insurance/ 2 years in Shoe manufacturing
Extra: Basketball team/Volleyball team

I believe my advantages are:
1. oversea working for 2 years (1 year in China, 1 year in Vietnam by May)
2. Currently QA manager, managing 150 some employees. Got early promotion because of my job performance
3. Not a common profession in MBA class profile, hence less competition

1. Low GPA
2. Short working experience

My post MBA career goal is:
1. to work in buyer side (shoe brand side) and to work my way up
2. to switch job filed and join marketing/finance which i am more interested in if i have the opportunity

I would like to get into those top schools, such as Columbia, MIT, HBS, because of their well known finance and leadership program.
But since my profile and the timeline, I dont believe i have a shot at those schools at all right now.
Hence, I am facing a dilemma, should I apply for lower ranked schools such as Georgetown, Vanderbilt, BU, BC? or wait 1 more year to have a better shot at those big schools?

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Re: Profile Evaluation (Low GPA, Good GMAT) [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2011, 10:13
You should wait, most definitely. Round 3 is just not that friendly of a round for applicants and I'd recommend avoiding it if possible.

If you can wait until fall, here's my suggestion to you - build up an alternative transcript. A 2.63 GPA is going to stick out like a sore thumb when you're applying to these top schools, whose average GPAs fall between 3.4 and 3.6. You'd be at the bottom of the bottom 10 percentile and that's just going to make your application that much harder to get by the adcoms. Take some courses and try your best to get A's. I'm recommending this only because you're not that far away from college just yet (unlike those applicants who have graduated 10 years ago and college grades are just too far away to be that big of a determining factor). Since you're not that far away from college yet, it's only best to show these top b-schools that you'll be able to handle the rigor of the curriculum. Your GMAT is definitely a good thing to offset a lower GPA, but a 2.63 will put you at a very difficult pool to gain admission. Here's another reason for the wait - by waiting and applying round 1 or 2 for class of 2014, you'll gain at least one more year of work experience, which would appeal more to schools that have an average age of 26 or 27. You will then enter b-school with 3.5 years of WE, instead of 2.5. This is really a personal choice, but you can play this to your advantage by volunteering your time and by taking additional classes.

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Re: Profile Evaluation (Low GPA, Good GMAT) [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2011, 18:30
Your GMAT can offset your low GPA to certain extent, but it will be great if you can take some quant classes and show top grades in those. Moreover, since you have just 2.5 years of work experience, it will be critical for your to explain to adcom why is this the right time to do an MBA and not after 1 or 2 years? Also, use time from now to your applications deadlines to build upon your extracurriculars. Show conistent and impactful contribution in out of work activities with possible leadership initiatives and team skills. May be, you also want to think about your goals a bit broadly. Is it the customer of shoe company the place you are interested in or is it some kind if specific functional area that you want to get into, etc?
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Re: Profile Evaluation (Low GPA, Good GMAT) [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2011, 18:51
First of all, thank you for all your honest suggestions, they are all really hopeful.

I think right now is the time to do MBA is because I can already see myself in next two years in current company. I would be doing to the same thing, but only managing more local (Vietnamese) employees, 250~350 people. My pay and title would go up, but doing the same thing is what bothers me. It lacks challenges and fails to interest me. I'd love to explore more about this industry in a different angle and eventually learn how to run a company. Hence MBA seems like a right choice, it would give me a broad knowledge of each function in a company and also advantages when I apply jobs post-MBA.

Taking some classes to offset my low GPA is a really good suggestion. For a long time I had no idea what to do with my low gpa. But it would be difficult for me right now because I'm working oversea. I can try some online classes, just dont know if those counts?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Profile Evaluation (Low GPA, Good GMAT) [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2011, 20:06
you are better off waiting one/2 years, taking classes (and getting A's, NO B's!) and not applying to HBS/MIT or Columbia. I am going to be honest with you. I am not trying to mean, (I have a GPA that is slightly higher than yours)

There is nothing you can do (besides get a reco letter from bill gates or obama) that will get you into a top tier school. I doubt any of those schools (CBS, HBS, MIT) will even read your application. Yes they dont read every app!

I understand your optimism, I had that too, but soon you will realize a 2.6, with little EC and questionable (in the eyes of top MBA programs, not me) will keep all those top doors closed for you.

Nothing will "offset" a 2.6.

Now here is where you have a chance, in a couple years after a steady stream of relevant courses you have a CHANCE at schools outside of the top 14-16. By all means shoot for a Duke/UVA/Ross but those are stretches and will prob be straight dings for you.

Gtown/Vandy/BC/BU are more your speed.....after the classes though, and still not true safeties

Again I want to be clear, I'm not being mean, this is what us with low GPA and high GMAT are mostly destined for. Yea there are stories of the 2.9 and 720 that get into CBS, but they have top WE and EC.

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Re: Profile Evaluation (Low GPA, Good GMAT) [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2011, 07:29

I believe the best time to do an MBA is when you most want it for yourself. It is a tough intensive course and requires alot of hard work. Additionally you need to know what you want to take away from the course. My suggestion woule be - go ahead and give it your best shot. Pick a basket of top and mid-tier schools to balance it out.

You need to give the Admissions Commitee good reasons to take away attention from a low GPA. Highlight your work ex in different countries and what you learnt there. I am sure you have some experience in the branded shoes industry so talk about that and how an MBA would help you achieve what you envision for yourself after. You could also reiterate that you plan to take prep lessons before hand to help you keep up with the class.

Good luck!

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Re: Profile Evaluation (Low GPA, Good GMAT)   [#permalink] 02 Mar 2011, 07:29
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