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Profile Evaluation: Low GPA, 770 GMAT, 7 years Engineering

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Profile Evaluation: Low GPA, 770 GMAT, 7 years Engineering [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2014, 11:01
Hello all, I apologize for the long post but I wanted to provide as much detail as possible. I’d appreciate it if someone would be kind enough to evaluate my profile:

Age: 30
Ethnicity: White Caucasian
Gender: Male
Location: North Carolina

GMAT:
• 690 (89%) - Q45 (67%), V39 (88%), AWA 5.5 (80%), IR 6 (67%) - First attempt without much preparation
• 770 (99%) - Q50 (89%), V45 (99%), AWA 5.5 (80%), IR 7 (82%) - Second attempt


Education:
• BSCE - Structural Engineering - North Carolina State University - Cum. GPA 2.67 (ouch), there is no real trend up or down, but individual semester performance is a shotgun scatter affair (from 2.0 to 3.5).
• M. Eng. - Structural Engineering - Norwich University - Cum. GPA 4.00

Because my original undergraduate record is terrible, I decided to build an alternative undergrad transcript (quant heavy) through the following:

• 76 distance education credits at UNC - Pembroke to complete BSBA (Finance Track) - GPA 4.00; Cum. GPA (includes transfer credits) 3.58
• 51 distance education credits at Mayville State University (North Dakota) to complete BS Mathematics - GPA 3.89; Cum. GPA (includes transfer credits) 3.49

This was done in about 3 1/2 years. My original stint in college was not taken very seriously which is obvious and is the main reason for the low gpa performance. I suppose this could be spun in some way through the optional essay. I’m also not sure how the relatively unknown reputations of my post-grad schools will affect the applications.


Work Experience:

(1.25 years) After college I worked for a consulting company that did work for industrial and government facilities on improving their manufacturing processes to reduce waste and air pollution. We did testing on many facilities and analyzed the gasses being emitted from the stacks to see if any chemicals were outside of EPA limits. I would then assist with the design of required process improvements. I was at this job for a little over a year.

(5.5 years) Since then I have been at a company that designs and engineers heavy industrial facilities in many states and even in some international locations (Canada, Mexico, Brazil, France, Germany). The work is mostly focused on the wood products, pharmaceutical & material handling (think coal, stone, etc.) industries. While at this job I have seen a few promotions; Design & Engineering Intern -> Structural Designer -> Structural Staff Engineer -> Sr. Structural Engineer. In the 5 or so years I have been at this company I have managed dozens of projects (from the structural work standpoint) ranging in budget from $10,000 to over $100mm. I have been responsible for training and checking the work of 9 engineers and designers under me, however I am not the department manager. I completed both my master’s and alternative undergraduate work while working at this firm full-time.

I also have experience in the family real estate business (appraising and running cost-analysis and cash flow charts on potential real estate ventures); this experience has been pretty constant and part-time since I was in high-school.


Professional Licenses & Certifications:

• Registered P.E. in multiple states
• North Carolina Commercial General Building Contractor’s License
• North Carolina Real Estate License
• LEED AP BD+C Certification
• PMP Certification
• Currently preparing for the S.E. licensure exam for California, Illinois, Oregon & Washington


Extracurriculars:

• I am a black belt in both Shi-to-ryu and Wado-ryu (started this training when I was 5) and have taught martial arts to kids and young teens for over 10 years (usually through the Y). I also assist at a local school that specializes in teaching kids with developmental issues (i.e. Autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, high-functioning Down syndrome). This helps with their cognitive development tremendously.

• I was a competitive swimmer and diver during high school and college. I was all conference, all regional and competed and placed in statewide meets every year.

• For the last few years I have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in my local chapter. I originally started as a construction volunteer doing general building work (framing, roofing, etc.) After about six months of experience I became a team leader responsible for 8-12 people performing a specific task which changed periodically based on the stage of construction. Since obtaining my GC license last year, I have been managing entire building projects and coordinating work with sub-contractors. This is something that I really enjoy helping with.

• Member of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), which specializes in engineering and design tasks for underprivileged or poorer areas of the globe. I was involved with a water reclamation system in Sudan and did some of the structural design work for this project. I have provided input and design guidance for numerous other projects, mostly in Africa, India and South America.

• Most recently, I co-founded a charity with another engineer which does architectural and structural engineering consulting work free of charge for local churches and non-profit organizations on a needs basis. The work has been rewarding and we have begun to actively recruit others who wish to provide their services so that we can serve more organizations.

I am confident that I can get good recommendations so that is not really an issue.


Goals:

I would like to get involved in executive management in heavy industry or utilities (oil, gas & natural resources interest me) or in major construction and industrial services (think Fluor Corp., Balfour Beatty, KBR, URS, etc.).


Questions:

I am not sure which schools to target for my applications as I am unsure if I could even quality for a top 10 (or even 20) program given my academic history. Which programs should I start looking for in regards to Dream / Target / Safe schools?
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Re: Profile Evaluation: Low GPA, 770 GMAT, 7 years Engineering [#permalink] New post 05 May 2014, 23:01
Cryogenic wrote:
Hello all, I apologize for the long post but I wanted to provide as much detail as possible. I’d appreciate it if someone would be kind enough to evaluate my profile:

Age: 30
Ethnicity: White Caucasian
Gender: Male
Location: North Carolina

GMAT:
• 690 (89%) - Q45 (67%), V39 (88%), AWA 5.5 (80%), IR 6 (67%) - First attempt without much preparation
• 770 (99%) - Q50 (89%), V45 (99%), AWA 5.5 (80%), IR 7 (82%) - Second attempt

<<snip>>

Questions:

I am not sure which schools to target for my applications as I am unsure if I could even quality for a top 10 (or even 20) program given my academic history. Which programs should I start looking for in regards to Dream / Target / Safe schools?


Dear Cryogenic,

Here are a few reflections on your profile:
  1. Though the low GPA will remain, but I see enough evidence here that can help the adcom realize how you've made efforts to overcome that handicap. The GMAT score will definitely help in that respect too. So you can discount this factor in your school selection in my opinion
  2. The transition you are planning also sounds reasonably logical. Business education can help you move from the technical aspects to the managerial aspects. You should be aware however that roles in utilities/industrial space will be more abundant compared to those in construction after the MBA
  3. For reasons mentioned here, I wouldnt go into school specific recommendations. Suffice it to say however that with the right set of essays, you should have a shot at good schools out there.

Cheers,
_________________

MG (Manish Gupta)|The MBA Crystal Ball Team
Email: mcb at mbacrystalball dot com

Re: Profile Evaluation: Low GPA, 770 GMAT, 7 years Engineering   [#permalink] 05 May 2014, 23:01
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